30 April 2008

CAPE VERDE : Cape Verde to have new coach in place for Athens

Cape Verde will have a transformed squad in July when they show up at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Athens.
The main absence will be that of Cape Verde’s Angolan-born coach Emannuel Trovoada, the man who was in charge last year when the country finished third at the FIBA Africa Championship to claim a spot in this summer’s qualifying event.
Currently at the helm of Angolan outfit Desportivo da Huila, Trovoada is unavailable.
Cape Verde Basketball Federation president Kitana Cabral confirmed to FIBA.com: “Unfortunately, he [Trovoada] will not be able to join us in Athens, due to family issues.
“No, this is not a permanent separation. Emannuel Trovoada will be welcome back whenever his family issues are resolved. We will be waiting for his answer.”
Cape Verde will face Germany and New Zealand in Group B, hoping to win a game in order to progress to the quarter-finals.
Trovoada will not be the only absence.
“Basically, our team is under renovation,” Cabral said. “Fifty per cent of the squad has never played for the country. Most of them are settled in United States, and agreed to play for us.
“Our main players will remain in the squad. Just have a look at our team that competed in the Africa Championship and you will notice that we used an average of seven or eight players per game.
“We want to give more options to the coach.”
“We will unveil a new coach soon. He is a local coach and will be joined by another national coach, who currently works in United States.”
The preparation campaign is supposed to begin on June 9, a month before the competition in Athens. That is not ideal, but Cabral said: “Last year we started our camp a month before the Africa Championship.
“It was tough for us due to the short period. We cannot compare both events, though.
“We reckon that we could start earlier, but we have to understand our players’ commitments with their clubs.”
One of the names linked to Cape Verde is the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ryan Gomes.
The 6ft 7in forward has Cape Verde roots but with each passing day, his inclusion looks less and less likely.
“There is nothing to say about Ryan Gomes,” Cabral said.
Last year, Cape Verde knocked powerhouse Nigeria and Egypt out of last year’s FIBA Africa Championship.
They will be looking for more scalps in June when they host an international tournament which includes Angola, Cameroon, Mali and Senegal.
Late in June, France host Cape Verde in the Africans preparation campaign.
Cape Verde left a very good impression at the FIBA Africa Championship, yet they have higher goals.
“Our aim is to improve on our international experience, and probably at the 2009 FIBA Africa championship fight to win the competition,” Cabral said.

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