Head coach First Bank Basketball Club, Peter Ahmedu will be counting on his 2017 Afrobasket Women experience when the FIBA Africa Women’s Champions Cup begin on Friday in Angola.
Ahmedu was an assistant to Sam Vincent who led the D’Tigress to the Afrobasket title in Mali.
Speaking to ACLSports before their departure on Wednesday, the former Mark Mentors coach said his Afrobasket experience will be greatly utilised when his team file out against other teams in Angola.
“Afrobasket is a different ball game and I am happy the home based players there were from my team. The coach brought in alongside other technical crew made me acquire enough experience and would go a long way to help my team in the club championship. Most of the players at the Afrobasket that we played against, we will meet again at the club championship so it’s a good experience for me and my players.”
Ahmedu said the absence of FIBACCW defending champions, Inter Clube will in no way hamper their preparation and expectation.
“Every team is preparing and it’s a different program for all the clubs. They are expected to do their recruitment well to avoid poor results. For the defending champions who failed to qualify, failed to prepare well and they were stunned during their qualifiers. But I wont be surprised if they are given a wild card since Angola is the host nation and the defending champions are an Angolan side. The last time we played in Angola, three Angolan teams played. Don’t be surprised if we get there and see two or three teams from there so we have trained hard and hoping our preparation wont be in vain,” he explained.
Ahmedu is aware of the threat posed by Angolan sides and is ready for the challenge ahead of him. A few weeks ago, he was worried about preparations.
“Facing an Angola team in the club championship is big. We are equal to the task and any team we meet we should be able to play against them. Clubs in Angola are the highest paid in Africa and one of the highest paid in the world. They pay players 5000 dollars, 4000, or 6000 dollars and that’s why a lot of good players go there to play but in Nigeria, players are paid peanuts, clubs think giving players 2000 dollars is too much and its not really encouraging and we are hoping soon it will be a thing of the past.”
“If I was third last year then I should come out first or second this time around. Training schedule, motivation, friendly games, availability of materials facilities and management would go a long way to aid the team to do well.”
Other teams that have secured continenal spots include; Equity Hawks (Kenya/Zone 5), Kenya Ports Authority (Kenya/Zone 5), Ferroviario de Maputo (Mozambique/Zone 6), Primeiro de Agosto (Angola/Zone 6), and Fandrefiala (Madagascar/Zolne 7).
The team left Nigeria for Angola on Wednesday and expected to take a day rest before the championship starts on Friday.