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Lopez Eyes Rio Ticket for Angola

Moncho Lopez has been in the spotlight before as a national team coach and currently sets his sights at securing Rio 2016 Olympic ticket for Angola.

Following his appointment as Angola national team coach, Lopez once again knows what it feels like to be in the limelight, with newspaper and radio journalists eager to hear the words of a coach who has just taken over arguably the most dominant team in the history of African basketball.

Lopez is now at the helm of a side that has captured 11 African championships since 1989, participated in seven FIBA Basketball World Cups since 1986 and taken part in five Olympic tournaments since 1992.

Angola go into every AfroBasket with only one acceptable result for the players, the coaches, the fans and the federation.

They go into the event expecting to win.

Last year, Angola were deprived of their most important player at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, AfroBasket 2013 MVP Carlos Morais, yet still managed to win two of their three games in the Group Phase.

They defeated Korea on opening day and later defeated Australia.

In that 80-69 win over Korea, Olimpio Cipriano and Yanick Moreira each poured in 16 points for the Angolans, while Eduardo Mingas had 14.

Angola then suffered defeats to Lithuania, Mexico and Slovenia but finished their World Cup campaign in strong fashion with a 91-83 victory over Australia.

Tunisia, who beat Angola in the AfroBasket 2011 Final, are the host team for AfroBasket 2015.

They will be among the favorites to reach the top of the podium.

Lopez plans to have his players fully prepared and ready to hit the court running when the competition gets underway on August 19.

“We will work to win this competition and consequently gain passage to the Olympic Games,” Lopez said.

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