Basketball is Angola's most popular sport. Angola’s female basketball team recently won the African Championship trophy in Mali qualifying them for the 2012 London Olympics. It was Angola’s first female continental basketball title and gained them automatic qualification for the London Olympic Games next year.
President José Eduardo dos Santos congratulated the team, describing the triumph as “a result of collective action and the victorious spirit of the Angolan people.”
The Angolan victory was all the sweeter as it came over Senegal, the reigning and ten-times champions of Afrobasket. On no fewer than five occasions, Angola’s best position in the competition had been third place, a feat repeated in the previous two championships.
Large crowds gathered at Luanda Airport for the team’s home- coming. Team captain Nacissela Maurício, trophy in hand, was first to emerge from the aircraft and led a 20-vehicle celebratory cavalcade in an open-top bus through the city, with hundreds of motorcyclists providing a noisy escort.
Nacissela was voted ‘most valued player’ in the championship and was also named a member of the competition’s dream team. (Sonangol Universo Magazine)