Afrocan 2019: the day the Leopards scratched an entire continent
The first and only editions of the Afrocan basketball were won by the DR Congo in 2019. They were held in Mali and were reserved for local players. This is the first major title for a men’s team in all categories. The final was won by Kenya (82-61). The Leopards had to show courage, patriotism, and perseverance to win this title, despite the fact that they were not prepared for the competition and did not receive financial support from the State. Sport News Africa looks back at this historic coronation.
Our correspondent in DR Congo
Surprised everyone, the Afrocan had been won by the Leopards from the DR Congo
After being in the shadows for a while, men’s basketball in DRC finally saw the light of day in 2019. It was during the inaugural and only edition of Afrocan Mali that it was made available to local players. The Leopards A’ were crowned champions after beating Kenya in the final (82-61). They gave the DRC its first major title for men’s basketball in all categories.
Despite the absence of state support…
The DRC was honored by the Afrocan’s win. We never expected them to upset the hierarchy in continental basketball and return with the trophy. This coronation was worth the sacrifices. Even great sacrifices were made. Because before the tournament, there were many. LeopardsIt was a time of martyrdom. The Congolese team had to go through a long preparation process without any government subsidy. It was not easy to get the mission order that allowed the delegation to travel from Bamako. Only because they loved the jersey that was slung over their shoulders, they were able lift the mountains before them.
Full box in rural areas
Even with a poor preparation, it is possible to make the most of your time. LeopardsThe surprise was complete when the DRC won all of their matches in the Afrocan competition. The draw did not include the DRC. The DRC is housed in Group B, along with Nigeria and Kenya. These two countries are group favorites. LeopardsThey multiplied to defy the predictions. They were logically at the top of their group after a win against Kenya (82-65) and a prestigious victory against Nigeria (81-55) They had already tasted victories and were now ready for the quarter-finals.
Even though it was difficult for Chad, it was worth it. LeopardsThey had tried everything to escape the trap (67-60). They were in for a big surprise in the semi-finals. Angola was waiting. And they did it without trembling LeopardsYou can tame them Palancas Negras (84 – 78) and thus opened the doors to the final. This is the final step to join the pantheon for African basketball. They should not miss this chance to immortalize the legend.
A victim is beaten by a group of Congolese. No matter what, the LeopardsDo it again and you will win the first edition (82-61).
Maxi Shamba is a pattern
The success of LeopardsMaxi Munanga Shamba was elected as the leader of the DRC, which made it a highly effective organization. MVPThe competition. The competition was won by the BC New Gen Kinshasa member. He averaged 18.3 points per match, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. He acknowledged that this was one of his best performances. It was a great competition, both for me and my team. I did my best for my country, and I am proud of it. To me, the most important thing was the team’s victory over individual distinctions“, he remembers at the microphone of Sports News Africa
The long wait for the promised vehicles
After their coronation in Bamako the couple were married. LeopardsThey were welcomed by the President of Republic when they returned to Kinshasa. Felix Tshisekedi had promised them luxury vehicles as a reward to honor the country. However, the Congolese government has not provided financial support and the messages of support have yet to reach the authorities. LeopardsOnly after qualifying for the semifinals. To receive the gift promised by the Head Of State, Congolese players had a patience to wait. Indeed, received on August 3, 2019 by Félix Tshisekedi, it was not until August 4, 2022 that they received their vehicles, three years later. But it is better to be late than never.