Olympic Team Profile: Angola

Jul 30, 2008 by Euroleague.net Print
Olimpio Cipriano (Photo: fiba.com) A proven power at the Olympic games and World Championships, perennial African champion Angola enters the Olympic men's basketball tournament with high ambitions and a core of players used to playing with each other. In fact, all 12 Team Angola players come from the best two teams in the country, Primero De Agosto and Petro Atletico. Angola shocked everyone at the 1992 Olympic games with a shocking 63-83 win over host Spain, which helped it finish 10th overall. Players like Jean-Jacques Conceicao and Jose Carlos Guimaraes led Angola to that quality result, but Angola now features a new, talented generation of players who won the Borislav Stankovic Cup just days ago. Star guard Olimpio Cipriano is the team's first option on offense, a great scorer with unlimited shooting range and outstanding driving skills. His best complement is power forward Joaquin Gomes, a good rebounder with superb post skills. Gomes and Cipriano are set to lead Angola on the tough mission to reach the Olympic quarterfinals for the first time ever.

#
Name
Pos.
H.
4
Olimpio Cipriano
F
192
5
Armando Costa
G
191
6
Carlos Morais
G
190
7
Milton Barros
G
184
8
Luis Costa
G
193
9
Vladimir Geronimo
F
193
10
Joaquim Gomes
F
203
11
Felizardo Ambrosio
F
201
12
Abdel Aziz Boukar
C
204
13
Carlos Almeida
G
192
14
Leonel Paulo
F
198
15
Eduardo Mingas
F
201
Head Coach: Alberto de Carvalho
Cipriano leads the Angolan backcourt and is his team's go-to guy in crunch time. Scoring ace Carlos Morais will also be ready to pull the trigger from downtown. Head coach Alberto de Carvalho relies on Armando Costa as his main floor general. Costa, who played in the ULEB Cup with Queluz three years ago, will share the point guard duties with Luis Costa and Milton Barros. Cipriano and Morais will also get some help off the bench. Veteran shooting guard Carlos Almeida and versatile forward Eduardo Mingas will try to make the most of their one-on-one skills, especially if Gomes is double-teamed in the low post. Mingas and Gomes make up the Angolan starting frontcourt, with Abdel Aziz Boukar coming off the bench. Athletic and with good timing, Boukar is also a big contributor on defense.

Veteran swingman Vladimir Geromino and top prospects Leonel Paulo and Felizardo Ambrosio round out the Angolan roster. The fact that as many as eight players, including Cipriano and Gomes, come from African powerhouse Primero de Agosto says it all. Angola is a real team in which everyone knows its limits and plays disciplined to help his teammates. Of course, Angola depends on the inspiration of its three superstars - Cipriano, Gomes and Morais - to do well in the group stage. A trip to the quarterfinals may not be out of the question, and those that underestimate Angola may pay a high price for that.