FIBA AfroBasket 2017: Central Africans announce star-studded preliminary squad

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The Central African Republic (CAF) have named a talented preliminary squad for the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 training camp.

According to the list sent to FIBA Africa, the former African champions have kept eight players from FIBA AfroBasket 2015.

However, it’s the return of Romain Sato, James Mays and Maxim Zianveni that makes the Central Africans a team to watch out for.

Arguably the most talented CAF player of the last decade, 36-year-old Sato has recently helped Valencia Basket win the Spanish ACB League. He last represented his country at FIBA AfroBasket 2009 in Tripoli, Lybia.

In addition to Sato, CAF welcomed back American-born Mays, a 6ft 10in (2.06m) power forward known for his dominance in the paint as well as shooting guard Zianveni, who last played for Boulazac Basket Dordogne in France’s Pro B.

Both Mays and Zianveni last played for the Central African at FIBA AfroBasket 2011, and will join Jimmy Djimrabaye, Max Kouguere and Michael Mokongo, three influential members of the team.

The Central Africans will be coached by Gabin Marida, who served as the team assistant coach at FIBA AfroBasket 2015. They will play the Group Phase in Dakar against Angola, Morocco and Uganda.

This year’s African Championship will be co-hosted by Senegal and Tunisia from September 8-16.

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