Angola still alive, for now
GRAN CANARIA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Angola's come-from-behind win over Australia not only kept their tournament alive, at least for a few hours, but it also gave veteran Joaquim Gomes hope of one more FIBA Basketball World Cup game.
There is a good chance the 33-year-old veteran won't return to the world stage after Spain 2014, and he is now hanging to see if Korea can defeat Mexico and deliver the Angolans to the knockout rounds.
FIBA.com caught up with Gomes after the game.
FIBA.com: You must be happy to have that slither of hope still alive after a great win?
Gomes: Definitely. Too bad we didn't get a win yesterday but we got it today and that's very important to finish strong. I think every game we've played so far we've sent a very good message. Today we came out very strong, we came out and played the way we should be playing. The most important thing is we got the win, so let's wait and see what is going to happen between Mexico and Korea.
FIBA.com: You called the team's effort out after the loss to Mexico, you must be pleased with the response the past two days?
Gomes: I hate losing, to be honest, I hate losing. I can’t say too much because we played very well against Lithuania and Slovenia, we fought to the end but only one team could win and we didn't get it.
FIBA.com: How much would it mean to you to get one last crack at the World Cup elimination round in the Angolan jersey?
Gomes: It has been fun, I've been enjoying playing this tournament, but if we don't advance it will definitely be very hard for me, very hard for the team because we are used to going to the other phase. But this is how the game goes, you can’t always win.
FIBA.com: You've played at four World Cups and two Olympics, what are your favourite memories?
Gomes: I remember the first time I played in the World Cup, it was in Indianapolis in 2002 and it was against Spain that we had a very good game, we beat Canada, we beat China with Yao Ming. In Japan as well, the best memory was against Germany, we lost that game but we went to three overtimes, it was the first time I have played three overtimes and it was fun.
FIBA.com: Finally, what about the next generation of Angolans, is the team in good hands?
Gomes: They still have to work a lot but we definitely have a future, as you saw today with Yanick Moreira and some other young guys. They have to improve a lot, they have to grow, but we have the potential because in Angola there is a big love for this game. I think if we work hard we will keep winning games in African and here in Europe.