Madagascar’s quest for AfroBasket 2025: A journey of redemption and ambition


In the wake of their commendable performance in 3×3 basketball and youth squads on the global stage, Madagascar’s 5×5 basketball team is now setting its sights on securing a coveted ticket to the 2025 FIBA AfroBasket. The absence from the 2021 edition in Kigali has only fueled the Malagasy team’s desire to showcase their talent and represent their nation with pride at Africa’s premier basketball event.

The journey to redemption began with a reflection on the challenges faced during the 2021 AfroBasket qualifiers, where Madagascar’s performance fell short of expectations, culminating in a 0-6 record in Kigali and Monastir. Determined to turn the tide, the technical staff, led by Coach Ndranto Rakotonanahary, promptly initiated preparations for the pre-qualifying campaign, aiming to rectify past missteps and set the team on a path to success.

However, the road to qualification has not been without its hurdles. The withdrawal of Tanzania from the competition left a gap in Madagascar’s preparation plans, prompting the team to engage in friendly matches to compensate for the lost opportunity to hone their skills against competitive opponents.

As Madagascar steps onto the court in Cairo, Egypt, to face formidable teams such as Egypt, Ivory Coast, and Central African Republic, all eyes will be on key players like Elly Randriamampionona, Livio Ratianarivo, and Rija Lahontan. Their performance will be pivotal in determining Madagascar’s fate in the first round of the 2025 FIBA AfroBasket Qualifiers.

Madagascar, an island nation with a rich basketball heritage, has long been recognized as a fertile ground for the sport within Zone 7. Hosting various FIBA Africa events, including an AfroBasket edition in 2011, the country has demonstrated its passion and commitment to basketball. Currently ranked 120th globally and 22nd in Africa, Madagascar is eager to climb the rankings and assert its presence on the continental stage.

The history of Madagascar in the AfroBasket tournaments tells a story of perseverance and gradual progress. Having participated in three editions, with their debut in 1972 yielding a ninth-place finish, the Malagasy team has consistently aimed to improve their standings, culminating in their role as hosts in 2011.

The emergence of young talents, particularly those who participated in the U19 World Cup, has reinvigorated Madagascar’s basketball scene. This new generation, alongside veterans like Kiady Mijoro Razanamahenina, known for his remarkable long-range shooting, and Elly Randriamampionona, a specialist in three-pointers, brings hope and excitement to the team’s prospects.

Madagascar’s opponents in the qualifiers present a mix of familiar and new challenges. While the team seeks revenge against the Central African Republic, having faced defeat in their previous encounters, they will also compete against Egypt and Ivory Coast for the first time. These matchups offer Madagascar an opportunity to test their mettle against some of Africa’s best teams and to lay the groundwork for a successful campaign.

As Madagascar embarks on this crucial journey towards the AfroBasket 2025, the team is more determined than ever to overcome obstacles and achieve their dream of qualifying for the tournament. With a blend of experienced guidance from Coach Rakotonanahary, the prowess of standout players, and the collective ambition of the squad, Madagascar is poised to make a significant impact in the qualifiers and beyond, aiming not just for participation, but for a memorable performance that will resonate across the continent.

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