LUANDA, January 16,2014 - Two basketball players and a coach dominated Angola's Sports Personalities of 2013 awards, considered one of the most successful years in the history of Angolan basketball.
In the survey carried out by state-owned Angola News Agency ANGOP, Carlos Morais, the MVP of AfroBasket 2013, was selected as the Sports Personality of the Year with 55 percent of the vote.
The captain of Angola's women team, Nacissela Mauricio, who became the first African player to be named MVP of the AfroBasket Women twice in a row, came in second with 18 percent of the vote.
Morais is currently playing for Angolan club Recreativo do Libolo after spending the entire pre-season with the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, but he was let go days the regular season.
Former Angola international Paulo Macedo, who represented the country at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and currently serves as the head coach of the men's national team, came in third with 16 percent of the vote.
Nadir Manuel, who played a crucial role at AfroBasket Women 2013 and has been rated as the most improved player in the country, finished fourth in the ballot, ahead of Jacob Auxilio, the chairman of Angola Gymnastic Federation.
There is a reason for the Angolan basketball spotlight.
Their men's national team regained the African title last summer in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, after losing it to Tunisia at AfroBasket 2011 to make it 11 continental titles in 24 years.
The women's team became the first African national team to win two consecutive African titles since Nigeria in 2005, and will make their debut in the FIBA World Championship for Women later this year (27 September-5 October) in Turkey.
The Angolan success extended to their U16 Boys team who qualified for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship - to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - after winning their first African title.
They dethroned the continental powerhouse Egypt in the Final played in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
At club competition level, Inter Clube de Luanda won their third African Champions Cup Women in four years after beating Angolan arch-rivals Primeiro D'Agosto in Meknes, Morocco last November.
And Primeiro D'Agosto travelled to Sousse, Tunisia, to beat the hosts of the 2013 African Clubs Cup Etoile Sportive du Sahel and secure their eight continental title.