MAPUTO (AfroBasket Women/FIBA World Championship for Women) - Clarisse Machanguana played a key role in Mozambique's success at AfroBasket Women 2013 and has decided to end her involvement for her national team on that high.
Following Mozambique's 64-61 defeat to Angola in the Final of the continental championship in Maputo last weekend, Machanguana announced that she will not play at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey, where her country will make its debut in the competition.
"I take this opportunity to announce the end of my national team career and I will not be part of the team that will compete in Turkey," said the most prominent Mozambican basketball player in recent decades.
"If they invite me to accompany the national team to Turkey, I am sure I won't turn the invitation down."
Machanguana turns 40 on Friday (4 October). Prior to this year's AfroBasket Women, she had represented her country at the continental level in 2007 and at a world event at the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament Women.
She averaged 12.9 points per game in Maputo, becoming one of the finest Mozambican players along Leia Dongue and Deolinda Ngulela.
But running up and down the floor for 19 minutes in the first half of the Championship Game against Angola proved costly for Machanguana and Mozambique.
The 1.95m center had her lowest scoring contribution of the tournament with six points. Sher fouled out with Mozambique up 54-52 with 36 seconds remaining. Angola took advantage of her absence as Nadir Manuel tied the score at 54-54 with 17 seconds to go and send the game to overtime.
Mozambique were outscored 10-7 run in the extra period as Angola celebrated successfully defended the African title they won in 2011.
Home fans sold out most Mozambique's games but were denied gold as AfroBasket Women tournament hosts for the third time.
"We thank our home fans for their tireless support throughout the tournament," said Machanguana.
"We hope to make the most of this experience to improve and invest in Mozambican basketball.
"Angola played really well in the Final. They played better than they did in previous games, causing us a lot of troubles in key moments of the game.
"Personally, I could not give my best in my final game," she explained.
Machanguana had a 20-year playing career taking her to countries like Portugal, USA, France, Brazil, Spain, South Korea and Italy.
She played in the WNBA for the Los Angeles Sparks, Charlotte Sting and Orlando Miracle.
Last October - while playing for Liga Desportiva de Maputo – she was named MVP of the African Clubs Cup Women, in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.
Now Machanguana retires with an African silver medal around her neck.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images