By Julio Chitunda, PA International
Portugal have received a boost with the news that Queluz's star forward Carlos Andrade has been given citizenship and can take part in this month's three friendlies against England.
The Cape Verde-born player has lived in Portugal for the last 20 years and has finally had his application to become Portuguese accepted.
Portugal coach Valentyn Melnychuk is anxious to incorporate him into his team as they prepare for the additional qualifying tournament for Eurobasket 2005.
Speaking to the Portuguese Record, Andrade said: "I am quite emotional to join this group of players."
The first game against England will be played at the venue known as Bairro da Boavista.
Portugal must defeat face Sweden and Hungary later this summer in qualifying tournament Group C, and then beat the other group winners in the second phase to take the final qualifying place for the Eurobasket.
Armando Costa, a team-mate of Andrade's this season with title winners Queluz, has yet to decide if he will play for Portugal or Angola after being contacted by the African champions' coach Mario Palma.
Ian Stanback, Jaime Silva and Jorge Coelho are also unavailable to face England.
Andrade has given Melnychuk a new reason to be positive.
"We have to respect our players (who are not here)," he said. "We are going to use back-up players."