Lionnel Hakizimana (left) seen here in a past competition for Rwanda. The pivotal player has been declared fit for the 2013 Fiba Afro-basket finals set to be held in Ivory Coast..jpg
The good news that Lionnel Hakizimana and Pascal Karekezi are fit to play for Rwanda at this month’s Fiba Africa Basketball Championship which will be held in Cote d’Ivoire from August 20-31 has brought a smile to coach Moise Mutokambali.
He said on Wednesday, “It is good that the two players are fit. It is a big boost for the national team and I believe we will head to Abidjan with heads high,”
The pair was reported injured during the Fiba Zone V championship, a feat which hampered Espoir’s chances of retaining the title after losing the title to Burundian Urunani side.
But the national basketball team doctor Martin Uwimana declared them fit.
Uwimana told the press on Tuesday that, “Two key players (Lionnel Hakizimana and Pascal Karekezi) who had picked injuries from the recent zone five championship in Burundi with Espoir basketball club are now fit and can travel with the national team for the continental tournament if included in the squad”
“For Karekezi, it was a very minor knee-injury and he is now training normally with the team. We were a bit doubtful on Hakizimana but his ankle recovery rhythm is faster and he will be fit in time for the team’s departure,” added Uwimana.
The national team departs for Abidjan on August 16 and they are expected to face Egypt in a warm-up match prior to the start of the competition.
Rwanda is drawn in Group B alongside defending champions Tunisia, Morocco and debutants Burkina Faso.
The team starts its bid against Burkina Faso on August 21, then Morocco on August 23, and Tunisia on August 25.