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Ubumwe BBC are one-match away from winning women league title

Ubumwe BBC are one-match away from winning women league title

Sunday

Rusizi 91-68 Gisenyi

Women

APR 61-69 Ubumwe

UBUMWE BBC will be crowned champions on July 20 if they win their final match against Rwanda Allied Peace for Progress (RAPP).

Ubumwe boosted their chances of winning the league for the first time after edging out seven-time defending champions APR over the weekend.

APR who are league title winners since 2007, lost 61-69 to Ubumwe basketball club which was established two years ago.

Ubumwe now needs to win their last fixture of the season against Rwanda Allied Peace for Progress (RAPP) on July 20 to be crowned new champions.

Reigning champions now lead the standings with 15 points in eight matches, two points better than Ubumwe who have only played seven matches while RAPP are placed third with 11 points secured from seven matches.

In men’s league, Rusizi BBC bounced back from Saturday’s 68-83 defeat to APR to thrash Gisenyi 91-68 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the battle for the Play-offs position is still on. Rusizi and United Generation Basketball club (UGB) are battling for the only slot to complete the format for the Play-offs round.

Champions Espoir, Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) and APR booked the other slots.

Espoir leads the standings with 38 points, four ahead of second-placed APR while CSK are in third place with 33 points who have a game in hand. UGB is fourth with 31 points while Rusizi are fifth with 29 points and have two games in hand.

If Rusizi beats UGB on July 20 and Espoir on 26, they will snatch an automatic ticket to the play-offs round. However, should they lose to archrivals UGB then the latter will qualify to the Play-Offs set for August.

July 15, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Espoir eye title victory this weekend

 Espoir eye title victory this weekend

Basketball League

Friday

KBC vs CSK 6p.m

Saturday

UR- Huye vs IPRC 12p.m

Sunday

Gisenyi vs Espoir 9a.m

Rusizi vs IPRC 10a.m

KCB vs APR 11a.m

REIGNING CHAMPIONS Espoir are set to retain the league title this weekend if they secure a win over Gisenyi club on Sunday.

Espoir who sit at the summit of the league standings with 34 points from 17 matches needs a win over Gisenyi to be granted of title, their third in row since 2012.

Defending champions Espoir are not only interested in retaining the title but winning it in style with an unbeaten record according to Coach Jean Bahufite.

“We want to maintain a perfect finish. Even losing a single league game would be a back slide, we won the title unbeaten in the last two seasons and we intend to repeat the same feat this time,” added Bahufite.

Though the Nyamirambo-based club has two matches in hand against Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) and Rusizi BBC, a win won’t affect their party celebrations on Sunday.

However, before that Kigali basketball club (KBC) hosts CSK today before facing APR in the second game on Sunday.

On Saturday, IPRC-Kicukiro will take on University of Rwanda- Huye Campus (former NUR) and Rusizi on Sunday respectively.

CSK are second on the log with 31 points in 17 matches while APR is placed third on 28 points secured in 18 matches.

June 27, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Tournament 0 Comment

Profile of Rwanda’s top basketball referee Shema-Maboko

Rwanda’s international referee Didier Shema-Maboko

Rwanda’s international referee Didier Shema-Maboko

Didier Shema-Maboko is a Rwandan international basketball referee who has dedicated his career to the sport.

He started playing basketball while in senior one at Saint Andre in 1992 and since then he never parted ways with the game. He started featuring for school’s O’level team as well as for A’level team at Ecole Zairwase.

Unfortunately he never won any notable title with any of his schools’ teams, “I never won anything with my schools’ teams. I picked interest in basketball since my first touch on the ball and I never backed-off ever since”

The dark-skinned Maboko also featured for former national basketball league side Kicukiro BBC in the 1997/1998 season.

Shema also used to play football but it was never his first choice or comparable to the passion he had for basketball.

Shema started his officiating career as a table official in national league and lower levels court referee like in inter-schools’ championship. As he continues to improve and impress his seniors, he caught attention and support from the then senior referees in the country.

Some of the important senior referees he found on the scene when he was coming up are: Innocent Rwabuhihi, Eugen Ntashongerwa and Straton Ahimana.

On May 20, 1999, Shema officiated his first league match (women league) as a central referee and since then he raised that match to be professional international referee he’s today.

“My first match as a central official was on May 20, 1999.  The match was between Lycee de Kigali and Mirroir BBC staged at Impala café”he clearly recalls.

From 1999 to 2004, Shema was a local referee and only used to officiate locally-organized competitions until he made his debut on the international scene early.

His first international competition was the inter-East African cities championship staged in Kigali in February 2004.

His second and first competition out of the country he refereed in was the ANOCA U20 championships held in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2006.

In September 2007, he officiated in the Fiba/Africa Zone V club championships held in Kigali, Rwanda.

In 2008, Shema earned an international refereeing license offered by international basketball federation (Fiba) and officiated in four international competitions namely:  CAN U18-Zone V championship in Kampala in August, Fiba/Africa Zone V club championship staged in Addis-Abbaba, Ethiopia in October.

Others were: the 14th Africa women club championships held in Nairobi, Kenya and 23rd Africa Men’s club championships staged in Sousse, Tunisia in December.

In July 2009, the elite referee Shema of Rwanda was one of the few African officials that were selected to officiate at the Fiba/Europe U18 Eurobasket championships held in Metz, France and that is the only tournament he has officiated in out of Africa till today.

“2009 is a year that made up happy in career so far, officiating in tournament like Eurobasket U18 is chance that doesn’t reach anyone.

I’m looking to officiating in more and bigger competitions if God wills” he says.

In the same year, he refereed in Africa men’s basketball championship (Afrobasket) held in Benghazi and Tripoli, Libya in August and women’s Afrobasket staged in Antananarivo, Madagascar in October.

In December, he officiated at the 24th Africa club championship held in Rwanda. In 2010, he officiated at the Indian Ocean region’s champion’s league held in Antananarivo, Madascar.

In 2011, he officiated in four international competitions namely Afrobasket and all Africa games qualifiers held in Rwanda, Afrobasket 2011 in Madagascar, All Africa games in Maputo, Mozambique and Fiba/Africa Zone V club championship in Dar-es-Salaam , Tanzania.

In 2012, he officiated in three competitions namely Afrobasket U18 in Mozambique, Zone IV Afrobasket qualifiers in Bangui, and Central Africa Republic and Africa club championships in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

In 2013, he appeared in four international competitions namely Zone V club championship in Burundi, Afrobasket in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Club championship in Port-Louis, Maurice Island and Fiba/Africa Zone VI club championship in Lusaka, Zimbabwe. Recently, he officiated at the Zone V U18 championships in Kampala, Uganda.

Since 2004, Shema has officiated in over twenty five international competitions.

His ambitions include officiating at the World championships and Olympic Games.

When he retires, he wants to become a Fiba instructor, “becoming an instructor of Fiba is what I want to be after refereeing career. I never want to go away from basketball, I like and enjoy it”

Some of his memorable games he officiated in are: 2011 All Africa games semi-final between Mozambique and Algeria, 2011 Afrobasket quarter-final between Angola and Cameroun, Fiba/Europe U18 match between Germany and Russia among others.

Rwanda’s international Shema apart from officiating, he is the technical director of Rwanda basketball federation (Ferwaba) since September 2012 and he was a member of the executive committee of the federation a year in 2011-2012.

Who is Shema-Maboko?

Born to Augustin Ndarusanzwe (RIP) and Genevieve Musabyemariya on March 15, 1980 in Nyarugenge district, City of Kigali, Shema is the second born from a family of four children (three boys and one girl).

The 34-year old Maboko is married to Hermine E’Geirma with whom they have two daughters (one is 15 year-old and another one is 4-month-old).

He attended camp Kigali primary school before going to Nyamirambo-based Saint Andre for O’level and Ecole Zairwase for A’level pursuing primary teaching that he finished in 1999.

He furthered his studies and Kigali institute of education (K.I.E) from where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Physical and Sport Education in 2007.

Much as he’s a basketball lover and game’s referee, Shema has no particular team or club he supports but has got a taste of a player he likes. Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is the man he supports and takes Michael Jordan the legend of the game.

June 24, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight 0 Comment

Espoir edge closer to b-ball league title

Espoir edge closer to bball league title

Reigning champions are inches closer to retaining the national basketball league regular season title for the third time in a row after beating UGB and KBC over the weekend.

Unbeaten in close to three seasons, Espoir won 83-48 over last year’s first runner-up Kigali Basketball Club on Saturday, before overcoming United Generation Basketball club 78-65 on Sunday.

Both games were played at Amahoro indoor stadium in Remera, Kigali.

Espoir stars Lionnel Hakizimana, Bienvenue Ngandu, Olivier Shayka and captain Arstide Mugabe played key roles in both wins.

The two victories put the defending champions in pole position to retain the title following CSK’s failure to beat Rusizi and APR’s defeat to UGB.

“I’m really grateful to my players, they give up,” Espoir’s coach Jean Bahufite told Times Sport after Sunday’s game against UGB.

As it stands, Espoir lead the pack with 32 points from 16 matches, CSK with 29 points come in second position, while APR are third with28 points.

Sunday

Espoir 78-65 UGB

Rusizi 71-47 CSK

KBC 74-52 UR-CoE

Saturday

Rusizi 81-37 30-Plus

KBC 48-83 Espoir

UR-CoE 46-71 Gisenyi

APR 58-62 UGB

June 24, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight 0 Comment

Spurs coach Popovich savours fifth NBA title

The San Antonio Spurs.

The San Antonio Spurs.

Gregg Popovich thought he had seen it all in his 17 seasons as a coach in the National Basketball Association.

 That is until his San Antonio Spurs exploded in the opening half of game three of the NBA finals, shooting a finals record 76 per cent.

 “I don’t think we’ll shoot 76 per cent in a half ever again. That’s crazy,” Popovich said.

 For a coach who often rebuffs interviewers with surly one-word answers, Popovich’s impromptu answer was refreshingly out of character.

 But make no mistake, behind that gruff exterior is a coach who knows how to motivate and cares immensely about his players. The 65-year-old Popovich is a great decision maker who led the Spurs to the fifth title in franchise history Sunday as San Antonio wrapped up a five-game victory over the Miami Heat.

 The Spurs stomped the two-time defending NBA champion Heat in the 2014 finals, shooting a finals record 52.7 percent from the field overall.

 They put together two straight blowout wins in games three and four on the road before returning home to clinch the series with another lopsided 104-87 win.

 This season Popovich has been able to mould the raw talent of Kawhi Leonard into the MVP of the finals. He also took Charlotte Bobcats castoff Boris Diaw and fit him perfectly into the Spurs’ system.

 TAKE ADVANTAGE

 “As time evolves and you get older in the business you figure out what’s really important, and you don’t waste time trying to make people what they’re not going to be,” Popovich said.

 “You’ve just got to figure out who people are and what they can give you and take advantage of their positives.

 “You learn that you can’t make everything the way you think you might. You can’t make somebody great, so you don’t waste your time. You make a trade. You get rid of somebody.

 “You make sure you’re bringing people in who fit in all the areas you want. Competitiveness and team play.”

 Popovich likes to tell the story of when Manu Ginobili first arrived in San Antonio.

 “I’ve learned to shut up more, and that probably is due to Manu Ginobili,” he said. “When he first came I was going to make him a heck of a player.

 “And after 20 minutes I realized that he didn’t need me to do that. He was already a heck of a player.

 “Sometimes being quiet and letting the player play is much more important than trying to be Mr. Coach and teach him this or teach him that.

 “I didn’t make him a competitor and there is no way I could make him a non-competitor.”

 Popovich believes communication is the key to any good relationship between coach and player.

 “You take somebody like Danny Green, who we’ve worked with for a long time and actually cut him twice,” Popovich said. “When you see somebody develop and come into his own, you feel like you did something worthwhile.

 “So it’s one of the sources of satisfaction in the business, if you can see a young player grow and become confident.”

 This year Popovich led the Spurs to a NBA best 62-20 record, extending their streak of winning at least 50 games to a record 15-straight seasons.

 Popovich had guided the Spurs to six NBA finals appearances.

 NBA COACH OF THE YEAR

Popovich was named the NBA’s coach of the year in April. It is the third time he has earned the award, joining Pat Riley and Don Nelson as the only coaches to receive the Red Auerbach Trophy three times. He also won the award in the 2002-03 and 2011-12 seasons.

 Popovich is the longest tenured active coach in the NBA, but in 1999 there were calls for his ouster after the Spurs got off to a rocky start to the lockout-shortened season.

 San Antonio had lost five of seven including back-to-back double digit losses to Utah and Seattle.

 The Spurs eventually turned it around, going on a 15-2 run in the playoffs. They topped it off by beating the New York Knicks in five games for their first NBA title.

 Popovich says NBA owners are often too quick to pull the trigger on coaches when teams get off to poor starts or don’t live up high expectations.

 “Guys get fired every year who are good coaches and it has got nothing to do with what they know or don’t know,” Popovich said.

AFP

June 19, 2014 By : Category : English NBA Tournament 0 Comment

Espoir shifts aim to league title

Espoir shifts aim to league title

Espoir bbc.

REIGNING BASKETBALL champions Espoir have now shifted their focus to their battle of retaining the league title after winning back-to-back trophies of the Gisembe Genocide Memorial tournaments.

The Nyamirambo-based club won both the local edition of the Gisembe Memorial tournament on June 6 after beating archrivals of CSK 81-79. A week after, they edged out Burundi’s Muzinga to lift the international edition after a 85-48 win.

The two-time reigning champions Espoir who are still unbeaten for almost three seasons will face Kigali basketball club (KBC) on Saturday and United Generation Basketball (UGB) on Sunday respectively

“As far as defending the league title unbeaten is concerned, we can’t rest until the work is done. After winning Gisembe memorial tournaments, our mind and focus is back on the league title defense,” said head coach Jean Bahufite.

Bahufite’s Espoir return leg clash against CSK set for July 6 is one of the matches anxiously awaited by most of local basketball fans.

 Espoir currently tops the league standings with 28 points and two games in hand. APR are second with 27 points.

June 18, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

Spurs take stranglehold in NBA finals

Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh (right) defends against Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs during game 4

 Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh (right) defends against Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs during game 4

San Antonio followed up one of the greatest offensive halves in league history with a balanced attack in game four to blow out Miami and take a stranglehold on the NBA finals.

 

Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker combined for 39 points and all 13 players got involved in the scoring as the top seeded Spurs rolled over the Heat 107-86 Thursday to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

 

“They smashed us,” said Heat star and two-time reigning finals MVP LeBron James. “They are a high-oiled machine and they move the ball extremely well.”

 

GREAT PERFORMANCE

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich didn’t think it could get much better than the first half of game three when the Spurs shot a finals record 76 per cent en route to a 111-92 win.

 

But unlike game three – when they suffered a minor letdown in the third quarter – this time the Spurs kept their foot on their opponent’s throat for all four quarters.

 

“Game three was an anomaly. That’s never going to happen again,” Popovich said of the 76 per cent shooting from the floor. “I thought we did a better job tonight than we did in game three at the defensive end.”

 

Here is a look at how statistically dominating the Spurs have been in the last two games of the NBA finals.

 

With the Spurs leading by 19 points at halftime Thursday and 21 points at the half in game three, it marked the first time in NBA finals history a road team has led by at least 15 points at the half in two straight games.

 

The Spurs led by as many as 25 points in both games four and three.

 

It also marked the 11th time San Antonio has won by 15 or more points in the 2014 postseason.

 

Spurs star Tim Duncan also made history Thursday, as he recorded his 158th career playoff double double to surpass Magic Johnson (157) for the all-time playoff lead.

 

San Antonio can wrap up the series with a victory at home in game five on Sunday. Duncan said that won’t be an easy task.

 

“Great position for us,” he said. “Going back home with a closeout game.

 

“But they are a very good ballclub. They are the champions and they are going to come out and show a lot of fire.

 

“We are going to use our homecourt and we are going to come with the same focus that we did in these last two games and hopefully close it out at home.”

AFP

 

June 14, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V featured inthespotlight 0 Comment

Espoir, RAPP win Gisembe memorial titles

Espoir, RAPP win Gisembe memorial titles

Sunday

Final

Espoir 81-79 CSK

Third place play-off

KBC 62-61 UR-Huye

Women

Ubumwe 43-48 RAPP (Saturday)

RAPP 53-50 Ubumwe (Sunday)

REIGNING CHAMPIONS Espoir and RAPP clinched men and women honours in this year’s Gisembe basketball memorial tournament which climaxed on Sunday.

Espoir won the title after snatching a narrow 81-79 victory over archrivals of Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) in the final while Rwanda Allied Peace for Progress (RAPP) claimed the tournament after beating defending champions Ubumwe in two matches 48-43, 53-50 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Espoir’s Lionel Hakizimana and Pascal Karekezi were on high scoring 15 points each while Olivier Shyaka and Bienvenu Ngandu added 14 points apiece. Team captain Aristide Mugabe scored 10 points.

“We are not done yet until we win the international edition too. Thanks to my team for the title,” Espoir head coach Jean Bahufite said yesterday.

Kigali basketball club (KBC) who beat CSK 78-70 in the group stages on Saturday finished third in the tournament after narrowly beating UR- Huye campus 62-61 in the third place play-off.

The international basketball memorial tournament edition set for the upcoming in Kigali where Espoir, CSK and KBC will face regional participants from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and DR Congo for the title while Ubumwe and RAPP will tussle it out in the women category.

Regional teams expected to grace the tournament include; 2013 Men’s title winners Urunani and Muzinga (Men) and Belco stars of Burundi, Uganda’s Warriors, City Oil (men) and Magic stormers (Women), DR Congo’s PGB (men and women), Ulinzi (men) and Equity Bank (Women) from Kenya.

June 11, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

Basketball – Durant a unanimous selection for All-Star team

Basketball - Durant a unanimous selection for All-Star team

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, the Most Valuable Player and winner of four scoring titles in five seasons, highlights the 2013-14 All-NBA first team.jpg 

Durant was the lone unanimous selection, appearing on all 125 ballots as a first-team pick. Miami Heat forward LeBron James garnered 124 first-team votes. Joining Durant and James on the first team are Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul, Houston Rockets guard James Harden and Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah.

The second team consisted of guards Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, forwards Blake Griffin of the Clippers and Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves and center Dwight Howard of the Rockets.

June 6, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment

Spurs oust Thunder, ready for rematch with Heat

Spurs oust Thunder, ready for rematch with Heat

San Antonio spurs celebrate.

Tim Duncan scored seven of his 19 points in overtime as San Antonio beat Oklahoma City 112-107 in game six Saturday to set up an NBA finals rematch with the Miami Heat. 

Duncan also added 15 assists and power forward Boris Diaw came off the bench to score 26 points for the Spurs, who won the Western Conference final series four games to two.

“This victory is really sweet because we know we played one helluva team,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

San Antonio will host the first game of the National Basketball Association finals on Thursday against the two-time defending champion Heat, who beat them in seven games last season.

Miami defeated the Indiana Pacers 117-92 Friday to win the other league semi-final in six games and punch their ticket to their fourth straight finals. The Heat will be well rested for game one having had five days off.

(READ: Heat hammer Pacers to reach 4th straight NBA finals)

This is the first NBA finals rematch since the Chicago Bulls battled the Utah Jazz in 1997 and 1998.

The Spurs won Saturday despite playing the second half without star guard Tony Parker, who played just 19 minutes before leaving the game with a foot injury.

Kawhi Leonard finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds and reserve Manu Ginobili scored 15 points for the Spurs, who hope to take advantage of home court during the series with Miami.

The Heat won last year, but San Antonio is looking forward to redemption. They have won four titles since Duncan joined forces with Popovich in Texas.

“It is unbelievable to have regained our focus after that devastating loss last year,” said Duncan. “We’ve got that bad taste in our mouth from last time.”

Kevin Durant finished with 31 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder, who had their nine-game home win streak against San Antonio snapped.

Russell Westbrook scored 34 points and had eight assists while Reggie Jackson finished with 21 points for Oklahoma City, who staved off elimination two times previously in these playoffs.

“We settled for too many jump shots and we turned the ball over,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “Defensively they had us scrambling around. And they made some big plays.”

San Antonio trailed 49-42 at the half, but managed to chip away and take the lead. They then went on a 9-0 burst to end the third quarter, stretching their lead to 10 points, 79-69, heading into the fourth. And they accomplished the feat without their star guard Parker.

“It was hard when we heard Parker wasn’t going to play,” said Ginobili. “We knew that if we got our game together and got aggressive we will have a shot. We got over the hump in the third quarter.”

With 32 seconds left in the third, Diaw finished off some nice ball movement by the Spurs to make it 75-69.

San Antonio’s Danny Green then made a four-point play on the Spurs’ final possession. Green drained a three-pointer from the right side but was fouled by Durant. He went to the line and calmly sank the free throw to cap the scoring in the quarter.

Both teams made superb defensive plays in the overtime. Serge Ibaka blocked Ginobili’s layup with 48 seconds left and on the next possession Leonard stole the ball from Thunder guard Westbrook before taking it down the court where Duncan hit a field goal to cut the San Antonio lead to 110-107 with 19 seconds left in overtime.

Diaw made two free throws to cap the scoring for the Spurs with just five seconds on the clock.

Ginobili said they are ready for LeBron James and the Heat.

“We worked eight months really hard. We had a very successful season and all it did was to get us to this point again for another shot,” Ginobili said. “We are going to give everything we got to try and get the trophy again.

“We know we are facing a very talented and tough team and it is going to be rough.”

June 4, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment