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Uganda stands in Rwanda’s Afrobasket way

Coach Moise Mutokambali addressing his players in Kampala

Coach Moise Mutokambali addressing his players in Kampala

Sunday

Rwanda vs. Uganda

 RWANDA is primed to beat Uganda in the final game of the Fiba Zone V qualifiers so as to snatch a ticket to the Afrobasket championships.

Rwanda has registered two wins over Kenya and Somalia but lost once to defending champions Egypt in the opening game. Egypt has won all its two matches and have Somalia and Kenya to play against before winding up their campaign.

Now Rwanda must at least post a win over Uganda to at least be assured of snatching an Afrobasket ticket as Egypt is most likely to win the tournament and even qualify for the All Africa Games.

The head coach Moise Mutokambali said on Wednesday, “I must congratulate my players for staging a good show against Somalia. It’s was a vital win were players exhibited good display,”

“We have three days to rest and recover ahead of Sunday’s game against Uganda. It’s a must win for us so as to seal our qualification for Afrobasket. I will have a fully fit squad and its good news that Kenneth Gasana is back and in three days, he will be fully fit to boost our chances of winning our final game,” added Mutokambali.

On Wednesday, Rwanda defeated Somalia 85-71 to register her second win in the tournament. Rwanda, who defeated Kenya 82-77 on Tuesday, extended their fine recovery following the opening day 63-79 loss to defending champions Egypt.

Action resumes today with defending champions Egypt playing Kenya (men) and Egypt meeting Uganda (women).

On Saturday, win-less Somalia face Kenya (men), Kenya take on Egypt (women) and Kenya play Uganda (men).

Rwanda will be in action in a decisive match against hosts Uganda in the final match of the tournament on Sunday.

Egypt is the defending champions after beating Rwanda last year in the final. The other teams in the men’s category include; Uganda, Somalia, Kenya and Burundi.

The women’s category groups Uganda, Burundi, Egypt and Kenya.

The teams that win the event will automatically qualify for the Afro Basketball and next year’s All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville. Uganda’s men’s team last won the Zone 5 championship in 2004.

The winning men and women’s teams in the eight-day championships will represent the region in the Afrobasket championships. They will also qualify for next year’s All Africa Games in Congo.

September 26, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Rwanda secures first victory in Zone V qualifiers

Sunday

Rwanda 63-79 Egypt

Tuesday

Kenya 77-82 Rwanda

Wednesday

Rwanda vs. Somalia 18.00

m_Rwanda secures first victory in Zone V qualifiers

Rwanda team which played against Kenya Yesterday

RWANDA MEN’S basketball team sailed past Kenya as they secured a82-77 win to register their first victory in the Fiba Zone V Qualifiers on Tuesday at the MTN Arena, Logogo in Uganda.

After a losing to defending champions Egypt 63-79, Rwanda had no choice but to win the match or risky hurting their ambitions of vying for the title.

MoiseMutokambali’s side played extremely well as they won all the four quarters. Aristide Mugabe and Kami Kabangu led the offensive as Rwanda won the first quarter 22-13 with the duo registering a combined 14pts in the last four minutes of the quarter.

At half time, Rwanda was still in lead 46-35 with Kami now amassing 19 points after pulling back 8 rebounds.

m_Rwanda secures first victory in Zone V qualifiers1

Kami Kabangu attempts to shoot in yesterday’s game against Kenya

In the third quarter, Aristide Mugabe and Cameron Bradley ran the show for Rwanda to help the national team secure the quarter with a 65-51 win over Kenya.

In the final quarter, Kenya put on a spirited show in their bid to close the gap with Desmond Owili opening the quarter with a baseline dunk but Bradley answered Kenya back with a deep to help Rwanda extend the lead 68-55.

With 25 seconds to the end of the game, Rwanda was in lead with 80-74 before Kenyan coach Ojukwu called for time out. Play resumed and with 6.5 seconds to go, Rwanda requested for time out and resumed moments later, snatching 82-77 to register a deserved win which has blown the men’s group wide open again.

Rwanda faces Somalia later in the evening in their third game of the tournament. Forward Kenneth Gasana who missed Tuesday’s tie with a groin injury might return back to guide the nations to a most-wanted win over a tricky and talented Somalia team.

September 24, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament Tags:
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Rwanda deemed to opening defeat by Egypt

Forward Kami Kabange seen in action at the 2013 Fiba Afrobasket tournament, will be vital for Rwanda at the zonal tournament in Uganda where he plays his club game for City Oilers

Forward Kami Kabange seen in action at the 2013 Fiba Afrobasket tournament, will be vital for Rwanda at the zonal tournament in Uganda where he plays his club game for City Oilers

Sunday

Rwanda 63-79

RWANDA MEN’S basketball team registered a poor start in the 2014 Fiba/Zone V Championship title which kicked off on Sunday at the Lugogo Arena, in Kampala.

Rwanda, last year’s losing finalists could not maintain the Egyptians who registered a 79-63 to pick their first win in the tournament.

Despite having a slim 34-33 win over Egypt at half time, Moise Mutokambali’s outfit could not contain the Egyptians are in Kampala to make a mark after a disastrous World Cup championship poor display.

Last year, Rwanda lost to Egypt in last year’s edition. Rwanda lost 57-96 in the group stages before another 76-82 loss in the final held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Rwanda, who finished runner-up last year behind Egypt, will be hoping to go a step further this time round, although the North African side still remains the overwhelming favourites.

Rwanda face Somalia in their second match of the tournament slated for Tuesday at 17.00 at Lugogo indoor stadium in Kampala

Defending champions Egypt is the team to beat in this tournament whereas Rwanda, Somalia and Kenya will fancy their chances too.

Afrobasket is the African championship and the Zone V finalists will qualify for the continental showpiece that will be held in Congo next year.

They will also qualify for the next All Africa Games, doubling as a qualifier for the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games.

September 23, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Rwanda goes for Fiba Zone V Title in Uganda

m_Quartet begins race to final

THE NATIONAL MEN’S basketball team is in Uganda ready to fight tooth and nail in ensuring that they emerge victorious at the end of the 2014 FIBA/Zone V regional tournament which tips off in Kampala, Uganda from September 22 at MTN Arena in Lugogo.

The regional tournament which also serves as 2015 Fiba/Afro-basket and All Africa Games qualifier has attracted Zone V countries such as reigning champions Egypt, hosts Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan.

Head coach Moise Mutokambali departed to Kampala last night aboard with a 12-man team. He said on Friday, “We are embarking on a tricky journey but focused on winning the title,”

“I have a solid and confident team which believes in winning. We have time to rectify some of the key issues that would let us down in defense but the rest of the departments are oaky and players are fully fit to ensure that the job is well done,”

Rwanda who finished runners-up last year, have vowed to make amends and win the title but they are aware of the tough challenge en-route to the final.

Though the challenge for the title quest will be tough considering the state of participating countries which have improved their style of play, Mutokambali remains confident that Rwanda has talented and experienced players ready to face anyone and win the title.

“We have assembled a very good squad which has valuable experience needed to shine at this level. We know every nation has made improvements, some have summoned their players featuring in Europe and USA but I do remain convinced that Rwanda will emerge victorious at the end of the tournament,”

“Our ambition is to win the title and be able to qualify for the Afro-basket finals, for a fifth consecutive time,” added Mutokambali.

Though Egypt is regarded as favourites to win the tournament, they couldn’t register any point during the group stages of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Africa was represented by Angola, Egypt and Senegal at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup this month where eventual winners of the tournament, the U.S retained their world cup title.

The team’s biggest loss was to Brazil who defeated them 128-65. Meanwhile, Angola managed only one win, beating Korea 80-69.

Senegal was the only African team that managed to progress to the round of 16 after a tough fight in the first stage.

In last year’s edition held in Tanzania, Rwanda lost to Egypt in the finals but went ahead to qualify to the African tournament on wild card, finishing 10th out of 16 countries.

The finalists in both categories (Men & Women) at the Fiba Zone V tournament will represent the region at these two continental showpieces.

The National Basketball team: Ally AboubakarBarame, Curtis Bradley Cameron, Kami Kabange, Kenneth Herbert Gasana, Aristide Mugabe, Ali KazingufuKubwimana, Pascal KarekeziRurangirwa, Lionel Hakizimana, Sunny Munyandamutsa, Olivier Shyaka, ElieKaje and Steven Hagumintwali.

 

September 20, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Tournament 0 Comment

Rwanda Hoops unmoved in latest Fiba rankings

m_Rwanda Hoops unmoved in latest Fiba

Rwanda Men’s basketball team remains unmoved, in 62nd position, in the latest Fiba/Bwin World rankings released on September 14 in Mies, Switzerland.

USA, who beat Serbia 129-92 in Madrid, Spain on Sunday to win their fifth World Cup and the second in a row, top the global ranking, while Spain and Argentina are second and third, respectively.

Rwanda are still ranked 12th in Africa and second in the Fiba/Africa Zone Five behind Egypt, who are fresh from competing at the recently concluded Fiba World Cup. The North African country is ranked sixth and 41st in Africa and world, respectively.

In Africa, eleven-time champions Angola still top the continental ranking and are ranked 16th worldwide, one place below its previous ranking.

Senegal are the best climbers in the newly released rankings, after reaching in the round of sixteen at this year’s World Cup in Spain; they moved eleven places from 41st to 30th.

Tunisia, Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast are ranked from second to fifth in Africa, and 23rd, 24th, 30th and 37th in the world respectively.

 

 

September 20, 2014 By : Category : English featured 0 Comment

Ruhezamihigo dropped after requesting Rwf7m for call-up

m_Ruhezamihigo

Ruhezamihigo

RWANDA BASKETBALL Federation, FERWABA has snubbed Canada-based professional Hamza Ruhezamigo in preparations for the upcoming 2014 FIBA Africa Zone V Nations qualifiers.

The event was earlier scheduled for June 12-18 but it was adjourned by FIBA to September 21-28.

The Rwanda Basketball Federation General Secretary Richard Mutabazi said in Friday’s news briefing that Ruhezamihigo requested certain things in order to honour the national team call.

Among other things, Ruhezamihigo demanded to be paid US$10,000 (Rwf.7m) as reimbursement for the duration he will spend off work in Canada to honour the national team call.

“Ruhezamihigo demanded money which we could not afford because even the little we have is not enough to prepare a single national team. We will concentrate on preparing the available players,” added Mutabazi.

Ruhezamihigo was first selected to the national team in 2007 and has participated with Rwanda in last 4 Fiba Afro-basket championships since then-in 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013.

September 16, 2014 By : Category : English featured Rwanda basketball League 0 Comment

US breeze past Lithuania into World Cup final

m_ndicap international closes its operations11

US centre De Marcus Cousins (left) vies with Lithuania’s centre Jonas Valanciunas during the 2014 FIBA World Basketball championships semi-final match between Lithunia and USA

The United States moved a step closer to retaining basketball’s World Cup on Thursday as they beat Lithuania 96-68 in Barcelona to reach the final.

Kyrie Irving had 18 points while Klay Thompson and James Harden both had 16 points and Stephen Curry added 13 for the Americans, who also beat Lithuania in the semi-finals of the 2010 Worlds en route to their title in Turkey.

The US will be playing in their eighth final on Sunday and shooting for their fifth title overall.

They will take on the winner of the second semi-final on Friday between Serbia and France – the latter who shocked the hosts Spain in the quarter-finals.

Yugoslavia were the last nation to defend the world title when they were crowned champions in 1998 and 2002 — the second being their fifth and final crown.

21 TURNOVERS

Lithuania were led by MindaugasKuzminskas with 15 points — three more than he had scored in total coming into the game — while Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and AdasJuskevicius added 12.

The Baltic team, who committed 21 turnovers, will take on the loser of the second semi-final for third place on Saturday.

“It is always a great honour to play against Lithuania. What a great basketball country! We had so many good games with them,” said United States coach Mike Krzyzewski, while his Lithuanian counterpart Jonas Kazlauskas admitted that class told in the end.

“When you are playing against Team USA, you cannot lose control for one minute. That can change everything,” he acknowledged.

Lithuania hung close in the early going and even led 13-10, but the Americans went on their first spurt with an 8-0 run to go up 18-13. The lead was 21-16 after 10 minutes.

The defending champions pushed the advantage to 10 points at 32-22, but Kuzminskas was one of the few Lithuanians who was effective in the second quarter in keeping the game close and the first half ended with the US up 43-35.

The Americans wasted no time putting away Lithuania in the second half, however, scoring the first 10 points of the third quarter.

In total, they used an 18-4 run for a 61-39 lead. The advantage continued to grow throughout the third quarter and the lead was 76-49 with 10 minutes to play.

The champions were never threatened after that.

AFP

September 15, 2014 By : Category : English featured Teams Tags:,
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Financial constraints force women hoops out of Zone V tourney

The women’s team captain Honore Ayebare, (left) seen here playing against Uganda during the 2011 Zone V tourney in Kigali

The women’s team captain Honore Ayebare, (left) seen here playing against Uganda during the 2011 Zone V tourney in Kigali

Lack of funds has forced the women national basketball team to withdraw from the upcoming Fiba/Africa Zone Five Championships scheduled for September 21-30 in Kampala, Uganda.

The Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba) secretary general Richard Mutabaziconfirmed the development this week.

He told the press, “We initially requested the funds from the Ministry of Sports and Culture but surprisingly we got less than 1/3 of what we had asked thus taking the option of ruling our team out of the regional championship,”

“It would have been a good platform to see the standard of our women national team but since we don’t have any funds to do so, we will wait until next year to try out our luck,” added a saddened Mutabazi.

Previously, the women’s team had featured in the African basketball championships (Afro-basket) in 2009 and 2011, while men have been at the finals tournament since 2007.

Last year, the men’s team under the guidance of MoiseMotokambalifinished tenth at the 16-team continental meet in Ivory Coast.

The men’s team has already started camp and it is mainly dominated by players featuring in the national league.

They include players from reigning champions Espoir namely; Aristide Mugabe, LionnelHakizimana, Pascal KarekeziRurangirwa, ElieKaje, Olivier Shyaka and BienvenueNgandu.

Others are; Aboubakar Ally Barame (CSK), Alphonse Habyarimana, Steven Havugintwari and Jean Paul Ndoli (IPRC-Kigali), PacifiqueHabyarimana and Ali KazingufuKubwimana (KBC), Parfait IShimwe, Ernest NestonManzi and Sunny Munyandamutsa (APR) and Olivier Muhizi (UGB).

Professionals are: Kami Kabange (Uganda), Kenneth Gasana (Morocco), Bradley Cameroon (USA), Yannick Nicolas Gihana (France), while Canada-based team captain Hamza Ruhezamihigo remains a major doubt.

September 10, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Focus turns national team hoops

Focus turns national team hoops

Focus has been shifted to the national basketball team as it gears up for the Fiba/Africa Zone V Championships scheduled for September 21-30 in Kampala, Uganda.

 Over the weekend, Espoir basketball club beat rivals CercleSportif de Kigali 85-54 in Game Four to win the play-offs crown for the third season in a row.

 In-front of a sparse crowd, defending champions Espoir dominated the game in what was expected to be a nail-biting clash, winning all four quarters; 35-17, 19-13, 16-11 and 25-13 respectively.

 Former national U-18 team captain Pascal Karekezi and Congolese-born powerful forward BienvenueNgandu of Espoir each scored 18 points for Jean Bahufite’s champions, while CSK’s Buzangu brothers Mike and Patrick scored 13 and 11 points respectively.

 Nyamirambo-based Espoir won the best of five final series 3-1 having taken Games 1 and 2 but lost Game 3 two weeks ago. The playoffs title completes another double for Espoir following success in the regular season league.

 Ubumwe BC won the women’s regular league and playoffs titles to end APR’s dominance.

 The regional competition will also serve as qualifiers for 2015 All Africa Games in the Republic of Congo and 2015 Afro-basket Championships, which will be held in Tunisia.

 Both the men and women teams started residential camp today at Hotel La Pallisse, Nyandungu and training at Amahoro indoor stadium ahead of the regional event.

 The regional competition will also serve as qualifiers for 2015 All Africa Games in the Republic of Congo and 2015 Afro-basket Championships, which will be held in Tunisia.

Arrivals

France-based Nicolas YannickGihana, who will be marking his debut, was the first to arrive on Saturday, while Kami Kabange, who plays for Ugandan side City Oilers joined on Sunday.

 US-based Bradley Cameron is expected to arrive on Tuesday (tomorrow) while Kenny Gasana, who plies his trade in Morocco, is expected on Thursday.

 The national team’s captain Hamza Ruhezamihigo, based in Canada, is the only player yet to confirm the exact date of arrival.

 The Men’s team will be without US-based trio of Patrice Twagirayezu, Dan Manzi and Adonis Rugamba as well as TierrySukusuku based in France due to school commitments.

 The men’s team is coached by MoiseMutokambali, while the women’s is being handled by Jacques Bahige.

September 10, 2014 By : Category : English Tournament 0 Comment

Ruhezamigo available for zone 5 tourney

Ruhezamigo available for zone 5 tourney

Rwanda’s Hamza Ruhezamihigo

National men’s basketball captain Hamza Ruhezamigo has confirmed his availability for the Africa zone five tournament set for Kampala.

The tournament is scheduled to take place in Kampala from September 21-28 and according to the Rwanda Basketball Federation officials, Canada-based Ruhezamihigo will be in the team which will compete in the tourney.

The team is supposed to start residential training camp on September 1. Ruhezamihigo was first selected to the national team in 2007 and has participated with Rwanda in last 4 Fiba Afro-basket championships since then—in 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013.

In addition to Ruhezamihigo, five other foreign based players have been summoned to the team, notably, Kenneth Gasana (Morocco), Bradley Cameroon, Patrice Twagirayezu, Dan Manzi, Adonis Rwabigwi (US) and Thierry Suku Suku (France).

The regional showpiece will also attract defending champions Egypt, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, and hosts Uganda.

Both finalists will earn a ticket to the African basketball championships to be staged next year in Tunisia, while the winner will also represent the region in next year’s All Africa Games due in the Republic of Congo.

September 4, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight 0 Comment