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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

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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

Urunani retain title, Espoir finish a distant sixth

Urunani Basketball club

Urunani Basketball club

BURUNDI’S URUNANI on Sunday overpowered hosts KPA with a 59-68 win to lift the men’s Zone 5 Basketball title in a tense, thrilling match staged at the Makande Hall in Mombasa.

Urunani had a powerful start winning the opening quarter 14-06 as KPA played a catching up game in the second and third quarter where they had narrow wins of 17-15, 15-12.

Urunani recovered well in the final quarter for the match to take overall chart   strength posting a 27-12 triumph for an overall performance that saw them crowned champions.

USIU women team, The Flames won the women’s title after defeating KPA in the finals also played at the same venue.

The four teams USIU, KPA (Men and women) and Urunani will represent the region at the Africa Club Championships slated for November in Tunisia.

Rwandan club Espoir who two years ago won the regional club title staged a poor performance to finish a distant sixth position together with APR, the women’s club clinching the same position.

Final classification

Men

1- Urunani (Bdi)

2- KPA (Ken)

3- City Oilers (Ugda)

4- Tiger Head Power (Uga)

5- Coop Bank (Kya)

6- ESPOIR BBC (Rwa)

7- Etho Water Sport (Eth.)

8- I.L.S (Somalia)

 

Women

1- United States International University (Ken)

2- KPA (Kya)

3- KCCA (Ug)

4- Berco Stars (Bdi)

5- UCU (Ug)

6- APR Ladies (Rwa)

7- Don Bosco (Tza)

8- Government House Sports Club (Eth)

 

Individual awards

Top scorers

Women: ClareLamunu(KCCA) 111 Pts

Men: Elvis Hakizimana(Urunani) 78 Pts

 

Most outstanding players

Women: Florence Kalume (Berco Stars)

Men: Ben Komatech (City Oilers)

 

Most Valuable Players

Women: Chan Sarah Chan (USIU)

Men: Landry Ndikumana(Urunani)

 

September 2, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Tournament 0 Comment

Espoir, APR knocked out of Zone V Basketball tourney

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Thursday, Men

Espoir (Rwa) 72-50 E. W.S (Eth)

Women

KPA (Ken) 60-38 APR (Rwa)

Rwandan clubs Espoir (men) and APR (women) have been knocked out of this year’s Fiba/Africa Zone V Club Championships after failing to progress from their groups in Mombasa, Kenya.

Former winners Espoir Basketball Club failed in their quest for a second regional title on Wednesday following a 43-69 loss to hosts Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). The home-side won all the four quarters 16-15, 19-14, 15-8, and 19-6 respectively.

Nyamirambo-based Espoir had also lost the opening match 64-58 to Uganda’s City Oilers on Monday, but picked a consolation 72-50 win over Ethiopia Water Sports on Thursday, which was not enough as the damage had already been done.

In women’s category, APR BC, who were seeking for the first Zone V title saw their hopes shuttered in the 43-69 defeat at the hands of KPA in the final group game yesterday. They had previously lost 61-34 to Uganda’s KCCA on Monday but won 64-51 over Government House of Ethiopia on Wednesday.

They will now vie for classification matches which begun on Friday at the KPA Welfare Gymnasium in Mombasa, Kenya.

September 1, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament Tags:, ,
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APR register first win in Fiba Zone V tourney

APR register first win in Fiba Zone V tourney

Wednesday

(Women)

APR (Rwa) 64-51 GHA (Eth)

Don Bosco (Tan) 49-72 USIU (Ken)

APR women basketball club recorded their maiden win in the on-going FIBA/Africa Zone V Championship in Mombasa, Kenya as they mauled Government House of Ethiopia 64-51 on Wednesday.

Charles Mbazumutima’s military side controlled the game from the start, winning the first three quarters: 18-16, 19-12 and 17-12 before the Ethiopians snatched the fourth quarter 12-11. Charlotte Umugwaneza scored a game high 17 points and her team mate JoselyneMunyaneza added 15 points for the Rwanda side.

The win for the Rwandan team, follows the 36-61 defeat in the opening game against Uganda’s KCCA on Monday.

APR was expected to face KPA of Kenya Thursday by press time as they seek to  advance to the last four.

August 29, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment