Ibaka is African player of the week

Ibaka is African player of the week

Serge Ibaka gets this week’s African Player of the Week award for games played from 9-15 November. The Congolese centre reminded us how great a defender he is in Friday’s 102-87 home win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

As well as sparking the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) to a win over Philadelphia with 11 points, seven rebounds, seven blocks and two assists and a steal in 29 minutes, Ibaka also helped OKC improve their mark to 6-4 to top the Northwest Division.

With OKC winning two of their three games last week, Ibaka averaged 14.4 points, 7.9 boards and 3.0 blocks in seven November games.

He recorded his second double-double of the season on Sunday, but OKC were unable to avoid a 100-85 home loss to the Boston Celtics.

Ibaka isn’t just blocking shots, and rebounding, he’s shooting and passing the ball like never before as his career-high 1.4 assists per game indicate.

He has an explanation for his start to the season.

“I have a lot to work on and get better. I am working to get better every day,” he said to the OKC Thunder website.

“We can’t block every shot, but we try to make sure we protect our paint first.”


November 17, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight 0 Comment

Seraphin pays tribute with inspired play

Kevin Seraphin

Kevin Seraphin

New York forward Kevin Seraphin paid tribute to his French homeland with an inspired performance Sunday, helping the Knicks to a 95-87 NBA win over New Orleans just two days after Friday’s attacks in Paris. The 26-year-old Seraphin scored 12 points while sporting a “Paris” haircut with the image of the Eiffel Tower and a peace sign shaved on his scalp. Seraphin, who was born in Cayenne, French Guiana, made the most of his 13 minutes on the floor in front of a crowd of 19 800 at Madison Square Garden. “I just wanted to do something creative, something different,” said Seraphin regarding his haircut, “not just put something on my shoes. I had no time to get a tattoo or anything, so I just wanted to do something creative. “I got it done this (Sunday) morning. I got up early and my barber came over and we just did it. It took about an hour.” Seraphin was acquired by New York over the summer as a free agent after spending five years with the Washington Wizards. His parents live in Paris and he owns a home in the southern part of city. The Knicks were led by forward Carmelo Anthony’s 29 points and 13 rebounds, but it was Seraphin and fellow reserve, point guard Langston Galloway, who had the clutch performances. Galloway scored 15 points, eight in the decisive fourth quarter that allowed the Knicks to win just their second home game of the season. “He (Seraphin) gets the game ball,” said Anthony. “He deserved it. He was ready. He was a big part of our run that we made in the second half. “To see him and what he is dealing with emotionally and mentally, be prepared today when his number was called was big.” The Pelicans have lost three in a row and nine of 10 to begin the season. They are winless in six road games. The Knicks began the fourth quarter on a 16-7 run to take an 82-72 lead with 6:35 to play. Galloway scored six points in the surge and Seraphin contributed four. Seraphin came off the Knicks’ bench in the third quarter and scored six key points to help New York to a 68-65 lead. His hook shot gave New York a 66-60 lead with 2:06 left in the quarter and his jumper with 14 seconds to go provided the three-point cushion going into the fourth quarter. “He (Seraphin) has been working hard to keep himself in shape even though he hasn’t played a lot of minutes,” said Knicks coach Derek Fisher. “We felt like he was active enough and energetic enough to give us a punch.” LAKERS HONOUR ‘TRAIN HEROES’ The Los Angeles Lakers were among the teams around the NBA to hold a moment of silence remembering victims of the Paris attacks. The team also held a pre-game ceremony honouring the Americans who helped thwart a terror attack on a train in France in August. One of the men recognised, US Air Force Airman Spencer Stone, said Friday’s events in the French capital brought home the importance of his actions on the train. “It makes me realise even more what could have happened if we weren’t able to do what we did that day,” he said. Another of the train heroes, Anthony Sadler, was thrilled to meet Lakers star Kobe Bryant. “That’s my favourite player and we just got to meet him. I’m star-struck right now,” said Sadler, who got to see the Lakers down the Detroit Pistons 97-85. GOOD TO BE HOME Derrick Favours returned to his hometown of Atlanta and led the Utah Jazz to a 97-96 victory over the Hawks. Favours scored 23 points and pulled down eight rebounds, and while he enjoyed playing in front of a hometown crowd, he was even happier to have Utah’s French centre Rudy Gobert back from injury. “It was awesome having Rudy back,” Favours said. “I got to move back to (power forward) and he gets to move back to (centre). I can do my thing on offense and he could do his thing. It was great to have him back.” STAYING POWER Minnesota forward Kevin Garnett played 24 minutes in the Timberwolves’ 114-106 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies to become just the fifth player in NBA history to log at least 50 000 minutes on court. The 39-year-old, who was drafted out of high school by the Timberwolves in 1995, left to win a title with the Boston Celtics and returned to Minnesota in February. He joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Jason Kidd and Elvin Hayes as the only 50 000-minute men in league history.

November 16, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight 0 Comment

Cavs sweep Hawks to punch ticket to NBA finals

The Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James advanced to his fifth-straight NBA finals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 118-88 rout of the Atlanta Hawks and a sweep of the Eastern Conference finals.

Once again James carried the Cavaliers on his back, finishing with 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and then sitting on the bench and playing cheerleader for much of the final quarter of Tuesday’s contest.

“We worked our tails off all season to get to this point,” James said. “We have everything it takes to win. I have been there. We have grit, determination and a willingness to want to be great.”

It was an impressive 4-0 series sweep for the Cavaliers and their title-starved Cleveland fans.

Cleveland advanced to its first NBA finals since James led a rough and tumble group there in 2007, when they were swept by the mighty San Antonio Spurs. The city hasn’t celebrated a major sports title since the Cleveland Browns won the National Football League championship in 1964.

The Cavaliers franchise has never won an NBA title.


“I’m a guy who believes in unfinished business,” James said.

Kyrie Irving returned for game four in front of a crowd of 20,500 at Quicken Loans Arena following a two-game absence due to a knee injury. He tallied 16 points and five assists in 22 minutes.

Cleveland will face either the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets in the championship showdown. Golden State leads that series 3-1.

“It hasn’t always been easy the last 51 years, waiting,” first-year Cavaliers coach David Blatt said. “We know the people are behind us and that’s part of our motivation.”

Four-time MVP James has made it to the finals five straight years with two different teams. He has been in the last four finals with the Miami Heat before deciding to return to his hometown Cavaliers at the beginning of the season.

The days of Cleveland fans burning James’ jersey following his departure to the Heat where he claimed two NBA titles are now a distant memory.

James didn’t make any promises when he returned to his home state in July following that messy divorce from the Cavaliers.

“LeBron took a courageous decision to come back,” said Blatt said of James. “All of this is where his heart and family is and now we are all part of that family. He wants to lead us and we want to keep going.”

James battled through leg cramps late in game three but stayed in the tilt which the Cavaliers won 114-111 in overtime.

The sweep allows the Cavs to rest eight days until the finals begin next Thursday.

Not only will James get to heal some sore muscles but it is also important for Irving to get some recovery time, said Blatt.

“He did fabulously, played beautifully, he moved well,” Blatt said. “He wanted so much to be with his guys and to contribute.”

“We wanted to have this break to get him well,” Blatt said.

Irving scored his first points 38 seconds into the game and James slammed home an emphatic dunk from just inside the foul line a few minutes later as Cleveland roared out to a 12-4 lead.

The Cavaliers were never threatened from there, compiling a 31 point lead at one stage of the fourth quarter.

May 28, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Tournament 0 Comment

Cleveland tops Atlanta to open Eastern Conference finals

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks 97-89 on Wednesday to open the NBA Eastern Conference finals.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks 97-89 on Wednesday to open the NBA Eastern Conference finals.

With a berth in the NBA championship finals on the line in the best-of-seven series, J.R. Smith set a Cavaliers club record for three-pointers, draining eight from beyond the arc.

His 28 points accounted for all of the scoring by Cleveland reserves.

“I was just trying, if anything, to take good shots,” Smith said. “I got in a rhythm early and just stayed aggressive.”

Smith’s long-range bombs came in bunches, including three in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter as he helped Cleveland build an 18-point lead.

He broke James’s prior Cavaliers record for three-pointers in a playoff game by one. James made three against Washington in game four of the 2006 Eastern conference quarter-finals.

“Those who know J.R. know when he gets hot, he gets smoking hot,” said Cavaliers coach David Blatt.

“He was terrific. Probably overlooked is how well he defended and that he got eight rebounds.”

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James scored 31 points, pulled down eight rebounds and handed out six assists for the Cavaliers.

He said defence was the key to the victory.

“We’re the number one defensive team in the playoffs. In order for us to win, ultimately we have to defend,” said James, who is playing in his fifth straight Eastern Conference finals after four appearances with Miami.

“Tonight we shot 44 percent from the field, but we defended. We gave ourselves a chance. When you defend at a high level you’re going to give yourself a chance to win every night.”

James has won two titles with the Heat and returned to his home state and first NBA team the Cavaliers, vowing to bring Cleveland a championship.

He sealed Wednesday’s victory with a thundering dunk in the final minute.

Tristan Thompson added 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win and Kyrie Irving had 10 points and six assists in 27 minutes.


Jeff Teague scored 27 points to lead Atlanta, but the Hawks lost starting forward DeMarre Carroll to a left leg injury in the fourth quarter.

Carroll, who appeared to hyperextend his left knee when he planted his foot to take a shot, crumpled to the floor in pain.

Rival James gave him some encouraging pats as Hawks personnel helped him from the court.

“At the end of the day, we’re all a brotherhood,” James said. “You never want anyone to get injured, even in combat.”

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said Carroll would have an MRI exam on Thursday to assess the severity of the injury.

“At this point, I think the doctors are saying it’s a knee sprain,” Budenholzer said. “We’ll know tomorrow.”

The Cavaliers will try to strengthen their grip on the series in game two on Friday.

The winners of the series will take on the Western Conference champions in the NBA Finals.

Golden State, the best team in the regular season, leads Houston 1-0 in the Western Conference championships.

May 22, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment

Cavs one win away from East Finals, Rockets win

Lebron James

Lebron James

LeBron James scored a game-high to help the Cleveland Cavaliers win Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday morning, but his defense made the biggest difference.

As former MVP Derrick Rose drove to the basket for a potential game-tying layup with 48 seconds remaining, James sprinted down the court and caught up with Rose to swat his shot out of bounds.

It was James’ third block of the game, to go with his 38 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, three steals, and zero turnovers.

Eventually the Cavaliers prevailed to a 106-101 win, taking a commanding 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven series.

The Cavaliers are one win away from reaching their first Conference Finals since 2009 season when they lost to the Orlando Magic.

Game 5 was a remarkable one for James’ playoff career. It was the first time he had more than 30 points, over 10 rebounds, three blocks, three steals and not single turnover in the same game.

Jimmy Butler finished with 29 points and Mike Dunleavy added 19 for the Bulls, who were missing big man Pau Gasol, who sat out his second straight game with a strained left hamstring.

Chicago also played the final ten minutes without Taj Gibson, ejected for kicking Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova.

Cleveland could wrap up the best-of-seven series with a win in Game 6 on Friday morning at United Centre in Chicago.

In Houston, the Rockets gave themselves a chance to play at least one more postseason game, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 124-103 in Game 5 of their Western Conference Semifinals on Wednesday morning.

The Rockets controlled most of the contest, trailing only by three early in the game.

Rockets guard James Harden had his first career playoff triple-double.

He finished with with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, giving Houston hope to reaching the Conference Finals for the first since 1997.

Blake Griffin had 30 points and 16 rebounds, and Chris Paul added 22 points and 10 assists for the Clippers.

The Clippers lead 3-2 the best-of-seven series as Game 6 shifts to Los Angeles on Friday morning.

May 14, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Tournament 0 Comment

Paul, Blake and Irving rise to the occasion

Chris Paul

Chris Paul

Dominant performances from a number of team leaders in Sunday’ playoffs action showed how competitive the series are set to become.

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving stood out when their teams needed them most, and the playoff seasons is officially open.

Paul poured in a game-high 32 points, Griffin added 26 points and 12 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers edged out the defending champions San Antonio Spurs 107-92 to take control of the first-round series.

Griffin dominated the paint area with successive dunks, leaving San Antonio unable to respond.

It was the Spurs consecutive defeat, after enjoying an eleven-game winning streak later in the regular-season.

The Clippers lead the series 1-0.

Game 2 between Spurs and Clippers come up on Wednesday at Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

In Cleveland, Irving made his playoffs debut with a remarkable performance.

The former Rookie of the Year made 15 of his game-high 30 points from beyond the three-point line, powering the Cavaliers to a 113-100 home victory over the Boston Celtics.

Kevin Love, another playoffs debutant, added 19 points and a game-best 12 rebounds, while MVP candidate LeBron James finished with 20 points and seven assists in 41 minutes.

Although the Cavaliers led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter, the Celtics, propelled by Isaiah Thomas, cut the deficit to just five points early in the fourth.

Thomas finished with a team-high 22 points off the bench.

The Cavaliers lead the series 1-0. Game will take place on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

In Memphis, five Grizzlies players scored in double figures as they trounced the Portland Trail Blazers 100-86.

BenoUdrih scored 20 points off the bench and the Grizzlies never trailed to control their Western Conference first-round series.

In Atlanta, Kyle Korver live up to this three-pointer specialist reputation, making 15 of his game-high 21 points to help the Hawks get past the Brooklyn Nets 99-92.

The Hawks lead the series 1-0.

April 21, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment

Patriots, Espoir lead Basketball standings

Patriots, Espoir lead Basketball standings 


IPRC- South 42-57 Espoir

UR- CASS 67-46 30-Plus

APR 62-57 Rusizi

UR- CoE 39-57 Patriots


IPRC-Kigali 74-47 30-Plus

CSK 88-41 UR-CoE

Espoir 90-47 Rusizi

UR-CASS 49-62 IPRC- South

Rivals Patriots and reigning champions Espoir maintained their winning spree over the weekend to lead the national basketball league standings with 21 points each.

Over the weekend, three-time champions, Espoir defeated IPRC- South 57-42 in Huye district to extend their winning run to 10 in eleven games.

The win was after the Nyamirambo-based side defeated Rusizi 90-47 on Saturday.

Patriots also registered a 57-39 win over University of Rwanda- College of Education.

In other matches, University of Rwanda- College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR- CASS) who lost 62-49 to IPRC- South on Saturday bounced to sink 67-46 struggling 30-Plus at UR- Huye campus gymnasium to register their third victory of the season.

Patriots basketball club lead the standing with 21 points and a better point average in 12 matches played, one game better than Espoir.

IPRC-South and APR basketball clubs occupy second and third positions with 19 and 18 points respectively.

UR-CE is placed bottom of the standings with 11 points each in 12 matches played this season.

In the five-team women basketball league, defending champions Ubumwe leads the standings with 9 points, one ahead of The Hoops after playing five matches.

APR lie third with seven points in four matches played while IPRC-South and UR-Huye jointly have six points each.

National Basketball League Standings

1- PATRIOTS BC: 21 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 9/3, Avg: 1,43)

2- ESPOIR BBC: 21 Pts (PG: 11, W/L: 10/1, Avg: 1,32)

3- IPRC-South BBC: 19 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 7/5, Avg: 1,04)

4- APR BBC: 18 Pts (PG: 10, W/L: 8/2, Avg: 1,28)

5- IPRC-Kigali BBC: 18 Pts (PG: 11, W/L: 7/4, Avg: 1,19)

6- CSK BBC: 17 Pts (PG: 11, W/L: 6/5, Avg: 1,09)

7- UGB: 17 Pts (PG: 11, W/L: 7/3, F: 1, Avg: 1,08)

8- UR-HuyeBBC: 15 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 3/9, Avg: 0,80)

9- 30 Plus BBC: 14 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 2/10, Avg: 0,75)

10- RUSIZI BC: 13 Pts (PG: 10, W/L: 3/7, Avg: 0,87)

11- UR-CE BBC: 11 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 0/11, Avg: 0,51)

#Ranking Women

1- UBUMWE BBC: 9 Pts (PG: 5, W/L: 4/1, Avg: 1,11)

2- The HOOPS RwaGirls: 8 Pts (PG: 5, W/L: 3/2, Avg: 1,01)

3- APR BBC (W): 7 Pts (PG: 4, W/L: 3/1, Avg: 1,55)

4- IPRC-South BBC (W) : 6 Pts (PG: 5, W/L: 1/4, Avg: 0,81)

5- UR-Huye BBC (W) : 6 Pts (PG: 5, W/L: 1/4, Avg: 0,75)

April 21, 2015 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured inthespotlight 0 Comment

NBA: Reigning champion Spurs book playoff return

Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs

Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs

Reigning champions San Antonio are headed back to the NBA playoffs for the 18th straight season after a 103-91 victory over Orlando.

Backup big man Aron Baynes scored a career-high 18 points to lead the Spurs, whose reserves out-scored the Magic bench 69-12.

Manu Ginobili added 13 points and Marco Belinelli chipped in 12 for the Spurs. Boris Diaw had 11 points and Kawhi Leonard contributed 10 points and seven rebounds.

With one of his signature bank shots in the third quarter, veteran Spurs star Tim Duncan marked his 10,000th two-point field goal. He is one of just 11 players in NBA history to hit 10,000 two-pointers.

The Spurs trailed 19-16 before scoring the last seven points of the first quarter to take the lead for good.

San Antonio led by as many as 25 points in the second half, cruising to their fifth straight victory.

The Spurs are 15-3 since February 27, once again showing their ability to round into form as the playoffs loom.

“It’s not that we are switching it on now,” Ginobili said. “We tried to get it together early, but we just couldn’t, whether it was from injuries or just poor play.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich isn’t surprised to see his veteran team delivering the goods as the post-season approaches — even on the second night of back-to-back games.

“They’re high-character guys and they care about what’s going on,” Popovich said.


The Spurs are currently sixth in the Western Conference.

Behind them the Dallas Mavericks tightened their grip on the seventh seed with a 135-131 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are currently in the eighth and final playoff spot and four games adrift of the Mavs.

Monta Ellis scored 26 points for Dallas, Chandler Parsons added 22 with six assists and Dirk Nowitzki added 18 for Dallas, who snapped a two-game skid.

Russell Westbrook, EnesKanter and Anthony Morrow did everything they could.

Westbrook posted his 10th triple-double of the season with 31 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds.

Kanter delivered a career-high 30 points with 16 rebounds and Morrow came off the bench and drained six three-pointers on his way to a season-high 32 points.

April 3, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Tournament 0 Comment

Warriors shoot down Hawks

Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes

The Golden State Warriors won the battle of the NBA’s two best teams on Wednesday, routing the high-flying Atlanta Hawks 114-95.

With a season-high 25 points from Harrison Barnes and 21 from Andre Iguodala, the Warriors shook off the injury absence of Klay Thompson and a so-so shooting night for Stephen Curry.

With their 10th straight home win, the Western Conference-leading Warriors maintained the best record in the NBA at 54-13 – narrowly ahead of Eastern Conference leaders Atlanta who fell to 53-15.

Despite connecting on just four of 11 shots from the floor, Curry still finished with 16 points and handed out 12 assists for Golden State.

In addition to his season-high 21 points, Iguodala handed out six assists.

Draymond Green added 18 points – draining five of his seven attempts from three-point range – and pulled down seven rebounds, while Golden State’s Australian big man Andrew Bogut grabbed 14 rebounds.

“I think the defensive end is what got it done for us,” Green said. “We were able to lock those guys down for the most part of the game.

“Once we got good on the defensive end, we were able to get out and run and we started knocking shots down and got it going.”

The victory came a day after Warriors head coach Steve Kerr announced that Thompson will miss seven to 10 days with an ankle injury suffered on Monday against the Lakers.

DeMarre Carroll scored 16 points with 12 rebounds for the Hawks, but Atlanta centre Al Horford was held to eight points on four-of-18 shooting.

Atlanta, missing injured All-Star guard Kyle Korver, saw a three-game winning streak snapped, and missed a chance to clinch their first Southeast division title since 1993-94 season.

The Warriors closed out the third quarter on a 14-3 scoring run to blow the contest open.

Iguodala’s layup in the waning moments of the period gave the hosts an 83-64 lead going into the fourth quarter.

The Warriors led by as many as 29 in the final frame.

“We didn’t do what we needed to do on defense,” Carroll said. “You can live with making and missing shots, but defensively we have to get down and get more gritty and more dirty.”

March 20, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Tournament 0 Comment

KBC denies league withdrawal

KBC denies league withdrawal 

A day after Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba) confirmed their withdrawal from the national basketball league, the Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) has refuted claims that the club has withdrawn from the ongoing national basketball championship.

Speaking to local media, KBC chairman Calixte Rutajogerwa said that the club is yet to take a decision but will meet soon to decide on the next course of action.

“We have not withdrawn from the league; everything being said is a total lie. We have not decided on what to do next yet, the club’s general assembly will meet soon to take a decision,” he said.

Meanwhile the Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba) has told the club to take as much time as they want to make decision on what they will do next.

Only two players-Junior Hamis Mutebi and Meshach Ryamungu are still under intensive care. The rest have been discharged.

As a measure of compassion, Police Football Club contributed Rwf 100,000 towards medical bills of KBC players.

KBC coach player Jean-Guy Rutayisire died early this month in a fatal car accident as the team was travelling to Huye for a league game. (Net photo)

There were several reports last week that the 2011 league champions had pulled out of the Hoops league after losing their star player and assistant coach Jean-Guy Rutayisire in a fatal car accident on March 1 while the team was enroute to Huye for a league game.

The accident also left many players with severe injuries, but most of them are recovering steadily.

March 20, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Tournament 0 Comment