inthespotlight

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

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

Title-holders Urunani snubs Zone 5 Hoops tournament

Urunani players going through shooting practice before last year’s final against Espoir in Bujumbura

Urunani players going through shooting practice before last year’s final against Espoir in Bujumbura

Defending champions Urunani of Burundi backed out of the year’s Fiba/Africa Zone V Club Championships which is underway in Mombasa, Kenya due to financial constraint.

The decision has also forced two other Burundian teams—Newstars (men) and Berco Stars (women) from taking part in the tournament.

According to reports in the Burundian media, the Burundian Ministry of Sports had promised to offer US$750 to each of the three clubs, yet each team needed at least US$900 to make the trip. Therefore, after failing to raise the money, they decided to pull out.

Urunani’s withdrawal, gives a big chance to two-time Rwandan champions Espoir because Burundian clubs have been their major threat in the competition in the last few years.

Last year, in Bujumbura, Urunani beat Espoir in the final 65-56, while Eagle Wings from Kenya retained the title after overcoming their Nairobi archrivals USIU 67-62 in the final game.

Espoir won Zone V title in 2012 after beating Urunani 90-39 in the final when the tournament was held in Kampala, Uganda. Apart from Espoir, Rwanda will also be represented by APR in the women category.

The withdrawal of the three Burundian teams brings down the number of teams participating in this year’s edition to 15—eight for men and seven for women.

The men’s teams include; Etho Water (Ethiopia), Coop Bank and KPA (Kenya), Espoir (Rwanda), I.L.S (Somalia) City Oliers, Tiger Head Power (Uganda) and JFK (Tanzania).

The women category has; Government House (Ethiopia), KPA and USIU (Kenya) APR (Rwanda), KCCA and UCU (Uganda) and Don Bosco (Tanzania).

August 26, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured inthespotlight 0 Comment

Ubumwe’s Bahigye wants more trophies

Ubumwe’s Bahigye wants more trophies

Ubumwe basketball club won the league and playoffs titles in second season since their establishment

 After lifting their first league and playoffs trophies, Ubumwe women basketball club are now looking to dominating the local scene in the coming seasons.

Only two years since making their league debut, Ubumwe have now dethroned APR, who had dominated the women’s league since 2007. Ubumwe beat Rwandans Allied for Peace Progress (RAAP) in three games to win the playoffs title over the weekend.

Ubumwe head coach Jacques Bahigye told the media on Sunda, said: “We are very happy to win this trophy after only two years since the team was formed.”

“I feel very grateful to my players and management for making sure we achieve our targets faster than we anticipated. Nonetheless, we need to focus on building a strong team, which is capable of winning more trophies at home and beyond,” he said.

Ubumwe ran away with the best of five playoffs series finals after winning 64-37 in Game 1, Game 2, 64-58 and 63-39 in Game 3 at Amahoro indoor stadium court.

Ghana-born Priscilla Doudou, a US citizen, was Ubumwe’s key players scoring a combined 55 scores in three games, which also earned her call-up to Rwanda women’s national team.

August 22, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

Buzangu brothers end Espoir’s unbeaten run

m_Buzangu brothers end Espoir’s unbeaten r

Bienvenu Ngandu of Espoir, right, goes up for a defence rebound against CSK in game 1

Twin brothers Mike and Patrick Buzangu played a pivotal role as CercleSportiff de Kigali (CSK) ended Espoir’s unbeaten run this season with a 73-64 in Game 3 of the men’s basketball playoffs finals on Sunday at Amahoro indoor stadium court.

 Defending champions Espoir BC had won Games 1 and 2 and were just one win away from retaining the title for the third year running but their opponents had other ideas.

Mike Buzangu of CSK BC scored the game high 25 points with his elder brother Patrick Buzangu adding 23 points in a game which CSK needed to win. Espoir players struggled to get points on board with Olivier Shyaka Olivier, their highest scorer, managing just 12 points and EliaKaze scoring 11.

Patrick Buzangu said: “It was a very tough game for us but we were determined to stop Espoir from winning the trophy today. We corrected the mistakes we had done before and followed the coach’s advice.”

Both clubs will meet again in Game 4 which has now been shifted to September 6-7 after Espoir have returned from taking part in a Zone 5 tournament to be held in Mombasa, Kenya.

Meanwhile, in the women’s category, Ubumwe added the playoffs title to their recent league crown by winning Game 3 of their contest against RAPP 63-39. They had also won Games 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Priscilla Doudou of Ubumwe scored a game high 12 points while Clementine Mugwaneza scored eight points.

August 19, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment

United Generation Basketball team hope to continue miraculous run

United Generation Basketball

United Generation Basketball team (UGB),hope to continue their surprising run in this year’s basketball championships by dethroning defending champions Espoir in this weekend’s semi- final clash.

UGB won’t be a stroll in the park according to their big talking coach Yves Murenzi who also knows they have a big task ahead.

“We are well prepared for the playoffs battle, we have been in training for the last three weeks and I’m confident we can eliminate Espoir although it’s going to be very tough.”

The Kigali based team will hope to hand Espoir only their second defeat in three seasons in game one of the best of three series starting this Saturday at the StadeAmahoro indoor stadium.

Army side APR will take on CercleSportiff de Kigali in what is building out to be an exciting encounter as both teams will seek to get the upper hand in first leg of their series.

In the women’s category seven times defending champions APR are set to face Rwanda Allied for Progress (RAPP) as they seek to dethrone last year’s champions Ubumwe who will be in action on Sunday.

 

 

August 10, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Tournament 0 Comment

Men & Women basketball teams picked for Afro-basket

Men & Women basketball teams picked for Afro-basket

THE RWANDA BASKETBALL Federation under the tutelage of men and women team head coaches has picked the national teams to start preparations for Afro-basketball and All African Games qualifiers.

The men’s team head coach MoiseMutokambali named a 24-man team to start preparations. Sixteen local players starts camp on Wednesday while eight professional players will join the team in camp next month.

The women basketball coach Jacques Bahige has named a provisional squad of 26 players to start camp. She summoned 20 local based players and six professionals who will join camp in august.

The men’s team is made up of Aboubacar Ally Barame, Alphonse Habyarimana,  PacifiqueHabyarimana, Steven Hagumintwari, Lionel Hakizimana, Parfait Ishimwe, ElieKaje, Pascal KarekeziRurangirwa, Ali KubwimanaKazingufu, Aristide Mugabe,  Muhizi Olivier, Sunny N. Munyandamutsa, Jean Paul Ndoli, BienvenuNgandu, and Olivier Shyaka.

Professional players summoned include; Kami Kabange (City Oilers), Dan Manzi (USA), Adonis Rwabigwi (USA), Nestor Manzi (USA), Patrice Twagirayezu (USA), Bradley Cameroon (USA), Kenneth Gasana (Morocco), Thierry SukuSuku (ACEB France  and Hamza Ruhezamihigo (Canada).

The women squad is comprised of Chantal Akamuntu, JovitheKabarere, JoselyneMunyaneza, Charlotte Umugwaneza, Vanessa Umwizerwa, Denise Uwase, Cecile Nzaramba, Yvette Uwizeye, Christine Uwibambe, Gisele Umutoni, RosineMicomyiza, Jeanne Yamfashije, Priscilla Dodoo, Claudette Imanishimwe, Clementine Ushizimpumu, Clementine Matungano, Esperance Mukaneza, Alice Muhongerwa, Claudette Mugwaneza, Martine Umuhoza and Nicole Rwibutso.

The professional women players include; Henderson Tierra Monay (Angola), AngeKamanyana (USA), Sabine Mugeni (France), Yvonne Kirezi K. (Drc), LaetitiaMahoro (USA) and Nancy Ishimwe (USA).

July 24, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight 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