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

Mbah a Moute highlights African-born player of the week

Luc Mbah a Moute

Luc Mbah a Moute

This was probably one of the most productive weeks of Philadelphia 76ers forward Luc Mbah a Moute this season, and breaks down his performances and explain how and why the Cameroonian highlights the African-born Player of the week for games played from 2 to 8 March.

Even though, Congolese BismackBiyombo returned to action after sitting out four weeks through injury, and helped the Charlotte Hornets build on a 5-0 record last week, and Nigerian Festus Ezeli helped the Golden State Warriors win three of their four games, Mbah a Moute reached another level of his game this week.

He is playing as we’d never seen before.

It is a fact that Philadelphia (14-49) will hardly make to the playoffs, but the Cameroonian, who hit double figures in four straight games, and is currently averaging a career-high 13 points per game, seems to have reinvented his game.

In Sunday’s 92-84 victory over the league No 1 team the Atlanta Hawks, Mbah a Moute hit three three-pointers en route to a game-high 19 points.

In Thursday’s 123-118 overtime loss against Russell Westbrook-led Oklahoma City Thunder, the 28-year-old finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds, despite conceding a 123-118 defeat.

Understandably, he expressed his joy on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

He wrote: “Great team effort with my @Sixers troopers tonight! Carried by the best NBA fans in @WellsFargoCtr #proud #blessed #sixerstrong #WeDidIt.

There are still 19 regular-season games left, but if he continues to play at this level, he will set a career-high not only in scoring, but also in rebounding and assists.

On Thursday morning Philadelphia hosts Chicago.

March 10, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment

Dominant Espoir suffer shocking defeat in basketball league

Yesman Bushiri (left) of IPRC- South goes round Patrick Kalibushi of Rusizi BC in a league game in Rusizi on Sunday

Yesman Bushiri (left) of IPRC- South goes round Patrick Kalibushi of Rusizi BC in a league game in Rusizi on Sunday


Espoir 65-73 IPRC- Kigali

UGB 79-46 UR- CoE

Rusizi     64-68     IPRC-South

APR         78-59     CSK

Patriots    80-55     KBC


Patriots 62-67 UGB

30-Plus 56-50 UR-CASS


The Hoops Rwanda 55-46 IPRC-South

APR     55-36     UR-CASS

Friday (Men)

APR                        83-54     UR-CASS

REIGNING CHAMPIONS Espoir basketball club tasted their first defeat in three years as they lost 65-73 in a tight league encounter against IPRC-Kigali on Sundat at University of Rwanda’s College of Technology basketball courts.

Stars players Steve Havugintwari and DieudonneNdizeye combined to score 52 points for IPRC- Kigali with 27 from Havugintwa and 25 from Ndizeye respectively.

IPRC – Kigali head coach Albert Buhake praised his team’s strong mentality and hard work after the win.

Speaking to the press, a happy Buhake hailed his players for staging an impressive win over the champions.

He said, “I am proud of my players, not only because of the win but because we have made history by beating Espoir after such a long time. This gives the team confidence that they will perform well this season,”

Elsewhere, Huye-based IPRC- South point guard, YesmanBushiri scored 25 points to help his team defeat Rusizi 68-64 in Rusizi.

The league newcomers, IPRC-South recovered from last weekend’s 79-65 defeat to reigning champions Espoir.

Rusizi, who won their first two games against University of Rwanda College of Education (UR-CoE) and CSK last weekend, were booed by their fans following yesterday’s loss.

Seven-time champions APR won their two weekend games, beating University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR- CASS) 83-54 on Friday and CercleSportif de Kigali (CSK) 78-59 on Sunday respectively.

While Patriots BC had their confidence dented after a 62-67 loss against United Basketball Generation (UGB) on Saturday at UR-TECH courts but recovered to beat 2011 champions, Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) 80-55 on Sunday.

In the women’s league, The Hoops Rwanda beat IPRC-South 55-46 while former champions APR overcame UR- CASS 55-36 on Saturday.

As it stands on the league standings, UGB and APR basketball club lead the log with seven points in four matches played. Rusizi, Patriots and IPRC-South follow with five points.

Defending champions Espoir BBC lies in eighth spot with three points in two matches.

February 24, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Rwanda basketball League 0 Comment

Inter recover to hold Lazio in thriller

Inter recover to hold Lazio in thriller

A first-half brace from Felipe Anderson was enough to secure third place for Lazio in Serie A prior to the festive break on Sunday in a hard-fought 2-2 draw away to Inter.

Inter only claimed their maiden win under Roberto Mancini, their first in six games, last week but had the worst possible start at the San Siro where Anderson hit the first of his goals after just two minutes.

Anderson, who broke his Serie A duck last week, beat Samir Handanovic with a fine angled strike after collecting Stefan Radu’s assist in the box.

The Brazilian almost had his brace moments later when he sprung the offside trap to fire over but made amends minutes before halftime after collecting on the halfway line and carrying the ball all the way before beating Handanovic at the keeper’s near post.

Inter emerged doubly determined after the break and after Mateo Kovacic and Mauro Icardi tested Federico Marchetti in the Lazio goal it was the former who reduced arrears in spectacular fashion.

Kovacic was just outside the box when a headed clearance fell kindly for the Croatian, who struck on the volley to see his shot sting the palms of a flailing Marchetti before hitting the back of the net.

Mancini replaced Colombian Fredy Guarin with Federico Bonazzoli and two minutes later the highly-rated Inter youth player had a hand in Inter’s 80th minute leveller.

Bonazzoli’s free kick found the head of DaniloD’Ambrosio in the box and after the ball rolled into the path of Rodrigo Palacio the Argentinian blasted past Marchetti from close range.

The draw left Inter in 11th place at 18 points adrift of leaders and champions Juventus, four behind city rivals Milan and six behind Lazio in the third and final Champions League qualifying spot.


But Mancini warned he will expect improvements when Inter resume after the festive break.

“We can’t become a team like Barcelona or Bayern in the space of a month. We’re having a few difficulties but we need to get over them,” said Mancini.

“Let’s hope we can improve over our coming games.”

Lazio coach Stefano Pioli admitted Kovacic’s goal had changed the prospects for his side.

“Teams like Inter have a certain kind of quality and Kovacic’s goal set them up well for the rest of the game,” said Pioli, who admitted third place was a firm objective.

“It’s early yet but we’re doing very well. Now we have a chance to recharge our batteries for January which will be crucial for us. But the lads have shown they are up to the job.”

The draw was one of six in the final weekend of the year, which left Juventus top of the pile with a three-point lead on Roma, who lead Lazio by nine points.

Earlier, Italy striker Manol Gabbiadini confirmed he could quit Sampdoria in the January transfer window after heading a late equaliser to secure a share of the spoils in a 2-2 home draw with Udinese.

Gabbiadini has been linked with a move to Napoli and the highly-rated 23-year-old told Sky Sport after the game: “I don’t know if this will be my last goal in a Sampdoria shirt, I always honour the shirt that I’m wearing.”

Sampdoria are 12 points behind Juventus, who will face Napoli in the Italian Super Cup final in Doha on Monday with a chance for a double Christmas celebration after Roma were held to a scoreless draw at home to Milan on Saturday.

Alberto Paloschi struck late to secure the points as Chievo beat Verona 1-0 in the city derby to give them some breathing space in the battle for relegation.

Torino had defender KamilGlik to thank for a brace of goals in a precious 2-1 home win over Genoa which secured just their fourth win of the campaign.

Argentinian striker German Denis, meanwhile, struck a brace including a late leveller as Atalanta fought back to claim a point from a 3-3 draw with visitors Palermo.

Fiorentina were sent on their way towards a seventh win of the campaign after Juan Manuel Vargas struck on the stroke of halftime, only for Lorenzo Tonelli to level just before the hour to secure a point for visiting Empoli.

December 23, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight 0 Comment

Veterans basketball tourneykicks off on Nov 9

Veterans basketball tourneykicks off on Nov 9 


 Nov. 9

Group A

Patriots                 vs             CSK

Musanze              vs             Ferwaba

Group B

Espoir                    vs            30-Plus

KBC                        vs            UGB

Nov. 19

Group A

Ferwaba              vs            Patriots

CSK                        vs            Musanze

Group B

UGB                       vs            Espoir

30-Plus                                 vs            KCB

Nov. 23

Group B

Espoir                    vs            KBC

30-Plus                                 vs            UGB

Group A

Patriots                vs            Musanze

CSK                        vs            Ferwaba

A month-long veteran’s basketball tournament under the auspices of the National Basketball Federation is set to be launched on November 9 and will run until December 9 at Amahoro indoor stadium and Cercle Sportif courts.

Ferwaba secretary general Richard Mutabazi said on Monday that the tournament is aimed at encouraging senior citizens such as government officials and corporate people to continue supporting the sport.

He said: “We have a large following of basketball fans which includes former basketball players, government officials and people in the corporate world who we want to engage for support.”

This tournament will be a platform to not only play basketball but also talk about the sport and seek ways of developing it,” Mutabazi added.

The teams that will spice up the tournament include Patriots, CSK BBC, Musanze BC, Ferwaba Team, Espoir BBC, 30-Plus BBC, Kigali Basketball Club and United Generation Basketball.

November 5, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight 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