Espoir’s forward Olivier Shyaka (right)
Reigning champions Espoir started defence off their basketball national league title in a pleasing mode after they thrashed 30-Plus 105-40 on Sunday at Camp Kigali courts.
Fresh from last week’s triumph at the preseason tournament, the 2012 Fiba Africa Zone V champions Espoir were keen to make a statement about their quest for a third successive league title.
Foward Olivier Shyaka scored game high 30 points, while Burundian-import Christian Barutwanayo and former APR’s diminutive forward Lionnel Hakizimana scored 26 and 24 points, respectively, as Espoir made light work of their opponents.
“We are really humbled to start with such a win, it shows how far we are willing to go as far as making this team the dominant force in Rwanda basketball,” Espoir’s head coach Jean Bahufite told Times Sport shortly after the match.
In another match played on the opening day, APR won 59-43 against new league Gisenyi basketball club, thanks to Richard Gatanazi and Sanny Niyomugabo, who contributed 14 points apiece.
Elsewhere, last year’s first runners-up Kigali basketball club (KBC) beat United Generation Basketball (UGB) 68-52 at Camp Kigali.