Teams

Espoir shifts aim to league title

Espoir shifts aim to league title

Espoir bbc.

REIGNING BASKETBALL champions Espoir have now shifted their focus to their battle of retaining the league title after winning back-to-back trophies of the Gisembe Genocide Memorial tournaments.

The Nyamirambo-based club won both the local edition of the Gisembe Memorial tournament on June 6 after beating archrivals of CSK 81-79. A week after, they edged out Burundi’s Muzinga to lift the international edition after a 85-48 win.

The two-time reigning champions Espoir who are still unbeaten for almost three seasons will face Kigali basketball club (KBC) on Saturday and United Generation Basketball (UGB) on Sunday respectively

“As far as defending the league title unbeaten is concerned, we can’t rest until the work is done. After winning Gisembe memorial tournaments, our mind and focus is back on the league title defense,” said head coach Jean Bahufite.

Bahufite’s Espoir return leg clash against CSK set for July 6 is one of the matches anxiously awaited by most of local basketball fans.

 Espoir currently tops the league standings with 28 points and two games in hand. APR are second with 27 points.

June 18, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

Espoir, RAPP win Gisembe memorial titles

Espoir, RAPP win Gisembe memorial titles

Sunday

Final

Espoir 81-79 CSK

Third place play-off

KBC 62-61 UR-Huye

Women

Ubumwe 43-48 RAPP (Saturday)

RAPP 53-50 Ubumwe (Sunday)

REIGNING CHAMPIONS Espoir and RAPP clinched men and women honours in this year’s Gisembe basketball memorial tournament which climaxed on Sunday.

Espoir won the title after snatching a narrow 81-79 victory over archrivals of Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) in the final while Rwanda Allied Peace for Progress (RAPP) claimed the tournament after beating defending champions Ubumwe in two matches 48-43, 53-50 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Espoir’s Lionel Hakizimana and Pascal Karekezi were on high scoring 15 points each while Olivier Shyaka and Bienvenu Ngandu added 14 points apiece. Team captain Aristide Mugabe scored 10 points.

“We are not done yet until we win the international edition too. Thanks to my team for the title,” Espoir head coach Jean Bahufite said yesterday.

Kigali basketball club (KBC) who beat CSK 78-70 in the group stages on Saturday finished third in the tournament after narrowly beating UR- Huye campus 62-61 in the third place play-off.

The international basketball memorial tournament edition set for the upcoming in Kigali where Espoir, CSK and KBC will face regional participants from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and DR Congo for the title while Ubumwe and RAPP will tussle it out in the women category.

Regional teams expected to grace the tournament include; 2013 Men’s title winners Urunani and Muzinga (Men) and Belco stars of Burundi, Uganda’s Warriors, City Oil (men) and Magic stormers (Women), DR Congo’s PGB (men and women), Ulinzi (men) and Equity Bank (Women) from Kenya.

June 11, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

Spurs oust Thunder, ready for rematch with Heat

Spurs oust Thunder, ready for rematch with Heat

San Antonio spurs celebrate.

Tim Duncan scored seven of his 19 points in overtime as San Antonio beat Oklahoma City 112-107 in game six Saturday to set up an NBA finals rematch with the Miami Heat. 

Duncan also added 15 assists and power forward Boris Diaw came off the bench to score 26 points for the Spurs, who won the Western Conference final series four games to two.

“This victory is really sweet because we know we played one helluva team,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

San Antonio will host the first game of the National Basketball Association finals on Thursday against the two-time defending champion Heat, who beat them in seven games last season.

Miami defeated the Indiana Pacers 117-92 Friday to win the other league semi-final in six games and punch their ticket to their fourth straight finals. The Heat will be well rested for game one having had five days off.

(READ: Heat hammer Pacers to reach 4th straight NBA finals)

This is the first NBA finals rematch since the Chicago Bulls battled the Utah Jazz in 1997 and 1998.

The Spurs won Saturday despite playing the second half without star guard Tony Parker, who played just 19 minutes before leaving the game with a foot injury.

Kawhi Leonard finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds and reserve Manu Ginobili scored 15 points for the Spurs, who hope to take advantage of home court during the series with Miami.

The Heat won last year, but San Antonio is looking forward to redemption. They have won four titles since Duncan joined forces with Popovich in Texas.

“It is unbelievable to have regained our focus after that devastating loss last year,” said Duncan. “We’ve got that bad taste in our mouth from last time.”

Kevin Durant finished with 31 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder, who had their nine-game home win streak against San Antonio snapped.

Russell Westbrook scored 34 points and had eight assists while Reggie Jackson finished with 21 points for Oklahoma City, who staved off elimination two times previously in these playoffs.

“We settled for too many jump shots and we turned the ball over,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “Defensively they had us scrambling around. And they made some big plays.”

San Antonio trailed 49-42 at the half, but managed to chip away and take the lead. They then went on a 9-0 burst to end the third quarter, stretching their lead to 10 points, 79-69, heading into the fourth. And they accomplished the feat without their star guard Parker.

“It was hard when we heard Parker wasn’t going to play,” said Ginobili. “We knew that if we got our game together and got aggressive we will have a shot. We got over the hump in the third quarter.”

With 32 seconds left in the third, Diaw finished off some nice ball movement by the Spurs to make it 75-69.

San Antonio’s Danny Green then made a four-point play on the Spurs’ final possession. Green drained a three-pointer from the right side but was fouled by Durant. He went to the line and calmly sank the free throw to cap the scoring in the quarter.

Both teams made superb defensive plays in the overtime. Serge Ibaka blocked Ginobili’s layup with 48 seconds left and on the next possession Leonard stole the ball from Thunder guard Westbrook before taking it down the court where Duncan hit a field goal to cut the San Antonio lead to 110-107 with 19 seconds left in overtime.

Diaw made two free throws to cap the scoring for the Spurs with just five seconds on the clock.

Ginobili said they are ready for LeBron James and the Heat.

“We worked eight months really hard. We had a very successful season and all it did was to get us to this point again for another shot,” Ginobili said. “We are going to give everything we got to try and get the trophy again.

“We know we are facing a very talented and tough team and it is going to be rough.”

June 4, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

Heat hammer Pacers to reach 4th straight NBA finals

Heat hammer Pacers to reach 4th straight NBA finals

Lebron James #6, Chris Bosh #1 and Tony Douglas #0 of the Miami Heat celebrate after defeating the Indiana Pacers in Game six

LeBron James and Chris Bosh scored 25 points each as the two-time defending champion Miami Heat clobbered the Indiana Pacers 117-92 Friday to reach their fourth consecutive NBA finals.

Miami used a game six blowout Friday to join an elite NBA group by becoming the first team to reach the championship four straight times since the Boston Celtics did it from 1984-87.

James also had six assists and shot eight-of-12 from the field in 32 minutes of playing time for Miami who used an emphatic victory to claim the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final series 4-2.

“We are going to four straight finals and we will never take this for granted,” James said. “We will celebrate this for sure and when we start getting ready for the finals we will lock in.”

James regrouped in a huge way Friday after coming off one of the worst offensive performances of his brilliant career in game five, where he battled foul trouble and finished with a career playoff low seven points on just two-of-10 shooting.

 “We are competing against the (Michael) Jordan of our era, the (Chicago) Bulls of our era and you have to tip your hats to them,” said Pacers coach Frank Vogel.

Dwyane Wade and Rashard Lewis each tallied 13 points while Chris Andersen grabbed 10 rebounds for the Heat, who lost the finals in 2011 then won back-to-back titles in 2012 and last season.

Miami will start the NBA finals on the road against the winner of the other NBA semi-final playoff series between San Antonio and Oklahoma City. The Spurs, who lost to the Heat in seven games in last year’s finals, can close out that series with a win Saturday in game six.

 The Heat are the third team in NBA history to make the finals four straight years. The Celtics made a staggering 10 in a row from 1957-66, then the Los Angeles Lakers did it from 1982-85. Boston was also the last team to do it, beginning in 1984.

 MAKING HISTORY

Making history is what Wade, James and Bosh had in mind when they joined forces in southern Florida at the start of the 2010-11 season.

 “Our promise to each other was we wanted to come together to compete for championships,” Wade said. “The individual things was out the window. We made that promise to each other on day one and we continue to live it out.”

 Bosh said this was as good a game as they have played in a long time.

 “We are almost there. This was one of those games we have always wanted to play from beginning to end,” Bosh said. “We wanted to make a statement on our home court.”

 Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was pleased with his team’s focus ahead of game six.

 “We had a very angry group yesterday when we met for practice. They were a focused group today at shoot around. I knew our guys would bring a very competitive spirit to the game,” Spoelstra said.

 Paul George led the way for Indiana with 29 points, but 28 of those came in the second half with Miami in firm control. It was a far cry from Wednesday’s game five 93-90 Indiana win when George scored 21 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter.

 The Miami defence smothered George on this night as the Heat led 60-34 at halftime in front of a crowd of 20,021 at the American Airlines Arena.

 “It’s disappointing to fall short of our goals,” said Vogel. “It’s bitterly disappointing to lose to this team three years in a row.”

AFP

June 3, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

Basketball – Thunder rumble past Spurs to level series

Basketball - Thunder rumble past Spurs to level series

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) and guard Russell Westbrook (0) high-five during the final seconds of the game

 

The Oklahoma City Thunder, superbly led by inspirational All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on their home court, outplayed the San Antonio Spurs 105-92 in Game Four of the Western Conference Finals.

Dynamic guard Westbrook contributed a game-high 40 points and 10 assists while league MVP Durant weighed in with 31 points on 11-of-22 shooting as the second-seeded Thunder evened up the best-of-seven series at 2-2.

The top-seeded Spurs, aiming for a return to the NBA Finals after losing to the Miami Heat in five games last year, were outshot by 49 percent to 40 from the field.

Point guard Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, off the bench, led the way for San Antonio with 14 points each but veteran All-Star forward Tim Duncan was held to just nine points on three-of-eight shooting.

“I think I did all right,” a smiling Westbrook told Turner Network Television in a courtside interview after a stellar display that also included five steals. “Coming out with a win is most important.

“I just try to come out and give maximum effort. My team mates ask that of me and that’s what I was trying to do at both ends of the floor.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich applauded the performances produced by Westbrook and Durant, but felt his team had paid the price for not being aggressive enough.

“I thought they (Westbrook and Durant) did a great job,” he said. “They are great players, and that’s what they do. I was disappointed in our physicality.”

San Antonio made a fast start, Kawhi Leonard pouring in two three-pointers to help his team race ahead 8-0 but Westbrook sparked an Oklahoma City fightback and they ended the first quarter on a 13-2 run to lead 26-20.

Durant then put on a spectacular show for his fans with a dazzling array of shots from all around the court, totalling 15 points in the second quarter as the faster-paced Thunder stretched their advantage to 58-43 at half-time.

San Antonio’s second unit went on a rousing 18-5 run late in the third quarter but Oklahoma City maintained overall control and led 83-67 heading into the fourth.

There was no way back from there for the Spurs, despite continued good play from their reserves, and they ended the night by slipping to their ninth straight loss to the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“I thought the last two games we played as a group,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said after his team rebounded from two demoralising road losses to level the series. “Russell’s defensive toughness really set the tone in this game tonight.”

The series shifts back to San Antonio for Game Five on Thursday with the eventual winners advancing to meet either the Heat or Indiana Pacers for the NBA title.

“We’ve got to make it travel,” Westbrook said of the need for Oklahoma City to take their winning form at home on the road. “We’ve got to win one there if we want to win the series.

“We’ve got to go there with the same mindset as tonight and try to come up with a win.”

Reuters

May 29, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

APR book a win over CSK

 APR book a win over CSK

Saturday

Men

APR               65-64       CSK

Espoir             85-66       UR- Huye

KBC               59-55       Gisenyi

UR- CE          51-108     IPRC

Women

UR-CE            28-47       UR-Huye

APR basketball club extended their lead at the top of the table after registering a 65-64 win over Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) 65-64 in a national basketball league game played on Saturday at Kicyiru SOS courts.

Sunny Niyomugabo scored 18 points and Jean Baptiste Kabayiza added 14 for the military side.

Patrick Buzangu scored the game high 25 points with his young brother Mike Buzangu adding 20, but their effort was not enough to prevent CSK from suffering a second defeat of the season.

CSK’s other loss came at the hands of the two-time reigning champions Espoir, who beat them 56-47 on March 8.

“I congratulate my players for this victory. We want to keep the momentum throughout the second round,” APR’s Kenyan-born technician Cliff Owour said. Owuor has won the league title five times with APR since his arrival at the club in 2005.

The defeat leaves CSK in third place behind APR and Espoir, who remain second following their 85-66 win over University of Rwanda School of social sciences and arts.

May 28, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

NBA – Heat recover to take 2-1 lead over Pacers in East final

Miami Heat Guard Dawayne Wade (3) leans into Indiana Pacers Lance Stephenson (1) in Game three

Miami Heat Guard Dawayne Wade (3) leans into Indiana Pacers Lance Stephenson (1) in Game three

The Miami Heat took a 2-1 lead over the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals after coming back from 15 points down in the second quarter to win 99-87 on Saturday.

Miami’s habit of making a slow start was particularly acute – they trailed 17-4 in the first quarter and were 37-22 behind midway through the second.

The Heat came out strong in the third quarter though and took the lead for the first time on the night with a LeBron James dunk putting them 52-51 up with 7:36 left in the quarter.

The game turned decisively in Miami’s direction when Wade made a superb steal and set up a three-pointer from Ray Allen and put the Heat eight points ahead.

Allen (16 points) had three other three-pointers in the final quarter for the Heat while James (26 points) and Dwyane Wade (23 points).

Game Four of the best of seven series will take place in Miami on Monday.

May 27, 2014 By : Category : English inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

Poor start for Hoops in Gaborone

Poor start for Hoops in Gaborone

Basketball

Saturday

Rwanda w/o Nigeria

Sunday

Rwanda 1-18 Mali

Rwanda 2-18 Mozambique

Monday

Rwanda vs. Algeria

Rwanda’s girls’ 3*3 basketball team got to a poor start in the Africa Youth Games which is being held in Gaborone, Botswana.

The team comprised of Odette Jordan Umuhoza, Martine Umuhoza, Better Umutoni and Nadine Rutagengwa secured a walk over against Nigeria as they failed to honour their game.

The walk over granted then passage into the quarter final round but on Sunday, they suffered disappointing defeats losing heavily to Mali and Mozambique respectively.

They are expected to face Algeria on Monday when group stage matches will be concluded.

May 27, 2014 By : Category : English inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

Spurs silence Thunder with Game One win

San Antonio Spurs Tony Parker celebrates a basket and a foul against the Oklahoma City Thunder

San Antonio Spurs Tony Parker celebrates a basket and a foul against the Oklahoma City Thunder

San Antonio Spurs made the most of home court advantage as they delivered a superb offensive display to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-105 in Game One of the Western Conference finals.

Though the Spurs had lost all four of their regular season games to the Thunder, they lived up to their status as the top seeds in the conference and dominated in the paint to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

All-Star forward Tim Duncan scored a team-high 27 points and Manu Ginobili weighed in with 18 off the bench as San Antonio had five players in double-figures. The Spurs outshot their opponents by 57 percent to 46 from the field.

“It was a great team win,” All-Star guard Tony Parker, who contributed 14 points and 12 assists for San Antonio, said. “Everybody played well. Defense was pretty good so hopefully we can keep it going.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was delighted with the form shown by Parker, who left last week’s second-round clincher over the Portland Trail Blazers early in the second quarter due to a strained left hamstring.

“I think he feels pretty good, a little winded probably but he didn’t seem to have a problem with his leg tonight,” said Popovich. “I thought he executed offensively really well to start the game.”

Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 28 points and Russell Westbrook put up 25 and seven assists but the Thunder trailed for most of the game, a couple of narrow leads late in the third quarter representing their brief high points.

Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green tallied 16 points apiece for the Spurs.

Oklahoma City’s defense sorely missed the shot-blocking skills of forward Serge Ibaka, who is likely to miss the rest of the play-offs because of a calf injury suffered during last week’s series-clinching win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Asked how much the Spurs had benefited from the absence of Ibaka, Parker replied: “It helps a little bit. I thought our ball movement was great. We’ve just got to keep on doing that.”

Roared on by their vocal home fans at AT&T Center, the Spurs made an explosive start by racing 20-9 ahead on a Duncan bank shot before the Thunder hit back and cut the lead to 30-27 after the first quarter.

San Antonio again pulled away as their shooters spread the floor and dominated the paint, a twisting jump shot from Parker putting them 60-48 up before they went into half-time leading 67-59.

Again the Thunder stormed back, a Westbrook jump shot giving them their first lead of the night at 76-75 with five minutes left in the third, but the Spurs regained control on a 12-2 run to enter the fourth 89-82 ahead.

San Antonio continued to dominate, a Green three-pointer giving them a 93-82 advantage before Ginobili poured in two shots from beyond the arc late on to tighten his team’s grip on the game.

Parker was happy with how San Antonio’s defense had coped with the Thunder’s one-two knockout punch of league MVP Durant and dynamic guard Westbrook.

“We are not going to stop them, we are just trying to contain them,” said Parker. “We’re trying on every shot to make it hard on them. So far, it’s working but we know they are going to come back hard for Game Two.”

Game Two will be played in San Antonio on Wednesday before the series shifts to Oklahoma City.

May 21, 2014 By : Category : English Eurobasket featured Teams 0 Comment

UR- Huye jump into seventh spot

Charles Mushumba

Results

Saturday

UR-Huye       71-46 30 Plus

UGB                vs CSK (Postponed)

Sunday

UR-Huye       72-55 Rusizi

APR                89-42 UR-CE

Kigali                         64-77 UGB

THE UNIVERSITY OF RWANDA – Huye campus jumped into seventh position after beating Rusizi and 30-Plus in the ongoing national basketball championship which was underway over the weekend.

The College of Arts and Social beat last year’s second runners-up Rusizi 72-55 on Saturday before humbling 30-Plus in 71-46 easily on Sunday at Huye campus’ gymnasium.

Head coach Charles Mushumba told the media, “We are happy for the results and this is all attributed to hard work. We have set ourselves to finish inside the top four by the end of the season,”

“We are well aware it will require us much effort but we will do everything possible to ensure that we realize our target,” added Mushumba.

UR-Huye now stands seventh with 20 points in 14 matches played this season.

Elsewhere, former champions APR trounced College of education (UR-CoE) 89-42 while United Generation Basketball (UGB) club smashed last year’s first runners-up Kigali basketball club (KBC) 77-64 on Sunday.

Curently, APR leads the standings with 25 points in 15 matches while reigning champions Espoir who were not in action this weekend are placed second with 24 points and three games in hand.

The 2011 champions Cercle Sportif de Kigali are third with 23 points from 12 matches played this season, together with UGB who have played two more games than the latter.

Gisenyi and UR-CE sit bottom of the table tied jointly on 15 points but the latter has three games in hand.

Ranking

APR BBC: 25 Pts (PG: 15, W/L: 10/5)

ESPOIR BBC: 24 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 12/0)

CSK BBC: 23 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 11/1)

UGB: 23 Pts (PG: 14, W/L: 9/5)

Rusizi BC: 20 Pts (PG: 13, W/L: 7/6)

IPRC-Kigali BBC: 20 Pts (PG: 13, W/L: 7/6)

UR-Huye BBC: 20 Pts (PG: 14, W/L: 6/8)

KIGALI BC: 18 Pts (PG: 13, W/L: 5/8)

30 Plus BBC: 17 Pts (PG: 14, W/L: 3/11)

GISENYI BC: 15 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 3/9)

UR-CE BBC: 15 Pts (PG: 15, W/L: 0/15)

May 21, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment