Tournament

NBA heads back to work

John Wall

John Wall

The NBA All-Star game has come and gone and the memories of the dunks, assists and overall spectacular basketball will live long.

Now we’ve reached the business end of the regular season, the second half of every team’s campaign for a playoff spot.

The high-flying franchises like the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks will be desperate not to drop off as the season progresses.

Both conferences look a little foreign at the moment with some of the less fancied teams still occupying the nose-bleed spots on the standings.

In the Eastern Conference the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets are all still slugging it out with teams like the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.

Only eight can make it and the fight resumes on Friday.

In the West, Golden State are leading the way, but close behind them are the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers. There are a host of better rated teams chasing them.

The Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers, Champions San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns will all look to overhaul the teams currently above them.

Live on SuperSport early on Saturday morning is the clash between the Washington Wizards and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Our feature game on Sunday sees the Milwaukee Bucks lock horns with the Atlanta Hawks.

The NBA Action will be red-hot in the second half of the season and you won’t want to miss it.

Supersport

February 19, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Ivan and Ange Kagame attended 2015 NBA All-Star weekend

Ivan and Ange Kagame

Ivan and Ange Kagame

In support of basketball in Africa, President Paul Kagame’s children Ivan and Ange Kagame attended their second consecutive All-Star event last weekend to see some of the best performers in action, including their fellow African, GorguiDieng.

Speaking after the event, foot-6 Ivan said, “He’s been doing really well. It just shows how Africans are good at basketball,”

A number of African personalities attended the event and expressed their passion and support for the game.

Some crossed the Atlantic to see the best basketball talents in the world showcasing their skills in the Big Apple, while others made sure to witness an unmissable event.

Besides Ange and Ivan Kagame, South African-Nigerian Akin Omotoso introduced himself not just as a filmmaker and screenwriter, but as “filmmaker and basketball enthusiast”.

In his visit to New York, Omotoso, who at the age of 40 still plays basketball, shared his thoughts about the event.

“I am very excited to be here in support of what Amadou [Gallo Fall] and his team are doing for NBA Africa in terms of growing the game.

“It is about time that we acknowledge the African role in the NBA, and also continue the growth in South Africa.”

Omotoso had a good time in New York as this photo with former NBA Gheorghe Muresan shows.

“Being here has been really great as a fan, but more importantly, it is about the bigger mission, which is the acknowledgement, and the support that the NBA has shown and what we can do to help NBA Africa be as successful as any of the other continents.”

FatouNdiaye, the younger sister of former Senegalese international AstouNdiaye, was in the city to see “Africa well represented”.

“I was at the 2009 All-Star. This year’s is definitely another level,” she said.

“I am very proud of this situation. People really now talk about the NBA in Africa.”

February 18, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Espoir, Ubumwe launch bright start after winning Heroes Day Cup

Ubumwe

Sunday

Men’s final

Espoir81-61CSK

Women’s Final

Ubumwe61-52APR

ESPOIR AND UBUMWE basketball clubs were crowned champions of the week-long Heroes Day basketball Tournament on Monday.

Espoir reigned over CercleSportif de Kigali (CSK) in the men’s category while APR saw off Ubumwe in an interesting women final held at Amahoro indoor stadium.

Espoir defeated 81-61 in the men’s category while Ubumwe beat 61-52 in women’s final.

Espoir captain Aristide Mugabe was named the Most Valuable player (MVP) of the men’s competition while Lisanne Comean of Ubumwe grabbed the same award in the women’s category.

Former Rwanda international Mike Buzangu scooped the top scorer’s award with 86 points while Rosine Micomyiza, with 58 points for Rwanda Allied Peace for Progress (RAPP), was the women’s highest scorer.

In third place play-offs, APR beat 73-50 IPRC- Kigali in men’s fray while RAPP emerged second runners-up in women’s category after defeating UR- Huye campus 40-33.

February 4, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Red-hot Kyrie Irving scores 55 as Cavaliers beat Blazers

Red-hot Kyrie Irving scores 55 as Cavaliers beat Blazers

The Cleveland Cavaliers, who were playing without injured superstar LeBron James, beat Portland 99-94 to extend their win streak to eight games behind an electric performance from Kyrie Irving.

Irving tallied a career-high 55 points which included a team-record 11 three pointers in front of a crowd of 20,500 at the Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday. His final dagger from beyond the arc came with just six seconds left and gave the Cavaliers the lead for good.

“He delivered,” said Cavaliers coach David Blatt. “I’ve seen a lot of great performances, but something quite like that? No.

“I’ve never seen that. And I’ve been coaching a long time.”

With James out because of a sprained right wrist that could keep him sidelined for at least one more NBA contest, Irving missed his first seven field goal attempts but went 17-of-29 after that.

He scored 28 points in the first half and had 16 in the fourth quarter to keep the Cavs from blowing a game they led by as much as 14 points.

LaMarcus Aldridge paced the Trail Blazers attack with 38 points, including a pair of free throws that tied the score with 27 seconds remaining.

Following a timeout, Irving drained his final shot from the left side over Nicolas Batum to give Cleveland the lead and break CJ Miles’ franchise record for three pointers in a game.

Irving grabbed the rebound after Damian Lillard was short on a three from the right corner at the other end and made two foul shots for the last of his 55 points.

His 55 points bettered his previous career high of 44 points which he posted in an overtime loss to Charlotte last season.

It was also just one short of James’ franchise record set in a game against the Toronto Raptors in 2005.

Portland had an extra day off after Monday’s scheduled game in Brooklyn was postponed because of a snow storm that hammered parts of the US eastern seaboard.

AFP

January 30, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

More injury woe for Oklahoma City Thunder as Perry Jones ruled out

Mason Plumlee (left) of the Brooklyn nets drives against Perry Jones of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half at the Barclays Centre

Mason Plumlee (left) of the Brooklyn nets drives against Perry Jones of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half at the Barclays Centre

 The Oklahoma City Thunder, already reeling from injuries to stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, lost Perry Jones to a knee injury Tuesday in a 100-88 NBA loss at Toronto.

Jones collided with Patrick Patterson on a drive to the basket early in the third quarter and was helped back to the locker room to have his right knee examined.

Thunder head coach Scott Brooks described the injury as a knee contusion and said Jones would be re-examined on Wednesday.

Injury-hit Oklahoma City had just eight healthy players at tip-off, and Jones, who had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee in July, was one of their few playmakers.

The third-year forward was forced to take on a bigger role because of injuries to reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Durant and Westbrook, and was averaging 18.5 points per game over the first four contests of the season.

Patterson’s departure, coupled with Sebastian Telfair’s late ejection, forced the Thunder to play the last two minutes with just six healthy players.

“It was an effort that I’m encouraged with,” Brooks said. “These guys are scrappy. This is all new for all of us.”

DEPLETED BULLS BEAT MAGIC

The Chicago Bulls overcame their injury troubles, making do without Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah in a 98-90 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.

Jimmy Butler scored 21 points and Spanish big man Pau Gasol added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls.

Chicago were again without Rose, who missed his second game after spraining both ankles against Cleveland on Friday.

France’s Noah was sidelined by illness.

Taj Gibson returned for the Bulls after missing a game with a sprained ankle and had 16 points, and Aaron Brooks and Doug McDermott combined to score 25 off the bench for Chicago.

Nikola Vucevic contributed 19 points and 13 rebounds for Orlando, who fell to 0-4 for the first time since starting 0-6 in 1990-91, their second season in the NBA.

AFP

November 6, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Veterans basketball tourneykicks off on Nov 9

Veterans basketball tourneykicks off on Nov 9 

Fixtures

 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

Canada beats China for fifth at world women’s basketball championship

m_Lisa Thomaidis

Coach Lisa Thomaidis called the accomplishment gigantic and spoke of the elation around the Canadian women’s basketball team as it celebrated a fifth-place finish at the world championship.

But as significant as it was — a 61-53 win over China in Istanbul represented the best Canadian result at the worlds since 1986 — the true excitement is about what the future holds.

A group that combines seasoned veterans and up-and-coming teenagers seems poised to continue its ascent through the global rankings, beginning with next summer’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Edmonton.

“Nothing but excitement and happiness,” said 18-year-old Hamilton point guard Kia Nurse, who represents the long-term future of the program.

“Definitely the older players are a bit more excited than the younger players. They’ve been through the trenches and they’ve been with the team for a very long time, so they know exactly what it took to get here. Some of us younger players are just coming in now realizing what we have to do to get back to this place.

“We’re definitely thinking it can go nowhere but up from here.”

Where that eventually leads remains to be seen, of course, but there is absolutely reason for optimism heading into next summer and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Nurse, Nirra Fields of Montreal and Windsor’s Miah-Marie Langlois put youthful athleticism in the backcourt, Katherine and Michelle Plouffe of Edmonton are emerging stars, and the veteran presence of guards Shona Thorburn and Kim Gaucher adds stability.

The program should get injured centre Natalie Achonwa of Guelph back — she missed the season after knee surgery — and London’s Miranda Ayim blossomed at the world championship.

It is a bit of a work in progress, but much progress has been made.

“We’re still learning,” said Thomaidis. “We’re not the team we’re going to be in a few years. We still make mental errors, still make bad mistakes. Our consistency game in and game out still isn’t there. When we get to that point, I absolutely think we’d get to the position to win a medal.”

Three of Canada’s four wins in Istanbul — over China, France and the Czech Republic — came against teams that began the world championship higher in the FIBA rankings than No. 9 Canada. Their two losses came against eventual champion United States and bronze medallist Australia.

“Any win at a world championship is a huge win, and when we get to play teams that are ranked ahead of us and, quote-unquote, better than us, to pull out the performances we had just really says a lot about where the program is,” said Thomaidis.

The combination of veterans and youngsters is unique for a program that spent most of the 1990s in flux. But a commitment from the athletes — and increased support and funding from Canada Basketball for extended training camps and exhibition tours — has created a much-needed level of consistency.

“For a while there, you saw a lot of players come through the system and they weren’t sticking around for whatever reason,” said Thorburn. “Just to even have a handful of players on this team (with) 100 international games together with Canada, that’s enormous. That shows the commitment from players.

“And everything that Canada Basketball has done on their side. I remember when I was 19, 20, we would maybe have 10 days of practice and we would be thrown into this major competition. No wonder we weren’t winning.”

That’s all changed, and Canada’s rise up the world rankings has been rapid. The women were 11th at the 2006 worlds, 12th in 2010, and had a top-eight finish at the 2012 London Olympics. A handful of women have been part of that improvement, making Sunday’s top-five finish even more satisfying.

“I think it’s elation, the culmination of a lot of hard work. Kim (Gaucher) has been with this team since 2001, Liz (Murphy) and Tamara (Tatham), Shona have been around almost as long as Kim,” said Thomaidis.

“They’ve been through some tough times. We couldn’t even play against the top teams in the world. They wouldn’t even play us. To see their elation after the game was just super rewarding. I think the young ones still don’t have a grasp of what this really means the gravity of the whole accomplishment.

They’re happy and they believe they belong, and that there’s good stuff yet to come and we’re going to continue to climb.”

Thestar.com

October 7, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Poor preps to blame for dismal Afrobasket show, says Hakizimana

 Hakizimana in action during the U-18 Afrobasket finals held in Kigali in 2010  


Hakizimana in action during the U-18 Afrobasket finals held in Kigali in 2010

THE NATIONAL MEN’Steam Point Guard Lionel Hakizimana believes it’s the right time to get back to the dressing room and embark on long term preparations that would help the nation to perform beter in future regional Afrobasket qualifiers.

 

The remarks came after Rwanda’s men basketball team lost their bid to qualify for next year’s afrobasket finals following a 61-69 loss to Uganda in the final match of the Zone V Qualifiers played on Sunday night in Kampala.

 

Hakizimana said, “We came into the tournament beaming with confidence and we really wanted to win a slot to next year’s Afrobasket finals,”

 

“Against Uganda, we started a on a very poor note, losing the first quarters. As the game progressed, there were signs of fatigue and yet our opponents were all in good physical shape,”

 

“We worked hard to stop them but luck was not our side. We have picked lessons and we need to go back and work hard to improve our game because it can clearly be seen that other nations have improved drastically compared to Rwanda,”
“We thought we were far ahead of our regional opponents following consecutive qualifications to Afrobasket finals since 2007 but this loss should give us a big lesson and morale to go back and practice more harder,”

 

“There is no way you can only train for 20 days and expect to beat teams which have spent months in regular preparations aimed at such regional qualifiers,” added Hakizimana.

 

Head coach MoiseMutokambali sighted lack of shooting as the sole reason Rwanda lost to Uganda. “Our main problem was in shooting.We were not good in utilizing three-pointers because in 24 attempts, we only managed to score three attempts as our opponents Uganda scoring 12 attempts in 28 efforts,” added Mutokambali.

 

The much more experienced Rwanda team that represented the region in last year’s Afro Basketball event succumbed to 11-15 loss but recovered to win by half time 30-28.

 

However, Uganda Silverbacks team lead by Captain Steven Omwonyand Norman Blick fought back strongly to take the third and final quarter beating Rwanda by eight points.

 

Omwony finished with a game high 25 points, while foreign based Ivan Lumanyika picked 13 points.

 

Kami Kabange who features for Uganda League Champions City Oilers top scored for the Rwanda team with 16 points.

 

Egypt who beat all the teams in the men’s category received the winner’s trophy at the prize giving ceremony, while Uganda’s Gazelles took the women’s trophy.

 

The loss means that Rwanda has lost twice and won twice to finish third in the regional tourments behind leaders and defending champions Egypt and Uganda who will represent the region at the Afrobasket finals and All Africa Games next year.

 

Rwanda will for the first time miss at the FibaAfrobasket finals having participated at the previous four editions.

 

In the women’s category, Uganda’s women side, The Gazelles sealed their place in the FibaAfrobasket championships for the first time in the history of Ugandan basketball after beating Kenya 64-61.

 

Egypt defeated Kenya 70-52 on Saturday but the latter finished second behind Uganda to seal a spot to compete at the Afrobasket finals. Egypt finished third in the overall standings.

 

 

October 1, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Uganda stands in Rwanda’s Afrobasket way

Coach Moise Mutokambali addressing his players in Kampala

Coach Moise Mutokambali addressing his players in Kampala

Sunday

Rwanda vs. Uganda

 RWANDA is primed to beat Uganda in the final game of the Fiba Zone V qualifiers so as to snatch a ticket to the Afrobasket championships.

Rwanda has registered two wins over Kenya and Somalia but lost once to defending champions Egypt in the opening game. Egypt has won all its two matches and have Somalia and Kenya to play against before winding up their campaign.

Now Rwanda must at least post a win over Uganda to at least be assured of snatching an Afrobasket ticket as Egypt is most likely to win the tournament and even qualify for the All Africa Games.

The head coach Moise Mutokambali said on Wednesday, “I must congratulate my players for staging a good show against Somalia. It’s was a vital win were players exhibited good display,”

“We have three days to rest and recover ahead of Sunday’s game against Uganda. It’s a must win for us so as to seal our qualification for Afrobasket. I will have a fully fit squad and its good news that Kenneth Gasana is back and in three days, he will be fully fit to boost our chances of winning our final game,” added Mutokambali.

On Wednesday, Rwanda defeated Somalia 85-71 to register her second win in the tournament. Rwanda, who defeated Kenya 82-77 on Tuesday, extended their fine recovery following the opening day 63-79 loss to defending champions Egypt.

Action resumes today with defending champions Egypt playing Kenya (men) and Egypt meeting Uganda (women).

On Saturday, win-less Somalia face Kenya (men), Kenya take on Egypt (women) and Kenya play Uganda (men).

Rwanda will be in action in a decisive match against hosts Uganda in the final match of the tournament on Sunday.

Egypt is the defending champions after beating Rwanda last year in the final. The other teams in the men’s category include; Uganda, Somalia, Kenya and Burundi.

The women’s category groups Uganda, Burundi, Egypt and Kenya.

The teams that win the event will automatically qualify for the Afro Basketball and next year’s All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville. Uganda’s men’s team last won the Zone 5 championship in 2004.

The winning men and women’s teams in the eight-day championships will represent the region in the Afrobasket championships. They will also qualify for next year’s All Africa Games in Congo.

September 26, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Rwanda secures first victory in Zone V qualifiers

Sunday

Rwanda 63-79 Egypt

Tuesday

Kenya 77-82 Rwanda

Wednesday

Rwanda vs. Somalia 18.00

m_Rwanda secures first victory in Zone V qualifiers

Rwanda team which played against Kenya Yesterday

RWANDA MEN’S basketball team sailed past Kenya as they secured a82-77 win to register their first victory in the Fiba Zone V Qualifiers on Tuesday at the MTN Arena, Logogo in Uganda.

After a losing to defending champions Egypt 63-79, Rwanda had no choice but to win the match or risky hurting their ambitions of vying for the title.

MoiseMutokambali’s side played extremely well as they won all the four quarters. Aristide Mugabe and Kami Kabangu led the offensive as Rwanda won the first quarter 22-13 with the duo registering a combined 14pts in the last four minutes of the quarter.

At half time, Rwanda was still in lead 46-35 with Kami now amassing 19 points after pulling back 8 rebounds.

m_Rwanda secures first victory in Zone V qualifiers1

Kami Kabangu attempts to shoot in yesterday’s game against Kenya

In the third quarter, Aristide Mugabe and Cameron Bradley ran the show for Rwanda to help the national team secure the quarter with a 65-51 win over Kenya.

In the final quarter, Kenya put on a spirited show in their bid to close the gap with Desmond Owili opening the quarter with a baseline dunk but Bradley answered Kenya back with a deep to help Rwanda extend the lead 68-55.

With 25 seconds to the end of the game, Rwanda was in lead with 80-74 before Kenyan coach Ojukwu called for time out. Play resumed and with 6.5 seconds to go, Rwanda requested for time out and resumed moments later, snatching 82-77 to register a deserved win which has blown the men’s group wide open again.

Rwanda faces Somalia later in the evening in their third game of the tournament. Forward Kenneth Gasana who missed Tuesday’s tie with a groin injury might return back to guide the nations to a most-wanted win over a tricky and talented Somalia team.

September 24, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament Tags:
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