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.”


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.


November 6, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament 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

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.”

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


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


Rwanda 63-79 Egypt


Kenya 77-82 Rwanda


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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Rwanda deemed to opening defeat by Egypt

Forward Kami Kabange seen in action at the 2013 Fiba Afrobasket tournament, will be vital for Rwanda at the zonal tournament in Uganda where he plays his club game for City Oilers

Forward Kami Kabange seen in action at the 2013 Fiba Afrobasket tournament, will be vital for Rwanda at the zonal tournament in Uganda where he plays his club game for City Oilers


Rwanda 63-79

RWANDA MEN’S basketball team registered a poor start in the 2014 Fiba/Zone V Championship title which kicked off on Sunday at the Lugogo Arena, in Kampala.

Rwanda, last year’s losing finalists could not maintain the Egyptians who registered a 79-63 to pick their first win in the tournament.

Despite having a slim 34-33 win over Egypt at half time, Moise Mutokambali’s outfit could not contain the Egyptians are in Kampala to make a mark after a disastrous World Cup championship poor display.

Last year, Rwanda lost to Egypt in last year’s edition. Rwanda lost 57-96 in the group stages before another 76-82 loss in the final held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Rwanda, who finished runner-up last year behind Egypt, will be hoping to go a step further this time round, although the North African side still remains the overwhelming favourites.

Rwanda face Somalia in their second match of the tournament slated for Tuesday at 17.00 at Lugogo indoor stadium in Kampala

Defending champions Egypt is the team to beat in this tournament whereas Rwanda, Somalia and Kenya will fancy their chances too.

Afrobasket is the African championship and the Zone V finalists will qualify for the continental showpiece that will be held in Congo next year.

They will also qualify for the next All Africa Games, doubling as a qualifier for the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games.

September 23, 2014 By : Category : English featured 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

Financial constraints force women hoops out of Zone V tourney

The women’s team captain Honore Ayebare, (left) seen here playing against Uganda during the 2011 Zone V tourney in Kigali

The women’s team captain Honore Ayebare, (left) seen here playing against Uganda during the 2011 Zone V tourney in Kigali

Lack of funds has forced the women national basketball team to withdraw from the upcoming Fiba/Africa Zone Five Championships scheduled for September 21-30 in Kampala, Uganda.

The Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba) secretary general Richard Mutabaziconfirmed the development this week.

He told the press, “We initially requested the funds from the Ministry of Sports and Culture but surprisingly we got less than 1/3 of what we had asked thus taking the option of ruling our team out of the regional championship,”

“It would have been a good platform to see the standard of our women national team but since we don’t have any funds to do so, we will wait until next year to try out our luck,” added a saddened Mutabazi.

Previously, the women’s team had featured in the African basketball championships (Afro-basket) in 2009 and 2011, while men have been at the finals tournament since 2007.

Last year, the men’s team under the guidance of MoiseMotokambalifinished tenth at the 16-team continental meet in Ivory Coast.

The men’s team has already started camp and it is mainly dominated by players featuring in the national league.

They include players from reigning champions Espoir namely; Aristide Mugabe, LionnelHakizimana, Pascal KarekeziRurangirwa, ElieKaje, Olivier Shyaka and BienvenueNgandu.

Others are; Aboubakar Ally Barame (CSK), Alphonse Habyarimana, Steven Havugintwari and Jean Paul Ndoli (IPRC-Kigali), PacifiqueHabyarimana and Ali KazingufuKubwimana (KBC), Parfait IShimwe, Ernest NestonManzi and Sunny Munyandamutsa (APR) and Olivier Muhizi (UGB).

Professionals are: Kami Kabange (Uganda), Kenneth Gasana (Morocco), Bradley Cameroon (USA), Yannick Nicolas Gihana (France), while Canada-based team captain Hamza Ruhezamihigo remains a major doubt.

September 10, 2014 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Focus turns national team hoops

Focus turns national team hoops

Focus has been shifted to the national basketball team as it gears up for the Fiba/Africa Zone V Championships scheduled for September 21-30 in Kampala, Uganda.

 Over the weekend, Espoir basketball club beat rivals CercleSportif de Kigali 85-54 in Game Four to win the play-offs crown for the third season in a row.

 In-front of a sparse crowd, defending champions Espoir dominated the game in what was expected to be a nail-biting clash, winning all four quarters; 35-17, 19-13, 16-11 and 25-13 respectively.

 Former national U-18 team captain Pascal Karekezi and Congolese-born powerful forward BienvenueNgandu of Espoir each scored 18 points for Jean Bahufite’s champions, while CSK’s Buzangu brothers Mike and Patrick scored 13 and 11 points respectively.

 Nyamirambo-based Espoir won the best of five final series 3-1 having taken Games 1 and 2 but lost Game 3 two weeks ago. The playoffs title completes another double for Espoir following success in the regular season league.

 Ubumwe BC won the women’s regular league and playoffs titles to end APR’s dominance.

 The regional competition will also serve as qualifiers for 2015 All Africa Games in the Republic of Congo and 2015 Afro-basket Championships, which will be held in Tunisia.

 Both the men and women teams started residential camp today at Hotel La Pallisse, Nyandungu and training at Amahoro indoor stadium ahead of the regional event.

 The regional competition will also serve as qualifiers for 2015 All Africa Games in the Republic of Congo and 2015 Afro-basket Championships, which will be held in Tunisia.


France-based Nicolas YannickGihana, who will be marking his debut, was the first to arrive on Saturday, while Kami Kabange, who plays for Ugandan side City Oilers joined on Sunday.

 US-based Bradley Cameron is expected to arrive on Tuesday (tomorrow) while Kenny Gasana, who plies his trade in Morocco, is expected on Thursday.

 The national team’s captain Hamza Ruhezamihigo, based in Canada, is the only player yet to confirm the exact date of arrival.

 The Men’s team will be without US-based trio of Patrice Twagirayezu, Dan Manzi and Adonis Rugamba as well as TierrySukusuku based in France due to school commitments.

 The men’s team is coached by MoiseMutokambali, while the women’s is being handled by Jacques Bahige.

September 10, 2014 By : Category : English Tournament 0 Comment