19 February 2009

RWANDA : Thomson, Nyandwi jet in

By Julius Mbarga (New Times)

Besides Mathieu Millers steady recovery from a shock in his left elbow, Rwandas national basketball coach Veceslav Kavedzija had more reason to smile after the arrival of Rob Thomson (208-C-82, college: Fairfield), another key figure in Rwandas impressive run during the 2007 Zone-5 qualifiers.

Thomson, who plays his basketball in Romania, jetted in on Tuesday together with Wilfred Nyandwi from the USA and the duo instantly joined the team for the days final training session at Amahoros newly refurbished indoor stadium.
The duos arrival coupled with good form from the home-based players is expected to present the Croat-born tactician with a selection dilemma.
The 18-man provisional team is set to be trimmed down to 12 and sources from the local basketball governing body (Ferwaba) yesterday said that the final team could be named today.
Meanwhile, Ugandas men and women basketball sides have intensified their preparations with a series of warm-up matches as they chase for their first ever Africa basketball Championships (Afrobasket) appearance.

The men teams assistant coach Timothy Odeke says that the warm-up games are providing an insight into the state of their readiness.
He said: You can never know how good you really are before you get there but I would say we have covered most of the things we set out to achieve although there are still a few technicalities to look at.

The tactician also revealed that besides the teams speed, Stephen Omony (198-G/F) will be the other weapon at Ugandas disposal.
Hes in good condition and his arrival has lifted the spirits of the team and you can see that the other players look up to him, which is a good thing because hes a great player.

Kenya dealt a sever jolt

Kenyas hopes of making an impression in Kigali have been dealt a severe jolt. The ladies side is set to miss three valuable players.

For Beryl Amayo (center) and Faith Owich (forward), the qualifiers coincide with their examinations while Kenyas team captain Angela Luchivya has pulled out due to a tight work schedule.

Its a blow that Luchivya, Beryl and Owich are out but I have called two more players to give us the numbers. I am optimistic that they will fit into the system well and be of help to the team, the teams coach Anthony Ojukwu said.
The mens side will also miss two key players. Richard Osano (198-F/C-80) and Cliff Ochieng (188-G-79) are said to be out of the country.

Its sad that Cliff and Richie are not around as well but we will work with the ones at our disposal and see how it goes, Ojukwu was quoted on the Fiba-Afrique.org website.

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