23 April 2012

RWANDA : Owuor Names Hoops Team for Inter-Cities Tourney

Skill, talent and pedigree describe the Kigali City Council side that has been selected to take in this year's Inter-cities tournament due April 24-28 in Kampala.
That this side has six national team players should clearly indicate that experience is in-built in what could arguably be the city's strongest team to this tournament after a nine-year absence.
But like the rest of the teams at the tournament, Kigali hopes to win a tournament that has been dominated by Nairobi which has clinched a record ten titles.
Under head coach Cliff Owuor, hoops fans across Kigali should expect the best out of their team because the Kenyan trainer does not entertain any negative consequences when he knows he can actually get a better result.
With point guards Blaze Nikobahoze and Aristide Mugabe, Owuor has a well coordinated description of great back court players who can at all times deliver whenever called upon.
Nikobahoze understands basketball like the back of his hand, he can shoot inside the perimeter and outside the three-point line and like any other last man on defense does so much of the game reading to make sure every action works best for his teammates and in this case for the two million 'Kigalians' represented on that court.
On the other hand, Mugabe has the agility and honestly he is among the most aggressive guards in Rwanda but can he go past the other East African guards at this tournament.
Most notably against Mukono's Sudi Ulanga, Mugabe will be up against a former high school teammate at Kenya's prestigious Laiser Hill well known for producing the region's best talent but will it be friendship or honour at stake? Maybe both.
Deo Nkurikiyimana, Cedric Sinarinzi, Lionel Hakizimana and Pascal Rurangirwa provide so many options for Owuor since all of them are comfortable shooting from anywhere on the court and considering their ever positive attitude, much should be expected.
However, Owuor will miss the services of national team player and shooting guard Jean Louis Habineza, who will not make the Kampala trip because of work commitments.
At the front court is the Congolese-born trio of Kami Kabange, Bienvenue Ngandu and Serge Kabangu who are possibly the biggest forwards in the region except for Kampala's Sam Gombya-a seven footer who weighs more than 130kg.
Meanwhile, this team that has been preparing for over a month does not know whether it will travel to the Ugandan capital today after Kigali's Mayor Fidel Ndayisaba told Times Sport that the confirmation had not yet been sent to the local organizing committee.
"We are still waiting for some information from Kampala and then we shall see whether to confirm or reject participation at this tournament. We are called to so many events but we do not have to attend all of them," revealed Ndayisaba.
The tournament whose draws will be made this evening at a technical meeting in Kampala, starts tomorrow and according to the chairperson of the local organizing committee Joy Olinga 12 teams have so far confirmed participation.
Defending champions Nairobi, Dar-es-salaam, Mombasa, Mbeya, Mogadishu, Hangishya, Gulu, Mukono and Moyo are in Kampala already but the organizers are awaiting a reply from three South Sudan cities including Juba.
According to Olinga, the newly refurbished Lugogo indoor stadium and the YMCA outdoor court in Wandegeya have been availed for the tournament and she further added that communication from Kigali had been sent that the latter will attend.
Owuor admitted that the team's participation depends on Ndayisaba who has not yet made up his mind 36 hours to the start of the tournament. Mind you a bus ride to Kampala is approximately 10 hours. The fate of this tournament will be determined this afternoon.

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