06 November 2012

RWANDA : Espoir Start Preps Ahead of Africa Club Champs

After finishing the first round of national basketball league with an unbeaten record, Espoir have started preparations ahead of the FIBA AFRIQUE Clubs Champions Cup slated for Nov 29-Dec 8 in Guinea Equatorial.
Head coach Jean Bahufite said he is happy with the league unbeaten record but has challenged his players to reproduce that winning form at the continental level.
"We have been doing well in the league which is a good sign for my team; I hope we will go there with strong character and mentality. We have a winning team and I am confident we can maintain our winning streak at the African Club Champions Cup," said the former Espoir player.
The competition brings together the seven zones of FIBA AFRIQUE and it is going to be Espoir's first appearance.
It seven years since Espoir won the national league but after spending massively in the off season, it appears as though the Nyamirambo-based team is running away with this season's title.
The Rafiki side remains the only unbeaten team this season after winning all their games as the first round ended at the weekend. They thrashed United Generation Basketball 104-40 on Sunday.
The three-time league champions lead the table standing with 16 points while APR and Kigali Basketball Club followed in second and third, tied on 14 points.
Aristide Mugabe scored a game high 34 points and Bienvenu Ngandu added 18 points while Kami Kabange managed to score 14 points for Espoir. Cassay was United Generation Basketball's top scorer with 14 points.
Espoir looked strong from the start, running away with the first quarter 31-6; UGB tried to fight in the second but still went down 18-11. The league favourites stormed the third quarter 32-13 but lost a bit of their rhythm in the fourth quarter, losing it 20-23.

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