03 April 2013

RWANDA : Gasana excited by Fiba draw results


Kenneth Gasana currently plays for Moroccan side Plazza Casablanca Sport. The New Times/ File.
RWANDA’S shooting guard Kenneth Gasana is excited after the national basketball team have been drawn with Morocco in Group B of the 2013 Fiba Africa Championship which will be held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in August.
Gasana currently plays for Moroccan side Plazza Casablanca Sport. He will see some familiar faces when Rwanda plays the North African team.
According to Fiba Africa website, Gasana said, “I’m excited because we’re one step closer to the tournament. We will have some tough opponents in our group, but good for competition.”
“Also I can have some bragging rights with my teammates once we play Morocco,” added Gasana.
Defending champions Tunisia and debutants Burkina Faso are the other teams in Group B. Hosts Cote d’Ivoire were drawn in Group A and will square off against Egypt, Senegal and Algeria.
In Group C, 10-time Africa champions Angola will take on Central African Republic, Cape Verde and Mozambique. Africa’s powerhouse Nigeria join Cameroon, Mali and republic of Congo in Group D.
The most improved African team in the past six years, Tunisia enjoy an unbeaten record against both Rwanda and Morocco with wins in 2009 and 2011, making it a four-game winning streak.
On the other hand, the only time Morocco played Rwanda - in 2007 - the former ended on the winning end with a 74-58 success.
Tunisia captain Amine Rzig also said: “Although we respect our opponents, I must say this is a good group for us. We have chances to progress to the knock out stage of the tournament.
“Rwanda has a good team. I remember their shooting guard Kenneth Gasana. He is a really good player. If their big guy Robert Thompson joins the team, they will become even stronger because of his rebounding ability.”
Since Afrobasket turned from a 12- to a 16-team tournament in 2007, some countries have faced each other on a number of occasions, while some return to the event following a long absence and Burkina Faso makes its debut.
Rwanda, who will be making her fourth appearance, will open her campaign against Burkina Faso on August 21; face Morocco two days later before winding up her quest against Tunisia on August 25.

The event will take place from 20 to 31 August and the teams that finish in top three will qualify for the 2014 Fiba Basketball World Cup to be held in Spain.

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