08 May 2013

Rwanda: Basketball National Team Plan Early Preps

RWANDA Basketball Federation [Ferwaba] has named a strong 14-man team comprised of only local players to start preparations for this year's Afro-basket competition to be held in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital in August.
Head coach Moise Mutokambali told Times Sport that he has named the local team to hold early preparations before summoning professional players in late June.
"The team will be training twice a week until the league starts on June 1. From there, we will deal with club managers to find a way of availing time for the summoned players such that they can proceed with the national team preparations,"
"The aim for early preparations is to engage local based players in intensive training such that they can elevate their competition level before they are joined by professional players ahead of the Afrobasket competition," added Mutokambali.
The former assistant coach of a 14-man team comprising of four players from league champions Espoir namely; Artistide Mugabe, Olivier Muhizi, Pascal Rurangirwa and Placide Uwizeye.
Steven Hagumintwali who has been studying at Petit Seminaire Karubanda will be making his maiden appearance in the national team.
The rest of the players were picked from CSK, APR and KBC respectively.
Some of the professional players that Mutokambali will be looking up to include Hamza Ruhezamihigo, Kenneth Gasana, Bradley Cameron Curtis, Dan Rugamba, Isom Cedric, Brannon Darrius and Robert Thomson among others.
Mutokambali also noted that not all professional players will be summoned. "I can't say which professional player will make it to the final list since our selection criteria will be based on their performance and their availability for the championship," added Mutokambali who will be assisted by Jean Bahufite.
Rwanda is drawn in Group C alongside defending champions Tunisia, Morocco and debutants Burkina Faso in the African tournament.
Rwanda 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.
Rwanda, the only East African nation to ever play in the competition made a historic debut in 2007 in Angola where they finished 12th. This year, they will be making a fourth consecutive appearance in the tournament.
In the last edition held in 2011 in Madagascar, Rwanda finished 12th while her opponents Morocco finished in sixth position as Tunisia beat Angola 67-57 to lift the title before representing Africa at the London Olympics.
In January, Rwanda was granted passage to participate in the 2013 African Cup of Nations due to be held in August in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire by the Executive Committee of FIBA Africa following their performance at the Zone 5 African Cup of Nations qualifiers in Tanzania, which Egypt won.
The men's team-ranked 67th in the world and 13th in Africa, reached the final only to be denied the title by mighty Egyptians following a 82-76 victory.
Zone V champions Egypt were drawn with hosts Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and Algeria in Group A. Reigning champions Angola; Group C is comprised of last edition's runner-up Angola, Central Africa, Mozambique and Cape Verde while Group D consists of Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo and Mali respectively.
The Nations Cup tournament is also the qualifier for 2014 World Cup in Spain.

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