14 August 2013
RWANDA : Hakizimana and Karekezi declared fit for Fiba Afro-basket finals
THE duo of Lionnel Hakizimana and Pascal Karekezi have been declared fit to feature for Rwanda at the Fiba Africa Basketball Championship which will be held in Cote d’Ivoire from August 20-31.
The pair were reported injured during the Fiba Zone V championship, a feat which hampered Espoir’s chances of retaining the title after losing the title to Burundian Urunani side.
But the national basketball team doctor Martin Uwimana has declared them fit.
In an interview with Times Sport, Uwimana said, “Two key players (Lionnel Hakizimana and Pascal Karekezi) who had picked injuries from the recent zone five championship in Burundi with Espoir basketball club are now fit and can travel with the national team for the continental tournament if included in the squad”
“For Karekezi, it was a very minor knee-injury and he is now training normally with the team. We were a bit doubtful on Hakizimana but his ankle recovery rhythm is faster and he will be fit in time for the team’s departure,” added Uwimana.
Espoir’s Hakizimana and Karekezi picked ankle and knee-injuries respectively in the zone five championship semi-final tie against Burundi’s new stars which they beat 63-62 to set up a clash against Urunani.
Hoping to maintain unbeaten record, Espoir lost to Urunani 65-56 to finish in second spot.
This was the second time that Urunani had beaten Espoir in a title deciding final match after the 62-61 victory for the Burundian side in the Gisembe memorial tournament final two months ago.
Meanwhile, the national team departs for Abidjan on August 16 and they are expected to face Egypt in a warm-up match prior to the start of the competition.
Rwanda is drawn in Group B alongside defending champions Tunisia, Morocco and debutants Burkina Faso.
The team starts its bid against Burkina Faso on August 21, then Morocco on August 23, and Tunisia on August 25.