14 November 2013
RWANDA : Elated Bahufite applauds Espoir stars after ‘incredible’ season
Very few men have done it and one can excuse Espoir basketball club coach Jean Buhufite for being over the moon after guiding his side to second successive league glory.
As was the case last season, Espoir were again the dominant force in the just-concluded league campaign, winning both the regular season title and the Playoffs trophy after beating rivals Kigali Basketball Club 3-1 in the best of five finals.
Losing Game 3 in the Playoffs was the only dent in what has otherwise been an incredible campaign for Bahufite and his players, who just missed the opportunity to set the record of going two seasons with an unbeaten run.
“We were a bit disappointed not to achieve our goal (going the season unbeaten) but I think we have achieved something special and I couldn’t be happier,” Bahufite told Times Sport on Tuesday.
He went on, “I am very happy and everyone connected to Espoir is happy that we managed to retain both the regular league and Playoffs titles; credit to my players, who gave absolutely everything in every game.”
Espoir beat KBC76-65 in Game Four to retain the title.
Olivier Shyaka hurt his former employers, scoring 18 points; last season’s MVP Aristide Mugabe scored 12, while Lionel Hakizimana scored 11 points for Espoir.
KBC’s Patrick Buzangu scored a game high 20 points; Ali Kubwimana scored 16, Fiston Muhire nine, while star player Mike Buzangu was restricted to just seven points.
KBC coach Cyrille Kalima said, “We did our best, unfortunately we were not good enough against the best team in the league for the last two seasons.”
“We wanted to win this title and you could see it in our performances but Espoir have been just too good for all of us over the last two seasons. We can now look forward to next season, I am happy with my players, they have done a good job throughout the season,” he stated.