21 February 2014
RWANDA : Espoir trounce APR to clinch pre-season tournament
Espoir 79-46 APR
Espoir proved once again that they will be the team to beat when the new season starts this weekend by winning the Men’s basketball pre-season tournament title on Wednesday evening.
Two-time reigning league champions trounced their archrivals APR 79-46 in the final at the National Paralympics Committee gymnasium court at Amahoro stadium.
The clash was initially meant for Sunday but due to heavy rain it was rescheduled for Wednesday at NPC gymnasium but the changes didn’t stop Jean Bahufite’s team to justify their place as the top team in Rwandan club basketball.
Espoir’s Burundian-born forward Christian Barutwanayo scored a game high of 23 points, Lionnel Hakizimana scored 13 points and Olivier Shyaka added 10 points, while new signing Mike Buzangu, who was handed the captain’s armband, was also restricted to just 10 points.
APR came into the pre-season tournament aiming to try out their new signing and the club reached the final after finishing top of Pool B that also included Kigali basketball club (KBC), 30-Plus and NUR- College of Education (former KIE).
“At least now we know what went wrong, what to correct on our weakness in general. We are going to work on mistakes we detected during this tournament so that we enter the new season a stronger team” said APR’s Kenyan-born head coach Cliff Owuor.
Nyamirambo-based Espoir qualified for the final after finishing leaders of Pool A that was also made up of Cercle sportif de Kigali (CSK), league’s newcomers IPRC Kicukiro and United Generation Basketball club (UGB).