30 September 2014

RWANDA : Poor preps blamed for dismal Zone V show

Hakizimana in action during the U-18 Afrobasket finals held in Kigali in 2010. He played his second Zone V tourney for the senior team in Kampala. (File)
NATIONAL MEN’S team point guard Lionel Hakizimana has said that inadequate preparation was the reason for their lackluster showing at the Fiba Zone V Championships in Kampala.
The Espoir Basketball Club star made the remarks after Rwanda lost their bid to qualify for next year’s Fiba Afrobasket finals following a 61-69 loss to Uganda in the final game on Sunday.
 Hakizimana said although they went into the tournament beaming with confidence and really wanted to qualify for next year’s Afrobasket finals, poor preparations let them down.
“Against Uganda, we started a on a poor note, losing the first quarter. As the game progressed, there were signs of fatigue and yet our opponents were in good physical shape,” Hakizimana acknowledged.
He added: “We thought we were far ahead of our regional opponents following consecutive qualifications to Afrobasket finals since 2007 but this loss should give us a big lesson and morale to go back and practice harder.”
The 22-year-old point guard noted that there is no way you can only train for 20 days and expect to beat teams which have spent months in preparing.
However the team coach Moise Mutokambali cited lack of shooting prowess as the main reason for his team’s loss to the hosts.
 “We were not good on the three-pointers because in 24 attempts, we only managed to score three while Uganda scored 12 of the 28 attempts,” Mutokambali said.
Rwanda lost the first quarter 11-15 but recovered to lead 30-28 at half time.  However, Uganda, led by their captain Steven Omwony and Norman Blick fought back strongly to take the third and fourth quarters.  Omwony finished with a game high 25 points.
Kami Kabange, who plays for Uganda League Champions, City Oilers, top scored for Rwanda with 16 points.
Egypt won all their games to retain the men’s title while Uganda’s took the women’s trophy. Egypt and Uganda will represent the region in Tunisia. Egypt also qualified for the 2015 All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville.
Rwanda will miss Fiba Afrobasket finals having participated at the previous four editions since 2007.
In the women’s category, Uganda will play in Afrobasket Championships for the first time in their history after beating Kenya 64-61.

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