17 September 2014

RWANDA : Rwanda wary of Egypt in Fiba Zone V tourney

Head coach Moise Mutokambali gives tips to his players in a past continental tournament. (Courtesy)
Rwanda men's basketball team will be wary of Egypt as they seek to win the Zone V championship and qualify for the fifth consecutive Afro-basket finals.
Rwanda will on Friday depart for Kampala to participate in the regional tournament, which also serves as the 2015 Fiba/Afro-basket and All Africa Games qualifier.
The qualifier which, is scheduled for September 21-28 will attract Zone V countries such as reigning champions Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and hosts Uganda.
The week long annual event is set to tip-off on Monday, September 22 at the MTN Arena in Lugogo.
The national men’s team head coach Moise Mutokambali told Times Sport in an exclusive interview that his side is well prepared but are only worried of Egypt who are fresh from competing in the World Basketball Championships held in Spain.
“We have a strong squad to stage an impressive performance in the upcoming Zone V tournament. We are primed for the title such that we can be able to qualify for the Afro-basket finals,” Mutokambali said.
He said the team comprises experienced players mixed with young and promising players, a feat which gives him hope to perform better in this year’s tournament.
“Our main concern and worry is Egypt which is likely to bring the squad they used in the World Championship. They are very experienced and they will be a hindrance in our campaign to win the title,” Mutokambali said before adding : “We need to be very cautious and ensure that we win all our matches ahead of Egypt’s fixture which will try to prepare and put in all our efforts for a good result,” added Mutokambali.
Though Egypt is regarded as favourites to win the tournament, it didn’t register any points during the group stages of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Africa was represented by Angola, Egypt and Senegal at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup this month where eventual winners of the tournament, the U.S retained their world cup title.
The team’s biggest loss was to Brazil who defeated them 128-65. Meanwhile, Angola managed only one win, beating Korea 80-69.
Senegal was the only African team that managed to progress to the round of 16 after a tough fight in the first stage.
In last year’s edition held in Tanzania, Rwanda lost to Egypt in the finals but went ahead to qualify to the African tournament on wild card, finishing 10th out of 16 countries.
Mutokambali’s squad has of recent been boosted by the arrival of professional players such as Kami Kabange (City Oilers-Uganda), Nicolas Gihana (Nantes, France), Bradley Cameron (South Bend College -USA) and Kenneth Gasana (Al Waklah-Morocco).

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