13 October 2015

RWANDA : Espoir take 3rd place in FIBA Zone V Championships

Lionel Hakizimana, left, of Espoir goes for a lay-up against Burundi's Dynamo in the group stage. (Sam Ngendahimana)
Espoir (Rwa) 82-77 Tiger (Uga)
After losing to Gezira of Egypt in Friday’s semi-finals, Espoir squeezed a narrow 82-77 win over Uganda’s Tiger Head Power on Saturday to finish third at the 21st FIBA Africa Zone Five Club Championships that climaxed last evening in Kigali.
Espoir’s hopes for a second regional tournament title came to an end on Friday night when Jean Bahufite’s side were defeated 71-58 by Gezira in front of a fully packed Amahoro indoor stadium.
The four-time reigning national league champions, Espoir, who won the regional tournament in 2012 in Kampala, came close to reaching the final but failed to maintain the momentum towards the end of play. Going into the final six minutes, Espoir were leading by 56-54 points.
In Saturday’s battle for the third place against Tiger Head Power, Ali Kubwimana and Lionnel Hakizimana inspired Espoir to victory. Shooting guard Hakizimana scored 22 points while point-guard Kubwimana added 21 for Espoir.
Tiger Head Powers’ Abdullah Ramadhan scored the game high 33 points.
The hosts claimed the first quarter 22-14 and the third by 20-19 with the Ugandan side winning the second and fourth quarters 17-14 and 27-26 respectively. Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) finished seventh out of ten teams in men’s fray.
The men’s final between Gezira and City Oilers as well as the women’s title-deciding encounter of Berco Stars (Burundi) against KCCA (Uganda) were yet to be played by press time.
Berco Stars and Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) will represent the Zone V region in the upcoming FIBA Africa Women’s Club Championship in Angola.
Rwanda’s debutants Ubumwe won two games and lost three to finished fourth with 7 points behind Berco, KCCA and USIU (Kenya) while APR lost all the five to finish bottom with five points.

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