FIBA-AfroBasket: Rwanda fail to qualify after defeat in Cairo
More in Sports
Uganda 72-95 Egypt
Third place play-off
Rwanda 89-75 Burundi
Uganda 77-64 Rwanda
Egypt 135-71 Burundi
For the second time in a row, the national basketball team has failed to qualify for the continent’s biggest show piece; FIBA AfroBasket finals after losing to Uganda in the semi-finals of Zone V championship that ended on Saturday in Cairo, Egypt.
Hosts Egypt and Uganda qualified to represent the Zone V after both made it to the final with Egypt comfortably defeating Uganda 95-72 to retain the title they had won in 2014 in Uganda.
Rwanda lost to Uganda 77-64 on Friday in the semi-finals to end their hopes to automatically qualify for AfroBasket finals slated for August 17-31 in Congo Brazaville.
This is the second time that the national team has failed to defy their bad luck at the hands of Uganda’s silverbacks that also denied them the same chance in 2014 when they defeated them at this same stage 69-61 in Lugogo, Kampala.
Moise Mutokambali’s side made a very modest start to their game losing the first quarter 15-24 before trying to fight their way back into the game in the second quarter, which they ultimately claimed 17-13 hence ending the quarter with Uganda leading 37-32.
However, the national team failed to maintain that pace and narrowly lost the third quarter 18-17 before the silverbacks put on an excellent performance in the final quarter to claim 22-15 hence wrapping up the game 77-64.
The win assured Uganda a slot in the final and automatically handed them a ticket to the 2017 AfroBasket finals.
However, Rwanda managed to scoop a bronze medal after defeating Burundi in the third-place playoff with a score of 89-75 on Saturday.
Mutokambali’s side overcame Burundi in the first three quarters 22-20, 23-9, 22-11 before their opponents claimed the final quarter 22-25, which ultimately handed Rwanda a win (89-75).
In this particular game, shooting guard Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Gasana was Rwanda’s best performer dropping 27 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and one steal while Landry Ndikumana was Burundi’s best performer contributing 18 points, 14 rebounds and one steal.
This year’s edition attracted seven countries namely Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi and hosts Egypt. The national team returned yesterday (Sunday) eve