Angola 65-54 Rwanda
Nigeria V Rwanda
RWANDA did not have the best of starts at this year’s Fiba-Africa Championship for Women. The first timers yesterday suffered a narrow 54-65 defeat against 2007 second runners up Angola in one of four games played before the opening ceremony at Palais Des Sports, one of the tournament venues.
The teams were neck to neck until the final quarter when experience separated the sides but Jean Lucien Mugabo, one of the officials on Rwanda’s technical bench felt that the officiating was biased.
“I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses but the Nigerian umpire made several false calls against us which I think was unfair,” Mugabo said.
Rwanda was also without inspirational center Brown Tatum who was scrapped off the team list on Fiba orders. The 31 year-old acquired Rwandan citizenship on October 1.
Although a win may be too much to ask, a spirited show against two-time champions Nigeria this afternoon should give Rwanda the needed confidence in the games to come.
The Zone 5 champions, who are drawn in Group B alongside defending champions Mali, two-time champions Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Angola and Tunisia need at least two wins to stand a chance of making the last eight.