Ruhezamihigo joins national hoops team camp
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Rwanda International player, Hamza Ruhezamihigo who features for Concordia Montreal, Canada has joined the national team training camp ahead of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers first round slated for February 23-25 in Bamako, Mali.
On Saturday, the national men’s basketball team began a one-week training camp with 17 local players. The players are staying at Five to Five Hotel in Remera, Kigali and train twice a day at Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
Head coach Moise Mutokambali told Times Sport that Ruhezamihingo joined the camp on Monday afternoon and immediately started training with the team.
“In January we named seven professional players on the team, but only two Hamza Ruhezamihigo and Kenneth Gasana have confirmed,” said Mutokambali.
Gasana is expected on February 17.
“Five other professional players will not be part of the team because their clubs have competitions which they will be participating in,” he added.
The players that will miss the event are Dan Manzi (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, USA), Jean Paul Adonis Rwabigwi (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, USA) Patrice Twagirayezu (Covenant College Carolina, USA), Bradley Cameron (Gulf Coast College South Bend Indiana, USA) and Kevin Ndahiro (University Deland-FL, USA).
On February 18, Mutokambali will name the final list of 12 players that will compete at 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers first round while the team will travel to Bamako on February 20.
Rwanda were drawn in group B along with hosts Mali, Uganda and Nigeria.
Mutokambali’s side will take on Mali on Febuary 23 before clashing with Nigeria on February 24 while their final game will be against Uganda on February 25.
The top three teams from each group will advance to the second round, where the 12 qualified teams are divided in two groups (E and F) of 6 teams each.
The first legs of the second-round tournament take place during the fourth window on Sept. 10-18, with the return legs to follow during the fifth window on November 26-December 4 and the sixth window from Feb. 20-28, 2019.
The top two teams from Groups E and F and the best third-ranked team will secure their tickets for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. The first-ever 32-team edition of FIBA’s flagship competition will take place from August 31-September 15, 2019, in China.