Rwanda national women’s basketball team will not take part in this year’s Fiba/Africa Zone Five Championships due to financial constraints, Times Sport has learnt.
The team was supposed to start residential training camp on Monday (yesterday) together with their male counterparts in preparation regional tournament scheduled for September 21-30 in Kampala, Uganda.
The development leaves only men’s team preparing, according to the Rwanda Basketball Federation secretary general Richard Mutabazi.
He said: “We really wanted to revive the women’s team on the continental level but it’s not possible because of financial problems after the ministry (sports and culture) provided less than 1/3 of the budget we requested for.”
The women’s team had featured in the African basketball championships (Afro-basket) in 2009 and 2011, while men have been at the finals tournament since 2007.
Last year, Moise Mutokambali’s team finished tenth at the 16-team continental meet in Ivory Coast.
Men’s team in camp is dominated by players from the reigning league and playoff champions Espoir nd they include; Aristide Mugabe, Lionnel Hakizimana, Pascal Karekezi Rurangirwa, Elie Kaje, Olivier Shyaka and Bienvenue Ngandu.
Others are; Aboubakar Ally Barame (CSK), Alphonse Habyarimana, Steven Havugintwari and Jean Paul Ndoli (IPRC-Kigali), Pacifique Habyarimana and Ali Kazingufu Kubwimana (KBC), Parfait IShimwe, Ernest Neston Manzi and Sunny Munyandamutsa (APR) and Olivier Muhizi (UGB).
Professionals: Kami Kabange (Uganda), Kenneth Gasana (Morocco), Bradley Cameroon (USA), Yannick Nicolas Gihana (France), while Canada-based team captain Hamza Ruhezamihigo remains a major doubt.