After the unprecedented record of winning the league last season without losing any game, Espoir Basketball Club coach Jean Bahufite is confident his team can do the same this season.
The national basketball league’s second round will resume on September 14 and Bahufite believes his side, which remains unbeaten thus far on the local scene, is still hungry enough to go another season without losing a game.
Espoir, who won the league title and playoffs trophy last season, will play their first match of second round against former champions Circle Sportif de Kigali at Amahoro Indoor stadium.
“We have started training in preparation for the start of the second round. We need to win the next game against CSK, and I believe we will win because my players are still hungry for more success,” the former Espoir and national team player told Saturday Sport yesterday.
After the first round matches, defending champions Espoir lead the league with 12 points, one point ahead of second-placed Rusizi BBC.
The Nyamirambo-based side has won their first six games in the league this season and will be hoping to maintain this form in the second round. Bahufite added, “We need to start where we finished the first round and trust me, we are capable of winning all our games.”
Asked which team he sees as Espoir’s main threat for the title, Bahufite, who also doubles as the national senior team assistant coach said, “KBC (Kigali Basketball Club) and Rusizi are two teams we are most concerned about.”
After losing one of his star performers Kami Kabange, who joined Ugandan side City Oil, Bahifite made key signings including Point Guard Lionel Hakizimana from rivals APR, forward Olivier Shyaka from KBC and 18-year-old forward Steven Hagumintwari from Petit Seminaire de Karubanda,. The Rafiki side has won the league title four times, in 1999, 2004, 2005 and 2012.