RWANDA’S basketball head coach Kavedzija Vacescav has cautioned his teams to work extra hard ahead of their participation in the Fiba Africa Basketball Championships scheduled for later this year.
After guiding the women team to the Zone Five title and the men to second place, Vacescav told Times Sport yesterday that Rwandan teams (men and women) would need to work extra-hard if they are leave a remarkable impression at the continental championships.
Rwanda men’s team will participate at the Fiba-Africa Nations’ Championship to be held in Tripoli, Libya from August 5-25 while the women team will take in a similar women championship in Madagascar a month later.
“At this stage, Rwanda has good players in both categories but we still have to work hard if we are to think of a continental title,” the Croat said a day after the zonal qualifiers concluded at Amahoro stadium on Sunday.
The Croat further emphasised that both teams need to be together for as long as possible before they travel for the Championships.
“If all players can train and be in camp together for sometime just like the Egyptians, then we can hope for a better showing both in Libya and Madagascar.
“We need also to play as many build-up matches as possible to put ourselves in the best possible position ahead of the two championships,” Vacescav added.
The Croat guided the men’s team to her second qualification to the Africa Nations championship despite their 41-71 loss to defending champions Egypt on the final day.
The men’s team finished second with six points drawn after winning three matches against Burundi, Kenya and Uganda.
He also earned Rwanda’s women team their maiden appearance to the Africa championship after winning all her round robin matches to earn 12 points.
Rwanda thrashed Burundi 103-35 in the last match. Kenya and Uganda are the other countries who lost to Rwanda in the FIBA- Africa Zone V both men and women qualifiers which climaxed in Kigali over the weekend.
In 2007, Rwanda men’s team qualified for the Angola Africa Championship in Angola and finished in 12th out of 18 teams.