She was Rwanda’s best player in the just concluded Fiba-Africa Zone V qualifiers for Africa’s Nations’ Basketball championship, Honore Ayebare has her eyes set on helping Rwanda put up an impressive show in the women’s continental championship slated for September in Madagascar.
Ayebare who was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player in the women’s category told Times Sport recently that the team is ready to give more after earning Rwanda her maiden qualification to the Africa Championship.
“Our main focus is to make sure that everybody is healthy. We must go and take care of business and get the wins, we have to make sure we are ready to play and win.”
“Nobody should worry about the team, this is the right squad which will cause problems to fellow Africans team come Madagascar African Championship,” Ayebare said, adding that they are ready for what comes along.
“We have to go back to the drawing board and see where we didn’t do well and improve, there is always room for improvement and we will dedicate this to the training but so far we are the champions.”
Ayebare who is based in USA further added that “I think with our heart and spirit, we are ready to go and win and we have what we need to play and we have to give out our ability, sacrifice all that we have to our country.” She helped Rwanda win all her round-robin matches to lead the standings with 12 points.
The pocket-sized player scored 125 points to earn the top scorer’s accolade, Most Valuable Player (MVP), best three point shooter and best free throw shooter awards.
Ayebare who played a remarkable role in guiding Rwanda to her maiden Africa Nations Championship finals also secured the top scorer accolade with 125 points scored onto her name in this tournament as well as the Best Three Points Shooter and Best Free Throw Shooter awards whereas fellow team mate Mireille Karangwa was the tournament’s best two points shooter.
Rwanda’s men and women teams all qualified to this year’s Fiba Africa Nations Championships which will be held in Libya and Madagascar respectively.
Rwanda men’s team booked a place to the continental show piece after an impressive 81-67 win over rivals Kenya.
In their last game the Rwanda ladies’ team recorded an impressive 103-35 win over Burundi in their last game to collect maximum points while the men’s team’ winning streak was halted at the final hurdle when they lost 41-71 to tournament’s favorites Egypt.
Defending champions Egypt retained the Fiba Men’s Africa Nations Championship qualifiers title.
Egypt and Rwanda were the top two men’s sides in this tournament and will travel to Libya in August while Rwanda women’s team has won the sole ticket for the same tournament in Madagascar in September.
In 2007, Rwanda earned participation to the African Championship after finishing second to Egypt in the zonal championship which were also held in Kigali.