BY JULIUS MBARAGA
Angola 109-66 Rwanda
Despite a spirited fight from the national basketball team, Africa’s basketball powerhouse ‘Angola’ notched their first victory at the 2007 Afro-basketball Games/ African Cup of Nations that sparked off yesterday in Luanda, Angola.
Playing infront of a cheerful home crowd, the hosts bagged their first points after a comfortable 109-66 win.
The eight-time CAN champions were taken by storm from Hamza Ruhezamihigo’s individual brilliancy who also topped Rwanda’s scoring charts with 28 points.
With exceptional height advantage over Rwanda, the Angolans were unstoppable in the air and won everything ranging from free-shots, rebounds, and lay-ups.
Despite losing their first game at their first ever CAN appearance , Rwanda took a lot of positives from the game.
Playing against an Angolan squad mixed with experience, exceptional talent and young blood, the Rwandan team had a superior three point advantage courtesy of Ruhezamihigo who finished off with five three point shots.; the highest of the game. Over-all Rwanda scored 57% to Angola’s 31%.
Angola’s best display came in the final quarter after a hapless Rwandan defense after Ruhezamihigo and Robert Thomson had both been fouled out. Rwanda failed to organise their defense in the D as Angola consistently penetrated with some outstanding drives.
Angola was good on the break and well coordinated moves, clearly showing their intentions of defending their title. Rwanda is set to play Morocco in their next game before winding up their Group games with Cape Verde.