RwandaUnder-18 boys basketball team head coach Moise Mutokambali has applauded his side for having finished 5th in the just concluded 2016 FIBA-Africa U18 Men’s Championship in Kigali. The tournament was won by Angola, who beat Egypt in the final on Sunday.
The 35-year-old Mutokambali, who is also the head coach of the senior national team, commended the boys for managing to achieve their set target of reaching the quarter-finals where they lost to Tunisia.
He said that finishing in 5th place was a clear indication that Rwanda is no longer a small team having earned some good results against the likes of Gabon, Ivory Coast, Algeria and DR Congo.
“Finishing fifth is not like being the 1st but, in such a competitive tournament, it means we have the talent, and what we need to do is to follow-up on these boys so that we can back them to get to the very top of the game in days and years to come.”
He added, “The tournament was very challenging in general, if you observed the performance from some foreign teams, the fans turned up in huge numbers. Indeed, it was spectacular and we achieved our objective.”
Out of six games, Rwanda won five and lost two. In the group phase, the hosts won the first two games against Gabon (94-64) and Ivory Coast (74-65) before Mali proved too strong for them with a 61-40 win.
However, Mutokambali’s side recovered from that loss to beat Algeria 53-40 to secure second place in Group A, behind Mali, who went on to take 3rd place overall, and join both Angola and Egypt as Africa’s representative at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship which will be held in Cairo. It was Rwanda’s first time to reach the last eight of this particular competition.
Meanwhile, Mutokambali has revealed that four boys in the team including; Enoch Kyeyune Kisa, Osborn Shema, Cadeau de Dieu Furaha and Arnaud Nkusi (captain) have secured scholarships to study in USA.