National women basketball league playoffs champions Ubumwe have began extensive non-residential preparations ahead of this year’s FIBA Zone Club Championships scheduled for October 1-7 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
Established in 2013, Ubumwe will be Rwanda’s sole representatives in the women category after their local archrivals and the reigning league champions APR opted out of the regional competition.
Ubumwe are currently conducting three-hour daily evening training sessions at Amahoro Indoor Stadium under the close eyes of head coach Jacques Bahigye.
“This will be our second appearance in this competition after debuting last year at home, and having learnt from our first experience, we have built a strong team that will go there focusing on challenging for the title,” said Bahigye.
Ubumwe made their debut last year when Rwanda hosted the Championship and the Kigali-based club finished fourth as Burundi’s Berco Stars won the title after defeating Kenya’s USIU in the final.
Bahigye vowed that: “We want to qualify for this year’s FIBA Africa Women Club Championships and the only way we can achieve that is to reach the final in Dar es Salaam.”
The 2016 FIBA Africa Women Club Championships will take place in Maputo, Mozambique in December although the dates are yet to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, in the men’s category, Rwanda will be represented by Espoir and Patriots that also kicked off their preparations last week. Egypt’s Gezira are the men’s defending champions.
FIBA Africa Zone V attracts a total of 11 countries that includes Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, south Sudan and Burundi.