National Basketball League sides Patriots, Espoir and Ubumwe leave the country today by road to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania ahead of this year’s FIBA-Africa Zone V Club Championships, scheduled for October 1-7.
Espoir, the 2014/15 league champions, and Patriots, who finished second, will represent the country in the men’s category, while Ubumwe will be the sole Rwanda representatives for the women’s title after APR opted out of the one-week long tournament.
This year’s championship will attract teams from five countries namely; Rwanda, Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda and hosts Tanzania after the other countries affiliated to the FIBA-Africa Zone V, including defending champions Egypt (men) and Burundi (women) pulled out.
Gezira (Egypt) and Berco Stars (Burundi) are the reigning champions in men and women categories, respectively.
Nonetheless, a total of 17 clubs from the five countries have confirmed their participation and these include; Espoir, Patriots (men) and Ubumwe (women) from Rwanda; Ulinzi, USIU (men), KPA and USIU (women) from Kenya; and National Engineering and Citizen from South Sudan (men).
Others include, last year’s beaten finalists City Oilers and UCU (men), KCCA and UCU (women) from Uganda; while hosts Tanzania will field ABC and Savio in the men’s category with JKT and Don Bosco featuring in the women fray.
The annual event also acts as a qualifier for the FIBA-Africa Club Championships for the winners of the men’s event and the two tickets finalists in the women category.
Espoir will be seeking to win the regional event for the second time since 2012, while Ubumwe, established in 2012, will be making their second appearance after debuting in last year’s edition hosted in Kigali. Patriots, established in 2014, will be making their first appearance.