IPRC-South have withdrawn from this year’s FIBA Africa Zone 5 Club Championship, which is slated for October 1-7 at Lugogo Indoor Arena in Kampala, Uganda.
The Huye-based league outfit, one of three teams that were meant to represent Rwanda at the regional tournament, pulled out two days before the competitions could kick off.
According to sources, IPRC-South withdrew due to what they called “unfair treatment” from the Ministry of Sports and Culture. The ministry facilitated the other two clubs, Patriots (men) and APR (women) with air ticket, while IPRC-South were told to travel by road.
This year’s event will attract teams from eight countries namely; Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Rwanda and hosts Uganda.
Men’s regular season league champions, Patriots and APR, who won the women’s title, are scheduled to leave for Kampala on Saturday morning aboard a RwandAir flight.
Rwanda Basketball Federation Secretary General, Richard Mutabazi, said, ”The ministry normally supports the champion teams only, but was generous enough to also help IPRC-South with a VIP bus but they turned down the offer.”
MINISPOC offered 15 air-tickets to Patriots and APR each, while the rest of delegation members, national team officials and referees, travelled by bus last evening.
Meanwhile, Patriots have added former national team captain Hamza Ruhezamihigo to their squad for the FIBA Africa Zone V flagship basketball competition.
They have also added key players from league rivals such as Steve Havugintwari, from IPRC-Kigali, Olivier Shyaka, from Espoir as well as Kami Kabange, from Rwanda Energy Group (REG).
Aristide Mugabe (captain), Sedar Sagamba, Chris Walter Nkurunziza, Elie Kaje, Joseph Bukuru, Olivier Kamirindi, Didier Ishimwe, Steven Havugintwari, Lionnel Hakizimana, Olivier Shyaka, Hamza Ruhezamihigo, Kami Kabange and Jean de Dieu Ntagunduka.
Laurence M. Imanizabayo, Sandra Kantore, Aisha Issa Kamana, Blandine Munyambonera, Cecile Nzaramba, Shabani Rehema, Charlotte Mugwaneza (captain), Martine Umuhoza, Nicole Urwibutso, Gisele Umutoni and Vanessa Umwizerwa.