Lack of strong local opponents hurt us in Zone V tourney - Espoir coach

ESPOIR Basketball club coach Jean Bahufite has branded the local league weak and ineffective, blaming the situation for the club's dismal showing in this year's Fiba/Africa Zone V Club championships.

ESPOIR Basketball club coach Jean Bahufite has branded the local league weak and ineffective, blaming the situation for the club’s dismal showing in this year’s Fiba/Africa Zone V Club championships. 

The Nyamirambo-based outfit, who won the 2012 edition of the regional tournament in Kampala, Uganda, failed to go past the group stage in this year’s competition in Mombasa, Kenya, last week, only managing a sixth place finish. 

The coach said that Espoir’s dominance of the local league gave them false belief that they were a strong side yet their superiority at home was down to the weaknesses of their rivals and an ineffective league.

“It’s clear we failed in our mission in Mombasa. I know that losing and winning is part of the game and I can guarantee you that we learnt a big lesson from the tournament; next time we will try to do better,” Bahufite admitted.

He added: “It’s not time for fans to abandon us but to show support. Losing the first game to City Oilers killed off the morale of our players who failed to recover in time for the next match against hosts KPA.” 

“Losing to KPA was the end of the title bid for us. We have to move on and correct what didn’t go well. I’m going to make new signings and hopefully we will emerge victorious next year.”

Urunani of Burundi retained the title in the male category after beating KPA 68-59, while USUI of Kenya thrashed compatriots KPA 63-28 to win the trophy in women category.

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