Senior hoops team coach eyes top ten finish

RWANDA national men’s senior team departs Friday night for the 27th edition of the African Basketball Championships (Afro-basket) to be held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from August 20 to 31.
Moise Mutokambali
Moise Mutokambali

Aug. 21
Rwanda vs Burkina Faso

Aug. 23
Rwanda vs Morocco

Aug. 25
Rwanda         vs     Tunisia

RWANDA national men’s senior team departs Friday night for the 27th edition of the African Basketball Championships (Afro-basket) to be held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from August 20 to 31.

The only East African nation to ever compete in the continental event, Rwanda qualified for this year’s championships following their impressive performance at the Zone V tournament held in Tanzania early this year. Rwanda lost in the final to Egypt 82-76.

Rwanda will be making a fourth consecutive appearance since its debut in 2007. Rwanda will  face-off with Egypt on Sunday in a warm-up match.

Moise Mutokambali’s team will start their campaign against debutants Burkina Faso next Wednesday, while Egypt will take on Senegal on Tuesday in their first game.

In the last edition in Madagascar in 2011, Rwanda finished 12th, while their group opponents Morocco, finished sixth and Tunisia beat for winners Angola 67-57 to lift the title and qualify for 2012 London Olympic games.

According to Mutokambali, the target is to finish in the top ten or even better, “We finished 12th in 2011, but this time, we want to do better and finish in top ten.”

However, by press time, Mutokambali preferred to keep his final for the championships a top secret, at least until the last training session.

Rwanda will open up their campaign against Burkina Faso on August 21, take on Morocco two days later before taking on title holders Tunisia on August 25.

The tournament also acts as the qualifiers for the world basketball championships set to be held in Spain next year.

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