BY JULIUS MBARAGA
Despite a 2-1 game series win over D.R.Congo, Rwanda’s chances for a fine display at the group stage of the upcoming African Cup of Nations basketball championships in Angola look very slim.
It is true that the team was desperate to shade off the traumas endured in North Africa but still, the performance was nothing for the home fans to brag about knowing very well who their opponents are in Angola.
Rwanda failed to match its Zone V show in the series. It was very evident that the team was missing the creativity of its sensational point guards Hamza Ruhezamihigo and Raoul Mballa.
The duo was every phenomenon during the Zone V championships and teamed up well with Robert Thomson, Rwanda’s main pivot.
However, against D.R.Congo, Barame Aboubacar and Mathew Miller assumed the point guard role and lacked that creative instinct to muddle and penetrate the opponent’s defence.
Thomson who got a number of opponents fouled out during the Zone V championships was on many occasions a spectator, and the few times that he got the ball, he was sandwiched by two or three Congolese.
With Mballa already ruled of the event due to personal problems and with increasing doubts about Ruhezamihigo’s arrival, Barame has to match his Zone V performance while Miller has to work miracles if Rwanda is to successfully contend for the group’s first two positions. Rwanda is seeded in Group A alongside Angola, Morocco and Cape Verde.
(Angola are the reigning champions, hosts and pre-tournament favourites, Morocco boasts of one gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the competitions while Cape Verde equally has something to brag about after being ranked 70th in the world.