Espoir turn focus on Zone V championships

Espoir basketball club have turned attention to the forthcoming Fiba/Africa Zone V Club Championships after losing to CSK in Games 3 in the play-offs finals last weekend.
Aboubakar Barame is among Espoir’s new reinforcements. S. Ngendahimana
Aboubakar Barame is among Espoir’s new reinforcements. S. Ngendahimana

Espoir basketball club have turned attention to the forthcoming Fiba/Africa Zone V Club Championships after losing to CSK in Games 3 in the play-offs finals last weekend.

This year’s Zone V club championship is scheduled for August 25 to 31at KPA Makande Hall in Mombassa, Kenya. Last year’s edition was held in Bujumbura, Burundi while Uganda hosted the 2012 edition.

Two-time play-offs defending champions Espoir failed to get the one victory they needed to retain the title on Sunday after losing 74-63 to rivals Cercle sportif de Kigali  in Game 3 of the best of five finals at Amahoro indoor stadium.

Holders Espoir had won 60-51 Game one and 86-66 Game two on Friday and Saturday, respectively.  

Speaking to Times Sport on Wednesday, Espoir coach Jean Bahufite said: “CSK spoiled our party on Sunday; however, we were not depressed by the defeat. Things simply did not go our way but we now have to focus on the Fiba/Africa Zone V club Championships.”

Asked about how ready his team was for the regional competition after playing three games in three days, the former Espoir player emphasised that the play-offs did not drain his players but instead helped them get even fitter.

Espoir won the Zone V title in 2012 and reached the final last year before losing to Urunani of Burundi, a side they beat in the final the previous year in Kampala.

Bahufite has since boosted his squad with four new players, namely; Aboubakar Barame and Mike Buzangu (from CSK), Steven Havugintwari (from IPRC-Kicukiro) and US-based Bradley Cameroon as he bids to win a second regional title.

The Nyamirambo-based outfit is set to leave for Mombasa, kenya on Saturday, two days before the tournament kicks-off. Rwanda will also be represented by APR in women category.

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