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.