Basketball: Preseason tourney gets underway

Dieudonné Ndizeye (R) looks to inspire Patriots to their first preseason title since 2016. Sam Ngendahimana.

Thursday

Women
IPRC-Huye    Vs        UR-Huye                         13:00

IMen
IPRC-Huye    Vs       UR-Huye                           15:00
Patriots         Vs      Tigers                                 18:00
UGB                 Vs      Shoot for the Stars      20:00

The 2019 edition of the preseason basketball tournament starts Thursday afternoon, with local giants Patriots taking on newcomers Tigers in Group A.

Kick-off 6pm.

Francis Odhiambo’s Patriots have been placed in Pool A alongside Espoir, IPRC-Musanze and Tigers, while two-time winners of the tournament, Rwanda Energy Group (REG), spearhead Pool B that also includes IPRC Huye, UR Huye and Trente Plus.

Speaking to this publication, Patriots coach Odhiambo said that his side will be using this tournament as warm-up ahead of the second round of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) qualifiers.

“This is a good chance to get our game together, and also earn a good level of match fitness ahead of the BAL qualifiers,” said the Kenya-born tactician. “However, we won’t underrate any side in the competition because we know that winning it would boost our morale.”

Separately, Tigers head coach Francis Shyaka, who previously played for Patriots, said that facing Patriots will be a good challenge for his young players ahead of his team’s maiden season in the topflight league.

In other games, the United Generation for Basketball (UGB) face Shoot for the Stars, starting at 8pm – same venue. However, the opener in men's category will pit IPRC-Huye against UR-Huye at 3pm, in Huye District.

Pool C comprises APR, UGB and Shoot for the Stars. The latter are also new entrants in the Basketball National League.

In the meantime, the women’s section comprises five teams who will be competing against each other in a round-robin format.

The opening game will this afternoon see IPRC-Huye hosting neighbours of UR-Huye at 1pm.

REG (Men) and IPRC Huye (women) were winners of the tournament’s 2018 edition.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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