Basketball: REG start preps for AfroLeague

Patrick Ngwijuruvugo briefs his REG players during a preseason match against APR at Amahoro Stadium last November. Sam Ngendahimana.

Rwanda Energy Group (REG) have started preparations ahead of the inaugural edition of FIBA Africa Basketball League (AfroLeague), which gets underway on February 8.

REG qualified for the continental showpiece after finishing third at the 2018 FIBA Africa Zone V Club Championship last August in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Patrick Ngwijuruvugo’s side have been placed in Group C alongside Egyptian giants Al Ahly, Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto and Ferroviario da Beira of Mozambique.

“We are using the domestic league as part of our preparations for AfroLeague, every player is eager to impress and help the team advance past the group stage,” REG head coach Ngwijuruvugo told Times Sport on Wednesday.

The clubs that finish in the top 2 from each group will advance to the Elite 8 round, which will mark the start of the knock-out stages.

He further noted that, “We have been drawn in a strong group, we will need to be at the top of our game to make it to knock-outs, and that is our goal. Players are working hard in training.”

The red-and-black outfit will represent the FIBA Africa Zone V region along with two Egyptian sides; Al Ahly and Smouha.

Group C matches will be hosted by Al Ahly, in Egypt, on March 1-3.

The 16 teams representing all the seven FIBA Africa regions have been divided into 4 groups of 4, and the competition will be played in a round-robin format with each team taking on each of their 3 opponents.

According to FIBA Africa, Group A games will be played from February 8-10, Group B matches will be held on February 15-17 while Group D matches are slated for March 8-10.