Basketball teams begin early preps for second round qualifiers

The national basketball team start non-residential training at Amahoro Indoor Stadium today before entering camp for intensive preparations later this month. Sam Ngendahimana.

Group F first-leg fixtures

September 14
Senegal    Vs   Rwanda
September 15
Rwanda   Vs   Cote d’Ivoire
September 16
Rwanda   Vs   CAR

The national men’s senior basketball team will this evening, at Amahoro indoor stadium, kick off their early preparations ahead of the second round of 2019 FIBA World Cup African Qualifiers.

Rwanda’s Group F first leg fixtures are scheduled for September 14-16 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria. The competition attracted six teams that advanced to the second round in July this year.

The group includes hosts Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, and Rwanda.

The national team head coach Vladimir Bosnjak and his assistant, Maxime Mwiseneza have summoned a total of 20 players to start non-residential training today. The players will be having one training session daily before gradually intensifying preparations.

“Actually players that were not involved in playoffs lately have been training for the past two weeks but we are going to officially start the preparations tomorrow (Thursday) with full squad, apart from the foreign-based players,” Mwiseneza said in an exclusive interview with Times Sport on Wednesday.

“Since most of these players have been playing in the playoffs games, we are going to be doing only one evening training session so that they can recover before we enter residential camp later this month,” Mwiseneza, who doubles as head coach for league side Espoir further explained.

Rwanda, progressed to second round qualifiers as Group B first runners-up, behind leaders Nigeria, while Mali advanced as second runners-up of the group.

To form the six-team Group F for the ultimate round of qualifiers, Group B teams were merged with the best three teams from Group D, which was led by Senegal followed by Central African Republic (CAR) and Cote d’Ivoire in second and third place, respectively.

All first round results will be carried forward to the second round and teams from the same group in the first round will not meet again, meaning that Rwanda will only play teams that came from Group D namely; Senegal, Central African Republic and Cote d’Ivoire.

The first game for Vladmir Bosjnak’s team is slated for September 14 against Senegal before Cote d’Ivoire the following day and wrapping up the fourth window games with a clash against Central African Republic on September 16.

As per the first round results, Nigeria lead Group F with 12 points followed by Senegal with 11 points, while Central African Republic and Rwanda complete top four with nine points each.

Cote d’Ivoire and Mali are fifth and sixth respectively, with eight points each.

The first ever 32-team edition of FIBA’s flagship competition will take place from August 31-September 15, 2019 in China.

Provisional squad

Home-based players:

Pascal Niyonkuru (Espoir), Phillipe Nkubanatubane (Espoir), Ali Ruzigande (APR), Eric Munyaneza (APR), Emmanuel Iyakaremye (APR), Deo Amani (UGB), Sano Gasana (USA), Yvan Sedu (USA), Parfait Ishimwe (APR), Bievenue Niyonsaba (IPRC-South), Cedar Sagamba (Patriots), Aristide Mugabe (Patriots), Steven Hagumintwari (Patriots) and Elie Kaje (REG).

Others are: Dieudone Ndizeye (Patriots), Kami Milambwe Kabange (REG), Olivier Shyaka (REG), Chris Walter Nkurunziza (REG), Jean Jacques Wilson Nshobozwabyosenumukiza (REG) and Patrick Nshizirungu (REG).

Foreign-based players:

Dan Manzi (USA), Adonis Rwabigwi (USA), Darrius Garret (USA), Kenneth Gasana (Morocco), Placide Uwizeye (France) and Kevin Ndahiro (USA)

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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