Espoir eager to challenge for 2018-19 league title

Burundian youngster Armel Sangwe, 18, has extended his contract with Espoir by two years until the end of the 2019-2020 season. File photo.

Star Times National Basketball League side, Espoir, have fired an early warning to rivals they will be gunning for the league title when the upcoming 2018/2019 season gets underway on November 23.

The Nyamirambo-based side have not won the championship since 2015 when they lifted the last of their consecutive titles since 2012.

Espoir lost 84-86 to champions Patriots in the final of the inaugural Legacy Basketball Tournament last Sunday, and according to head coach Maxime Mwiseneza, they have started preparations for the pre-season tourney that is scheduled for November 9-18.

“We have been training for nearly two months now, and we were able to set our goals for the 2018-19 season – which include winning the league title. We need to reinforce the squad with two new signings and we are good to go,” Mwiseneza told Saturday Sport on Friday.

He further noted, “It’s unfortunate that we failed to win the Legacy Tourney, it could have been a great boost in confidence for my youthful players ahead of the new season. Nonetheless, our performance proved we can achieve a lot if we commit to the cause as a team.”

The former Espoir player also revealed that the white and green outfit have extended contracts of their star players; Shaffy Habineza, Armel Sangwe and Emile Kazeneza – all by two years.

Espoir finished the 2017/2018 league season in fifth place with 21 points.