FIBA WCup Qualifiers: Rwanda take on Mali in Group B opener

Star point guard Kenneth Gasana leads the team to face Mali in Group B opener today. He is seen here in a friendly match against Mozambique last Saturday at Amahoro Stadium. Sam Ngendahimana.


Mali           Vs      Rwanda 5pm

Nigeria     Vs      Uganda 8:30pm


The national senior basketball team will, today, begin their daunting task for a ticket to the second round of 2019 FIBA World Cup – African Qualifiers, taking on Mali in Group B opener.

The game kicks-off at 5pm at Lagos National Stadium, in Nigeria.

Under the guidance of newly appointed Serbian head coach Vladimir Bosnjak, the national team faces an uphill task to qualify to the next round following a poor campaign in the first window that took place in Bamako, Mali, then under the tutelage of coach Moise Mutokambali.

Rwanda finished at the bottom of the four-team table with four points, level on points as first-runners up Uganda and third-placed Mali.

Powerhouse Nigeria topped the table with a maximum six points after winning all their matches.

In the first game, Rwanda had stunned hosts Mali 74-70, inspired by center Olivier Shyaka who scored 13 points, before greatly losing to Nigeria 108-53 and 79-63 to Uganda respectively.

For Rwanda to advance to the next round, they must win at least two games and either Mali or Uganda who they are tied at four points each, lose two games.

In the other Group B game today, powerhouse Nigeria and Uganda lock horns at 8:30 pm – same venue. Nigeria defeated Uganda 102-86 in Window 1 of the qualifiers in Mali.

The top three teams from each of the four groups will progress to the second round, where the 12 teams will be divided in two groups (E and F) of six teams each.



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