The national basketball team on Thursday morning, July 6, departed for Luanda, Angola, ahead of the much-anticipated Afro-CAN finals slated for July 8-16.
The East African country booked the ticket to the showpiece after they were crowned kings of the Zone 5 qualifiers that took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in June.
Rwanda was pooled in Group C Alongside Morocco and Tunisia.
UGB head coach Yves Murenzi will coach Rwanda during the Afro-CAN finals, replacing Charles Mushumba who was initially lined up for the post.
The coach was given the assignment after national team head coach Cheikh Sarr decided against traveling with the men’s team so as to dedicate his focus on preparing the women’s national team ahead of the 2023 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket finals due in Kigali from July 28 to August 6.
Murenzi will be assisted by Kenny Gasana and Aristide Mugabe.
During their FIBA Africa Zone 5 qualifiers that took place in Dar es Salaam from June 17-23, Rwandan overcame South Sudan 72-55 in the opening game before thrashing Eritrea 114-34. Cheikh Sarr’s men defeated qualifiers hosts Tanzania 77-57 before Burundi stunned them 53-52 to bring their three-match unbeaten run in the group phase.
Burundi finished at the summit of the group phase unbeaten and set up a replay with runners-up Rwanda in the final.
There was one ticket up for grabs for the AfroCAN only the winner of the final was guaranteed that ticket.
Rwanda came back strong and edged Burundi (70-48) to finish with a 4-1 record and secure the ticket to the 12-nation FIBA AfroCan in the Angolan capital Luanda.
Ntore Habimana, William Robeyns, Olivier Turatsinze, Jean Jacques Wilson Nshobozwabyosenumukiza, Olivier Turatsinze, Dan Manzi, Steve Hagumintwari, Dieudonné Ndizeye, Dick Sano Rutatika, Cadeaux de Dieu Furaha, Gray Kendall, Patrick Ngabonziza and Emile Galois Kazeneza.
Source: The New Times