Before leaving Kigali for Tunis on Saturday, the Rwanda men’s basketball team, through head coach Moise Mutokambali made clear what their target is at this year’s FIBA Afrobasket championship.
“We are going to Tunisia to achieve what we have never achieved before. Our target is to reach quarter-finals,” Mutokambali told New Times, a Rwandan daily before the team set off.
Like Uganda, Rwanda have left home early enough for preparations. However, Rwanda will camp in Tunisia, where all their games will be unlike Uganda, camped in Alexandria, Egypt before flying to Dakar, Senegal for their group games.
The FIBA African Basketball Championship (Afrobasket) is slated for September 6-16 in Senegal and Tunisia. Rwanda received a wild card after failing to qualify from FIBA Africa Zone V Championship for a second successive time.
“Considering the group we have been drawn in, reaching knock-outs is not over-ambitious. We will give it our best shot and I believe in my players, together we can,” Mutokambali added.
Rwanda’s best display at the Afrobasket came in the 2009 edition in Libya when they finished 10th.
Mutokambali’s charges finished 11th in Ivory Coast at the 2013 Afrobasket finals before missing out on qualifying for the 2015 edition.
Rwanda is placed in Group C with hosts Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. The 13-man squad representing the Rwanda in Tunisia comprises of 8 locally based players and 5 foreign-based players.
- Head coach: Moise Mutokambali
- Assistant coach: Aimé Karim Nkusi
- Physiotherapist: Martin Uwimana
- Doctor: Emmanuel Muhayimana
- Team Manager: Christine Musanabaganwa
Aristide Mugabe, Hamza Ruhezamihigo, Sedar Sagamba, Dieudonné Ndayisaba Ndizeye, Olivier Shyaka, Kami Kabange, Elie Kaje, Patrice Twagirayezu, Dan Manzi, Adonis Rwabigwi, Kenneth Wilson Gasana, Walter Nkurunziza and Steven Havugintwari.