Rwanda men’s national basketball team on Thursday afternoon, July 6 safely landed in Luanda, Angola ahead of the forthcoming FIBA Afro-CAN 2023 that will take place from July 8 to 16.
The national team will represent Zone 5 after clinching the title of the zone qualifiers, defeating Burundi 70-48 on the final in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Yves Murenzi, the current UGB head coach, will lead the team as the head coach during the Afro-CAN, replacing Charles Mushumba who was initially appointed for the position since the head coach, Dr Cheikh Sarr is currently concentrating on the Rwanda women’s national team as they prepare for the upcoming Women’s Afro-basket slated for July 28- August 5 in Kigali, Rwanda.
Murenzi will be assisted by Aristide Mugabe, current Patriots BBC point guard, and Prosper Ndayishimiye, the team video analyst.
The shooting guard Kenneth Herbert Gasana, who suffered an injury during the Zone 5 Afro-CAN Qualifiers, will help players as an additional assistant coach, with Emile Galoi Kazeneza taking his place.
The FIBA Afro-CAN debutant, Rwanda, is grouped along with Tunisia and Morocco in Group C. The national team’s first match is against Tunisia on July 8 at 3:30 pm Kigali time, and they will take on Morocco the following day at 2 pm Kigali time.
Rwanda won four of the five games played throughout the FIBA Zone Five Afro-CAN Qualifiers, which were held at Benjamin Mkapa Indoor Court from June 17 to June 23.
Cheikh Sarr’s boys started the tournament by thrashing Eritrea 114-34, then beat South Sudan 72-55 and Tanzania 77-57 before falling 52-53 to Burundi. Rwandans bounced back to defeat Burundi 70-48 in the final game.
The FIBA Afro-Can 2023 competition will be the competition’s second edition.
DR Congo won the inaugural tournament in 2019, which was held in Bamako, Mali, but it has not taken place since then due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences.
Jean Jacques Wilson Nshobozwabyosenumukiza, Dan Manzi, Cadeaux de Dieu Furaha, Dieudonne Ndizeye Ndayisaba, Steve Hagumitwari, Gray Kendal, William Robeyns, Dick Sano Rutatika, Ntore Habimana, Patrick Ngabonziza, Emile Galoi Kazeneza, and Olivier Turatsinze.