Rwanda wants a better outing at the 25th edition of FIBA Africa Nations Championship for men (Afrobasket Libya 2009) and there is no better way to go than to have early preparations.
The men’s national team of Rwanda started non-residential training last Sunday under the auspices of Vaceslav Kavedzija.
The FIBA Africa Nations Championship (Afrobasket Libya 2009) is slated for August 5-15 in Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya.
In a bid to gel the team, Kavedzija has also opted to call up Rwanda’s foreign based players much earlier than usual.
“Apart from Robert Thompson and Hamza Ruhezamihigo, all the other players should be in the country before the end of June,” the national basketball federation (Ferwaba) president Kalisa Salongo confirmed.
Rwanda, the only East African nation to ever play in the competition made a historic debut in 2007 in Angola where they finished 12th.
However, with early preparations and an improved side, Kalisa sees no reason why the team can’t break into the top eight.
“With early preparations and the players we have, we should ataleast make the quarter-finals. Anything short of that will be below par,” Kalisa stated.
Defending champions Angola have also started preparations as they chase for a record tenth title. Angola’s Portuguese coach Luís Magalhães was recently quoted on FIBA Africa website saying that with the 18 summoned players, the team has the resources to lift a 10th title.
The top three nations in Libya will represent Africa at 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
Teams for Afrobasket Libya 2009; Libya (host), Angola (defending Champion), Cameroon (1st runner up), Cape Verde (2nd runner up), Tunisia & Morocco (Zone I), Mali (Zone 2), Nigeria & Côte d’Ivoire (Zone 3), Central African Republic & DR. Congo (Zone 4), Egypt & Rwanda (Zone 5), Mozambique (Zone 6), South Africa & Senegal (Wild card).
By Julius Mbaraga