RWANDA : Espoir still up for it


IT could be four years since Espoir last won a major trophy but the club is not backing out. With the league trophy already in APR’s grip, Espoir have now switched their focus to the play-offs top prize.

In the regular season, Espoir amassed 20 points to finish third, behind reigning champions APR and 2007 champions Marines but the club head coach Ernest Niyonsenga remains poised that the team can end their trophy drought.

“We finished third in the regular season behind the top two sides. It was a spirited effort from the team so our task now is to try and build on it when the playoffs get underway,” Niyonsenga said.

The play-off contest will attract APR, Marines, Espoir and National University of Rwanda (UNR).

This year, the national basketball federation (Ferwaba) is treating the regular season and play-offs distinctively.

“From this year, the play-offs will be an independent tournament. We shall crown the winner of the regular season but still have the playoffs as a follow up event,” the federation’s technical advisor Innocent Karuhije said.

APR coasted to the regular league title in style after going the whole season unbeaten. It was a replica of last season and clearly asserted the Indomitable lions as Rwanda’s basketball power house.

Cliff Owuor’s side amassed 28 points, four clear of Marines and a further eight clear of Espoir, who last won the title in 2004.