Rwanda given wild card for Africa Cup finals
After finishing second at the just concluded Zone 5 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, Rwanda men’s team has been granted passage to participate in the 2013 African Cup of Nations due to be held in August in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The men’s team reached the final only to be denied the title by mighty Egyptians following a narrow 82-76 victory on Saturday. This was Rwanda’s second loss to Egypt in the same tournament.
Both sides met in the opening match with Egypt ruthless beating Rwanda 96-57. Despite the loss, Rwanda played a more serious and entertaining game but it was experience and professional touch from core players like Robert Thompson who would have ensured Rwanda’s passage over Egypt in the tournament.
Once again, Kenny Gasana stood out after scoring 23 points, made seven assists and six rebounds in the final game against Egypt.
The Rwanda basketball federation secretary general Richard Mutabazi told local media on Monday that Fiba Africa had granted a wildcard to Rwanda to compete in the Africa Cup despite missing out the spot in the final.
“The team displayed a good tournament and though we didn’t win the tournament, we are generally proud of our team which is composed of a young team,” added Mutabazi.
Mutabazi confirmed that they are now waiting for the official communication from Fiba Africa boss Eng. Morris Aluanga.
Rwanda will join Egypt in the African Men’s Cup in August while Kenya and Egypt will participate in the Africa Women’s Cup which will be held in Mozambique in September.