Rwanda edge Burkina Faso in Group B opener
Group B, Wednesday
Rwanda 80-61 Burkina Faso
Group C, Tuesday
Angola 75-50 Cape Verde
Central Africa 66-70 Mozambique
THE Rwanda men’s basketball team launched a bright start to the 2013 Fiba Afrobasket thanks to a 80-61 win over debutants Burkina Faso in the opening match of Group B yesterday at Palaise de Sport Treichvile Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
Rwanda closed the first quarter tied 17-17 with Burkina Faso before the West Africans reduced the lead to 15-21 and were in lead 38-32 by half time.
No matter how hard Burkina Faso tried to recover they could not catch up with Moise Mutokambali’s players who were really determined for a win.
Kami Kabangu closed the third period at 54-47 and Kenny Gasana brought 63-53 advantage. Pascal Twagirayezu made a three-point shot, Kabangu made two shots while Hamza Ruhezamihigo made two assists to score the last points for Rwanda for the final result 80-61.
Kabangu played for 38 minutes and was the top-scorer for Rwanda with 24 points while Gasana and Cameron netted 22 and 19 points each.
Moussa Quattara and Jean Paul Bayala were Burkina Faso’s top scorers after netting 10 points.
Rwanda who had rested Lionnel Hakizimana and Aboubaker Barame outscored the West Africans will look to do their very best knowing that the door to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup is not shut until they throw the towel.
They take on Morocco in Friday’s Group B second match on Friday. Morocco was due to face 2011 Champions Tunisia which plays the smartest basketball in Africa, last night by press time.
Elsewhere, the 2013 FIBA Africa Championship tournament began on Tuesday with Senegal-featuring a pair of former NBA big men- barely escaping with a win in their opening game against Egypt with a 72-20 final result in Group A.
Senegal was outscored 23-14 in the fourth quarter of their game against Egypt, but still hung on for a two-point victory. Ibrahima Mbengue hit a game-winning shot with just one second left in regulation as Senegal won their opening game in round-robin play.
Hosts Cote d’Ivoire coasted to a 64-47 victory over Algeria in their first game of round-robin play despite shooting worse than 38 percent from the field.