The government has sunk over Frw 200m in this year’s Zone 5 Africa Nations basketball championship qualifiers, Times Sport has established. The qualifiers which are scheduled to get underway tomorrow, Monday February 23 and runs until March 1 has attracted nine countries.
The government has sunk over Frw 200m in this year’s Zone 5 Africa Nations basketball championship qualifiers, Times Sport has established.
The qualifiers which are scheduled to get underway tomorrow, Monday February 23 and runs until March 1 has attracted nine countries.
During Friday’s press conference at Amahoro national stadium, the director of sports in the ministry of Sports and Culture (Minispoc) Gaspard Kayijuka disclosed the figures adding that the government had done its part to try and make the tournament better than that of 2007.
“We have given the basketball federation about Frw 200m to make sure they organise a spectacular competition,” he said.
Kayijuka also said that he does not expect a drop in performance from the men’s national team.
In 2007, Rwanda, who only lost to Egypt, finished second in the competition but Kayijuka does not see why the team can not register a clean sweep this year.
“The level of our players has gone up so I feel they are in a position to put up a better show this year,” he observed.
In the men’s category, Rwanda will contend with Egypt, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi while the ladies’ category pits Rwanda with Uganda, Burundi and Kenya.
Egypt and Rwanda are favourites
Kenya’s professional star Peter Kiganya has conceded that defending champions Egypt and Rwanda are favourites for the qualifiers.
Kiganya, who turns out for Paraguay side, Sol de America told Fiba Afrique in an exclusive interview that Egypt and Rwanda have an edge over all the other teams and than Kenya only has a slim chance in the tournament.
“We will need to fight hard and play smart if we are to book the sole ticket for the games. Egypt and Rwanda, the main favourites, will not be easy matches at all for us,” he said.
Speaking about his side, he said that Kenya has does not have much of a chance in the show after fielding so many inexperienced players.
“For any team to win a tournament of this magnitude, it must have experienced players on board. You can not inject many new players and get results immediately. There must be seven or eight old players for continuity,” he conceded.
However, the Kenya Basketball Federation treasurer Peter Orero thinks otherwise. Orero believes that the teams have put up everything in training and has predicted a clean sweep in Rwanda.
“We have very young and enthusiastic players in both teams, who have vowed to do their best in Rwanda to qualify for the final round of the Africa championships to be staged in Madagascar for women in September and Libya for men in August and the sky will be the limit”, he said.