KIGALI (FIBA U16 African Championship 2017) – Rwanda have called up eighteen players for the remainder of their preparations for this year's FIBA U16 African Championship 2017 in Mauritius.
The biennial competition will run from July 13-22 in Vacoas-Phoenix, Mauritius, and it will serve as a qualifier for next year's FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup in Argentina.
Head coach Moise Mutokambali named the following eighteen players:
Mutokambali said: "We actually started non-residential training last week, we entered camp on Friday and we have about 11 days to train. We have summoned the same players that we used for Zone 5 championship but this time we are going to add in two foreign-based players - Olivier Shumbusho from Lagos, Nigeria and Steff Mucyo Rukundo from Canada to make a total of 18 players.”
Despite a brilliant performance at the FIBA Africa Zone 5 qualifiers, Mutokambali noted that the team has a lot to rectify before heading to Mauritius and they are very determined to improve from their 2015 performance in Bamako, Mali where they finished in ninth-place.
"After assessing our performance in Zone 5, we noted that we are lacking defensively, we made several errors mainly because before the tournament we never had enough time to strengthen our physical fitness which is crucial if you are to defend well," he added.
"Our aim is to come in the top eight teams where we can qualify for the knockout stages and there we can aim to finish in the top four teams,” Mutokamabli further disclosed.
In 2015, Rwanda (boys and girls) competed at FIBA Africa's youth tournaments as the flag bearer of Zone 5 and finished in Ninth-Place in both categories. However, the girls didn’t qualify this time round after finishing second behind champions Egypt, who will represent the zone.