Rwanda men’s national basketball resumes intensive preparations on Wednesday ahead of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers first round to be staged in Bamako from February 23-25, 2018.
Rwanda will face hosts Mali in the Group B’s opening game at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers First Round to be staged in Bamako from February 23-25.
The Malian capital will host Group B that consists of Mali, Nigeria, Uganda and Rwanda.
According to a detailed training program released by the Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwafa), the national team resumes non-residential camp from January 24 to February 4 but will be breaking off with players returning back to their clubs for the Heroes Cup tournament before they return back for national team duty.
Full residential training will begin on February 5 until February 21 when they will depart to Bamako for the continental showpiece.
Rwanda team is composed of both Olivier Shyaka and Kami Kabange – who helped Rwanda to a 1-2 mark at FIBA AfroBasket 2017 – headline an 18-player preliminary squad comprising mostly of home-based players.
Other players in the squad include; Deo Amani, Herve Icyishatse, Parfait Ishimwe, Elie Kaje, Ali Kubwimana, Steven Hagumintwari, Aristide Mugabe, Eric Munyaneza, Diedone Ndizeye, Jean-Paul Ndoli, Walter Nkrunziza, Bruno Nyamwassa, Pascal Niyonkuru, Bienvenu Niyonsaba, Sedar Sagamba and Ali Ruzigande.
Drawn in a group that includes former African champions Nigeria, neighbors Uganda and hosts Mali, Moise Mutokambali’s men have a reason to start an early preparation to a tournament that will run from February 23-25 in the Malian capital of Bamako.
Speaking to local media recently, Mutokambali said, “The aim for early preparations with the local based players is for them to have ample time to elevate their competition levels before they are joined by the professional players,”
Foreign-based players, Mutokambali explained, are expected to join the team’s training camp in early February.
The top three teams from each group advance to the second round, where the 12 qualified teams are divided in two groups (E and F) of 6 teams each.
The first legs of the second-round tournament take place during the fourth window (September 10-18), with the return legs to follow during the fifth window (November 26-December 4) and the sixth window (February 20-28, 2019).
The top two teams from groups E and F and the best third-ranked team will secure their tickets for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. The first-ever 32-team edition of FIBA’s flagship competition will take place from August 31-September 15, 2019, in China.
FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Fixtures
Rwanda vs Mali
Rwanda vs Nigeria
Rwanda vs Uganda