27 November 2012

Rwanda: Espoir Coach Targets to Finish in Top Six

ESPOIR basketball club head coach Jean Bahufite has set finishing in the top six as the his team target at this year's FIBA AFRIQUE Clubs Champions Cup scheduled for Nov 29-Dec 8 in Malabo, Guinea Equatorial.

Bahufite, who led his team to an unbeaten streak at the half way stage of the national league, says the team has been undergoing intensive training at Amahoro indoor stadium courts.

The former Espoir player has urged his players to replicate the same superb form that has seen the team win all eight league games in the national league when they storm the continent for the first time in nearly seven years.

"We have been doing well in the league and in training, which is a good sign for us and I hope we will go there with strong character and mentality," Bahufite told Times Sport.

He added, "We have been a winning team this season and I am confident we can maintain our winning streak at the African Club Champions Cup."

The continental show piece will attract the champions of the seven zones of FIBA AFRIQUE and it is going to be Espoir's first appearance.

The former league champions Espoir signed former APR players Bienvenue Ngandu and Kami Kabange. Coach Bahufite is optimistic the experienced duo will help the team to do well in Malabo.

"We signed two of the best players in the country, and they have made a big difference for our team this season. I hope we will continue our winning streak for as long as possible," added the former Espoir player.

The 12 teams from nine countries include; Ess (Tunisia), Ettehad (Egypt), Al Alhy (Egypt), ABC (Côte d'Ivoire), Kano Pillars (Nigeria), ASB Mazembe (Dr Congo), Manga BB (Gabon), Espoir (Rwanda), Primeiro (Angola), Petro(Angola), Libolo (Angola) and Mongomo Basket Club.

It is seven years since Espoir won the national league but after spending massively in the off season, it appears as though the Nyamirambo-based team is running away with this season's title.

Their most recent silverware came in August, this year, when they beat Urunani of Burundi 90-39 to win the Zone V club title in Kampala.

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