Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

Rwanda: Tough Test Awaits Espoir in Equatorial Guinea

Even after reinforcing their squad with two experienced players in Kami Kabange and Bienvenue Ngandu, a top-six finish remains a big ask for Espoir at this year's Fiba Africa Club Championships which throw off this afternoon in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Over the next ten days, the national league champions, who qualified for the tournament after beating Burundi's Urunani in the Zone 5 final (90-39) back in August, are going to rub shoulders with Africa's best clubs.

In the build-up to the tournament, Espoir head coach Jean Bahufite said a top-six finish would be a good performance for his burgeoning side.

"We have been unstoppable in the league and I'm hoping the lads will transfer that form and winning mentality in the African Club Championship," the soft-spoken tactician said.

However, going by the nature of teams (Angola's trio of Primeiro, Petro and Libolo; Nigeria's Kano Pillars, the Egyptian pair of Ettehad and Al Alhy and Tunisia's Etoile Sportive du Sahel) in contention, Espoir will have to be at their very best to achieve this feat.

Etoile Sportive du Sahel won last year's title and remain strong contenders after revamping the squad with Serbian forward Milan Vucicevic, Jamaica captain Andre Omar Smith and two Tunisian internationals Mohamed Hadidane and Marouen Lahmar.

Other teams in contention include ABC of Ivory Coast; DRC's ASB Mazembe, Manga BB of Gabon and hosts Mongomo Basket Club.

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