Rwanda senior basketball team will face Mozambique in two friendly games over the weekend at Amahoro indoor stadium as part of intensive preparations for Window 2 of the 2019 FIBA World Cup - African Qualifiers scheduled for June 29-July 1 in Lagos, Nigeria.
Rwanda is in Group B alongside Nigeria, Uganda and Mali.
According to head coach Maxime Maurice Mwiseneza, Mozambique, which is placed in Group D of the qualifiers, was expected to arrive in the country wednesday night and have a couple of training sessions in Kigali ahead of Saturday and Sunday's friendly games.
"We believe Mozambique is a good opponent to test how far we have gone, where we have improved and probably, errors and weaknesses to fix before heading to Nigeria. They are also part of the qualifiers competitions, which makes it a formidable challenge for both our sides," said Mwiseneza in an interview with Times Sport on Wednesday.
Rwanda will be looking to up their game following an off-putting performance in the first window of qualifiers earlier this year in Mali.
During Window One of the qualifiers staged in Bamako - Mali, in February, Rwanda finished at the bottom of the four-team table with four points, level on points as first-runners up Uganda and third-placed Mali.
Powerhouse Nigeria topped the table with a maximum six points after winning all their matches.
"All our opponents have prepared intensively, for instance our neighbors Uganda are currently in Turkey. We also had to prepare rigorously and so far we are at a good level, we have had a number of friendly games with a select team from local players. The warm-ups against Mozambique will help us get ready both physically and mentally,' Mwiseneza added.
Mozambique are Group D along with Senegal, Central African Republic and Cote d'Ivoire and are ranked second with the same tally of points as leaders Senegal each with 5 points - both having won two games and lost one.
Rwanda will play Mali in the first game on June 29 and face reigning African champions Nigeria the following day before taking on Uganda on July 1.
The top three teams from each of the four groups will progress to the second round, where the 12 teams will be divided in two groups (E and F) of six teams each.
Rwanda's full 17-man provisional squad
Point guards: Aristide Mugabe, Ali Kazingufu Kubwimana, Sedar Sagamba
Guards and forwards: Walter Nkurunziza, Dieudonne Ndizeye, Steven Hagumintwari
Power forwards: Olivier Shyaka, Pascal Niyonkuru, Ali Ruzigande
Centers: Kami Kabange Milambwe, Eric Munyaneza, Elie Kaje
Foreign-based players: Kenneth Gasana, Dan Manzi, and Kevin Ndahiro
Rwanda Vs Mozambique 3pm
Rwanda Vs Mozambique 3pm