Rwanda’s U18 Teams Dominate Semifinals, Eye FIBA AfroBasket Zone V Finals

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Rwanda’s U18 teams reach AfroBasket Zone V finals.
Boys’ team defeats Kenya 70-52, led by Kayijuka.
Girls’ team beats Kenya 65-48, advances to final.
Finals set for June 14 against Uganda or Tanzania.

In an impressive display of skill and determination, Rwanda’s U18 boys’ and girls’ basketball teams secured their places in the finals of the U18 FIBA AfroBasket Zone V qualifiers, held at Lugogo Indoor Stadium in Kampala, Uganda. Both teams triumphed over their Kenyan counterparts in the semifinals, setting the stage for an exciting final showdown.

Boys’ Team: A Commanding Performance

Rwanda’s U18 boys’ team delivered a powerful performance against Kenya, winning 70-52. The standout player of the match was point guard Dylan Lebson Kayijuka, who scored an impressive 27 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and provided 3 assists. His efforts were complemented by Juru Cedrick Ntigurigwa and Jonas Singiza, who contributed 12 and 10 points respectively.

The Rwandan team established an early lead, finishing the first quarter at 16-11 and extending it to 26-18 by halftime, with a 42-29 advantage. Despite a spirited comeback from Kenya in the third quarter, where they outscored Rwanda 14-10, the Rwandan boys maintained their composure and clinched the final quarter 18-11 to seal the victory.

Head coach Yves Murenzi praised his team’s performance and emphasized their readiness for the final. “We are not sparing any effort in getting the win because that way we can qualify for the Afrobasket,” Murenzi stated confidently.

Girls’ Team: A Dominant Display

The U18 girls’ team mirrored the boys’ success, defeating Kenya 65-48 in their semifinal match. The girls demonstrated exceptional teamwork and strategy, leading them to secure their spot in the final. They now await the result of the Uganda vs. Tanzania semifinal to determine their final opponent.

The Rwandan girls displayed strong performance from the outset, establishing control and maintaining their lead throughout the game. This victory underscores their determination and preparedness to compete at the highest level in the upcoming final.

Looking Ahead to the Finals

Both Rwandan teams are now poised for the finals, which will take place on Friday, June 14. Their opponents will be decided by the outcomes of the other semifinal matches between hosts Uganda and Tanzania.

The significance of these victories extends beyond the matches themselves. Securing a place in the finals brings Rwanda one step closer to qualifying for the prestigious AfroBasket tournament, a milestone that would be a testament to the growth and potential of Rwandan basketball.

The Road to AfroBasket

The journey to the AfroBasket qualifiers has been marked by rigorous preparation and unwavering focus. For the boys’ team, the standout performance of Kayijuka has been pivotal. His ability to lead and inspire his teammates has been a critical factor in their success. For the girls, their cohesive play and strategic execution have been key elements of their winning formula.

As Rwanda’s U18 teams gear up for the finals, the anticipation and excitement are palpable. The opportunity to compete in AfroBasket represents not only a chance to showcase their talent on a larger stage but also a significant step in the development of basketball within the country.

Notable performances

Dylan Lebson Kayijuka led Rwanda’s boys with 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists.Juru Cedrick Ntigurigwa and Jonas Singiza added crucial support, scoring 12 and 10 points respectively.Rwanda’s girls’ team showcased strong teamwork, consistently maintaining their lead to secure a 65-48 win.

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