By Vivian Nafuna
Editor: Brenda Mwaniki
Basketball in Rwanda is coming back and it’s going to be in a bubble. The ‘Bubble’ is an isolation zone where players get to play in a safe environment to protect them from the Covid19 virus.
With the heated NBA playoffs almost coming to an end, the Rwandese Basketball Federation is here to serve us with a bubble experience closer to home. This will cover a total of eight teams for the men and four for ladies. Team practices were scheduled to start from 25th Sept to 15th Oct 2020. The in-camp/Bubble competition shall start from 16th – 24th October 2020. Games will be played in a short tournament format where the men’s teams will be grouped then the best two teams from each group will meet at the semifinals before proceeding to the finals. The winner will then be crowned 2020 Rwanda Basketball Champion. Things will be slightly different for the ladies who, owing to the fact that the teams are fewer, will do a round robin format in the first round followed by ranking. The first team will then play the 4th and the 2nd team will face the team in 3rd place. The winners will meet in a finals clash to determine the champion of the 2019/2020 Season. We reached out to a few players to get their views and how they feel about the upcoming tournament.
Georgia Adhiambo, who plays for Ubumwe Basketball Club urged other basketball federations in East Africa and Africa as a whole to emulate Rwanda and in the very least organise a tournament so that players can have a chance to play this year. This, she added, should however be in line with the specific guidelines from the ministries of health regarding Covid-19 precautions.
”I cannot say I am 100% prepared, considering the long break we’ve had, but I can bank heavily on the thirst I have for the game,”
Micomyiza Cisse Rosine, who features for Hoops Rwanda, says she’s ready both physically and mentally. For the point guard, training never stopped. She expects everyone to bring their A game and hopes for the best during the games.
We also caught up with the Kenyan international player, Tom Bush Wamukota of Patriots BC, who said the tournament is not going to be a cake walk for anybody. He expects tough competition and he is ready to play for nothing but the championship 🏆
“We’ve already started practice and we have dedicated players with championship pedigree. We are counting on our experience and we know how to win. It won’t be easy but we have high expectations for ourselves. We are also using this games to build a good momentum as we head into the BAL.” says Wamukota.
The competition will be massive, with how teams have recruited, Feisal Aden is also in the bubble suiting up for REG basketball club.The doctor’s report will keep you updated as the story develops.