Rwanda: 5 Things We Learned From Rwanda’s AfroCAN Campaign

The 2023 AfroCAN tournament that concluded in Luanda, Angola, was a joy to watch, especially for Rwandan fans who saw their team clinch a third place finish throughout the campaign.

The eight-day showpiece, which is exclusively for players who ply their trade on the continent, attracted 12 nations out of which Morocco victorious after a 78-76 victory over Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday, July 16.

Team Rwanda put up a great effort, making its way from finishing the group phase without a single win to reaching the semifinals where they were knocked out by Cote d’Ivoire by a very small margin.

Yves Murenzi’s side concluded the tournament on a good note with an 83-76 victory over DR Congo to return home with a bronze medal.

In this article, Times Sport looks at some five things that we learnt from the tournament.

Rwanda is getting right there…soon!

Besides finishing in third place out of the 12 teams that took part in AfroCAN in Angola, the team showed resilience even when they lost. For instance, during a group stage game where Rwanda battled eventual champions Morocco, the team lost 58-59, having led the game for the majority of the time.

The general performance was good as Rwanda beat the likes of hosts Angola, DR Congo and Mozambique, in addition to putting up a big fight in the games against champions Morocco by a small margin.

Rwanda needs to work on small details to connect the dots and, that way, they might be ready to hit the floor against great basketball nations on the continent.

Youngster Rutatika has come of age

Sano Rutatika, a young power forward who has come through the youth ranks in Rwanda, had his first proper outing with the senior national team.

The 19-year-old had a fairly decent performance overall. He used his size to support the team in defence and attack. He scored 27 points and 21 rebounds in the tournament. Not bad for a youngster who has been pushing for a place in the national team. The kid is proving that he is destined for greatness.

Rwanda got a new leader in Habimana

Point guard Ntore showed how he is continuing to become a vital player for Rwanda.

With his fearless, yet deft style of play, Habimana contributed to the team with eye-catching assists, scoring, and ball distributions. At times, he was the man who split the defenses of the opposing sides by attacking the paint to score or cause fouls for which resulted in free throws in favor of his side, Rwanda.