Rwanda’s U-16 boys’ basketball team on Friday, July 14, lost 72-76 against Mali at the Mohamed-Mzali sports hall in Monastir.
Rwanda enjoyed a powerful start earlier on Thursday as they dominated hosts Tunisia 78-59 in the two sides’ Group A opener of the 2023 FIBA Africa U-16 boys’ championship.
Mali won the first quarter 17-12 and the second quarter 20-16 to go into half-time with a 37-31 lead. When the teams returned for the second half, Mali continued to lead, winning the third quarter 20-16. Patrick Habiyaremye’s boys bounced back to win the fourth quarter 25-19 but it was not enough to salvage victory.
Power forward Juru Cedrick Ntigurirwa starred for Rwanda with a double-double performance of 16 points and 10 rebounds. Team Rwanda captain Williams Sean Mwesigwa and Joseph Nshimiye added 16 and 13 points, respectively.
After the game, head coach Patrick Habiyaremye told Times Sport that: “It’s a good step because in this game we were able to do well, defensively, which is why there is no big difference in the score.
“We are still preparing and we hope that we will play the next game against Côte d’Ivoire well and win it.”
Meanwhile, the Rwanda U16 girls started their 2023 FIBA Africa U-16 championship on a low note, losing 42-53 to Morocco in Friday’s Group B opening game held at Salle Jammel in Monastir.