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Tough World Cup Qualifiers draw for Rwanda, says Kubwimana

KIGALI (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019) - Rwanda find themselves between a rock and a hard place in Group B of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers along with the reigning African champions Nigeria, Mali and neighbours Uganda.

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Rwanda’s Ali Kubwimana is excited about the prospect of playing the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers

As the clear underdogs, Rwanda will have to win all their home encounters to stand a chance of qualifying for the world showpiece.

In an exclusive interview with FIBA.com, shooting guard Ali Kubwimana said: "Our current team has several young players who do not have a lot of experience at this level but we have to work very hard and win all our home games."

Rwanda, a dominant force in East Africa for a decade including featuring at the FIBA AfroBasket in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013, have been overtaken by their archrivals Uganda who are unbeaten in three years.

The 21-year old Kubwimana, who made his debut at the FIBA AfroBasket 2015 Zone 5 qualifiers in Kampala, admits that Uganda’s rise is a cause for worry for his teammates.

’’It is true that Uganda is a big concern for us right now but we have to work extra hard if we want to go back to the top. We have a group of young players who do not have a lot of experience at the moment but for starters, we have to correct the mistakes we made against Uganda in Cairo," Kubwimana said.

Rwanda commence their campaign against Mali before facing Uganda, in a derby and rivalry renewed.

Kubwimana says that it will be important for Rwanda to tip off training early enough so as to create chemistry within the squad.

"We need to play friendly games before national team engagements that will challenge, however, the competitiveness in the national league at the moment is very good for us," Kubwimana concluded.

Mutoni Jolie

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