Last week, on Saturday, Kigali Arena was very crowded. The long-awaited African Basketball League (BAL) has finally arrived in Rwanda, where the season will close with an eight-game Playoff and Final.
Excitement and tension were evident at the Arena, as many people awaited the first playoff game, where Rwanda Energy Group Basketball (REG), will represent Rwanda in this year’s edition.
I was particularly surprised by the smooth running of the evening. One would have expected the check-in process to be very crowded given the number of fans coming and the presence of some VIP guests, but that is no small feat.
FAP Cameroon beat REG Rwanda by a score of 66-63 to eliminate them from the BAL playoffs. polite
This is a testament to the work of the Rwanda Biomedical Center, which has implemented rapid and efficient anti-Covid measures.
Another detail that intrigued me was the “fan zone” where local businesses, especially from the entertainment and arts sectors were showcased. The addition of BAL is at an important time as the business and economy in general is still recovering from the COVID pandemic.
The arena was filled to capacity, and when the game opened, it was obvious that REG felt pressure to win this game. But the FAP from Cameroon clearly came ready to win; because they know meeting REG on the front turf is an uphill battle.
Unfortunately, playing at home was not enough for REG to advance to the semifinals. As the game unfolded, it quickly became evident that the Cameroon team’s plan to play defense allowed them to dominate the game.
Eulade Rugengamanzi, a diehard REG fan, said that the team had good players, but did not work as a team and then lost focus.
“I am disappointed with the performance of the team. I am glad because the team has performed very well in qualifying in Senegal. I think that now that we have the advantage at home, they will give a better performance. Hopefully the team learns from their mistakes, wins the local league season who is still there, and returns next year at BAL.
Jean Jacques Nshobozwabyosenumukiza’s shot was not enough to save the team. polite
In addition to this setback for Rwandan fans, there is still a lot to be expected from the upcoming games, as well as everything that Rwanda has to offer to its guests.
Queen Moseph of Nigeria, who was first in Kigali, said she was very happy in a city like the game. “My experience in Kigali so far has been very good. I really enjoy trying new foods and discovering the culture of this country. Kigali Arena is really good, and the games are really good,” he said, adding that he was hopeful. to the semifinals.
Thanks to the continued decline in COVID-19 cases and better pandemic management across Africa, the second season of BAL has attracted more fans from various countries compared to the first season, as evidenced by the many Cameroonian fans who brought it all together. energy for Kigali. Despite losing to REG Rwanda fans, his presence was felt in the arena.
Seeing the sensation of the game, Rwanda were clearly the winning choice to host the BAL playoffs and finals. Basketball fans in the country even seemed to enjoy the game, as they filled the Arena with cheers and songs of support.
In the evening, the festive atmosphere, the increasing tension of the game, the roller coaster wins and losses and the emotions created a wonderful atmosphere for African basketball, which proved the influence of the sport.
In the past two years, BAL has been a motivating factor for local teams to improve their performance and gameplay, as local teams invest more in players to ensure they can compete on a larger level like BAL. This is an encouraging sign for the future of basketball in Rwanda as well as across the continent.
Rwanda were represented by the Patriots in the first season and REG in the second season. One can only hope that we will have another Rwandan team next year that will develop the team and advance further in the league.
The results of the tournament keep the game on, but the final will certainly be a riveting must-watch game. May the best team win!
The author is a basketball fan