The Rwanda Basketball Federation (FERWABA) has organized the annual Genocide Memorial Tournament (GMT) which begins today in both male and female categories.
The one-week long tourney kicks-off this Friday and will run through to May 19 in Kigali.
The men’s competition has attracted 14 clubs split into two clubs. Group A consists of Rwanda Energy Group (REG), IPRC- Kigali, APR and the National U18 boys’ team
Group B has defending champions Espoir, newly crowned league champions Patriots, IPRC-South, United Generation Basketball Club (UGB) and Rusizi.
The women quest for the title will be battled by five teams namely; APR, The hoops, Ubumwe, IPRC-South and the National U18 girls’ team.
Action starts today Petit Stade in Kigali with holders Espoir basketball club taking on United Generation Basketball (UGB) while Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre of the South Province (IPRC- South) will be up against struggling Rusizi at8pm in Group B.
In Group A, there will also be two games where APR entertains youthful National U18 Team, while REG will be up against IPRC-Kigali.
APR basketball club has won this title most times (10), followed by Espoir who have clinched it eight times.
Formerly called Gisembe memorial tournament, the competition was first staged in 1996 by Espoir basketball club in memory of former Espoir player and Coach Emmanuel ‘Gisembe’ Ntarugera, who was killed during the Genocide.
However, since 2015, FERWABA in conjunction with Espoir Basketball Club, decided to stage two separate tournaments; a local and regional segment of the tournament.
Basketball is one of the sports that were heavily affected by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, having lost over 30 of its athletes, coaches and administrators during the tragedy.
The regional edition will be held shortly after the conclusion of the local edition.
APR vs National Team U18 6pm
IPRC-South vs Rusizi 8pm
Espoir vs UGB (NPC Gymnasium, 6pm)
REG vs IPRC- Kigali (Petit Stade, 8pm )