IN DAR ES SALAAM
Defending champions Equity Bank face Rwanda Patriotic Army (APR) from 4.00pm Wednesday at the Fiba Africa Women’s Club Championships here, looking for a win to boost their chances of making the final.
The two teams won their opening games with Equity Bank easily seeing off a disjointed Le Gazelle from Burundi 96-39 while the Rwandans beat hosts Don Bosco 84-50.
APR coach Charles Mbazumutima is very clear in his mind that he would not wish to meet the dreaded Kenya Ports Authority in the knockout stage, sentiments which have also been expressed by Equity Bank coach David Maina who, however, wants the two Kenyan clubs to meet in the final with the top two teams qualifying for next month’s Africa Championships.
Kenya Ports Authority were Tuesday night due to play Uganda’s JKL Dolphine, who defeated hosts Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa 86-37 in their opening match.
The battle between Equity Bank and the Rwandan soldiers Wednesday afternoon will therefore be fought on a knife’s edge with the team that uses its strengths well easily expected to carry the day.
The Rwandan soldiers have very good back court players, very pacy and accurate on execution among them Marie Imanizabayo, Sandra Kantore and Rocine Miconyiza while Equity Bank's strength will be the front court where Silalei Shani, Belinda Okoth, Rita Onyàngo, Cynthia Mawero and Betty Kananu will be standing tall.
"I'm very happy we started with a huge win and that's the pace we want to maintain going forward as we seek to retain the title we won for the first time last year," Equiry Bank coach David Maina said immediately after the match.
But his APR opponent Charles Mbazumutima has no kind words for Equity whom he has promised to toy around with.
"I have watched them play and I doubt we should have a difficult time beating them because they look slow and sluggish in my opinion," Mbazumutima said.