03 October, 2023
26 November
14 David Deng Kongor Deng (BDI)
to read

Burundi's Dynamo believe their time to make history is now

BUJUMBURA (Burundi) - Burundi champions Dynamo BBC earned a FIBA wild card to the Basketball Africa League (BAL) East Division Elite 16 and they are not going there to merely add the numbers.

The Robert Mugabe-coached side is the third Burundi team after New Star in 2021 and Urunani in 2022 to reach the decisive Elite 16 round. They finished 1-3 in the  Road to BAL debut in 2019.

Dynamo got their Group C campaign in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania off to a brilliant start breezing past Kenyan champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) 75-63, they lost 71-62 to leaders and eventual winners Pazi BC before crushing Elan Coton of Benin 88-59.

They were placed second and it was manifest from their results that the Burundian champions thoroughly deserved to earn a slot for a trip down South to battle against the top sides for honours in the BAL, the continent's premier club competition.

Dynamo will have a date with host Cape Town Tigers, NBA Academy Africa and Pazi, who upstaged them in the showdown in the Tanzania Port City, in the Group A East Division.

The Burundians have a tough battle in their hands as they will face eight other tough teams in the Qualifier that has now been slated for November 21-26.

King Revolution

Mugabe noted that to make the team competitive, there are plans to add a few talents to the side, both within Burundi and maybe have one or two international players on board.

"The prospects have been identified but nothing has been finalized just yet." he revealed adding, "I am confident a majority of the team will be available for the task ahead."

Dynamo still has the same roster that did duty in Tanzania, but there are plans from the team management to have some key players injected into the team to give the side a more competitive edge.

"I think we are a better team now, we have a young group of talent who are willing to push it to the next chapter. We are on one positive ride to achieve this goal." Mugabe, who arrived in Bujumbura in January from Rwanda told FIBA.basketball.

Israel Otobo 

Among the key performers in the Dar es Salaam onslaught  was Nigerian teenage sensation Israel Otobo and King Revolution. The duo marauding together with South Sudanese DavId Deng , led the team's offensive charge in the Qualifiers.

The other players the team will bank on to play a major role are captain Alvin Ninziza, Hameed Ali, Richard Ndikuriyo, Guibert Najimbere, Clement Kongolo and Romis Bujeje.

Mugabe noted that the competition in Dar was tough. It had high intensity, high level IQ players and tight defensive teams. The officiating was also different, so one had to be sharp all the times to get favourable results. But they will be up to the task.

The team has absolutely bigger goals and on being give this chance- he said, "I can only say God has bee good to us and we are more than grateful for this opportunity as underdogs."

They will cherish this opportunity that does not come easy and the team's immediate plan is to go all the way to the to the final round in Kigali, Rwanda.

A quick team talk for Dynamo

"We shall keep dreaming big." Mugabe said.

Dynamo are ready as they believe this is their time to make history. They shall keep pushing to the very end.