Rwanda Energy Group (REG) Basketball Club captain Ali Kazingufu has cited complacency as the main reason behind the team’s failure to retain the league title last week.
Kazingufu and his colleagues watched on as rivals Patriots lifted the trophy in a decisive game last Friday.
At a fully packed Amahoro indoor stadium, Cyril Kalima’s REG won the final contest between them and Patriots 64-57 but it wasn’t enough to help them retain the title thanks to deficits from previous games.
In the first match between the two, Henry Mwinuka’s Patriots beat REG 75-60.
For REG to retain the title, they needed a win with a difference of at least 15 points.
Following a triumphant debut season and signing of famous names such as Olivier Shyaka (from Espoir) and Elie Kaje (from Patriots), as well as the arrival of a new coach in Kalima, REG had been billed title favourites in their second year in the topflight league.
“We were disappointed with ourselves probably not in the context that others think. The big mistake we made was failure to realise that our opponents had styled up. It was a tough season but I must admit we could have done better if we had not been too complacent,” admitted the former Patriots Point guard.
Both sides finished the season tied at 25 points each, having won eleven and lost league matches each. Patriots lifted the title courtesy of a better head-to-head record this season.
“We now have to turn focus on the Genocide Memorial Tournament-Gisembe and the playoff games before we head to FIBA Zone V club championships,” Kazingufu noted.