Patriots crowned basketball league champions

Friday

Patriots 57-64 REG

Powerhouse Patriots were crowned champions of the 2017/2018 Star Times Basketball National League on Friday night, dethroning holders Rwanda Energy Group – REG.

Cyril Kalima’s REG defeated Patriots in a tightly contested 64-57 victory but it was not enough to help the Electricians side retain the championship.

Patriots who beat REG 75-60 in the first-leg game last December, won the title courtesy of a better head-to-head ratio this season.

For REG to reclaim the league title, they needed a victory with scoreline larger than 15 points of difference but Patriots would not let go, fighting so hard to remain unshaken despite the arch-rivals taking control of the game for most of the time, especially in the first three quarters.

Then reigning champions REG started the game on a flying pace, taking the first quarter 17-12 and the second one 19-14 to into half-time with a promising 36-26 lead.

Returning for the second half, REG picked it from where they left off, claiming the third quarter 17-13. A two-point margin win in the last quarter was sufficient to see them retaining the league but Aristide Mugabe and teammates turned tables up so quickly when it mattered most, snatching the final quarter, 18-11, in style to narrow the deficit to 64-57.

Rwanda international Kami Kabange, playing for REG, scored a game high 24 points, star power-forward Olivier Shyaka added 14 while Elie Kaje contributed 10 points respectively.

Forward Steven Havugintwari topped Patriots’ scoresheet with 15 points and a game high 10 rebounds whilst guard Sedar Sagamba and Dieudonne Ndizeye posted 13 and 9 points respectively.

By winning the league title, Patriots booked ticket to represent the country at the 2019 FIBA Africa Zone 5 Club 5 championship.

Past champions since 2010

2018 – Patriots
2017 – REG
2016 – Patriots
2015 – Espoir
2014 – Espoir
2013 – Espoir
2012 – Espoir
2011 – Kigali Basketball Club
2010 - APR

 

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