IPRC-Kigali vs UGB 6pm
Patriots vs Espoir 8pm
IPRC-South vs Rusizi 10am
REG vs CSK
Espoir captain Olivier Shyaka has cautioned his teammates to be focused and avoid any form of complacence when they face defending champions Patriots in a national basketball league game on Friday evening at Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
The four-time league winners will be seeking for a fourth consecutive win to remain on top of the league table. However; they face their first real test against Patriots, who are also unbeaten in their two games played so far.
Last weekend, Espoir led by Shyaka and Pascal Niyonkuru each contributing 23 points, registered an 84-63 win against reigning playoffs champions IPRC-South.
“This will not be like any other games that we have played because Patriots are clearly the strongest team in the league, with the best players, so we have to be at the top of our game and avoid any complacency,” Shyaka told Times Sport on Thursday.
The game will also be the first time for Espoir to face their former star player, Lionel Hakizimana, who quit the club at the end of last season and recently joined Patriots.
Shyaka admitted that, “We are the underdogs but we have talented players, who are desperate to showcase their quality against the big teams.”
Maxime Mwiseneza’s Espoir lead the ten-team league table standing with six points in three games while title favourites Patriots are in fourth place with four points but with a game in hand.
This clash of titans will be preceded by the game between IPRC-Kigali and United Generation Basketball (UGB), at 6pm.
On Saturday, IPRC-South will host Rusizi seeking to bounce back from the back-to-back defeats against APR and Espoir respectively, while Jean Bahufite’s Rwanda Energy Group (REG) will take on Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK).