Espoir out to stun Patriots for Heroes’ Day tourney final spot

Espoir basketball club are looking to hand Heroes Day tournament defending champions Patriots a run for their money when the two rivals meet in the semi-final of this year’s edition at Amahoro Indoor Stadium-the game starts at 6pm.
Espoir's Pascal Niyonkuru prepares to take a free throw during a recent league game against Patriots at Amahoro indoor stadium. S. Ngendahimana.
Espoir's Pascal Niyonkuru prepares to take a free throw during a recent league game against Patriots at Amahoro indoor stadium. S. Ngendahimana.

Wednesday Semi-finals

REG vs IPRC Kigali 4pm
Espoir vs Patriots 6pm

Women

Ubumwe vs The Hoops Rwanda 2pm

Espoir basketball club are looking to hand Heroes Day tournament defending champions Patriots a run for their money when the two rivals meet in the semi-final of this year’s edition at Amahoro Indoor Stadium—the game starts at 6pm.

For the past five years, Espoir had a firm grip on local basketball including winning the league title four times in a row since 2012 and the Heroes Day tourney until last season when Patriots ended their dominance.

Last year, Patriots defeated Espoir them 84-72 to claim their first Heroes’ Day title and their first ever competitive title which they later added on the league and Gisembe regional title.

Under their new head coach Maxime Mwiseneza, Espoir recently lost to Patriots, 65-51 in a league encounter however have been in fine form in this particular tournament after making to the semi-finals unbeaten, a record that was only matched by newly created Rwanda Energy Group (REG).

“This is a tournament that we have total respect for and always want to win, but most importantly we can’t afford to lose to Patriots twice in quick succession,” said Mwiseneza.

The man who took over from Jean Bahufite, added, “It is clear that we have finally picked the momentum and we have rectified some errors we did in our last meeting.”

In the first semi-final game, REG faceoff IPRC-Kigali at 4pm at same venue and the winners will advance to the final slated for this Friday.

Meanwhile, in the women category, which was played in a round robin format – comprised of only three teams, Ubumwe, APR and The Hoops Rwanda – will see Ubumwe and The Hoops lock horns in the last game.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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