Ubumwe vs The Hoops Rwanda 3pm
IPRC-Kigali vs Espoir 5pm
REG 82-91 IPRC-Kigali
Espoir 73-68 Patriots
Espoir Basketball Club head coach Maxime Mwiseneza has praised his resurgent side after beating title favourites Patriots on Wednesday at Amahoro Indoor Stadium to reach the final of this year’s Heroes’ Day tournament.
Against a backdrop of a poor run against Patriots, Espoir came into the semi-final game as underdogs and had a lot to prove against the defending champions, who had defeated them 84-72 to claim last year’s title.
Nonetheless, the four-time league champions Espoir, who had reached the semi-final stage unbeaten, went into the game ready to revenge following the 65-51 league defeat early last month.
Espoir took the first two quarters 14-13 and 17-14 before Patriots recovered to claim the third quarter 22-12. However, Espoir, led by their captain Olivier Shyaka (18 points) and Pascal Niyonkuru (15 points), won the fourth quarter 21-19 to wrap the game 73-68 in-front of a fully packed house.
After the game Mwiseneza said, “I can’t be happier, we came into this game well knowing that we are the underdogs, some Patriots members (players and fans) had already won the game before it was played.”
Espoir will face IPRC-Kigali in the final on Sunday after the Kicukiro-based side stunned high-flying Rwanda Energy Group (REG) 91-82 to end their hopes for their first trophy. In the group stages, Espoir beat IPRC-Kigali 76-60.