REG win 2016/17 hoops league title

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Rwanda Energy Group shooting guard Regis Gatoto scored a game high 22 points to guide his side to victory on Sunday. / Sam Ngendahimana

Sunday
REG 87-62 IPRC-Kigali

Saturday
APR 65-61 Patriots
REG 75-48 UGB
CSK 42-107 IPRC-South

Friday
Espoir 73-75 IPRC-Kigali
UGB 72-58 30-Plus

Just a week after winning the Genocide memorial regional basketball tournament, for their first competitive title, Rwanda Energy Group (REG) on Sunday added the regular season league title with one game to spare.

The league debutants sealed the title after beating IPRC-Kigali 87-62 at Amahoro Indoor Stadium, thanks to shooting guard Regis Gatoto, who dropped a game high 22 points for Jean Bahufite’s team.

REG entered Sunday’s game well aware that a win would guarantee them a top finish and hand them the title after their closest challengers and defending champions Patriots lost against APR 61-65 on Saturday.

With that on minds, Bahufite’s experienced side did what they needed to do against the reigning Heroes’ Day tournament champions.

IPRC-Kigali started the game in high spirits and took the first quarter 16-15, however; REG took control in the second quarter, which they won 27-14 to go to half time leading 42-30.

IPRC-Kigali improved and claimed the third quarter 21-17 but that did not seem to halt REG, who were determined to make the best of Patriots’ troubles and they went on to run away with the fourth quarter 28-11 hence wrapping up the game 87-62.

With victory, REG opened a four-point lead at the top of the table, which implies that despite having played one game less, last year’s winners Patriots can only finish second even if REG lose their final game against Espoir on Friday.

“We are a new team but we have some experiencing players, who are very familiar with this league and know how to win titles. The club came with great ideas, they spent money on signing the right personnel and I think we deserved to win the league,” said team captain Ali Kazingufu.

REG lead the league table 33 points from 17 games, four points ahead of second-placed Espoir while Patriots are third also with 29 points but having played a game less and IPRC-South complete the top four with 27 points, level with IPRC-Kigali, who have a game in hand.

The top four will also contest the playoffs.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw