Niyonsaba’s double-double leads IPRC-South to victory


Fiston Irutingabo, attempting a three-pointer, scored a game high 23 points but didn't save the day for IPRC-Kigali, who play Rusizi on Sunday. / R. Bishumba

IPRC-South 69-68 IPRC-Kigali
Rusizi 52-87 APR

Rwanda international Bienvenu Niyonsaba scored a team-high 20 points and 12 rebounds to help IPRC-South overcome IPRC-Kigali in a narrow 69-68 overtime win in the national basketball league on Saturday in Huye.

With victory, IPRC-South jumped from fifth to third position in the league table standings with 11 points from seven games, (four wins and 3 losses). The Huye-based league side moved one point ahead of reigning champions Rwanda Energy Group (REG), who have played one game less.

The clash of two Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center was very competitiveness and entertaining from start to the end, as both teams exchanged the leads from time to time, which resulted to 56-56 draw after regular hence forming the game into overtime.

In the five minutes of overtime, both teams continued to cancel out each other until IPRC-South’s Elvis Bisoma made a game winning two-point with 11 seconds remaining, turning IPRC-Kigali’s 68-67 lead into a 69-68 deficit.

Charles Mushumba’s IPRC-South lost the opening quarter 11-13 but recovered to take the second quarter 20-17 to go into halftime with a narrow 31-30 lead.

The home team stretched the lead to 45-38 in the third quarter but the visitors responded well with a fourth quarter 18-11 win to level matters, hence forcing the game into overtime, which the hosts won 13-12.

IPRC- Kigali’s forward Fiston Irutingabo scored a game high 23 points and contributed 6 assists while Bruno Nyamwasa and Bisoma added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

But it was IPRC-South captain Niyonsaba, who stole the show, posting20 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists while teammates Alex Musabwa and Fabrice Rukundo contributed 16 points and 11 points respectively.

In another league match played on Saturday, former champions APR beat winless Rusizi 87-52 win at GS Gihundwe court to improve their win ratio to 5:2, and also jumping from fourth to second position with 12 points, one point adrift of table leaders Patriots.

Rusizi will return to action on Sunday, hosting IPRC-Kigali as they still search for a first victory of the season. IPRC-Kigali are sixth with 7 points while Rusizi are located at the bottom of the 7-team table with six points.