Rusizi vs UGB - 9am
Espoir 61-76 Patriots
REG 71-63 APR
On Friday night at a fully-packed Amahoro Indoor Stadium, basketball fans enjoyed two crucial games in the Startimes Basketball National League as Patriots beat Espoir 61-76 and REG edged APR 71-63 to maintain the race for the title.
Raising star Sedar Sagamba lead Patriots, scoring a game high 20 points to help the 2016 champions win over multiple time champions, Espoir.
Small forward Steven Hagumintwari and center Ongea Micheal Makiadi score 13 and 10 points respectively for Patriots whose captain, Aristide Mugabe dropped 8 points in 33 minutes.
“We are getting back to our top form after the FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers break, injuries and illness to some players. I was sick last weekend and Lionel (Hakizimana) is still recovering from surgery to repair an injured shoulder last month,” Mugabe said after the game.
Henry Mwinuka’s team were also without forward Sunny Niyomugabo, who is nursing a knee injury.
Espoir’s point guard, Philippe Kubanatubane led his team with 17 points in 34 minutes, whereas youngster Armel Sangwe had only 8 points in 33 minutes.
Patriots’ next two games will be against IPRC-Kigali and APR.
In another game, Power-forward Kami Kabange and point-guard Ally Kubwimana led defending champions Rwanda Energy Group with 14 points each, former two-time MVP, Olivier Shyaka added 12 points.
Patriots continue to lead the league table with 17 points, one ahead of second-placed REG while APR are third with 15 points and Espoir complete the top four on 13 points after 9 games.