Espoir vs APR 5PM
It is going to be a battle of two former champions APR and Espoir square-off today in Star Times Basketball National League, at Amahoro Indoor Stadium – starting at 5pm.
The game means more than just two points for either side. A victory for APR will seal them a top four finish and a spot to play-off games while a win for Maxime Mwiseneza’s side will also bring them closer to booking a ticket to play-offs.
Going into today’s highly anticipated clash of former league giants, APR stand in third place of the table standings with 22 points from thirteen games while arch-rivals Espoir sit in fourth with 18 points from twelve games.
The two sides have dominated the country’s basketball scene for over the past two decades.
This season, the military side has won nine and lost four league fixtures whilst the Nyamirambo-based green and white outfits have won six and lost six games respectively.
It will also be a battle of supremacy for head coaches of the erstwhile rivals who both have been recently appointed as interim coaches of the national team. Espoir’s Mwiseneza is the interim head coach while APR’s Aime Karim Nkusi was named his assistant.
Despite the average recent past, APR and Espoir are the two most successful basketball clubs in the country. They are the only teams with FIBA Africa Zone 5 Championship titles in their trophy cabinet.
Then under the tutelage of Jean Bahufite, Espoir clinched the 2012 edition in Kampala, Uganda while APR won the 2004, 2007 and 2010 titles respectively.
The 2016 league champions Patriots lead the table with 24 points, one single point ahead of defending champions REG. Struggling Rusizi are located at the bottom with 13 points.