In a sudden development, local basketball giants Patriots basketball club were eliminated from this year’s playoffs at the semi-final stage, after suffering three straight losses in the best of five series, at the hands of APR. It is the first time since 2016 that the Patriots have failed to reach the finals of the playoffs. What may even be more interesting is how they were swept with in a three straight losing run, despite having made huge player transfer business going into the playoffs. ALSO READ: Basketball: APR, REG set date for playoffs finals By hiring top players like South Sudanese-Lebanese center Ater Majok, American point guard Michael Dixon and Canadian-Rwandan forward Jean Victor Mukama, the team seemed to have strengthened its ranks to a level that some were fancying it as championship favourites. But what went wrong to Patriots’ persistent failures? Times Sports explores how the Rwandan powerhouse’s dominance collapsed. Dixon’s unexpected injury The Patriots had counted on Dixon’s skill and experience as their main point guard but, unfortunately, he got injured before the playoffs got underway. ALSO READ: Playoffs: REG sweep Espoir BBC to advance to the finals. This left them with youngster Bello Nkanira and veteran Aristide Mugabe as their remaining point guards. The duo is a good, but not quite comparable to Dixon who had posted 91 points and 20 rebounds during the five games that he played for the Patriots before the end of the regular season. ALSO READ: Basketball: Dixon scores 20 points as Patriots edge APR In fact, he scored a game high 20 points to inspire Patriots to an 87-74 win over APR in the regular season. His injury was unexpected, and seemed to be a big blow to the Patriots. The ‘turnovers’ prone team The Patriots lost possession of the ball during the three games they played, and this might also have affected them. Statistics show that they lost the ball 57 times as compared to APR’s 48 times during the three playoffs games. Losing possession of the ball can lead to fast breaks and easy points for the other team, and that can be a disadvantage in a game and that’s what cost Patriots the playoffs. Poor game management in the last minutes Patriots’ game management issues in its last stages seemed to haunt them even in the playoffs. In all their playoffs against APR, the former champions enjoyed a strong start to the game, leading in the first quarters but they failed to hold on into advanced stages as they finished on a losing side on all occasions. It is not clear if their players were tired or the team failed on the technical part of things, for example rotations. Mukama didn’t show up to the party Mukama is among key players that the Patriots brought in hoping to turn the show. However, they put up a rather disappointing performance. For example, talented and experienced forward Mukama scored only 13 points in the entire three playoffs games, yet he was one of the players expected to put in the shift. A trade that no one expected to flop.