Basketball league: Patriots skipper cautions teammates as title race hots up

Patriots captain Aristide Mugabe during a throw-in in a past match against APR. Sam Ngendahimana.

Rwanda national basketball team skipper Aristide Mugabe has challenged his Patriots teammates to up their game as the Star Times Basketball National League reaches a crucial stage.

The 30-year-old point-guard made the appeal in an interview with Times Sport yesterday.

Patriots thrashed struggling Rusizi with 82-46 over the weekend, and Mugabe – who only managed to post four points – appealed to his teammates to avoid the temptation of complacency, but work harder and remain determined.

“The title is at a very crucial and delicate stage right now, we can’t afford to lose focus. Players must work harder and strive to improve as we set sight on the league title,” former Espoir skipper told Times Sport yesterday.

After twelve league games, the league title is a two-horse race between defending champions Rwanda Energy Group (REG), and hopefuls Patriots, who are seeking to win it for a second time after historic maiden triumphant season in 2016.

Cyril Kalima’s REG top the table standings with 22 points; same points garnered by Henry Mwinuke’s Patriots. The two giants have both won ten games and lost two respectively; however, REG lead courtesy of a better score average.

Reigning champions REG and former champions Patriots are set to face off in their return-leg clash on May 11 in what is regarded as the most important fixture of the season and winner-take-all encounter.

Before the battle of the titans, REG will first have to play IPRC-Kigali on April 27 before archrivals Patriots lock horns with IPRC-Kigali.


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