Espoir eyes title defense as hoops GMT kicks off

Espoir’s Kazeneza with the ball during a past league match against REG. Sam

Friday

Group A
APR Vs N.TU18 6pm
REG Vs IPRC- Kigali 8pm

Group B
Espoir Vs UGB 6pm
IPRC-South Vs Rusizi 8pm

Espoir Basketball Club are keen to exploit their only hope for silverware this season by successfully defending the Genocide Memorial Tournament (GMT) title. The competition gets underway at Petit Stade in Kigali today.

The Nyamirambo-based side, who have been drawn in Group B alongside UGB, IPRC- South, Rusizi and giants Patriots, begin the chase to retain the local edition of the tournament today, against United Generation Basketball (UGB).

In another Group B game today, Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre of the South Province (IPRC- South) will be up against struggling Rusizi at 8pm.

Espoir will not participate in this year’s playoffs games after failing to finish in the top four. Having played all their 14 games in the league this season, Maxime Mwiseneza’s side are currently in the fourth position with 21 points.

However, fifth-placed IPRC-South (20 points) and IPRC-Kigali (20 points), in the sixth position, are yet to meet in their last league match. Whichever side wins the derby of the sister universities on June 2 will unseat Espoir from the fourth place.

“This is our only chance for silverware this season. It is unfortunate that we have not made it to playoffs, which is why we want to do all we can and defend GMT and end the season on a positive note,” Espoir head coach Maxime Mwiseneza told Times Sport yesterday.

Last season, Espoir stunned Rwanda Energy Group (REG) in a closely contested 61-58 win to claim the title. And according to Mwiseneza, they are confident they can repeat the feat.

In Group A, there will also be two games where APR entertain youthful National U18 Team, while REG will be up against IPRC-Kigali.

APR basketball club has won this title most times (10), followed by Espoir who have clinched it eight times.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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