APR keen to end seven-year title drought with Genocide memorial title

Patriots will face APR at Petit Stade, Remera, tomorrow. Sam Ngendahimana.

Friday (semi-finals)

REG Vs Espoir, 6pm
Patriots Vs APR, 8pm

Seven years down the road without a major silverware in the cabinet, used-to-be heavyweights APR are keen to end the jinx by winning the local basketball Genocide Memorial Tournament.

The military side skipper Parfait Ishimwe told imes Sport in an interview on Wednesday afternoon.

The three-time FIBA Africa Zone 5 champions take on newly crowned league champions Patriots this Friday, battling for a spot in the final of the week-long tournament. The game will start at 8pm at Petit Stade in Remera.

In a bid for a first major title since 2011 when they won the Play-off Games, Aimé Karim Nkusi’s side has vowed to dent Patriots’ hopes for a double.

For APR captain Parfait Ishimwe, who has been with the club since 2013, the team is fully determined to turn a new chapter and defy odds to progress to the final.

“There’s nothing we want more than the title right now, and the fact that we had defeated Patriots in the league gives us confidence to eliminate them. We know their weaknesses,” Ishimwe said.

In the first round of the league this season, Patriots overcame APR 65-62 before the latter returned the favour to win the return leg in a narrow 65-64.

Since the first edition of the Genocide Memorial Tournament (formerly Gisembe Memorial Tournament) in 1996, APR have won it most times (10), followed by Nyamirambo-based Espoir, who clinched it eight times.

Meanwhile, in another epic semi-final clash, last year’s finalists REG will be up against holders Espoir in a rematch of the 2017 final.



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