Espoir Basketball Club head coach Jean Bahufite has tipped archrivals Patriots BBC to win the ongoing 2015/2016 national basketball league.
The former national team assistant coach said Patriots are favourites for the title.
“We stand little chance, we will not give up until the last minute but truth is Patriots are clear favourites for the title. We have lost four league games, Patriots have only lost two,” Bahufite told this paper on Tuesday.
Patriots basketball club joined the league last year, and stand fourth on the table with 24 points and three games in hand. If Patriots win all their remaining games, they will automatically be crowned champions for a historic first time and will pass Espoir who have won the league back-to-back since 2012.
“Patriots are strong, determined and focused; they are the most deserving side for the title. Nonetheless, IPRC-South are also optimistic and serious about the title, anything can happen, the race is still open.” Bahufite noted.
So far this season, Patriots have lost two league games against Espoir (return-leg) and IPRC-Kigali while Espoir lost four at the hands of IPRC-South, Patriots (first-leg), UGB and APR respectively.
On the other hand, IPRC-South are still determined to win the title, and will do everything possible to clinch the title, according to head coach Didier Bineza.
The Huye-based IPRC-South will host Patriots in their last game. The club currently stands in third position with 27 points and a game in hand. Should both IPRC-South and Patriots win all fixtures before they meet, their encounter will be the title deciding-game. Winners of that clash will be the next champions, and will book a ticket for the 2017 FIBA Africa Zone Five Club Championship.
As it stands, Espoir and IPRC-Kigali top the table with 28 points each, IPRC-South come third with 27 points and a game in hand while Henry Mwinuka’s Patriots sit fourth with 24 points and three games in hand. The former champions, APR and UGB are ranked fifth and sixth with 23 and 22 points respectively.