Basketball giants IPRC-South are desperate to bounce back to winning ways after registering their worst start to the 2016/17 season.
The reigning playoff champions were among the teams tipped to win this season’s title following their excellent campaign last season. The team will also represent the country at 2017 FIBA Africa Zone V Club championship
However, with three games played so far in the league, the Huye-based side only managed to win their opener against struggling 30 Plus by 85-37 and lost the other two.
In the second game, they hosted APR which stunned them 69-64 before losing to Espoir 63-84 last week. The losses pushed IPRC-South to fifth place with four points having scored a total of 212 points against the conceded 190.
For head coach Charles Mushumba, the faulty start is a wakeup call for his team to bounce back, if they are to retain any hope of challenging for the league title.
“It’s difficult to specify the real problem the team is facing. But it is very clear from how we are playing that there is a big problem. I think we have to sit down with the players and try to discover it,” said Mushumba in an interview with Times Sport
Last season IPRC-South missed out on the league title after losing to Patriots 45-52 in the finals. However, they managed to revenge in the playoffs with a 3-1 defeat of Patriots in the best-of-five finals series.
“We are doing well in trainings so it is unfortunate that we are performing like this, we must bounce back quickly,” he added
On the other hand, Mushumba noted that the loss of his key players Sunny Niyomugabo and Didier Ishimwe to Patriots at the start of the season could have had a hand in their unconvincing display noting that they did not get an opportunity to find suitable replacements.
“They were key players, their absence has to be felt but we are a big team and we must quickly adjust because a team is not a one-man show,” Mushumba stressed
On Saturday, IPRC-South will host sixth placed Rusizi Basketball Club hoping to make a comeback in their campaign.
Espoir and APR occupy the top two seats respectively each with six points, followed by IPRC-Kigali and Patriots in the third and fourth place respectively. REG follows in seventh place (3 points) and 30 Plus, also with 3 points are in the eighth place.
Each with 2 points, CSK and UGB occupy the ninth and tenth places respectively.