APR vs Patriots 6pm
REG vs UGB
Espoir vs IPRC-Kigali 8pm
IPRC-South vs CSK
APR Basketball Club will be aiming to win the Heroes’ Day tournament for the first time in six years when they take on defending champions Patriots on Friday evening in an epic opener in Group A of the five-day event at Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
APR, who are the only unbeaten team in the league so far this season after six games, have been drawn in the same pool as Patriots, Rwanda Energy Group (REG) and United Generation Basketball (UGB).
Pool B comprises last year’s finalists Espoir, reigning playoff champions IPRC-South, IPRC-Kigali and league bottom side Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK). Rusizi and 30-Plus will not participate in this year’s edition.
APR and Patriots are yet to meet in the league this season, and according to APR’s Kenyan coach Cliff Owuor, the clash in the Heroes Day tourney has come at the right time—he says he wants to use the game to gauge if indeed his youthful side has what it takes to genuinely challenge for trophies.
“We have been doing well in the league but having this particular tournament in our minds because it is actually our own event, and regarding our game with Patriots, we are very focused to win the game and possibly the tournament,” said Cliff.
He added that, “It will not be easy because Patriots are the defending champions, so we shall need to play at our best in order to beat them and be in the best position to qualify from the group; we badly need to win this tournament because we’ve not done it in five years.”
In the same group, REG will play against UGB at National Paralympic Committee (NPC) gymnasium.
Later in the evening, Espoir will lock horns with IPRC-Kigali at Amahoro Indoor Stadium while IPRC-South will face CSK at the NPC gymnasium—these two games in Group B will start at 8pm.