Espoir 90-71 APR
Patriots 68-78 REG
UGB vs Rusizi 9am
IPRC-South vs REG 12pm
Center Kami Kabange once again showed off his vast experienced and quality on the field as he scored a game high 21 points to guide Rwanda Energy Group (REG) to victory against title rivals Patriots on Friday night.
The newly established side REG, under former Espoir coach, Jean Bahufite, boosted their chanced to win their first ever competitive trophy in their maiden season after defeating reigning champions Patriots 78-68 at a fully-packed Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
Both sides went into the game very well aware that the winner would get the upper hand in the title race.
With Patriots having a better record in terms of head to head where they had won twice in their three meetings, Bahufite’s side came into this game seeking to revenge for their first round defeat.
REG started the game the livelier team dropping nine unanswered points; however, Henry Mwinuka’s Patriots grew in confidence as the first quarter progressed.
The reigning champions, led by point guard Aristide Mugabe and Chris Walter Nkurunziza, each scoring eight points, fought their way back and astonishingly claimed the quarter 25-11.
Unfortunately, Patriots quickly lost their momentum in the second quarter as REG, led by Kabange and shooting guard Benjamin Mukengerwa, effectively utilizing their speed and shooting precision, helped their team to claim the quarter 21-8.
REG, sensing that their opponents are feeling the heat, kept their feet on the accelerator in the third quarter, which they took 21-16 and went on to complete the mission by also claiming the fourth quarter 25-19 hence wrapping up the game, 78-68, much to the delight of their supporters.
Mukengerwa contributed 20 points while Mugabe and Elie Kaje were Patriots’ top scorers each dropping 12 points as their team lost for the second time this season, having gone down against IPRC-Kigali in the first round.
Despite the victory, REG remain in second place with 23 points, one behind Patriots, who have played a game more; however, Baufite’s side have a chance to go top with victory against IPRC-South on Sunday in Huye.
Meanwhile, in another game also played on Friday evening, 2015 champions Espoir beat fellow former champions APR 90-71, to keep their title hopes alive. Espoir are third with 23 points while APR remain fifth on 18 points.