Rusizi vs IPRC-South 9am
CSK vs REG 1pm
IPRC-Kigali vs UGB 3pm
APR 89-51 30-Plus
Espoir 62-68 Patriots
Fifteen points from center Elie Kaje and a combined 26 points from point guards Aristide Mugabe and Cedar Sagamba saw reigning champions Patriots overcome former champions Espoir 68-62 in an epic basketball league game on Friday night at Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
Victory helped Patriots to reclaim the top spot with 26 points, one point ahead of Rwanda Energy Group (REG), who are in action on Sunday against bottom side and still winless Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK).
Espoir head coach Maxime Mwiseneza had vowed to dent Patriots’ title hopes and revenge on them for the first-round defeat, however; despite a very spirited performance from his players, Henry Mwinuka’s side had the last laugh.
Patriots, who were coming off a disappointing 68-78 defeat against REG last Friday, started the game strongly and easily claimed the first quarter 14-5, however, the four-time league winners Espoir fought their way back and took the second quarter 15-14.
Mwiseneza’s men returned for the second half and got off from where they finished hence taking the third quarter 26-16 and looked destined to win the game before Patriots’s experienced and quality shone through in final fourth quarter, which they won 24-16 hence wrapping up the game 68-62.
Espoir’s Olivier Shyaka scored the game high 23 points with shooting guard Pascal Niyonkuru contributing 15 points but it wasn’t enough the former champions fell to a third league defeat leaving in third place with 24 points.
Kaje dropped 15 points for Patriots while Mugabe and Sagamba contributed 13 points each to guide their side to victory.
In other game on Friday, APR defeated 30-Plus 89-51 to move to fifth place with 20 points while the later remain in the ninth place with 14 points.
Meanwhile, REG have a good chance to reclaim pole position with victory against winless CSK today Amahoro Indoor Stadium.