Espoir take on IPRC-Kigali in Gisembe memorial tournament

Reigning champions Espoir will begin their Gisembe memorial local tournament title defence against league rivals IPRC-Kigali in the opening game in Group A on Friday evening at Amahoro Indoor Stadium. The game starts at 8pm.
IPRC-Kigali head coach Albert Buhake.
IPRC-Kigali head coach Albert Buhake.

Friday

Group B

 

Patriots               vs          30-Plus           6pm

 

IPRC-South        vs          APR                 6pm

 

Group A

IPRC-Kigali         vs          Espoir              8pm

Saturday

Women

Ubumwe            vs          IPRC-South    2pm

Men: Group B

IPRC-South        vs          Patriots           4pm

APR                     vs          30-Plus           6pm

Group A

REG                      vs          Espoir              8pm

Reigning champions Espoir will begin their Gisembe memorial local tournament title defence against league rivals IPRC-Kigali in the opening game in Group A on Friday evening at Amahoro Indoor Stadium. The game starts at 8pm.

Espoir will be looking for revenge against Albert Buhake’s side that defeated them in the final to win the 2017 Heroes’ Day tournament.

The Kicukiro-based youthful side stunned Maxime Mwiseneza’s side 76-65 in February.

Four-time league champions Espoir face an uphill task as they bid to retain the Gisembe title without their captain and most valuable player, Olivier Shyaka, due to injury.

According to Buhake, who admits they have been drawn in a tough group, his team’s priority is to finish in the top four in the league to be able to play in the playoffs.

However, he insists that a positive campaign in Gisembe memorial local tournament would greatly boost their confidence, which they would take into the remaining four games in the regular season league.

“Our main focus is to finish in the top four, but we are also determined to put on a good fight in this particular tournament because winning it would motivate us to finish strongly in the league,” Buhake told Times Sport.

That game will be preceded by the clash in Group B between last year’s Patriots and 30-Plus at 6pm, while APR will lock horns with IPRC-South in Huye. Last year, Espoir defeated Patriots 69-56 to claim the title.

The annual event is organised by Espoir in partnership with Rwanda Basketball Federation (FERWABA) in memory of former players and coach Emmanuel Ntarugera Gisembe, who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

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