Mugabe credits team spirit for Patriots playoffs trophy

Patriots basketball club captain Aristide Mugabe has applauded his teammates and coaching staff for a job well done after coming from a game behind to win the playoff finals series 3-1 against pre-tournament favorites, Rwanda Energy Group (REG).
Aristide Mugabe receives the playoffs trophy from Ferwaba president Desire Mugwiza on Saturday after defeating REG. Courtesy
Aristide Mugabe receives the playoffs trophy from Ferwaba president Desire Mugwiza on Saturday after defeating REG. Courtesy

Saturday
Men’s finals: Game 4
REG                        52-56     Patriots
Third place: Game 3
Espoir                    80-73     IPRC- Kigali
Friday
Men’s finals: Game 3
Patriots                74-64     REG
Women’s finals: Game 4
IPRC- South        66-68     APR

Patriots basketball club captain Aristide Mugabe has applauded his teammates and coaching staff for a job well done after coming from a game behind to win the playoff finals series 3-1 against pre-tournament favorites, Rwanda Energy Group (REG).

 

The point-guard expressed his appreciation after the Kagugu-based club claimed the playoffs title at the third time of trying following failed attempts in the previous two seasons.

 

“We have achieved what we have tried and failed in the last years, thanks to everyone from players, coaches, the management and, above all, our fans, who have been there to support us in every game through the season,” the Rwanda international told Times Sport.

 

The 29-year old Mugabe noted that, “We didn’t lose focus after Game 1, instead we regrouped and fought with passion and commitment, and overall, we deserved this title because it’s not easy to win three consecutive games against REG, who are a top team.”

Chasing a first playoffs title after failed attempts in 2015 and 2016, Patriots bounced back from losing Game 1 (82-75) on July 14 to win the next three Games;  83-77 (July 15), 64-54 (July 28) and 56-52 respectively.

In Game 4, on Saturday, Kami Kabange scored a game high 21 points for REG but it was not enough to save the day for Jean Bahufite’s side.

Patriots’ youngster Sedar Sagamba scored 18 points, while Elie Kaje and Mugabe added 12 and 10 points, respectively, as Henry Mwinuke’s team completed a 3-1 series victory.

Rwanda Energy Group needed to win the playoffs title to complete a treble of trophies in their first season after winning the Genocide memorial tournament and regular season league title.

Mugabe, who led the club to the 2015/2016 league title, admits that Patriots have a long way to go and before being regarded a dominant side. For winning the playoffs, Patriots qualified for the 2018 FIBA Africa Zone V Club Championships along with league champions, REG.

Mugabe was the only Patriots player named on the team of the season, which includes; Benjamin Mukengerwa (REG), Dieudonne Ndizeye (IPRC- Kigali), Olivier Shyaka (Espoir) and Kami Kabange (REG).

Rwanda international Mugabe led Espoir to the Zone V Championship in 2012 Kampala, Uganda where he was noted the tournament’s MVP.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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