Rwanda Energy Group (REG) lived up to their billing as the pre-tournament favourites after winning the 2017 basketball preseason tourney on Sunday evening, while IPRC-South claimed the women’s title.
Cyrille Kalima’s REG, the regular season league reigning champions, claimed the pre-season tournament after defeating IPRC-Kigali 76-71 in the final at Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
IPRC-Kigali players Guibert Nijimbere, Bruno Nyamwasa and Jean Paul Ndoli scored in double figures dropping 19 points, 15 points and 14 points respectively, but was not enough to hand their team victory, while Bienvenu Ngandu was REG’s top scorer with 13 Points.
En-route to the title game REG beat defending champions Patriots in the semi-final whereas IPRC-Kigali overcame APR.
IPRC-Kigali started strongly, running away with the first quarter 20-16 but, led by Kaje Elie and Ngandu, REG recovered to win the second quarter 23-17 but lost out the third quarter 22-13 before winning the final quarter 24-12.
“We’re happy to win the tournament, it’s just pre-season but we couldn’t ask for a better way to begin the season—winning this tournament will boost our belief and confidence heading into the new season,” Kalima said after the game.
In the third-place playoff, team captain Aristide Mugabe scored a game high 20 points to lead Patriots to a 72-58 victory over APR. Ally Ruzigande finished with 19 points for APR.