Patriots keen to maintain perfect start in league

National basketball league title contenders Patriots will be hoping to maintain their perfect start to the season when they take on IPRC-Kigali Friday night at Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
Patriots head coach Henry Mwinuke (centre) briefing players during last Saturday in a game against Espoir. / Courtesy
Patriots head coach Henry Mwinuke (centre) briefing players during last Saturday in a game against Espoir. / Courtesy

Today
Espoir vs UGB 6pm
IPRC-Kigali vs Patriots 8pm

Saturday
IPRC-South vs REG 2pm

Sunday
Rusizi vs REG 9am

National basketball league title contenders Patriots will be hoping to maintain their perfect start to the season when they take on IPRC-Kigali Friday night at Amahoro Indoor Stadium.

The Kagugu-based Patriots, the reigning play-off title holders, go into tonight’s game with a 2:0 win ratio, while Kicukiro-based IPRC-Kigali lost their first two games and will be seeking to recover from a shaky start.

Patriots, the 2016 champions, opened the count for the new campaign with 82-66 victory over United Generation Basketball (UGB) before overcoming former champions Espoir 82-69 last weekend.

“Every game matters in the title race, and so our main goal is to try to win every game. We must be careful and avoid any form of complacency; all games are equally hard and we have to be well-prepared,” Patriots head coach Henry Mwinuke said on Thursday.

The Tanzania-born trainer admitted that, “IPRC-Kigali are usually dangerous opponents, we can’t afford to underestimate them basing on the two games that they have lost this season.”

IPRC-Kigali are having troubles, having lost their opening game 81-84 against the 2010 champions APR before going down narrowly 75-78 at the hands of UGB.

Head trainer Albert Buhake is aware of his team’s position and urged his players to up their game if they are to avoid a third consecutive defeat.

“The game against Patriots will be tough, probably tougher than the two games, we must improve our game significantly if we are to win,” he acknowledged.

The Patriots vs IPRC- Kigali encounter, will be preceded by the game between Espoir and youthful UGB at the same venue, starting at 6pm.

The 2012 FIBA Africa Zone 5 champions Espoir are yet to win a game this season, having lost against IPRC-South and Patriots, while UGB have lost one and won one.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw