REG 60-75 Patriots
IPRC-Kigali 70-58 Espoir
Patriots stunned defending champions Rwanda Energy Group (REG) 75-60 in a much-anticipated national basketball league game played Friday at Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
Going into what pundits and fans had dubbed “game of the season”, Patriots were regarded as the underdogs, but they knew a second consecutive defeat would be a serious setback in their title aspirations.
With that in mind, Henry Mwinuke’s men did the needful in ending REG’s unbeaten run this season.
It was Patriots’ night and never at any point during the game did REG lead the game despite multiple attempts to improve on a shaky start that saw them lose the first quarter 22-6.
However, Cyrille Kalima’s tea, REG, fought back to take the second quarter 24-16 to narrow the deficit to 36-30 going into the half-time break.
But when everyone inside a fully packed Arena expected REG to do what they always do best and come back into the game but Patriots had other ideas.
Mwinuke’s men returned for the second half even sharper and more determined to snatch the third quarter 25-14 and stretch the lead to 61-44 going into the last quarter, which REG won narrowly 16-14.
Rwanda international Steven Havugintwari scored a game high 17 points while new signing Michael Makiadi from DR Congo, added 15 points for the victors, who improved their win ration to 4:1. Power-forward Kami Kabange led REG with 16 points.
In another game played Friday evening, IPRC-Kigali overcame former champions Espoir 70-58. Jean Paul Ndoli (17 points) and Gilbert Nijimbere (15 points) combined for 32 points for IPRC-Kigali while Armel Sangwe top the scoring for Espoir with 15 points.
Albert Buhake’s IPRC-Kigali lost the first quarter 11-14 before both sides played a 14-all in the second quarter.
Maxime Mwiseneza’s Espoir narrowly took the third quarter 20-19 but it was the Kicukiro-based IPRC-Kigali that had the last laugh in the fourth quarter which they won 26-9 to register a second successive victory after beating Patriots last weekend.