Espoir 95-52 Rusizi
IPRC-South 75-58 UGB
Patriots 65-52 APR
Espoir Basketball Club got back to winning ways after defeating struggling Rusizi 95-52 in a league game played on Saturday at Amahoro Indoor Stadium court.
The five-time league winners, dominated the game from the start to finish, winning all four quarters; 22-18, 23-9, 28-13 and 22-12, respectively. The win follows last week’s defeat to IPRC-Kigali.
Rusizi point guard, Eric Shyaka, despite finishing on the losing side, scored a game high 14 points and his teammate Emely Mbayiha contributed 13 points while Espoir’s Shaffi Habineza, Armel Sangwe and Phenias Bagabo netted 13, 12 and 12 points respectively.
Espoir were without two key players, who are nursing injuries; namely; Niyonkuru Pascal and Regis Gatoto.
After the game Espoir coach Maxime Mwiseneza said, “To be honest, it was a relatively easy game for us but still my players had to be calm and focused. Rusizi made many mistakes, which seemed to affect their coach’s decisions but they are still a good team.”
“We had a bad start this season and we’re happy to win here today, it seems nearly impossible for us to win the title but we can fight to qualify for the play-offs. Also, there are other competitions which we can still win and end the season with some silverware,” he added.
His counterpart of Rusizi, Boris Mugabo admitted that, “Our biggest challenge is having players, who are staying at different places, some stay in Rusizi and others in Kigali, so we don’t get enough time to practice together. We only meet a few days before the game, which makes it hard to gel as a team.”
In another game played on Saturday, league title contenders IPRC-South beat United Generation Basketball Club (UGB) 75-58.
Charles Mushumba’s team took the first quarter 18-15 but second quarter went to visitors 19-15 but the Huye-based varisty side upped their game in the second half and claimed the last two quarters 17-11 and 21-17 respectively.
Kasongo leads Patriots to victory over APR
Early on Friday night, Patriots’ new signing, Junior Kasongo, scored a game high 16 points to lead the 2016 champions to a deserved 65-52 win over APR.
It was Kasongo’s second league game with Patriots after his debut appearance last weekend, where he also played a pivotal role in the defeat of defending champions Rwanda Energy Group (REG).
They moved level on 9 points with REG, but the later lead the table courtesy of a better score average per game, after five games. The win was Patriots’ fourth in the season, improving their win ratio to 4:1 while APR’s win ratio dropped to 2:2.
DR Congo born power forward Kasongo topped the scorers’ sheet with 16 points while Rwanda international Mugabe added 11 points for the Patriots. Brian Mbanze was APR’s top-scorer with 11 points.