APR 80-71 IPRC-South
UGB 79-60 Rusizi
Espoir 95-52 Rusizi
UGB 58-75 IPRC-South
APR basketball club recovered from Friday night’s defeat to Patriots to beat national league title hopefuls IPRC- South 80-71 on Sunday at Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
Aimé Karim Nkusi’s team showed a high level of determination to bag the much-needed win in a season where their target is not to challenge for the title, but rather to qualify for the playoff.
APR had lost to Patriots 65-52 on Friday night.
The military team had to recover from a 9-point deficit going into the fourth quarter, to overpower Charles Mushumba’s Huye-based varsity side.
The visitors, IPRC-South, which started the day in second place, took the first quarter narrowly 22-21 and also claimed the second quarter 13-12 to go into half-time break leading 35-32.
In the second half, IPRC-South showed no intent of slowing down by dominating the third quarter 63-54 heading into the final quarter.
This is when, APR showed why they have won the league a record seven-times- they completely dominated the fourth quarter, putting up one of their best performances this season.
They were well organized defensively and very quick going forward hence claiming the quarter 26-8, which gave them an 80-71 victory- their third of the season.
“At APR we never give up, we had a shaky start and even got worse in the third quarter, but my players remained positive to do the needful in the final quarter,” APR head coach Nkusi told Times Sport.
He admitted that, “It was a tough game; IPRC-South gave us a hard time, especially in the first three quarters, but we kept our heads up, because we knew we could not afford a second defeat in a row.”
APR’s Burundian international Jean de Dieu Ntangunduka scored a game high 18 points while teammates Emmanuel Iyakaremye, Jean Baptiste Kabayiza and Yannick Byiringiro added 15, 13 and 11 points respectively. Medard Muberwa was IPRC-South’s top-scorer with 15 points.
In another game played on Sunday, United Generation Basketball (UGB) club also bounced from Saturday’s loss against IPRC-South to topple winless Rusizi 79-60. It was also UGB’s third win and Rusizi’s fifth loss of the campaign.
Reigning champions Rwanda Energy Group (REG) and Patriots are joint top with 9 points each, but Cyrille Kalima’s REG lead courtesy of a better score average. Espoir, IPRC-South and APR are third, fourth and fifth with 8 points apiece.