Rusizi 55-79 Patriots
IPRC-South 49-59 Patriots
National Basketball League giants Patriots overcame Rusizi in a 79-55 win on Sunday at GS Gihundwe Courts to dethrone REG at the top of the table standings.
While the 2016 champions, Patriots registered two important victories over the weekend, arch-rivals REG lost, 77-100, to an underrated Espoir on Friday night at Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
The hosts Rusizi looked sharper and faster early in the game, taking the first quarter 21-16 and raising hope in home fans for a first victory this season.
The two sides played a 12-all second quarter to go into half-time break with a 33-28 score advantage for Rusizi.
However, it was a short lived lead for Rusizi. Henry Mwinuke’s Patriots returned for the second half with renewed ambitions, very determined and well organized defensively to demolish Rusizi 24-9 in the third quarter and 27-17 in the fourth quarter.
Rwanda international Steven Havugintwari posted 19 points for Patriots while Rusizi’s Emely Mbayiha with impressive three-point shots and Eric Shyaka also scored 19 points each.
On Saturday, the league title hopefuls Patriots also recorded another away victory (59-45) over Huye-based IPRC- South. Winning the first three quarters 16-7, 18-15 and 10-7 respectively before Charles Mushumba’s side took a consolation fourth quarter on a narrow 16-15 win.
Patriots now top the table standings with 13 points from a 6:1 win ratio while REG are second with 10 points from 6 games, four wins and two losses. Former champions Espoir and APR stand third and fourth, also with 10 points each while Rusizi are bottom of the 8-team table with 7 points.