Rusizi 74-92 IPRC-Kigali
IPRC-South 69-68 IPRC-Kigali
Rusizi 52-87 APR
Forward Fiston Irutingabo scored 20 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists as IPRC-Kigali recovered from Saturday’s defeat to IPRC-South to beat Rusizi 92-74 in the national basketball league on Sunday in Rusizi.
The 2017 Heroes Day tournament winners, IPRC-Kigali lost 69-68 at hands of arch-rivals IPRC-South on Saturday afternoon in Huye.
But they managed to bounce back against a Rusizi team that has not won in the league this season. Bottom of the table Rusizi also lost 52-87 to APR on Saturday.
On Sunday, they started well and won the first quarter 18-16, but Albert Buhake’s IPRC-Kigali side whose mission was to avoid a second weekend upset, responded quickly to take the second quarter 20-9 into the halftime break with a 36-27 lead.
Rusizi’s dream for a first league victory faded even further in the third quarter, which IPRC-Kigali easily took 30-19. Boris Mugabo’s men pushed to turn tables in the final quarter but a narrow 28-26 win was not enough to hand them the result they desperately needed.
IPRC-Kigali’s forward Irutingabo scored a game high 20 points and made 7 rebounds and 8 assists in the game of redemption while Burundian point-guard Gilbert Nijimbere added 18 points, 7 rebounds and 11 assists.
Alphonse Uwimana led Rusizi scorers with 15 points and four rebounds while Emery Mbayiha contributed 13 points. Samuel Niyonshuti also made 10 assists for winless Rusizi, who finished the league’s first round at the bottom of the 7-team table with 7 points.
The 2017 FIBA Africa Zone V finalists Patriots top the table standings with 13 points, one ahead of record 7-time league champions APR.
Reigning champions Rwanda Energy Group (REG) are in third place with 11 points and have a game in hand, while IPRC- South completes the top four, also with 11 points.