APR Vs IPRC-South 4pm
Patriots Vs Espoir 8pm
The Hoops Vs Regina Pacis 2pm
Ubumwe Vs IPRC-South 6pm
Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre-Kigali will not defend their Heroes’ Day basketball tournament title because of injuries to key players, Saturday Sport has learnt.
This year’s tournament starts Saturday at Amahoro Indoor Stadium and will run through to February 4. IPRC-Kigali (men) and Ubumwe (women) are the reigning champions.
The Kicukiro-based national basketball league side opted out of the competition to “allow players to recover from minor injuries and fatigue ahead of the league second round” as the club plots for a top-four finish and a spot in the play-offs.
IPRC-Kigali captain Jean de Dieu Tuyishime has a knee injury that needs special medical attention while four other regular players sustained minor injuries over last weekend where they played two league games against IPRC-South and Rusizi.
“We really wanted to defend the title, or at least attempt to,” IPRC-Kigali head coach Albert Buhake said. “Unfortunately, we had no choice”.
He added:” Apart from Tuyishime, the other injuries are not very serious and only need time to heal, no surgeries needed.”
The other injured players include Elvis Bisoma, Jean Paul Ndoli, Victory Mutabaruka and Bruno Nyamwasa.
The withdrawal of IPRC-Kigali leaves the tournament with five teams in men’s category, namely; Rwanda Energy Group (REG), Espoir, Patriots, IPRC-South and APR.
The women’s fray attracted six teams, grouped in two pools. Pool A comprises holders Ubumwe, Rwanda U18 Team and IPRC-South, while Pool B is comprised of The Hoops Rwanda, Regina Pacis and APR.