Espoir finish first leg unbeaten

REIGNING champions Espoir basketball club has edged closer to retaining the national basketball league title after winding up the first round unbeaten.
Lionnel Hakizimana seen here in national team colours, was pivotal for Espoir who finished the first round over the weekend unbeaten. The New Times/Coutesy.
Lionnel Hakizimana seen here in national team colours, was pivotal for Espoir who finished the first round over the weekend unbeaten. The New Times/Coutesy.

Saturday, Men
KBC 91-58 30-Plus
Rusizi 48-38 CSK
Espoir 52-35 APR
Women
Ubumwe 48-34 APR
Sunday, Men
Espoir 71-66 Rusizi
APR 54-61 KBC
Women
APR 47-44 Ubumwe

REIGNING champions Espoir basketball club has edged closer to retaining the national basketball league title after winding up the first round unbeaten.

The Nyamirambo-based club climaxed the first leg with a 52-35 victory over APR on Saturday and a 71-66 win over Rusizi on Sunday at NPC gymnasium in Remera.

New signing Lionnel Hakizimana played a vital role against Rusizi on Sunday as he earned the win for the defending champions in the dying seconds of the game when he powered in five points to hand victory to his team.

Pascal Karekezi, Bienvenue Ngandu and Arstide Mugabe were also influential as they helped Espoir set pace for the league title this season.

Espoir who won the previous league title unbeaten are on verge to repeat the 2012 feat where they finished the season in both the league and the play-offs as well. They now lead the standings with 12 points in six matches played so far ahead of the second round which begins on August 11.

“We had a tough weekend playing two tough matches against our serious archrivals (APR and Rusizi) but we are very happy for the victories. The first round is over, so eyes will be set on the second round as we seek to retain the title, Head coach Jean Bahufite said.”

In other matches played over the weekend, Rusizi beat hosts Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) 48-38 while KBC overcame 30-Plus 91-58 in the men’s category on Saturday.

In the other match played on Sunday, APR lost to Kigali Basketball Club 61-54.

In the women category, this year’s genocide memorial tourney winners Ubumwe beat league title holders APR 48-34 on Saturday but a day after the military side secured a 47-44 win over Ubumwe respectively.

APR women side leads the women standings with 7 points in four matches.

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