Espoir to be crowned 2013 champions

Unbeaten and defending champions Espoir will be celebrating their fifth national basketball league title over the weekend when they play away against Rusizi in the final match of the seaso
Espoir seen here battling APR Fc in a past league match, are already champions with one match remaining to the end of the season. The New Times/ File.
Espoir seen here battling APR Fc in a past league match, are already champions with one match remaining to the end of the season. The New Times/ File.

Basketball league

Saturday

UGB vs. CSK

Sunday

Rusizi vs. Espoir

Unbeaten and defendingchampions Espoir will be celebrating their fifth national basketball league title over the weekend when they play away against Rusizi in the final match of the season.

The Nyamirambo-based team has won all their 12 league games to remain the only unbeaten team since last season’s league.

They could make 13 straight wins, a record for any Rwandan league champions if they beat Rusizi on Saturday, but will be declared champions regardless of the result.

After playing twelve matches, Jean Bahufite’s team has 24 points, five ahead of second-placed Kigali Basketball Club and and Rusizi. Espoir could amass 26 points for a win or 25 points if they lose the final match.

The Espoir basketball club assistant coach Maxime Mwiseneza told Times Sport yesterday that it‘s a dream come true for him after he featured for the club nine years ago.

“It’s only one game remaining to retain the title. We want to finish on a high note and we are ready to go out there and win the Rusizi match,”

“Our team is still focused and the main aim will be going to Rusizi for nothing otherthan a win,” said Mwiseneza.

He further added, “We are very happy with how we have performed this season. We have performed remarkably well compared to our rivals. All along, I was confident we would win the league, we started well and remained unbeaten with only one game left,”

In the last couple of years, Espoir, who were a major force in the 90s and early 2000s, struggled to compete with the big teams APR, CSK and KBC, but they recovered and started winning after making major signings in early 2012.

Being victors on the local scene, the Rafiki-based club will represent Rwanda in next year’s Zone Five tournament and Africa Club Basketball Championships.

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