Champions Espoir stretch ‘incredible’ unbeaten run

REIGNING champions Espoir Basketball Club completed a third successive regular season with an unbeaten record following a 109-92 victory over Rusizi on Sunday.
Espoir's forward Lionel Hakizimana, seen here with the ball against APR in a previous game, led his team to a 109-92 win over Rusizi on Sunday. File
Espoir's forward Lionel Hakizimana, seen here with the ball against APR in a previous game, led his team to a 109-92 win over Rusizi on Sunday. File

Sunday

Espoir 106-92 Rusizi

REIGNING champions Espoir Basketball Club completed a third successive regular season with an unbeaten record following a 109-92 victory over Rusizi on Sunday.

The Nyamirambo-based outfit last suffered a defeat in a regular season in mid-2012 and has since won three back-to-back league and two playoffs titles. Their only defeat domestically came against Kigali Basketball Club in Game Four of last season’s playoffs.

On Sunday, Jean Bahufite’s side beat Rusizi BC 106-92 in the final match of this year’s league season thanks to sterling performances from Lionnel Hakizimana, Aristide Mugabe, Olivier Shyaka and Bienvenue Ngandu.

Speaking to Times Sport on Monday, an ecstatic Bahufite said, “As Espoir family, we are happy for this incredible run, it’s a milestone.”

And he roared, “We have even bigger ambitions for the future, than just winning the league.”

Espoir won the title with a maximum pack of 40 points from 20 league matches, five points ahead of second-placed Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK); APR finished third with 33 points, while UGB claimed the fourth spot with 32 points.

By losing to Espoir meant that Rusizi failed in their bid to qualify for the play-offs.

In play-offs semi-finals set for this weekend (August 7-9), defending champions Espoir will play against APR, while CSK will be up against UGB.

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