Basketball is back!

Basketball is the first major sport to resume the league since the halting of sports activities in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Patriots head coach Dean Murray gives instructions to point guard Sedar Sagamba during a past league game against Espoir at Kigali Arena earlier this year. The two sides go head-to-head again on Sunday, same venue. /Courtesy photo


IPRC Kigali Vs IPRC Musanze   11:00
IPRC Huye Vs APR                     15:30
Patriots Vs Espoir                      20:00

IPRC Huye Vs The Hoops           13:15
Ubumwe Vs APR                          17:45

After seven months of no sporting competitions due to Covid-19, basketball action resumes this Sunday, October 18, as the BK Basketball National League looks to conclude its 2019/20 season.


Just like all other sports in the country, basketball activities – the league and other competitions – were suspended in March after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in the country.


Following last month’s green-light from the Ministry of Sports, basketball is set to become the first major sport to resume the league or organise a competition.


One of the most exciting matches on day 1 of the league’s restart will see two-time reigning champions Patriots taking on former champions Espoir at 8pm. All the games will be held at Kigali Arena.

There will be five games on the card; three in men’s category and two in the women’s league.

In other men’s league games, IPRC-Kigali face IPRC Musanze at 11am, with former local giants APR delighting IPRC Huye at 3:30pm.

Former champions IPRC Huye take on hopefuls the Hoops Rwanda in the first women’s game at 1:15pm before archrivals Ubumwe and APR square-off at 5:45pm.

What coaches said

Patriots are challenging for their third consecutive league title and the fourth in five seasons. And, American Dean Murray has a lot to prove as he was appointed as the club’s head coach just three weeks before the Covid-19 struck and forced the league into break on March 14.

In an interview, Murray conceded that the competition is going to be intense “but we are ready and the goal to win all the way to the title.”

“We are the reigning champions, so we will be every opponent’s target. It is a five-game tournament, we are not going to take anything for granted.”

Janvier Kamanza, the head coach for Espoir, says that Group B is a ‘group of death’ but his players are up for the challenge and will do everything possible to get out of the group stage.

Group B comprises champions Patriots, APR, Espoir and IPRC Huye. Patriots and APR are widely seen as the two favourites for the semi-finals. Group A includes Rwanda Energy Group, IPRC Musanze, United Generation for Basketball (UGB) and IPRC Kigali.

Moise Mutokambali, head coach for women’s side the Hoops Rwanda, has urged his players to “take every game as the final” as they seek to make amends like last year’s nightmare finals when they lost to APR 4-2 in the playoffs finals.

“We must focus, every game means the final to us.”

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