Basketball: Espoir eye IPRC-Kigali win to end regular season on a high

Maxime Mwiseneza gives instructions to his Espoir players during a past league game at Amahoro Stadium. / Courtesy

Espoir vs IPRC-Kigali, 8pm

Former champions Espoir will be looking to end their regular season in the national basketball league on a high when they take on IPRC-Kigali Friday night at Amahoro Stadium.

The Nyamirambo-based side go into the game assured of a third place finish, regardless of the result, but coach Maxime Mwiseneza has challenged his players “take it very seriously.”

Espoir, the 2012 FIBA Africa Zone V champions, are third with 25 points, two ahead of fourth-placed APR, with both sides having one game to play.

“We need to finish the regular season on a high; we won’t take any chances against IPRC-Kigali on Friday,” said Mwiseneza who also serves as the national team’s assistant coach.

He added: “Winning the game will boost our morale ahead of the playoffs games.”

It is expected to be a much-heated encounter as Espoir and IPRC-Kigali remain the only sides who have beaten defending champions Patriots this season.

Albert Buhake’s IPRC-Kigali lie fifth on the nine-team table with 22 points, but they have played one game less.

REG lead table with 30 points, two ahead of second-place Patriots who delight University of Rwanda’s Huye-Campus team on Saturday.

REG, Patriots and Espoir have confirmed their slots in the post-season play-off games, and only one ticket is still up for grabs.

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