Basketball: Patriots players hailed after playoffs triumph

Patriots players joined by club officials and supports celebrate after beating rivals Rwanda Energy Group (REG) to retain the playoffs title at Amahoro Indoor Stadium on Friday night. Emmanuel Kwizera.

Henry Mwinuke, the head coach of Patriots basketball club has hailed his players for a ‘job well done’ after overcome Rwanda Energy Group, REG, to retain the Play-off Games title.

By lifting the playoffs title, Patriots completed a local double after dethroning REG to win the Star Times National Basketball League title in May.

Patriots were on Friday night crowned the 2018 basketball play-offs winners after beating REG 68-57 in Game 5 to win the best-of-five finals series 3-2.

“We showed maturity and determination character, but most importantly we proved again that we are fighters. The title is a result of hard work, team spirit and commitment, well deserved. Players gave their all for this success,” said Mwinuka.

Despite starting the game with a slow pace, which resulted in losing the first quarter 20-16, holders Patriots quickly responded to take the second quarter 15-14 to narrow the deficit to 34-31 going into half-time.

After the recess, Mwunuke’s side notably dominated the second-half – winning taking the third quarter 18-13 and the final quarter 19-10 to comfortably win their second playoffs title.

Patriots forward Micheak Ongea Makiadi scored a game high 20 points on the night while skipper Aristide Mugabe added 12 points. Elie Kaje led REG with 13 points.

Rwanda international and Patriots guard Sedar Sagamba was voted as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2017/2018 season. REG star center Kami Bagange was awarded as the top scorer while teammate Elie Kaje scooped the award for the best rebounder of the season.

In women’s category, IPRC- South defeated archrivals APR 65-44 in Game 5 to win their first play-offs title, also making it a season’s double after winning the league title last month.