Rwanda Energy Group (REG) overpowered Patriots 92-72 on Friday to retain the title, in men’s category, of the National Heroes Day basketball tournament.
The Hoops Rwanda claimed the title in women’s category despite losing 55-54 to Ubumwe in their last game, having previously beaten IPRC-South and APR in their first two games.
REG and The Hoops Rwanda pocked Rwf500,000 in cash prize, each.
The clash between Patriots and REG was befitting of a final everyone waited for. The Amahoro Indoor Stadium was packed to maximum capacity.
Despite a promising start for Patriots, REG took the first quarter 21-15 and went on to dominate the second and third quarters 26-13, 25-18, respectively, before Henry Mwinuke’s side sought consolation in the final quarter 26-23.
Cameroon-born forward Beleck Bell Engelbert, who was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament, scored 18 points and made 9 rebounds to power REG to victory, while shooting guard Patrick Habiyaremye added 17 points.
Kenyan power forward Michael Makiadi posted a game high 21 points, but his one-man effort was not enough to save the day for Patriots.
The Hoops dethrone IPRC-South
In the meantime, a defeat at the hands of Ubumwe in their last match on Friday did not stop Moise Mutokambali’s The Hoops Rwanda to clinch the title in women’s section after having registered victories against then holders IPRC-South and APR in the first two games.
“This is a fantastic start to 2019 for us, we are happy to win the title against strong teams like IPRC-South and Ubumwe. It is proof that hard work pays off, and we are going to invest more effort in training so we can challenge for the league title as well,” Mutokambali told Sunday Sport after guiding The Hoops to their first trophy in four years.
IPRC-South who beat APR 83-58 on Friday, finished second in the four-team tournament. Ubumwe and APR finished in third and fourth position, respectively.
The Hoops guard, Marie Laurence Imanizabayo, was awarded as the Most Valuable Player.