Basketball: REG, Patriots lock horns in Heroes Cup final

Rwanda international and REG center Kami Kabange (with the ball), who posted 15 points against Espoir on Thursday, is seen here in action against Patriots during their past league match at Amahoro Stadium. Sam Ngendahimana

Friday

REG vs Patriots 20:00

Thursday

Patriots 77-67 APR
REG 100-83 Espoir

Holders Rwanda Energy Group (REG) and Patriots will once again go head-to-head when the two rivals meet in the final of this year’s National Heroes Day basketball tournament at Amahoro Stadium on Friday night.

The game will get underway at 8pm.

Patriots ousted UGB and APR in the group stage to reach the final, while Patrick Ngwijuruvugo’s REG saw off Espoir and 30-Plus in the preliminaries.

In their last group game, giants REG outclassed former winners Espoir in a 100-83 victory on Thursday to reach the annual tournament’s final for a third time running.

Cameroon-born forward Bell Beleck posted a game high 28 points, and made 13 rebounds, to power the red-and-black outfit into the final. The contribution of Rwanda international Olivier Shyaka (21), Kami Kabange (15) and Wilson Nshobozwabyosenumukiza (13) kept the team on a roll in win over Maxime Mwiseneza’s Espoir.

Youngster Armel sangwa, arguably the best shooter in local basketball, led Espoir with 25 points, while Emile Kazeneza and Thierry Nkundwa and Olivier Kamilindi scored 13, 12 and 11 points, in that order, to keep Espoir on the floor.

“I should admit that our defense was lacking, I was not impressed. We are going to regroup immediately so we can be able to retain the title,” REG assistant coach, Janvier Kamanzi, told Times Sport in a post-match interview.

Patriots ease past APR

In the meantime, small forward Steven Havugintari and his former IPRC-Kigali teammate Dieudonne Ndizeye scored 16 points apiece to inspire Henry Mwinuke’s Patriots to a 77-67 victory over APR, and set date with REG in the final.

Last year’s finalists brought up their own pace for the game with the squad looking ready to grasp their easy way to the final, which is due tonight. Kenya international Michael Makiadi and Sedar Sagamba contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively, to fuel victory.

Parfait Ishimwe was APR’s best performer with 17 points.

“It has been a fun ride trying to do the best we can as a team, we all played a good collective game tonight, and the goal is to take the momentum into the final,” said Patriots guard Sagamba.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw 

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