Clash of titans: Patriots, REG square off in basketball league

REG won the inaugural Agaciro Basketball Tournament in November 2019 after beating Patriots 61-50 in the final at Kigali Arena. Sam Ngendahimana

Tigers Vs Espoir 18:00
Patriots Vs REG 20:00

It will be a battle of the titans when champions Patriots and bitter rivals Rwanda Energy Group (REG) go head-to-head in the BK National Basketball League at Amahoro Stadium on Friday.

Former champions REG go into the highly anticipated encounter looking to maintain their perfect record after winning the first two games, while Patriots will be hoping to avoid a second defeat – in four games – following their 85-80 loss to IPRC-Kigali in the season opener.

Henry Mwinuka’s REG beat Patriots in their last two meetings, but the latter’s captain, Aristide Mugabe, insists that “We see that as history, we only focused on Friday’s (today) game.”

“We are concentrating on this one game, not anything from the past or future. We (players) are in good form and fit for the task, except Ally (Ruzigande) who hurt his ankle,” Mugabe, who turned 32 on Tuesday, said in an interview with Times Sport on Thursday.

Three-time champions, Patriots, clinched last season’s league title after coming from 3-1 down to edge REG 4-3 in the best-of-seven playoffs finals at Kigali Arena.

However, Mugabe admits, “Our games against REG are a big rivalry, with slightest mistakes always determining the winner and loser. We will ensure we avoid errors as much as possible.”

In another game on Friday, former champions Espoir face newcomers Tigers at the venue earlier.

Makiadi joins Oilers

In the meantime, Kenya international Michael Ongesa Makiadi has joined Ugandan giants City Oilers after two years with Patriots.

During his spell with Patriots, Makiadi helped the club to back-to-back championships. The 30-year-old was widely seen as one of the best defensive players in local basketball.

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