Espoir, IPRC-Kigali lock horns in basketball league

Shooting guard Armel Sangwe (with a ball), and skipper Emile Galois Kazeneza will lead Espoir chase for a win over IPRC-Kigali on Friday. Sam Ngendahimana.


Espoir Vs IPRC-Kigali 7pm

Former champions Espoir will be keen on victory when they take on IPRC-Kigali on match-day 8 of the Bank of Kigali National Basketball League at Amahoro Stadium on Friday.

The game will kick off at 7pm.

It will be the first time that Espoir and IPRC-Kigali face off since last season and it promises to be a fiery encounter.

Ahead of the clash against Albert Buhake’s side, Espoir are in third position of the 9-team league table with 11 points, three ahead of the former who are third from the bottom.

Speaking to Times Sport on Thursday, Espoir head coach Maxime Mwiseneza challenged his players to “aim for nothing but victory” as they seek to go level – at 13 points – with second-placed REG.

“We are targeting the two points to stay in the race, and IPRC-Kigali are such a tricky opponent. I have warned my players to play with caution and utilize well every chance they get on Friday, said Mwiseneza.

He further noted: “We have some catch-up to do, we can’t afford to lose the IPRC-Kigali game.”

After seven match rounds, the Nyamirambo-based side trail leaders Patriots by five points and lag two points behind Patrick Ngwijuruvugo’s REG.

In separate interview, IPRC-Kigali coach Buhake fired a warning to Espoir, emphasizing that his side also have a battle of their own – to finish in top four – this season.

“We have had a disappointing start to the 2018-19 season, but our target has not changed. We want to finish in top four so we can qualify for the playoff games, which means we should do better [than the current situation] or else we miss out.”

“The Espoir game is a must-win, and my players understand why it is very important.”

The Kicukiro-based side finished fourth last season behind; champions Patriots, REG and APR. Espoir finished fifth, tied at 21 points with IPRC-South who settled for sixth position.