IPRC-Kigali upset Patriots as REG edge APR to go top

Beleck Bell Engelbert (32), seen here in action during the inaugural AfroLeague in Egypt in January, contributed 16 points and 7 rebounds to the 82-63 victory over APR on Friday. File.

Sunday

Men

UR-CASS  Vs   Rusizi      9am

Women

IPRC-South      Vs           Ubumwe        11am

APR         Vs   Marie Reine      11am

Saturday

Men

IPRC-South         71-70            Rusizi

Espoir      72-65  UGB

Women

The Hoops          68-40            APR

Friday

Patriots     78-81  IPRC-Kigali

REG         82-63  APR 

Beleck Bell Engelbert scored 16 points as Rwanda Energy Group (REG) beat APR to go top of the Bank of Kigali National Basketball League table on Friday night.

The Cameroun international led the scoring for the 2017 champions, with Elie Kaje adding 14 points to give Patrick Ngwijuruvugo’s side a comfortable 82-63 victory at Amahoro Stadium.

REG proved to be the league’s best team at the moment as they dominated the former champions from off to the final whistle, and taking all quarters 21-18 23-11 22-14 and 20-16 en route to their eight victory this season.

“This is the kind of performance, and results, I always expect from my players. We managed the game well, and totally we deserved the victory,” said Burundian tactician Ngwijuruvugo in a post-match interview.

With the victory, REG leapfrogged defending champions Patriots into the lead spot after the latter had tripped in a narrow 81-78 defeat to IPRC-Kigali earlier on the night.

“Now that we are leading, we are going to even work harder so we can keep the top spot, which is expectedly going to be a tough challenge.”

The two dynasties of the domestic basketball are level at 17 points from nine games each, but REG are top courtesy of a better point difference. 

APR’s small forward Parfait Ishimwe posted a game-high 18 points, but his one-man effort was not enough to save the day for Aime Karim Nkusi’s military side.

Patriots stunned

In the meantime, youthful league side IPRC-Kigali held off late pressure to run victors in a nerve-jangling 81-78 win over Henry Mwinuke’s Patriots as the Kicukiro-based side became the first team to beat the reigning champions in the 2018/2019 campaign.

During the frantic final quarter, Patriots recovered from a 16-point deficit to take a 69-64 lead with six minutes to time before Albert Buhake’s side regrouped to down the champions 7-2 in the final 30 seconds.

IPRC-Kigali claimed the first three quarters 19-14, 25-16 and 20-18, respectively, while Patriots settled for a consolation 30-17 final quarter.

The league continues Sunday with one game in men’s category, and two in women’s fray.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com