Patriots beat Espoir to go top

Rwanda international Steven Havugintwari scored a game high 16 points during Patriots’ 70-54 win over Espoir at Amahoro Stadium on Friday. File.


Patriots            70-54    Espoir 

IPRC-Kigali      82-90    UGB

Steven Havugintwari scored a game-high 16 points on Friday as Patriots beat Espoir 70-54 at Amahoro Stadium to go top in the Bank of Kigali National Basketball League.

After six match rounds, Henry Mwinuke’s side lead the table standings with 12 points, one ahead of second-placed Rwanda Energy Group, whom they beat 82-78 a fortnight ago.

Despite the defeat, former champions Espoir remained in third position with 9 points, having won three and lost three in their first six games this season.

Powered by the combination of small forward Havugintwari, skipper Aristide Mugabe and Kenya-born center player Michael Makiadi, Patriots took the first two quarters 20-15 and 15-13 to go into half-time with a 35-28 lead.

Returning for the second-half, when Espoir were expected to fight back, it was Mwinuke’s men who resumed from where they had left off as they grabbed the third and fourth quarters 12-7 and 23-19, respectively, to stretch their unbeaten run to six games.

Former IPRC-Kigali star Havugintwari posted a game-high 16 points while point guard Mugabe and Makiadi contributed 12 and 11 points, in that order, to the victory.

Youngster Armel Sangwe led Espoir scorers with 14 points, followed by Thierry Nkundwa and Emile Galois Kazeneza with 12 points apiece.