Preseason tourney: Patriots, REG square off for final berth

REG centre Bienvenu Ngandu (with the ball) has proved to be back to his best form after suffering a series of injuries that kept him off the court last season. Sam Ngendahimana.

Friday

Semi-finals

Espoir    Vs     APR         19:00

REG       Vs     Patriots   21:00

Reigning champions Patriots take on bitter rivals Rwanda Energy Group (REG) in a much-anticipated semi-final clash on Friday night at Amahoro Stadium as the local giants fight for a slot in Sunday’s final in the 2018 preseason basketball tournament.

The game starts at 9pm.

REG stormed the round of last four as Group B leaders after easing past APR – who also progressed as first runners-up – in a comfortable 88-59 victory on Wednesday.

Patriots will be seeking to overcome their shaky start to the tournament to go past REG who have emerged as favourites for the title.

Patrick Ngwijuruvugo’s star-studded side will be led by national team players; Kami Kabange, Walter Nkurunziza, Olivier Shyaka, Ali Kazingufu and Elie Kaje, while Patriots will be looking up to Sedar Sagamba, Aristide Mugabe, Steven Havugintwari and Dieudonne Ndizeye for a win.

According to Patriots head coach Henry Mwinuka, his focus in the tournament is to build teamwork and improve fitness of his players ahead of the new season but, “Since the opponent is REG, we have to take the game a bit more seriously and fight for victory.”

In a separate interview, REG tactician Ngwijuruvugo urged his players to keep the momentum they displayed in the group campaign.

“All my players are in good shape as we have showed in the group stage, the aim is to maintain the momentum. Our games with Patriots are always tough, there will be no room for complacency,” the Burundian trainer said.

Holders REG beat IPRC- Kigali to win the tournament’s title last year.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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