Volleyball league: REG eye good start against UTB

Rwanda international Flavien Ndamukunda (#8) is the new REG skipper. He is seen with his teammates during a past league match against Gisagara at Amahoro Indoor Stadium. File photo.

Saturday

Amahoro Stadium

UTB                Vs    APR 12pm

Gisagara        Vs    IPRC- East 2pm

UTB                Vs    REG 5pm

Karongi

IPRC- West   Vs    Kirehe 11am

Hopefuls Rwanda Energy Group (REG) take on University of Tourism Technology and Business Studies (UTB) on Saturday at Amahoro Stadium as the 2018/2019 national volleyball league gets underway at Amahoro Stadium.

The two league rivals meet again just a week after REG beat UTB in straight sets (3-0) on their way to the preseason tournament’s final – which they lost to giants Gisagara.

It is guaranteed to be a clash of egos, pitting two sides who have made strong recruitments to beef up their squads in the just concluded transfer window.

During the transfer window, national team captain Christophe Mukunzi crossed from champions Gisagara to REG while former REG skipper Aimable Mutuyimana switched to UTB in a controversial move. Other notable new signings at UTB include Rwanda international Placide Madison Sibomana and star setter Ivan Mahoro Nsabimana.

Both teams have also signed new coaches, with former Rayon Sports (now-defunct) coach Fidele Nyirimana moving to UTB while REG parted company with Jean Paul Mana to hire Benon Mugisha Barayavuga from Ugandan side Sports S.

Last season, REG finished second in the league, while Kicukiro-based UTB finished in third position.  

Speaking to Saturday Sport on Friday, REG coach Mugisha said, “Any team in the league has equal chance and ability to win against any opponent, especially a team like UTB who have strengthened their squad with famous names over the last two months. However I am confident in my players, and their resilience. We are ready for the challenge.”

In a separate interview, his UTB counterpart, Nyirimana, said that his players were fit and in good form ahead of the match, but also conceded that, “REG are a strong team with experienced players, but we will do everything we can to start the season with a victory.”

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