Volleyball playoffs: REG vow to sweep Gisagara after Game 1 win

Rwanda Energy Group (REG) players celebrate after beating Gisagara in straight sets to take 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three playoff finals. / Julius Ntare


Finals, Game 1
REG 3-0 Gisagara

Third-place playoff
IPRC-East 1-3UTB 

Rwanda Energy Group (REG) have turned attention to Game 2 of their volleyball playoffs finals against Gisagara after winning Game 1 over the weekend.

The target, according to REG head coach Benon Mugisha, is to sweep the reigning champions in two games, in the ongoing best-of-three finals, en route to their historic first league title.

Last year, Gisagara beat REG in two games to lift their second consecutive league title, and booked an automatic ticket to this year’s CAVB African Club Championships, where they finished 11th in Egypt last month.

On Saturday, Mugisha’s men shut out Gisagara 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 30-28) in a thrilling game that lasted for two hours at Amahoro Stadium.

Led by star left-attacker Christophe Mukunzi, REG claimed the first two sets in similar 25-23 score-lines before calling it a wrap with a tightly contested third 30-28 set.

Speaking to Times Sport in a post-match interview, Mugisha said he was impressed by his side’s performance – and result – but he was also quick to remind his players that, “There is no time to relax.”

“We need to immediately shift focus to Game 2, we can’t afford to be blindfolded by this win.”

He added, “Now that we have taken the advantage, we are challenging ourselves to win the league title without losing a game in the playoffs. And it definitely is possible.”

In a separate interview, Gisagara caretaker Elia Mutabazi admitted that his side was overpowered, before noting that, “We will build on lessons learnt from today’s defeat to prepare for Game 2 at home.”

“We are not giving up.”