Espoir Basketball Club surprised Rwandan hoops fans when they defeated league defending champions REG BBC 100-77 in the FEWABA national league match day 10 staged at Amahoro Indoor Stadium in Remera on Friday, January 12, 2017.
Nyamirambo based Espoir BBC coached by Maxime Mwiseneza had managed to win two games in six while title hopeful REG BBC’s men, winners of the 2017 FERWABA preseason tournament, had lost only one game in five they had played in the 2017/18 Rwanda’s basketball men championship.
Mwiseneza’s men won the first quarter by 22 to 16 in favour of the Rwanda Energy Group sponsored side who started this league campaign after they bought Olivier Shyaka who was Espoir’s captain last year.
The 2012 FIBA Africa Zone 5 winners kept their will to win the game as they won the second quarter 23-16, the third having 34-24 while finishing the last quarter having secured 21 to 21; translating the final average points to 100 of Espoir to 77 of REG.
Espoir’s player Serge Gatoto was voted man of the match while Espoir’s Almand Sangwa was top scorer after securing 31 points followed by REG’s Kami Kabange and Chris Walter Nkurunziza who scored 18 points respectively and Espoir’s Pascal Niyonkuru who secured 17 points.
Hopeless to win the title despite the win over defending champions
While they defeated REG, Espoir BBC won their third game in seven. Expressing his joy after his men triumphed over defending champions who had lost only one game in five, Maxime Mwiseneza revealed that he has no hope to win the league title.
He said: “We are very happy to beat REG on a 100 points score. We came willing to beat one of the big teams because it adds to the confidence of the players like ours who have little experience. We wanted to be counted among big teams. All the games we lost were due to mindset problems. We trained to avoid losing balls which helped us lead the game until it finished.”
“We have already lost four games. Now, I can’t say we can take the league cup. I think one team between Patriots [Basketball Club] and REG will win the trophy if they keep up their speed. This win will raise our confidence to win the coming Heroes Cup. We can win another competition like play off games or others but for the league cup, it is impossible,” added Mwiseneza, head-coach of five times league champions, Espoir BBC.
Early on Friday, APR Basketball Club defeated United Generation Basketball (UGB) 73-67 in a game Jean Ntagunduka was voted man of the match.