Partiots Basketball Club have ended REG Basketball Club’s undefeated record by a 75-60 defeat in the game considered as the “game of the year”.
In the match day 9 of the FERWABA national basketball league staged at Amahoro Indoor Stadium in Remera on Friday December 29, 2017, defending champions REG BBC hosted Patriots BBC topping the league table standings with eight points after having played all their four games undefeated. Patriots had five points having won two of the three games.
REG BBC started the 2017/18 league campaign after they had won the FERWABA Preseason tournament 2017 in which they had eliminated Patriots BBC, winners of the Preseason tournament 2016, in the semis.
They scooped the tournament (Preseason 2017) undefeated as they won all the five games played, meaning that they had been undefeated in their last nine games played.
Another thing to note is that the Rwanda Energy Group (REG) sponsored team won the the 2016/17 league trophy having lost only one game to Patriots BBC.
In the last two years, REG BBC and Patriots BBC are the most successful basketball clubs in Rwanda. Patriots BBC were 2015/16 league champions whereas REG won the latest league campaign (2016/17). In the last two years, both teams won five of the six competitions played in Rwanda.
Back in the game played in Remera, surprisingly, Patriots BBC coached by Henry Mwinuke, highly dominated the first quarter, finishing with 22 points to only six secured by REG.
Cyrille Karima’s men bounced back to win the second quarter with 24 points to 16 in favour of Patriots BBC who won the third quarter on a nine points difference as they beat REG BBC 23-14.
REG BBC led the final quarter on a two points difference (16-14) which was not enough for them to have a win result as the average points of the game were 75 for Patriots BBC and 60 for REG.
Patriots’ Steven Hagumintwari led the individual scoring charts of the game as he scored 17 points to be followed by his team mate Makiadi Michael who scored 15 points.
Patriots BBC introduced their foreign new players Michael Makiadi and Junior Kasongo; from Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo respectively. Makiadi scored 15 points and was second in the individual scores of the game.
The two players had not yet featured for Patriots BBC in the league as they were not authorised by the Rwanda Basketball Federation due to their official documents that were still being revised.
Speaking to the media after the game, REG’s Basketball Club’s coach Cyrille Karima said that his players, who had not yet lost a single game in the league, were beaten as they were “scared of two new Patriots’ players”.
“My players came and when they saw new players of Patriots BBC, it touched their minds and their usual game changed. They lost the ball so much and could not win the shots. They are [usually] good players but players are changed by a small thing; the new players Patriots brought killed them in the minds,” he said.
“This will act as a lesson to us as it showed us that we still have something to correct to be at our high level again”, Cyrille Karima, former Patriots BBC coach added.
Henry Mwinuke, Patriots BBC’s coach said that he was happy to beat REG adding that winning the game “will improve my players’ mental confidence as they beat the defending champions”.
In the other game played on Friday, IPRC Kigali defeated Espoir 70-58 with IPRC Kigali’s Jean Paul Ndoli and Guibert Nijimbere leading individual scores as they scored 17 and 15 points respectively while Espoir’s Armel Sangwe scored 15.
REG BBC kept their top spot on the FERWABA national league table standings as they now have nine points in five games, followed by Patriots BBC who have seven points having played four games while IPRC Kigali are third placed with six points in four games.
Espoir Basketball Club is placed in the fourth position with six points after playing five games. IPRC South Basketball Club is fifth with five points in only three games followed by APR Basketball Club who also have five points in three games but IPRC South have scored more points.
United Generation Basketball (UGB) are seventh with five points after four games they played while Rusizi Basketball Club sit in bottom position having two points in the two games they played.