PATRIOTS Basketball Club bounced back from Friday's Game1 defeat to beat rivals Rwanda Energy Group (REG) 83-77 in Game 2 on Saturday night to level the best of five playoff finals series 1-1.
Henry Mwinuke's men led by skipper Aristide Mugabe and Elie Kaje looked supercharged against regular season league champions REG at Amahoro Indoor Stadium. Patriots won the first quarter 25-20 but lost the second 17-14 to go into halftime with a narrow 39-37 lead.
Returning for the second half, Patriots, already 1-0 down having lost Game I 75-82 on Friday night at the same venue, showed more energy to take the third quarter 25-17 and moved to 9 points.
Jean Bahufite's REG bounced back and claimed the fourth quarter 23-19 but it was a case of too little too late to salvage the game as Patriots, last year's regular season league champions, won to level the series 1-1. Game 3 in scheduled for Friday evening.
In women's finals, IPRC- South also pulled off a stunning 53-47 win over favourites APR to level the best of three series to 1-1 having lost 73-44 in Game 1 earlier on Friday.
The Huye-based side took the first two quarters 14-11 and 18-11 but the military side won the second-half quarters 13-11 and 12-10 although it was not enough to give them victory in what would have been an assailable 2-0 lead.
In men's third-place playoffs, former competition winners Espoir beat IPRC- Kigali 89-84 in Game 1 on Saturday. In a fairly balanced game, the former won the opening quarter 22-17 while IPRC-Kigali narrowly claimed the second quarter 23-21.
IPRC-Kigali also took the third quarter 17-16 but Maxime Mwiseneza's troops romped to a 20-27 win in the fourth quarter, which helped them snatch a hard fought 89-84 victory.
Patriots 83-77 REG
IPRC-South 53-47 APR
Men's third place
Espoir 89-84 IPRC- Kigali
Men: Game 1
REG 82-75 Patriots
APR 73-44 IPRC-South