Rwanda Energy Group (REG) basketball team head coach Cyrille Kalima has urged his players to stay focused and strive to win many more titles as the club roots for a treble this season.
The former Kigali Basketball Club technician made the appeal in an exclusive interview with Times Sport on Sunday night after his side overcame archrivals Patriots in a tightly fought 54-51 victory.
The reigning league champions REG clinched the week-long tournament unbeaten, winning all the four games against Espoir, APR, IPRC- South and Patriots.
Espoir finished with three victories out of four games played while Patriots finished third. IPRC-South and APR finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Despite winning the first silverware of the season, Kalima is convinced his side will win many more titles this season but players have to stay focused, "This is only the beginning, we want to win every competition we engage in this season. However, it all depends on how hard we work and we are ready and very willing to pay that price."
"Last year we fell short of play-off games title to bag a treble, the target is to get a treble this season. The players have talent and are capable, they only need to stay grounded and focused. There is no room for complacency," he added.
In Sunday's clash of titans, Kenyan-born forward Michael Ongea Makiadi scored a game high 23 points for Patriots but the one-man effort was not enough to save the day for the 2017 FIBA Africa Zone v finalists. Star center Kami Kabange posted 14 points and made 9 rebounds for REG while teammates Bienvenu Ngandu and Walter Nkurunziza contributed 9 and 8 points respectively.
Apart from the chase to retain the league title and winning the play-off games, whose title they were denied by Patriots last July, REG will also represent the country in regional FIBA Africa Zone Club Championship in October.
"We want to take our reach beyond Rwandan boarders, we are playing Zone V championship this year and our goal is to ensure we represent the country the best way we possibly can. May be we could be the first Rwandan side to win the tournament since 2012, why not!" Kalima challenged.
After winning the national heroes basketball tournament, REG shifted focus to the ongoing 2017/2018 league which is half-way.
REG are second on table with 12 points from seven games, having won 5 and lost 2 respectively.