4 May 2018

Rwanda: Basketball - Patriots, Reg Lock Horns in Title Decider

It will be a clash of titans as leaders Patriots and defending champions Rwanda Energy Group (REG) face off in the most important game of the Star Times Basketball National League this season.

The game starts 8p.m at Petit Stade in Remera.

The highly anticipated encounter is the last league game of the 2017/2018 season for the two giants.

Patriots beat REG 75-60 in the first leg in December.

To retain the league title, REG will have to defeat Patriots by a margin of more than 15 points - anything less will see Patriots clinch their second championship since 2016.

Patriots top the league with 24 points, one point ahead of REG.

"This championship is ours to lose," said Patriots captain Arstide Mugabe. "We should make no mistake. REG are a strong opponent that's motivated to retain the title; we should be alert at all time."

He added: "We have had sufficient preparations, mental and physical, and all the players are fit. If we our game plan execute well, there is no doubt we will emerge victorious."

REG will be led by star centre Kami Kabange, skipper Ali Kazingufu, Bienvenu Ngandu, shooting guard Walter Nkurunziza and power-forward Elie Kaje, while Patriots will hope that their stars captain Mugabe, Steven Havugintwari, Micheal Makiadi, Junior Kasongo, and guard Sedar Sagamba turn up in the encounter.

Should Henry Mwinuke's Patriots dethrone REG as champions, they will automatically book a ticket to represent Rwanda at the 2019 FIBA Africa Zone V Club Championship in what would be their fourth appearance in a row at the regional tournament.

Last season, Patriots came close to winning the biggest regional showpiece but lost to Ugandan powerhouse City Oilers 86-59 in the final at Lugogo Indoor Arena in Kampala, Uganda.

No Rwandan side has ever won Zone 5 club championship since Espoir in 2012.

Sleeping giants APR won the regional competition three times - more than any other Rwandan team.

Today's clash between Patriots and REG will be preceded by another much-awaited game between Maxime Mwiseneza's Espoir and IPRC-Kigali.

A victory for Espoir will get them automatic spot to playoff games, joining Patriots, REG and APR. Holders Patriots won last year's playoffs.

Today

Espoir Vs IPRC- Kigali 6pm

Patriots Vs REG 8pm

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