11 March 2014

RWANDA : Espoir’s dominance unrivaled


Lionnel Hakizimana, (left) in action against APR last weekend. He scored 21 points against UGB on Saturday as Espoir maintained their winning streak. Plaisir Muzogeye.

KBC 62-64 Rusizi
Gisenyi 54-53 NUR
30-Plus  57-30 KIE
APR 70-58 UGB
Espoir 89-75 UGB
APR 62-39 IPRC
CSK 56-55 Rusizi
NUR 64-34 KIE
APR 49-28 RAPP
Ubumwe 77-23 KIE
Espoir 56-47 CSK
National basketball league reigning champions Espoir continued their impressive start to the new season with an easy sail against Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) and United Generation (UGB) over the weekend.
 The 2012 Fiba Africa Zone V champions beat CSK 56-47 on Friday before winning 89-75 against UGB on Saturday.
Espoir’s forward Olivier Shyaka was in fine form as he scored a game high 26 points on Friday before adding 20 points in Saturday’s game.
Against UGB, it was Lionnel Hakizimana’s turn to shine as he scored the game high 21 points and 2012 Most Valuable Player Arstide Mugabe added 18 points, while Bienvenue Ngandu added 17 points for Jean Bahufite’s team. With four matches played so far, things seem to be going according to plan for the champions and Bahufite is determined to win a third successive league title.
 “We are not going to relax until we retain the league title. This season is tougher and more competitive compared to previous two seasons, so we should work hard to achieve our targets. We are not where we want to be yet because we want to be even more dominant than we have been in the last two seasons,” Bahufite said.
Prior to this season, Espoir lost just one game in the national league for two consecutive seasons and remain the only unbeaten team this season.
Elsewhere this weekend, three-time Zone V champions APR beat IPRC Kicukiro 62-39 and UGB 70-58 on Sunday, while Rusizi stunned last season’s beaten playoff finalists KBC 64-62 on Sunday.
In the women’s league that kicked-off on Saturday, defending champions APR beat Rwanda Allied Peace for Progress (RAPP) 49-28m while the 2013 Gisembe memorial tournament winners Ubumwe thrashed  University of Rwanda-College of Education (formerly KIE) 77-23

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