08 February 2016
RWANDA - IPRC-South Defeat Espoir to Stay Top in Hoops League
By Richard Bishumba
Southern Province-based Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC-South) beat defending champions Espoir 64-55 on Saturday in Huye to maintain a pole position in the national basketball league table.
IPRC- South have now beaten Jean Bahufite's Espoir twice in the same season, with the youthful side also having upset the Nyamirambo-based giants 83-64 last November to win the preseason tournament.
Espoir took the first quarter 13-11, thanks largely to seven points from centre Bienvenue Ngandu, but the hosts bounced to claim the second quarter 18-14 and seize control of the game with a 29-27 lead at half-time.
However, upon returning for the second-half, IPRC-South, with two back-to-back 3s from Yesman Bushiri, never looked back and won the final two quarters; 21-17 and 14-11, respectively, as Didier Bineza's team handed the four-time champions their second league loss of the season.
Ngandu of Espoir scored the game high 15 points, while Patrick Buzangu added 11 points but it was the in-form IPRC-South, who had the final laugh, with Fabrice Ikishatse and Bushiri scoring 13 points apiece while captain Bienvenue Niyonsaba contributed 12 points.
Elsewhere, title hopefuls Patriots overcame UGB 76-69, UR- CASS beat struggling CSK 60-43, while IPRC-Kigali won 81-76 over Rusizi, with Cliff Owuor's APR defeating U18 Boys Team 71-65.