APR collected the opening win as they powered past Fidele Nyirimana’s versity side in four (3-1) sets 25-14, 25-18, 22-25 and 25-22, at Petit Stade in Remera.
The army side started the game highly charged, dominating UTB in the first two sets before the latter snatched the third set. However, APR quickly responded to hand UTB a nightmare start.
“It is always good to start with a win. We played with discipline and determination,” Elie Mutabazi said in a post-game interview. “Now we need to quickly shift focus on our next game against REG. We are taking the title challenge one game at a time.”
APR face defending champions Rwanda Energy Group (REG) in their second game on Thursday evening, starting at 6pm. Gisagara outclassed REG 25-18, 25-22 and 25-22 in the two sides’ first game Wednesday night.
In a separate interview, a visibly dismayed Nyirimana conceded, “It was hard to break through APR, they were better-organised on the defense. We are going to work hard in the second game; I believe we can do better.”
Kicukiro-based UTB will be up against two-time champions Gisagara in their next fixture on Thursday. The game gets underway at 3pm.
Women’s league: Unstoppable UTB
Meanwhile, reigning champions UTB launched their playoffs campaign in style as they swept Rwanda Revenue Authority in straight (3-0) sets.
In another game, APR beat Kigali Volleyball Club in a five-set (3-2) thriller.