24 October 2014

KENYA : KPA Prepare for a Lions Attack At Makande

KENYA Ports Authority (KPA) will host Lions in a tough premier league basketball clash at the Makande Welfare hall tomorrow.
KPA who are lying mid table will have to be at their best to stop a smart Lions surge that has seen them move to the top four.
Joseph Ouma, Martin Gitonga and Arial Okal will be key for the porters who also have a date withwinless Blazers.
Women champions KPA who have Yvonne Akinyi, Natalie Akinyi, Carol Mureji and Hellen Oketch to bank on will also welcome Angela Luchivya's Sprite Storms.
At the Upper Hill school courts in Nairobi, champions Co-operative Bank of Kenya have a date with early pace setters Kenya Airports Authority (KAA). Leaders United States International university will hang on to the top stop with a win over University of Nairobi "Terrorists" who have lost three close calls and have blamed it on the officiating. Former national champions Ulinzi "Warriors" confront Strathmore University. The soldiers will have their hands full with another varsity side- Blades. Thunder, who have blown hot and cold this year take on Kenyatta University "Pirates". At Menengai High School Nakuru Club banking on James Okerio's exploits host Equity Bank who stunned KPA 57-47 in Mombasa.
Women's matches will see leaders USIU play Co-op Bank who also return the following day to meet Safe Spaces. Eagle Wings face Ulinzi "Blades" who have in Bridgit Nanzala a potential match decider. Western Delight welcome Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University at the Kak.

KENYA : Kenya on the spot over age cheating

  • Co-operative bank Titus Musembi(centre) in a past league match against Ulinzi. Musembi is one of the players who has been banned by FIBA for age fraud.(Photo:SNA File)
Three Kenyan male basketball players have been banned for one year each by the International Basketball Federation, FIBA over age fraud.
Titus Musembi and David Ogolla from Co-operative Bank together with Kenya Ports Authority’s Evans Letting are ineligible to take part in any basketball activity for the next one year.
The ban that came into effect in August comes only four years after Kenya was on the spotlight again for the same reasons.
In August 2010, Purity Auma Odhiambo was banned for one year over age cheating. This came as she represented the country at the Africa Under-18 Women's Basketball Championship held in Cairo, Egypt.
The penalty resulted in Kenya losing all the points gained in their group games. The three players are accused by FIBA of producing two different birth certificates in 2008 and 2013 which clearly shows a huge disparity in their ages.
In 2008, the trio were registered by Kenya to participate in the under-18 championship which has now come with dire consequences six years later.
Musembi and Ogolla have not played for Co-op Bank since August when they missed the Zone V Club Championships held in Mombasa and are no longer under the club’s payment.
“This is very disheartening for them because they play basketball to earn a living,” a top official at the club told sportsnewsarena.com.
KBF jury yet to make ruling 
On Monday, a 3-member jury sat at the Nyayo National Stadium to offer audience to the two players at the request of the club.
“A decision was not taken because the jury asked to be given time to hear from other relevant parties. We just hope all this mess will be cleared by the time we head to playoffs as these are our key players,” the source added.
According to the source, the Kenya Basketball Federation, KBF, could have helped avert such sanctions since the players were on national duty and the period it has taken is long.
However, KBF secretary general Vitalis Gode defended the federation saying the players could have sat out for long were it not for their timely intervention.
He says the initial correspondence received from FIBA had banned the players for two years each but they mitigated and was reduced to one year.
“They are set to return in August next year but we are still working to have them back in April,” Gode said.
If the push bears fruit, the players will be ready to play at the start of the 2015 season. Even in the absence of the duo, Co-op Bank will continue with its hunt for league points this weekend when the national classic league resumes.
They play Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) on Saturday at Upper Hill School. Leaders United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) play Terror on Sunday and Abel Nson’s 3-point shots mastery will be vital.
KPA hosts Blazers and Lions 
KPA has a huge treat in Mombasa with two games against relegation-bound Blazers on Saturday and high-riding Team Lions on Sunday.
The dockers will have to do without Tobias Onyango who has left due to work commitments but have dependable Ariel Okal, Joseph Ouma and Martin Kitonga. Nakuru Club which is fighting relegation plays host to Equity Bank with George Kiarie their key player.
Other games in men premier league have Strathmore University up against Kenyatta University Pirates, Blades play Ulinzi Warriors and KU Pirates complete their double against Thunder on Sunday. The battle in women premier will be tight this weekend as top teams are in action.
Leaders USIU-A has a tight one against Co-operative Bank while defending champions KPA welcome Sprite Storms in Mombasa.
The bankers have a second game against Safe Spaces.
It will be a bruising battle as Strathmore University and Ulinzi Blades clash on Saturday with the soldiers playing former champions Eagle Wings on Sunday.
Eagle Wings have a second game of the weekend against Kenyatta University Oryx as Western Delight play host to Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U) in Kakamega.
KBF weekend fixtures: Saturday- Eldonets vs Little Prince (10am, UG), Lakeside vs ANU (10am, KSG), Nebulas- Kakamega vs KCA-U (9am, KPC), Western Delight vs KCA-U (10:30, KPC), KPA vs Sprite Storms (3:30pm, KPA), KPA vs Blazers (5pm), Ulinzi Blades vs Strathmore University (9am, Upper Hill), Safe Spaces vs Co-op Bank (10:30), Eagle Wings vs KU Oryx (12pm), Dankind Academy vs Upper Hill (2pm), KU Pirates vs Strathmore University (4pm), KAA vs Co-op Bank (4pm); Sunday-Eldonets vs Baraka Xtreme (10am, UG), KPA vs Lions (4pm, KPA), Nakuru Club vs Equity Bank (12pm, MHS), Nebulas- Kakamega vs Little Prince (9am, KPC), Nebulas- Kakamega vs ANU (2pm, KPC), Lakeside vs KCA-U (9am, KSG), Lakeside vs Little Prince (2pm), Upper Hill vs Trailblazers (9am, Upper Hill), USIU Flames vs Co-op Bank (10:30), Eagle Wings vs Ulinzi Blades (12pm), Thunder vs KU Pirates (2pm), USIU-A vs Terror (4pm), Blades vs Ulinzi Warriors (4pm).

23 October 2014

UGANDA : Power, UCU Canons push for second play-offs slot

Power’s Ramadhan (R) scored 17 points against UCU in the first round. PHOTO: I. KEZAALA

KAMPALA. Even if it’s still the regular season, games between UCU Canons and Tiger Head Power have a certain minor prize about them in the Airtel National Basketball League.
It hardly matters that the last of Power’s five titles came in 2011 and UCU have never been to the finals, plus, neither has looked like a title favourite yet this season.
The duo’s game normally decides the seeding at the top when both are competitive. Last season, Power ended UCU’s nine-game winning streak and took their own to 10. That helped them seal top spot.
Neither made the final as fourth-seeded City Oilers clinched the title. So does it matter that the two will be jostling for second seed tonight at YMCA court? “You don’t get to choose where you finish. The important thing is to win as many games as possible,” Nicholas Natuhereza, the UCU coach, said.
His team is playing some of its best basketball this year and has improved to 12-5 whereas Power are 13-5 after victories over KIU Titans and Vegetarian over the weekend.
“We can play better,” point guard Sande Okot, one of UCU’s five players to notch double figures against Falcons last week, noted. Can they play better when the playoffs start next month? “Yes,” he added.
Power beat UCU 65-59 on the back of Abdullahi Ramadhan’s 17 points back in July. But, it’s been a stop-start for them since. The avalanche of inside players on the UCU roster will trouble Power but the latter’s overall skill levels and ability to feed off mistakes makes them slight favourites. Defeat for either side will aid Warriors’ late surge for second. The former champions are now 13-6 and still have to play both Power and UCU before the playoff starts.
Playing today at YMCA
W: UCU vs. Stormers (6.30pm)
MEN: UCU vs. Power (8.30pm)
WOMEN: KCCA 78-28 Mak Sparks
MEN: Diamonds 62-63 Rhino

22 October 2014

ZAMBIA : Stringers Stun Lunga Bullets

Stingers 78 Lunga 73
THE race for the 2014 Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) northern region league championship heightened at the weekend as YMCA Stingers edged their title rivals, Lunga Bullets during the fixtures played in Kitwe.
These week 23 matches played at the Copperbelt University (CBU) Courts saw Stingers put up a brave fight to beat league leaders, Bullets, who are also defending champions, to move to within a point from the top on 27 points.
Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) Cavs overwhelmed Magnets 118-73 to move to 21 points. Magnets are stuck on 15 points. The victory saw CEC Cavs tie on points with Ndola Nets, who beat Konkola Trotters 70-62 in the other game.
Struggling Konkola Trotters are still on 13 points after playing 14 games and winning only two in the league.
Meanwhile, in the ZBA South League, Matero Magic beat Junior Looters 90-38 to open up a four-point lead over second placed UNZA Pacers who suffered a 44-61 defeat to Green Buffaloes.
Magic leads the log with 41 points followed by Pacers while Napsa Hurricanes also tumbled to a 82-85 defeat to LCC Looters to remain third on the log on 36 points, one ahead of their opponents.

KENYA : Mixed fortunes for Strathmore in weekend action

The two Strathmore University men basketball teams registered contrasting results over the weekend in the Kenya Basketball Federation league action.
Strathmore won two games while Blades lost twice. On Saturday, Peter Shilton fired home 28 points to help Strathmore beat Terror 69-67 and scored 16 on Sunday in their 56-48 win over Nairobi Aviation College.
Strathmore led Aviation 22-21 at halftime with Ben Oluoch scoring 13 points for the losers.
Strathmore scored 17 points from the free-throw line and 15 from 3-point shots compared to an inferior record for Aviation who had 7 free-throws and scored only one 3-point shot. Blades was unlucky falling to a 53-56 loss to Nairobi Aviation College on Saturday despite enjoying a 24-16 halftime lead.
On Sunday, they lost second game 53-64 to Co-operative Bank. Billy Oyombe scored 14 points for Co-op Bank while Emmanuel Soja had 15 for Blades and Valentine Nyakinda added 14.
James Mwangi grabbed 12 rebounds for the bankers with Pascal Nabwana grabbing 6 for the students.
From the 3-point shots, Co-op Bank scored 24 points and 10 from free-throws while Blades had seven 3-point shots and 7 free-throws.
Shooting was the weakest point for the bankers who train at the Nyayo gymnasium on a daily basis.
Head coach Carey Odhiambo admitted its a concern for the team but defended his players.
“We are not doing well in that department.Game situation and training are very different so its not the mistake of the players,” he said. “During a game unlike in training, the players are under pressure from the coach, themselves and the opposing team which all contribute to poor shooting.”
Their second win of the weekend was 54-49 over United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) on Saturday.
The bankers trailed 28-35 at halftime and James Mwangi led the comeback with 6 rebounds while Allan Ouma scored 19 points.
Lions just edge out Nakuru
Victor Bosire was USIUs top scorer with 21 points.
Lions played out one of their toughest game of the season beating Nakuru Club by a half basket in their 70-69 win on Saturday. The game tied 36-all at halftime with both teams measuring up in strength for the entire duration.
Simon Mayien top scored for Lions with 21 points while George Kiarie scored 15 points for Nakuru. Ulinzi Warriors recorded two wins for the weekend beating Mennonite 90-50 on Saturday and Terror 70-54 on Sunday. Eric Mutoro scored a combined 47 points for Ulinzi in both games.
Mennonite lost second game to Thunder 56-76 on Sunday as Griffin Ligare scored 21 points for Thunder and Eric Makokha had 17 for Mennonite.
The Mennonite ladies team was no match for former champions Eagle Wings going down 29-78 in the only game of women premier played. Annerose Atieno scored a game high 34 points for Eagle Wings who won all quarters 19-9, 13-8, 22-8 and 24-4 respectively. Evelyne Wabwire and Phenny Akinyi top scored for Mennonite with 12 points each.
KBF Weekend Results: Saturday- ANU 40 Dankind Academy 63, KCA-U 69 JKUAT 43, Eagle Wings 78 Mennonite 29, Upper Hill 54 Baraka Xtreme 57, Ulinzi Warriors 90 Mennonite 50, Lions 70 Nakuru Club 69, Terror 67 Strathmore University 69, Nairobi Aviation College 56 Blades 53, Co-op Bank 54 USIU Tigers 49; Sunday- Zetech College 68 Parklands Baptist 45, Nairobi Aviation College 48 Strathmore University 56, Co-op Bank 64 Blades 53, ANU 78 Baraka Xtreme 50, World Hope 78 JKUAT 37, Dankind Academy 46 Barclays Bank 62, Little Prince 43 KCA-U 49, Mennonite 56 Thunder 76, Ulinzi Warriors 70 Terror 54.

UGANDA : Sharing Youth date Ndejje as playoff fight heats up

For a while, talk surrounding Ndejje University Angels has been about trying to improve a dismal run of results that has seen them win five of 17 games thus far.
While the effort has not been lacking as evidenced in the 68-62 and 62-48 losses to Falcons and City Oilers respectively, the wins have been hard to come by.
Currently two places out of the play off places with five games left, Ndejje who finished sixth going into last season’s playoffs need to win, starting with today’s Airtel National Basketball League game against Sharing Youth.
The newly promoted side were seventh and three places above Ndejje before last evening’s game between Charging Rhino (eighth) and Diamond In The Sun which should give today’s game an added edge.
Sharing Youth meanwhile are also on a three game winless streak that has seen them lose 68-53 to Riham Warriors 103-82 to Tiger Head Power and 75-63 KIU.
The other game has KIU Titans hoping to recover from Sunday’s 59-73 loss to UCU with victory against bottom placed Nkumba Marines that have managed a paltry two wins in 18 games.
Airtel National Basketball League
Sharing Youth vs Ndejje Univ. Angels 8:30pm
Nkumba Marines vs KIU Titans
Sunday Results
KIU 59-73 UCU
Warriors 102-78 Falcons

20 October 2014

TANZANIA : Savio Surrender to Chui in RBA League

SAVIO lost their first match in the Dar es Salaam Regional Basketball League (RBA) after beating Chui 58-51 at the National Stadium on Friday evening.
It was a seesaw encounter as Savio, who are Ilala champions was a second best side against Chui, who are the Kinondoni runner-up. It was the second victory for Chui, who lost their two opening games.
The victory saw Chui posting two points, while Savio remained with eight points. Savio played four matches in which they won three and lost one while Chui has played three matches so far.
Chui's Fadhili Chuma was nominated man of the match and was awarded 100,000/-. He played a vital role for his team in both assisting and scoring. Chui was defeated by Kinondoni champions Pazi.
In another game, Oilers recorded its first victory after defeating Kurasini heat 78 - 70. It was the fourth match for Oilers, who have lost all their three opening matches. Basketball Dar es Salaam, Vice President, Richard Julies told the 'Sunday News' on Saturday that they are impressed with the level of the performance which all teams have shown in the tournament so far.
"It is a wonderful season and we are impressed with what we have seen so far. It is a wonderful season for RBA.
"Players are ambitious for real, you can see how they have been waiting this league to show their talents, we are witnessing wonderful games," he said.

KENYA : USIU face Co-op

USIU-A sits top of the table with 49 points from 26 games while the bankers are second on 44 points collected from 23 games. Their game on Saturday will be a crucial one for both teams but the bankers have an upper hand having lost only twice against USIUs three losses.
Co-op Bank is likely to welcome back Titus Musembi, Allan Ouma and Patrick Khaemba who had been allowed time off after national duty in Uganda last month.
On Sunday, they will play Blades only a week after losing to their sister club Strathmore University. Blades will play their first game of the weeknd against Nairobi Aviation College on Saturday while Strathmore will be up against Terror on Saturday and Aviation on Sunday.
Blades have in their ranks Valentine Nyakinda and Emmanuel Soja while Strathmore will rely on the high scoring Peter Shilton to collect maximum points. Captain Hillary Kubai has a tall order leading Terror against Strathmore as well as Ulinzi Warriors on Sunday.
He will be shored up by Dan Nabuya and Frank Manyara who have proven to be reliable. Lions will play host to Nakuru Club on Sunday with the latter completing its second game on Monday at home to Blades. Aviation will also be up against USIU-A on the same day.
In women premier, only two games are lined up for the weekend. Eagle Wings plays Mennonite on Saturday and Kenyatta University Oryx tackles Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U).
KBF Weekend Fixtures: Saturday- ANU vs Dankind Academy (9am, Nyayo gymnasium), KCA-U vs JKUAT (10:30am), Eagle Wings vs Mennonite (12pm), Upper Hill vs Baraka Xtreme (2pm), Ulinzi Warriors vs Mennonite (4pm), Lions vs Nakuru Club (12pm, Kasarani), Terror vs Strathmore University (2pm), Nairobi Aviation College vs Blades (4pm), Co-op Bank vs USIU Tigers (6pm); Sunday- Zetech College vs Parklands Baptist (9am, Nyayo gymnasium), Nairobi Aviation College vs Strathmore University (10:30am), Co-op Bank vs Blades (12pm), ANU vs Baraka Xtreme (2pm), World Hope vs JKUAT (4pm), Dankind Academy vs Barclays Bank (1pm, Kasarani), Little Prince vs KCA-U (3pm), Mennonite vs Thunder (5pm), Ulinzi Warriors vs Terror (8pm); Monday- Parklands Baptist vs Baraka Xtreme (12pm, Kasarani), KU Oryx vs KCA-U (2pm), Nairobi Aviation College vs USIU Tigers (6pm), Nakuru Club vs Blades (12pm, MHS).

SEYCHELLES : Baya clinch second league title in dominant fashion

The 2014 men’s division one league title will settle in Bel Air this year as Baya managed to wrestle the league championship from challengers Mont Fleuri Dawgz.
Baya title winning game took place at Victoria Gymnasium on Saturday evening where they faced the task of defeating an MBU Rockers side who had already defeated them in the first round.
As this was a high profile match, the Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) took every necessary precaution as they deployed police officers around the grounds to ensure order among the passionate fans.
Baya showed their intention from the start as they opened up a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter much to the delight of the large crowd inside the gymnasium. It ended 26-16 on favour of coach Michel Malbrook’s side.
The second quarter continued much like the first as Baya kept on scoring to increase the gap to 13 points to take the scores to 42-29 at the end of the first half. By then the Baya fans had already began celebrating as although not impossible, on this day it would prove difficult for MBU Rockers to get back in the game.
By the third quarter, the game picked up in intensity with very neat passing and finishing taking place on the court, which delighted the fans. Again it was Baya who had the edge in this quarter as they put the result beyond any doubt, taking the score to 65-44 and within minutes of the league championship.
The final quarter saw the Rockers playing for pride, as this day belonged to the hard working Baya side, who despite already putting the game to bed, continued to give the fans some good displays.
Timmy Adam was again the star man as he put the fans and his own players to their feet with two one-handed dunks in a row. He finished as the game’s highest scorer with 25 points.
With time winding down, Baya were in possession when the final buzzer rang to send the fans and players into raptures as they claimed a second league title to cement their position as the best basketball team in the country. The final score was 92-64.
“I am extremely happy right now. We knew what we had to do before the game and we came out and achieved it,” said Baya coach Michel Malbrook.
“When we defeated Mont Fleuri Dawgz last week, I said that we will not look back now and that is what we did today.”This is Baya’s second league title after winning it for the very first time in the 2008 season and will now hope to add the knockout title to their collection and of course, they will be hoping not to have to wait as long to taste another league success.
As for MBU Rockers, they have been ever-improving over the years and will hope that they can challenge for the league title next year.

In the other first division match played last weekend, Ervin Agathine scored 31 points to lead Drifters to an 87-79 win over Beau Vallon Heat.

S. N.

17 October 2014

TANZANIA : RBA League Rages On

DAR ES SALAAM Regional Basketball Association (RBA) League is expected to continue today with two matches taking place at the National Indoor Stadium in the city.
In the first match Oilers from Kinondoni will face Kurasini Heat from Temeke to be followed by a clash between Savio from Ilala and Kinondoni's Chui.
According to Basketball Dar es Salaam (BD) officials, JKT and Savio are the only unbeaten teams so far. With four matches played, JKT are leading the table with eight points ahead of Savio who have played three games and won all.
The exciting league also took place last weekend when RBA brought together different teams at the National Indoor Stadium. In the girls' series, Jeshi Stars edged JKT 68-63 while DB Lioness humbled Vijana Queens 65-38.
Things did not go well for Chang'ombe who lost their two games to Jogoo and Kurasini Heat in the men's category. Chang'ombe were thrashed 80-43 by Jogoo on Saturday and fell 57-53 to Kurasini Heat the following day.
In other matches, Prisons beat DB youngsters 79-69, Vijana defeated Oilers 55-47 and Pazi won 72-60 over Chui. BD Vice-President Richard Julies said all is well in the league and everything is in order.

16 October 2014

UGANDA : UCU Canons tame Falcons for fourth straight win

Courtesy photo UCU's Joseph Chuma (13) in an earlier game. The forward scored 16 points off the bench last night to help UCU beat Falcons
Charging Rhinos 58-81 Riham Warriors
Krishna Falcons 74-81 UCU Canons

The UCU Canons seem to be picking form just in time. The mukono based university side followed Friday’s 74-65 win over defending champions, City Oilers with another huge win – against last year’s finalists.
UCU came from 5 points down at halftime to beat Falcons 81-74 at YMCA. Thanks to the production from the bench that contributed 35 points on the night, the Canons (11-5) have now won four on the bounce.

“I think we wanted to win this game and the bench helped us a lot” a delighted Nicholas Natuhereza told Kawowo Sports. “When we were down it was just that we had not played hard enough. Normally we give the other team the initiative but when we changed that the game becomes much easier for us” he added.

Foward, Joseph Chuma came off the bench and tormented Falcons with pinpoint mid-range shooting in the second half and matched team high 16 points to lead the Canons along with the star man, Sudi Ulanga who also netted 16 points. Sunday Okot and Ivan Lumanyika contributed 11 points each and Brian Namake chipped in with 10.
Falcons’ captain, Steven Omony was disappointed with their defending. “Our defense was a bit reluctant because we let them take too many open shots and that cost us” Omony who poured in game high 24 points said.
“They came out (in the second half) more harder and physical and we kind of backed off and let them play their game and switching to that affected us as we did not react to that situation very well” Falcons’ star forward added.

Steven ‘Duxx’ Mwesigye contributed 17 points and grabbed game high 13 rebounds as Falcons dropped their fourth game of the season

Meanwhile, Riham Warriors run of form continued as they blew out Charging Rhinos 81-58 in the first game of the evening. Veteran, Steven OkiaS led the four Warriors who reached double figures with game high 21 points. Ronnie Kasewu added 11 points while Ivan Enabu and Henry Malinga contributed 10 points apiece.

Joseph Ondiek led Rhinos (6-13) with 20 points and 5 boards. Isaac Kamya had 10 points.

UGANDA : Koma leads Oilers fight back

KAMPALA- Coach Mandy Juruni had asked his City Oilers team to improve mentally and play as a team after Friday’s 74-65 defeat to UCU Canons.
On Tuesday though, none of that was greatly required as the champions responded with a comfortable 62-48 victory over struggling Ndejje University Angels on a wet and chilly YMCA Court.
Ben Komakech, who managed a paltry four points against UCU countered that performance with a game high 20 points for the Oilers whose dominance was not reflected in the score sheet. Kami Kabange who was never required to be at his best added nine points and Jeff Omondi seven as Oilers improved to 15-3.
For Ndejje, meanwhile, this was a 12th defeat in 17 games for Walker Obedi’s side who play Sharing Youth next week. The two along with Charging Rhino and Vegetarian and separated by three points seem locked in a four-way battle for the final two playoff slots.
Geoffrey Soro and Jonah Otim top scored for Ndejje with 11 points apiece while Francis Tumusiime added nine.

15 October 2014

UGANDA : UCU, Falcons in Dicey Clash

The Airtel basketball league resumes tonight with an intriguing encounter.
UCU Canons always win the regular season encounters but Falcons has a habit of triumphing when the two teams meet in the play-offs, writes Felix Eupal.
The Canons made a big statement last Friday when they defeated defending champions City Oilers for the fourth time in row. Nick Natuhereza's UCU charges had started the season with a number of cracks. Not only did they lose key matches to giants such as Power and Warriors, they were shocked by new entrants Diamonds In The Sun.
However, Natuhereza wasn't in any way fazed and he believed that his team would be able to turn around fortunes and all that mattered was making the eight-team play-offs. Now that they have two back-to-back wins over Ndejje Angels and Oilers, Canons have shown they will be a hard nut to crack in the post season. Their record now stands at five losses in 15 outings.
They have been disciplined on defence and are exhibiting a high level of concentration. Those are the attributes that enabled them claw back a 14-point deficit to beat the Oilers. This evening, they go up against the record champions Falcons in what promises to be a tricky tie.
Falcons were on a roll in the first round but haven't been the same in the last few games. Charging Rhino pushed them to the limit and they struggled against Ndejje Angels. They will also have to do without influential forward Emmanuel Ateng, who went to India for studies. Ateng would have given them options outside of the ark and inside the paint.
Falcons head coach Sam Obol is optimistic about his side's chances: "Every game is different and we just have to change our approach because they [Canons] play both an inside and outside game."
For Natuhereza, he will rely on his big men to get the job done.
"In our league, you can't expect a team to shoot all day. So, as long we get them out of the paint, we will have a chance," he told The Observer.
Indeed, Canons' Francis Ogola, Ivan Lumanyika and Joseph Chuma will all have to bring their A game if they are to overcome Falcons. Canons have to consider that they have no time to rest since they play KIU Titans on Sunday and Tiger Head Power next Thursday.
Meanwhile, Fuba signed a partnership deal with national broadcaster UBC, which will air the play-offs live. The deal was signed on Tuesday morning at Mount Zion hotel.

RWANDA : Ferwaba closes door to Hoops team for foreign players

Robert Thompson is one of the Naturalised Players that won't be called for national duty again. (File Photo)
Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba) will have to embark on a hunt for local talent following a decision to end their reliance on American born players.
Ferwaba Secretary General, Richard Mutabazi, said recently that they took into account the fact that naturalised players on the national team have not been performing well.
Since 2007, Rwanda has recruited six American basketball players after they were naturalised
in efforts aimed at strengthening the national team to compete in major continental and sub-regional competitions.
Some of the Americans who were naturalised include Manix Auriantal, Robert Thomson, Edouard Miller, Kenneth Gasana, Cameron Bradley, and Mathieu Miller. Mutabazi said, “Despite recruitment of high-level basketball players, the performance of the national team still leaves much to be desired,"
"Outside the detection of local young talents, this decision will help reduce the huge expenses in allowances and other costs paid to these American basketball players," Mutabazi said.
The decision comes a few days after the newly appointed Minister of Sports and Culture, Ambassador Joseph Habineza urged all local sports federations to promote the recruitment of young local talents.

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