28 November 2014

KENYA : Champs Co-op bank leads playoffs survival push

  • KBF Referee Joseph Amoko gestures at a past league match.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
Men premier league defending champions Co-operative Bank will be one of the six teams fighting to stay afloat this weekend when Kenya Basketball Federation league quarterfinal playoffs enter game two.
The bankers play Kenya Airports Authority, KAA, on Saturday with nothing but a win in mind after 59-69 game one loss. A loss on Saturday will automatically see them lose the title they have held for the past four seasons.
“We lost game one because of our attitude. It's not easy since we must win on Saturday to force game three. There is belief that we can achieve that,” head coach Carey Odhiambo said.
Strathmore University and Blades are the other two teams that must overturn last week’s losses to get back into contention. Blades lost 83-89 to Kenya Ports Authority, KPA,  in overtime and will play away in Mombasa.
Strathmore play against United States International University- Africa, USIU-A, keen to level the series after 34-59 loss in game one.
It’s a delicate balancing act for head coach Tony Ochieng with both teams played at two different venues.
Lions will also have the opportunity to stay in contention when they play Ulinzi Warriors and trailing from their 54-73 loss in game one.
Only two games will be played in the women premier as Eagle Wings seek to fight back from their 34-39 loss to Sprite Storms last weekend.
KPA,USIU in Tunisia
Strathmore University play Co-op Bank and a win for the students will take the series to game three.
Games involving KPA and USIU-A have been put on hold as both sides are in Tunisia for the FIBA-Africa Champions Cup for Women.
KPA is leading Ulinzi Blades after a 73-43 win in game one while USIU-A won 47-34 against Safe Spaces.
In Tunisia, KPA is in Group A with CS Sfaxien (Tunisia), Anjis (Cameroon), First Bank (Nigeria) and Primero (Angola) while USIU-A is in Group B alongside Interclube (Angola), INSS (Congo DR), CSPC (Mauritius) and Dolphins (Nigeria).
KBF Playoffs Fixtures: Saturday- Dankind Academy vs Lakeside (12pm, Kisumu), KPA Men vs Blades (11am, Mombasa), World Hope vs KCA-U (8:30am, Nyayo gymnasium), Upper Hill vs Umoja (10am), Co-op Bank vs Strathmore University (11:30am), Sprite Storms vs Eagle Wings (1pm), KAA vs Co-op Bank (2:30pm), Lions vs Ulinzi Warriors (4pm); Sunday- Lakeside vs Dankind Academy (12pm, Kisumu), KPA vs Blades (11am, Mombasa), Trailblazers vs Zetech University (8:30am, Nyayo gymnasium), Umoja vs Upper Hill (10am), Strathmore University vs Co-op Bank (11:30am), Eagle Wings vs Sprite Storms (1pm), Strathmore University vs USIU Tigers (2:30pm), Co-op Bank vs KAA (4pm), Ulinzi Warriors vs Lions (5:30pm).

UGANDA : UCU-Oilers clash moves to Lugogo as Natuhereza bemoans postponement

Kami Kabange and Ramadan Arou of City Oilers look on Kami Kabange and Ramadan Arou of City Oilers look on as UCU’s Desmond Owili goes for the basket during the second semi-final playoffs at the MTN Arena Lugogo. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALAKampala- What if the weather had not intervened? Why did UCU Canon and City Oilers not wait for the YMCA court to dry up? Why wasn’y the MTN Arena not available for a sporting activity like it is today?
Those and more could be some of the questions many basketball followers have been asking themselves since Wednesday.
For rain washed out what would have been the first of three opportunities UCU Canons have to clinch the best of five semifinal series against City Oilers.
UCU lead the series 2-0 after Sunday’s 61-56 win over the champions.
With the court drying up after a heavy evening downpour, the final decision was taken by the management of both teams to have the game postponed.
UCU coach Nick Natuhereza though was not pleased with the decision that sees Game Three being replayed today at the Lugogo MTN arena.
“It leaves the team that progresses from our series at a disadvantage considering that we would play Games Four and Five on consecutive days,” he argued.
“Which is why we are hoping to close out the series today,” he added.
A day’s rest though will have come in handy in the short run for City Oilers particularly guard Ben Komakech who has been struggling with knee trouble.
“We would obviously miss him a lot because of his contribution to our offensive game,” Oilers guard Omondi explained.
Omondi also believes the postponement offers less excuses for the champions that have to win three straight games to return to the final.
“You obviously want to go into such kind of a game with no excuses about the surface and players worrying about getting injured,” he said.
MEN: UCU vs Oilers (8pm)
WOMEN: KCCA vs .A1 Challenge
(UCU, KCCA lead series 2-0)

26 November 2014

KENYA : Equity Claims NBA Crown After Beating Strathmore

EQUITY Bank won the Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) women's title after beating Strathmore University 73-19 in the final staged at Railways Club.
The bankers, who finished their fixtures with a clean record led in all quarters 14-7, 22-5, 20-5 and 17-2. Linda Mfuchi bagged 17 points and national team guard Samba Mjomba added 10. They had rolled over students 71-27 to take the second game (20-5, 15-8, 24-8, 12-6). Mfuchi nailed 15 points and Mjomba scored 12. Sylvia Kamau posted 15 for the students.
Equity took Game One 68-15 with Mjomba contributing 18 and Joyce Nabwire adding 12. The team won their entire fixture without losing a single game.
"We had a good run and we hope to keep up the spirit when we start our premier league campaign next year. With these same players, I am sure we will do well," said coach David Maina. Laura Makokha and Steffi Ngabwire nailed 12 points a piece as the impressive duo guided Daystar University to the third place finish. In the men's final, Emyba nipped Don Bosco 52-51 (11-10, 21-11, 7-17, 13-13), behind 17 points from Joel Simiyu. Joel Atebe was restricted to an all time low of 10 for the losers who lead the series 2-1. Don Bosco had taken the opening two matches 61-52 and 60-57 in Game One and Two respectively.

25 November 2014

UGANDA : Oilers reeling as Canons extend lead

UCU’s Sudi Ulanga evades Jimmy Enabu of City Oil during the second semi-final playoffs at the MTN Arena Lugogo on Sunday. Photo by Ismail Kezaala 
It’s not the 2-0 margin that must cause Mandy Juruni anxiety. It’s the manner of those defeats that must raise grave concerns for the City Oilers coach.
In two semifinal games, champions City Oilers have looked like a team in a rush to find the exit door. An unrelenting UCU Canons want to tear their carcass apart.
They will get that chance tomorrow after Sunday’s wire-to-wire 61-56 win at the Lugogo MTN Arena on the back of Sudi Ulanga’s 21 points. Not even a late flurry of baskets to cut into UCU’s 49-25 periphery at the start of the fourth will be a cause of optimism for Oilers.
A sweep looks a certainty after handing Oilers a sixth successive league loss and seventh in all.
“It’s not going our way,” Oilers coach Juruni said. “We will keep fighting.”
Despite only five Oilers scoring, they punched UCU into a corner. But, calling most of the latter’s scoring ‘garbage time points’ wouldn’t be farfetched.
Their offense has collapsed and Kami Kabenge looks like a lone ranger for long periods with the UCU inside players making it as hard as they can for the reigning MVP.
After his 27 points and nine rebounds in 69-66 Game One loss on Saturday, Kabange had 23 in Game Two 24 hours later. He is averaging 25 whereas Ulanga is on 22.5.
Ulanga has received support from ther entire cast.
A returning Desmond Owili had 15 points and seven rebounds on Sunday, just after Ivan Lumanyika’s 11 and 18 a day earlier.
Owili and Lumanyika have sparked a 91-53 rebound advantage! Also in stark contrast, Jimmy Enabu’s 15 points, two more than he managed in Game One, are too few to beat a good team.
Besides Enabu’s 28, Geoff Omondi has six and Ben Komakech is on 10 for the series. No wonder most fans left after this game as Tiger Head Power’s fight back was watched by a handful. Power defied Henry Malinga’s 29 points to beat Warriors 71-65 and level the other men’s semifinal series at 1-all.
In the women’s division, another KCCA Leopards-UCU Lady Canons final is almost certain even if the latter were made to work for their 68-65 win over Magic Stormers. They lead 2-0 with former MVP Maureen Amoding averaging 19.5 points. Power-Warriors and UCU-A1 resume their exchanges today at YMCA.
Power 71-65 Warriors
(Series tied 1-all)
UCU 61-56 Oilers
(UCU lead series 2-0)
KCCA 66-36 A1
Stormers 65-68 UCU
(KCCA and UCU lead series 2-0)
Warriors vs Power
UCU vs Stormers

24 November 2014

TANZANIA : Temeke Off to Dodoma for Taifa Cup Championship

AS the Inter-Regional Basketball Championship, dubbed 'Taifa Cup,' throws off in Dodoma today, Temeke Municipal team leaves this morning eager to win the title.
Dar es Salaam was supposed to field three teams - Temeke, Ilala and Kinondoni - but the other two have pulled out due to financial constraints.
Temeke's contingent of 12 players drawn from JKT, Chang'ombe and Kurasini and an official received a major boost from several stakeholders.
The team is under captain Franklin Simkoko. Among them is the Chief of Defence Forces, General Davis Mwamunyange and National Service (JKT) Chief, Major General Raphael Muhuga, who have both provided transport to and from Dodoma and will foot accommodation bills.
The team's patron Phares Magesa, a CCM National Executive Committee (NEC) member and former TBF Vice-President, donated over 1m/- and offered to pay for the team's meals. Magesa had on Saturday given the Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) two big trophies worth 600,000/- to be presented to the men and women's winners.
Speaking at a brief presentation ceremony in Dar es Salaam, he urged other stakeholders to support the tournament which is an important platform for unearthing talents and grooming them into future stars. "We expect you will do your best to come back with the title.
I know you have the ability to excel in Dodoma and make the region proud," Magesa said. "I also urge public and private institutions to assist regional teams so that they can participate in this crucial tournament.
But let's not forget TBF that needs our support in facilitating the event that brings together basketball players from across the country," he added.
TBF requires over 58m/- to stage the week-long annual tournament to be held at the Jamhuri Stadium and Dodoma Secondary School court.
TBF Secretary General Saleh Zonga commended Magesa for the donation, saying it is high time other stakeholders emulate him as the tournament has failed to secure sponsorship.
The tournament was initially scheduled to start yesterday but due to unavoidable circumstances it was pushed back for a day and most teams are already in Dodoma ready for the opening ceremony.
Zonga said 17 regions had by yesterday confirmed participation in the event.
They are Tanga, Coast, Arusha, Mwanza, Mbeya, Ruvuma, Katavi, Temeke, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Tabora, Shinyanga, Rukwa, Mara, Kagera, Kigoma and hosts Dodoma. Tanga and Dar es Salaam are the defending men and women's champions respectively.

TANZANIA : TBF Reschedules Taifa Cup Tournament

THE Inter-Regional basketball championship dubbed 'Taifa Cup' which was earlier scheduled to start on Sunday in Dodoma has been pushed forward for one day, to give organisers and host region more time to finalize preparations.
Director of Technical and Competition Commission of the Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) Manase Zablon said the tournament will now start on Monday at the Jamhuri Stadium and Dodoma Secondary School basketball courts.
Manase said the decision to push forward the event which brings together regional basketball teams also target to give the federation more time to get sponsors to rescue the tournament, which is hanging in balance because the federation is in deep financial troubles.
TBF officials are insisting that the tournament will take place as planned despite the financial setback, which was caused by the eleventh hour withdrawal by a company that had earlier shown interest to support the event.
"The decision of pushing forward the event for at least one day was to give the hosts and the federation time to finalise preparations and look for plan B, after failing to secure sponsorship for the event," he said.
The federation has requested all the participating regions to incur some of the tournament's expenses such as accommodation and food as part of cost sharing.
"Other costs will be handled by the federation and we expect to use gate collections as part of the source of income to enable the event to carry on as planned," he said.
TBF need 58m/- to facilitate a week-long annual tournament, which brings together basketball players from various regions in the country. According to TBF, 17 regions have confirmed their participation in the event.
The regions are Tanga, Coast, Arusha, Mwanza, Mbeya, Ruvuma, Katavi, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Tabora, Shinyanga, Rukwa, Mara, Kagera, Kigoma and host Dodoma.
Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke will also compete as regions. The event defending champions are Tanga in men's category while Dar es Salaam are the ladies category reigning champions.

KENYA : Basketball fans endorse playoffs

  • Basketball fans who turned out in large numbers as the Kenya Basketball Federation playoffs started were treated to a dominance by KAA over Co-Operative Bank at the Nyayo Stadium gymnasium. (SNA File
Basketball fans endorsed the Kenya Basketball Federation league playoffs which began over the weekend at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
Twelve games were on the cards on Saturday and Sunday attracting huge crowds as compared to regular season. Their attendance was not in vain as teams displayed quality games.
The men's premier league encounters pitting Co-operative Bank against Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) versus Blades turned out to be the real crowd pullers.
With the crowds fully behind them, KAA dominated the champions from the onset and never surrendered the lead to win 67-59. They were the best team for the entire period scoring 17 free-throws against Co-op Bank’s nine and six three-point shots against the banker’s four.
The bankers had pointguard Salim Ali fouled out in the fourth quarter with five fouls, Frederick Odongo had four fouls while the entire team committed 22 fouls.
This was far worse than KAA who had Shem Otieno highest casualty with three fouls and accumulated 15 team fouls. Billy Ongute top-scored for KAA with 18 points while Allan Ouma scored 14 for the bankers.
Before the game, head coach Carey Odhiambo had said the absence of two key players Titus Musembi and David Ogolla who are serving a one year ban would affect his team’s push for the title defense.
KAA led 37-22 at halftime winning the first two quarters 16-8 and 21-14 respectively. Co-op Bank won the third 20-10 and KAA the fourth 20-17 with the second game on Saturday a must-win for the bankers.
KPA needed overtime to beat Blades 89-83 after the game tied 61-all in regulation time. Kooshin Diriye scored 16 points for KPA with Martin Kitonga and Ariel Okal adding a combined 30. Emmanuel Soja and Valentine Nyakinda top scored for Blades with 21 and 19 points respectively.
Enjoyed a three-points cushion
Ulinzi Warriors also has an upper hand going to the second game after defeating Lions 73-54. Ulinzi won the first quarter 19-15 and Lions the second 18-17 as the soldiers enjoyed a three points cushion at halftime.
It was Ulinzi’s game upon resumption as they won the remaining quarters 21-11 and 16-10. William Ochieng and Ancette Wafula scored highest for Ulinzi with 19 points each while Denis Opiyo had 12 for Lions.
The last quarterfinal game had United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) beat Strathmore University 59-35. Abel Nson scored 13 points for USIU-A and Hugh Ayara 12 for Strathmore. USIU-A won all quarters 13-8, 10-7, 17-2 and 19-18 respectively.
The women's premier league games were averagely low scoring. Defending champions KPA was the only high scoring team beating Ulinzi Blades 73-43. Yvonne Akinyi top scored for KPA and Bridgit Nanzala for Ulinzi with 12 points. The dockers won all quarters 21-6, 11-10, 21-11 and 20-16.
Sprite Storms will have an advantage over Eagle Wings after winning game one 39-34. Silalei Shani for Eagles and Angela Luchivya for Storms top-scored with 12 points each. Storms scored 15 of its points from the three-point line and eight from free-throws compared to Eagles who had only one three-point shot and scored five free-throws.
USIU-A beat Safe Spaces 47-34 helped by 13 points from Sarah Chan and 10 from Georgia Odhiambo. Safe Spaces’ top scorer was Jane Ouko with 10 points.
Co-op Bank will have the advantage over Strathmore University heading to game two after registering a 41-30 win on Sunday. The bankers started off poorly losing first quarter 6-9.  They had seven team fouls compared to Strathmore's one with Beatrice Achieng committing three and Grace Wanjiku two.
It was a dangerous balancing act for head coach Robert Mugabe in the remaining three quarters. “Strathmore is the best offensive rebounding team in the league and goes out at all cost to get the ball. Also, our boxing out was not good,” he explained.
Dominant in the second quarter
The bankers were dominant in the second quarter which hey won 13-0 for a 19-9 halftime lead. The second half was equally low scoring but highly competitive as Co-op Bank won the third quarter 12-10 and Strathmore the fourth 11-10. Celine Okumu scored 11 points for the bankers and Mollete Achieng had 14 for the students.
“The fact that we have won does not mean we will go there and rest. There is game two to come with a possibility of game three so its important we remain consistent,” Mugabe said.
In division one, Zetech University beat Trailblazers 62-51, Umoja beat Upper Hill 72-26, Dankind Academy won 73-47 against Lakeside while Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U) registered a 62-45 win over World Hope.
KBF Playoffs Results
Men's Premier League: Ulinzi Warriors 73 Lions 54, Co-op Bank 59 KAA 67, USIU-A 59 Strathmore University 34, KPA 89 Blades 83.
Women's Premier League: USIU-A 47 Safe Spaces 34, KPA 73 Ulinzi Blades 43, Eagle Wings 34 Sprite Storms 39, Strathmore University 30 Co-op Bank 41.
Division One: Zetech University 62 Trailblazers 51, Umoja 72 Upper Hill 26, Lakeside 47 Dankind Academy 73, KCA-U 62 World Hope 45.

UGANDA : Injured Koma leaves Oilers in spot of bother

City Oilers got away with a thin team enroute to winning the National Basketball League title in their first season last year.
Centre Kami Kabange, who would go on to win the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, and guard Jimmy Enabu shouldered the burden, brilliantly. The club’s management knew additions were needed. Geoff Omondi (Falcons) and Ben Komakech (Tiger Head Power) joined to spread the options on offense. But their inconsistency could ultimately decide how far they can go.
Coach Mandy Juruni was concerned about both, but more of the latter’s contribution, after losing 69-66 to UCU Canons, a fifth league defeat in a row to the same side on Saturday. With that UCU took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five semifinal series. “His knee hurts,” Juruni said of Komakech. “It’s bothering him.”
The two-time MVP in the title-winning seasons of 2008 and 2010 at Power has had a below par season though exploding at this time of the year is often a certainty.
Injuries have played their part as he has also had a groin and finger problem too. The late season show as the out-of-jail card for Power is yet to materialize at Oilers.
Point guard Komakech scored four points and five assists following a return from injury as he sat out the 2-0 quarterfinal series sweep of Sharing Youth to accord his knees time to heal. He made only four attempts, scoring his first points with a minute to the final bell against UCU. “We will be fine,” is all an uptight Komakech would say. Juruni spent time talking to Omondi, Enabu and Komakech after the game. “They know they could have done a better job. Only Kami (27 points) took the fight to them.”

21 November 2014

UGANDA : UCU-Oilers rivalry blows up into near ‘me-lee’

Kami Kabange of City Oilers blocks Canons’ Brian
Kami Kabange of City Oilers blocks Canons’ Brian Namake during their semi final playoff game at YMCA Wandegeya on Wednesday. Photo by Ismail Kezaala  

KAMPALA- In the 90s, it was Blue Jackets-Charging Rhino-Tiger Head Power and then Falcons. The latter carried that rivalry to the turn of the millennium with Power.
Then Warriors-Power was born as a rivalry from the 2009 National Basketball League final which the former won 3-1. The latter earned revenge in the next two climaxes.
Today, UCU Canons versus City Oilers might just trump any series, even if Warriors and Power are facing off in the other best-of-five semifinal series.
Besides rain washing out their Game One on Wednesday night at YMCA court, the scenes that followed the cancellation point to more than just competitiveness.
It bordered on hate as the two sets of players and management traded insults and tried to get physical. Police had to restrain them.
Champions Oilers had been leading 50-39 with seven minutes to play in a contest that could have passed for a scene from the Trojan War.
You could barely pinpoint an individual from either side who can claim to be innocent except Oilers’ coach Mandy Juruni, just maybe was a saint.
Apologies have been flying back and forth. Juruni’s team must wait to clinch a first league win over UCU having lost four in four and in the final of this year’s UCU Invitational, 65-77.
Their 77-69 win in last year’s UCU Invitational final is the last time they beat the university side and they had a good chance on Wednesday. With the ‘fighting’, it’s now mental.
Today, two former champions Warriors and Tiger Head Power face off in the first Power-Warriors series in three years.
Warriors did the double over Power with two of the best games this regular season, including clawing back a 21-point deficit to beat their rivals 74-71 under a month ago. Two wins won’t be enough, three will do.
Also Boniface Okello’s UCU Lady Canons play Magic Stormers in the ladies semifinals game one.
City Oilers 50-39 UCU (ABANDONED)
KCCA leopards 64-49 A1 Challenge
(KCCA lead best of five series 1-0)
WOMEN: UCU Vs Magic Stormers
MEN: Power Vs Warriors

20 November 2014

KENYA : KPA and USIU to Represent Kenya At Africa Ball in Tunisia

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and United States International University (USIU) will represent Kenya and the region in the Africa womken's basketball championships in Tunisia from November 28 to December 6.
The two Kenyan clubs will join seven others who have confirmed entry.The defending champions are Interclube of Luanda, Angola. The other clubs are hosts Club Sfaxien (Tunisia), First Bank and Dolphins (Nigeria), INJS (Cameroun), INSS (DR Congo) and Primeiro d'Agosto (Angola).
There are still three more slots to be filled by wild cards.
USIU thrashed KPA at the Makande Welfare hall in Mombasa in August to win the Zone Five club show that had five teams. The two finalists earned the right to the Africa event where they will showcase their prowess against some of the continent's best teams.
Meanwhile in a Premier League match played yesterday in Nakuru, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) dismissed Nakuru Club 82-74 at Menengai High School.
The porters, who had a five game tour were due to play Mennonites in their last fixture of the year. They led 40-33 at the break against a tough home side.
Arial Okal managed to score 24 points while Antony Okello scored 14. The losers had 19 from their danger man James Okerio and 18 from George Kiarie.
Don Bosco took a head start in the Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) men's final when they dismissed Emyba 52-41in Game One of the finals at Railways Club.
Joel Atebe led with 25 points and Collins Ocholla added 7 for the winners. Emyba who looked drained from the previous day's 62-51 victory over Mount Kenya University (MKU) Thika had 13 from Collins Ochilo and 10 from Roy Javan.
Equity Bank thrashed Strathmore University 68-15 to take Game One of the ladies finals.Samba Mjomba nailed 18 points and Joyce Nabwire scored 12 for the bankers. Strathmore who failed to hit double figures in scores in all quarters had Sylvia Kamau posting 8.

19 November 2014

NIGERIA : 2014 ACCW - Ochuko Vows Dolphin Will Prove Mettle Among Africa's Best

Coach of Dolphin female basketball club of Lagos, Ochuko Okworogun, has said her team will not be push overs in the African club champions Cup for women competition in Tunisia holding November 28 through December 7.
Speaking in Lagos as her team finalizes preparations for the event, she expressed delight at players response to training, saying that they are good to fight for a place in the top ranks. We will definitely be fighters, not mere participants, she said.
Dolphin emerged champions of Zone-3 in Burkina Faso, relegating First Bank to second place although both clinched the FIBA Africa Zonal tickets for the continental finals against teams including champions Inter Club of Angola, USIU Flames and KPA of Kenya (Zone 5), INJS of Cameroon, and INSS of Democratic Republic of Congo (Zone 4), US Beau Bassin of Mauritius (zone 7) and CS Sfaxien of Tunisia, the host club. Senegal and others.
Dolphin, who took a week off on return from the zonal finals will not witness any change in the squad as Coach Ochuko said her side would remain the same as the squad that played the zonal competition. "We are aware it is a competition that has traditional teams and former winners who are packed with experience, we will not let that worry us because we proved ourselves against some of the best in the zonal play-offs.. Though Dolphin players lack the kind of experience and exposure other teams have, we are more than determined to play knowing it is going to be tougher.
"However, we will give our best out there. One thing I am promising is that Dolphin will not play as outsiders but as real contenders.
"We are preparing ourselves to be fit mentally and psychologically. We won't disgrace Nigeria. Rather we are going to lift our game high and earn some respect in the continent and come back home with our heads high," she said."
Meanwhile, Nigeria's other team First Bank has set a target to win the title for a third tim, according to Coach Aderemi Adewunmi. First Bank won the crown in 2003 and 2009. According to Aderemi, "our aim is to lift our game and make our management and country proud. Our target is to gun for the African title once more."

TANZANIA : TBF - Taifa Cup On As Scheduled

BARELY three days left and with hopes of securing sponsorship for the forthcoming Inter-regional Championship tournament, dubbed 'Taifa Cup', fading away, the Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) insists the tournament will take place as scheduled.
TBF Technical and Competition Commission Director, Manase Zablon, told the 'Daily News' in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday the Taifa Cup slated for November 23- 30 in Dodoma will be held as planned, despite the federation's failure to get sponsors. "We are going to conduct the tournament as planned whether we secure sponsorship or not," he vowed.
"There are no plans to postpone the event which is a very important platform for identifying and grooming talent." Manase said they are still discussing with some sponsors and if they fail to get one they will move to plan B -- to request all the participating regions to foot transport, board and lodging expenses.
He said administration costs, which include officials and referees transport and per diem allowances, will be handled by the federation.
TBF requires over 58m/- to facilitate the week-long annual event which brings together basketball players from various regions across the country.
According to Manase, only nine out of the anticipated 26 regions beat Saturday's deadline confirming participation. However, the door is still open to other regions which are willing to take part in the event to confirm their entries.
Regions which have already confirmed are Tanga, Coast, Arusha, Mwanza, Mbeya, Ruvuma, Katavi, Temeke and hosts Dodoma.
Temeke are competing as a region following TBF's decision to allow the three Dar es Salaam districts of Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke to participate in the Taifa Cup as separate entities.

KENYA : Ulinzi Warriors and USIU-A Flames lead the charge to playoffs

By francis marangu
Nov 18, 2014
  • Magnifique Nguze of USIU-A and Pauline Okech battle for possession in a league match. USIU-A Flames finished top of the log and face Safe Spaces in the playoff. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
Ulinzi Warriors and United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) basketball teams have topped men and women premier leagues respectively as the 2014 regular season came to a close over the weekend.
Only two games are remaining in men premier pitting Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) against Nakuru Club and Mennonite. Even with that, the playoffs begin this weekend with the best-of-three quarterfinal games.
Ulinzi finished with 58 points from 28 wins and two loses just a point above defending champions Co-operative Bank who won 27 games and lost three. Ulinzi is now prepared to reclaim the title they last won in 2006.
William Balozi, the Ulinzi head coach will be banking on consistency as they play Lions this weekend in the first game. “We worked really hard this season which was my main aim as the coach,” he said.
The coach added: “In regular season, we were playing every team but for playoffs its one team. We have seen them play, we have their statistics and Ulinzi is ready for the battle.”
The coach maintained Lions was a worthy opponent having started off the season on a low to make it to the playoffs. “They recruited well and we expect a tough challenge from them. Whether they are a threat to us or not, I can only say that after the first game is over.”
Lions finished eighth with 46 points having won 18 games, lost 11 and forfeited one.
The soldiers won their last game of the season 119-57 against Blazers on Saturday as Victor Odendo scored 35 points and Joseph Ngoshi 24. Second-placed Co-op Bank will play seventh-placed Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) who have 46 points from 16 wins and 14 losses.
KAA lost their last game 51-58 to KPA on Saturday. The dockers also beat Strathmore University 85-79 and Nairobi Aviation College 74-54.
Head-to-head determine top team
USIU-A who are third and KPA on fourth might trade positions depending on how the dockers perform in their remaining games. KPA are four points behind the students and if they win the two games, both teams will have 55 points with head-to-head record determining the podium finisher.
Subject to the outcome, they will play either Strathmore University or Blades who are fifth and sixth respectively.
USIU-A, last year's losing finalist ruled the women's premier league with and iron hand. They have 43 points having won 21 games and lost once. In the playoffs quarterfinal, they will play Safe Spaces who finished eighth with 30 points from eight wins and 14 losses.
At the weekend, USIU-A beat Strathmore University 82-33 in their last game while Safe Spaces lost 41-67 to Sprite Storms.
Defending champions KPA came second with 42 points from 20 wins and two losses and play Ulinzi Blades. The soldiers were seventh with 31 points from 11 wins, 10 losses and one forfeited game. KPA won 49-19 against Mennonite and 97-22 over Western Delight in their last games over the weekend.
Storms and Eagle Wings will confront each other in the quarterfinals. Eagles were third on the log with 39 points from 17 wins and 5 losses as Storms came in sixth on 35 points from 13 wins and 9 losses.
The toughest matchup will be between fourth-placed Strathmore University and fifth-placed Co-operative Bank. Both teams tied on 36 points from 14 wins and eight  losses but Strathmore came top after beating the bankers at home and away in the regular season.
In division one, Zetech University who finished top with 56 points will play Trailblazers. Umoja will be up against Upper Hill while Lakeside and Dankind Academy pair up.
The other fixture has Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U) up against World Hope.
This weekend's games will be played at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium, Makande gymnasium in Mombasa and Kisumu Sports Ground.
KBF League weekend results
Friday: Terror 67 Strathmore University 81, Nairobi Aviation College 54 KPA Men 74.
Saturday: KPA Ladies 97 Western Delight 22, Sprite Storms 67 Safe Spaces 41, Ulinzi Warriors 119 Blazers 57, KAA 51 KPA (Men) 58, Nakuru Club 58 Mennonite 55.
Sunday: ANU 0 Barclays Bank 20, Eagle Wings 72 Western Delight 38, USIU Flames 82 Strathmore University 33, Blades 67 Equity Bank 59, Strathmore University 79 KPA (Men) 85, Mennonite 19 KPA Ladies 49.
Playoffs, Quarter finals fixtures
Men: Premier League; Ulinzi Warriors vs Lions, Co-op Bank vs KAA, USIU-A/KPA vs Strathmore University/Blades; Women: USIU-A vs Safe Spaces, KPA vs Ulinzi Blades, Eagle Wings vs Sprite Storms, Strathmore University vs Co-op Bank; Division One: Zetech University vs Trailblazers, Umoja vs Upper Hill, Lakeside vs Dankid Academy, KCA-U vs World Hope.

MALAWI : Diamonds salvage point

Sports-2 Former OG Issa champions Diamonds staged a stunning comeback to salvage a point against holders Complex Tigresses 29-29 in a dull and rough encounter on Sunday.
The two giants met at College of Medicine Sports Complex as Blantyre Youth Centre was booked.
Defenders from both teams were guilty of rough play that threatened innocent souls on the court. Yet nobody dared to punish culprits while officials from both teams were just murmuring but did nothing to restrain their player’s from violent play.
Umpires Steve Nyadila and Titus Wankhamwa failed to stamp authority leaving officials from both teams seething with rage.
Tigresses seemed to be cruising for victory after leading the first quarter 11-5 and second quarter 18-12. In the third quarter Diamonds were trailing by five baskets as Tigresses scored 25 against 20.
Sensing defeat was imminent, Diamonds coach Griffin Saenda made some tactical changes to turn around the team’s fortunes.
Firstly Saenda pulled out Rebecca Germany for Jessica Mazengera Sanudi before replacing stylish attacker Sarudzai Gondwe with Wezzie Mzembe.
The seasoned coach later substituted shooter Grace Chazungulira and recalled Gondwe from the bench. The tactical changes unsettled Tigresses and Diamonds took advantage of the situation to level the tie.
Tigresses shooters Sindie Simtowe and Ellen Chibokho misfired while Beatrice Mpinganjira and centre Catherine Yikwanga struggled to create spaces and supply balls quick enough.
Saenda said they never gave up and promised to continue with the same rhythm in the second half.
“I kept on reading the game and I realised that we had to minimise our mistakes. I thank the players for putting up impressive performance after I made those changes,” he said.
Tigresses coach Peace Chawinga-Kalua was not happy with the result.
“I don’t want to talk about officiation even though there were some questionable decisions. We didn’t play our usual game especially from centre court to shooters,” she said.
Diamonds top the table with 31 points from 11 games while Tigresses are second with 28 points. Tigresses can go on top if they beat MTL Queens in their final game of the first round.
In other games played on Saturday, Tigresses beat Prison Sisters 82-25 while Airwing Sisters humbled Chilomoni Sisters 52-32.
Shizaella Queens and MTL Queens were awarded free points after Aquaid Queens and Polytechnic respectively failed to report for matches.
Diamonds were also awarded free points when Polytechnic did not show up for the match while Alliance Capital Stars beat Shizaella 36-30.
Airwing Sisters beat Gold Sisters 47-36 at Cobbe Barracks. Gold Sisters also went down to Prison Sisters 30-37.

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