22 July 2014

TANZANIA : Kisusi Targets Professional Basketball

TANZANIAN ALPHAES Kisusi intends to play professional basketball in the Unted States of America when he completes his studies abroad.
Kisusi, who is currently studying International Business at the Newfound Memorial University in Canada after securing a scholarship in 2012, said that he is keen to go further in the game.
He said during a two-day basketball training he conducted at the Zanaki Secondary School ground in Dar es Salaam over the weekend that after graduating he will not turn down the chance to feature in the highest basketball league in the world.
Kisusi organized the training while on holiday and it brought together about 50 Under-18 boys and girls players from all Dar es Salaambased clubs. He said that basketball is in his blood and hopes that he will get a chance to play in the US one day.
Kisusi said that he is happy that many youths turned up for training and it went out well as expected. The youth displayed skills that prove that if they are encouraged and given the necessary support they will go further.
"My scholarship came through a basketball camp and it makes me feel good to impact my skills to upcoming players who can also follow my footsteps," he said.
During the training Kisusi taught the youth foot work, jump stop, dribbling, passing, receiving drills, lay-up, shooting drill, jump shots, off dribble jump shots, skills challenge games, general warm up, grouping skills challenge and shooting. John Samwel, one of the participants from Mgulani JKT Club, said he was happy to receive such training from Kisusi.
"I'm happy to see Kisusi having a good spirit to help others. We really benefited from the two-day training. I wish to see more like this from other players living abroad if possible," he said.
He said that Kisusi is an example that anything is possible, because he did not sit back and wait for sponsor to do that ... he did it himself. Kisusi thanked basketball coach Bahati Mgunda of Mambo Basketball, for helping him organize the training which was a success.
He won a scholarship in 2012 after doing well at a basketball camp organised by Mambo Basketball in collaboration with the Tanzania Students Achievement Organisation. The camp ran under Newfound Memorial University coach Peter Bonoite.

UGANDA : From dust to champion: The emergency of Daniel ‘Najja’ Juuko

From dust to champion: The emergency of Daniel ‘Najja’ Juuko Courtesy photo
Making it from the dusty hoops of Najja High School to the National Basketball League’s painted tarmac of the YMCA outdoor facility and crowned champion at the multi-discipline floor of the MTN Arena requires a certain amount of determination – a determination that cannot be weathered no matter how tough it gets.

Daniel Juuko aka Najja came to the top through the ranks from way back in 2009. The smart point guard started out from the dusty court of Najja High School battling for a place on the school’s team that was dominated by foreigners (Kenyans & Tanzanians).
Juuko joined (then) Division III side Berkley in 2010 which was promoted to Division II and turned into Rez Life Saints that also advanced to play in the premier division in the 2012 season and were cellar-dwellers all through the season and condemned back to Division II. While the Saints went down, Juuko was picked up by City Oilers.
“These guys (through Silver Rugambwa) came and talked to me, told me about the aspirations of the team and I was convinced. I had to join them and we are”
It was not rosy for the 24 year old at the start of his basketball life at City Oilers. “I was pretty nervous at the start playing with those guys. They had played for a while at the top and I was almost just starting. I think it was clear how nervous I and Sammie (Samuel Kalwanyi) were”

The breakthrough:
They say hard work is a talent itself. If there is no struggle, there is no progress and not many young players here understand that as much as Daniel ‘Najja’ Juuko. You don’t put in hours of workouts and practice without hunger to do great things.

“Getting here alone is all hard work and of course the trust of the coach. To earn the trust of the coach you have got to work hard and do what is right on court. I put in an extra hour outside of the usual team practice” he says.

In the wake of a poor post season from Muhamed Yusuf, tired legs of Ronnie Kalule and Jimmy Enabu’s knee injury, Juuko proved to be a welcome surprise for City Oilers. The diminutive point guard blew the local basketball faithful away with his stellar performance against an experienced Falcons’ back court in last year’s NBL playoffs finals.
“You may say that Moudy (Mohamed Yusuf) had a bad post season but I think that is not true. The turning point for me was when Jimmy got injured. The coach trusted me and I had to take on the responsibility and did quite well”
Najja has seen his minutes on the court reduce this season, not necessarily a consequence of his own play but the result of Ben Komakech, Jeff Omondi and Jimmy Enabu clogging the rotation.
While it would be easy to shrink away from the spotlight after City Oilers brought in the two experienced guards, Juuko has designs of an impact player – when he comes on, he gets the job done.
Juuko is not afraid to talk about his frustration at not getting as much time as he did at the end of last season but believes it is a learning process for him.
“Every player wants to play and obviously I feel disappointed at times but there is always the right time to prove” he says. “I always want to learn from him (Ben Komakech) much as he is a competitor. I like the way he points – calm and composed.”
The third year guard dreams of being the best player in the league and win in the region and on the continent.
“I want to be the best player in this league, I want to be the MVP at some point” he says. “As you win, the aspirations increase. Now that we have the league (and we want to win it again) we want to represent on the continent as well”

UGANDA : Kabangu’s return to form elevates Falcons

The Serge Kabangu who came to the YMCA court on Sunday is the one Falcons have not seen in a quite a while, the one who helped them reach the finals last December.
In his first season here, the Congolese-born forward was stellar as a side-kick to the six-time champions’ main offensive weapons. As Philip Ameny, Abdullahi Ramadhan and Stephen Omony dominated the show, Kabangu established himself as the silent killer, becoming quite reliable.
Ameny and Dulah left for Tiger Head Power. His responsibility was immediately elevated only that he hasn’t played like he had noticed the change just yet. If Sunday is anything to go by, Kabangu is revitalized.
Season high
He scored a season-high 21 points and 17 rebounds to bury his struggles as Falcons stalled Warriors recently found momentum in an 82-77 victory. Warriors had won their last two, including beating Power 102-92. He did a bit of everything to assume the responsibility of being Falcons’ premier scorer inside the arc even if some incessant three-point attempts could have been avoided.
With Herbert Akhitah ejected in the second quarter, someone had to take charge and Kabangu obliged like many times last season. Kabangu dwarfed Syrus Kiviri’s 21 points and five rebounds, Jonah Mukwaba’s 15 and Steven Mwesigye’s 11 and seven rebounds.
Coach Sam Obol’s team led for large periods and even when Warriors tied it at 68-up and 74-all late in the fourth, Kiviri was there to finish the job. There was no shame in the way Warriors lost even if coach Gad Eteu will know consistency must be found sooner following their lethargic start to the season.

21 July 2014

NIGERIA : MVP Usman Inspires Kano Pillars to Victory

ABUBAKAR Usman was the star of the final game in the DStv Premier Basketball League against Mark Mentors, as his three point shot in the closing minutes handed his team an 89-88 point victory.
He was adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP), the second in a row, and he also picked the highest scorer award with 138 points in five games, while Mark Mentors' forward Abdul Yahaya went home with the highest rebounder award.
Pillars also became the first team to win four titles in the six-season-old league after edging Mentors in a nail-bitting finale.
The thrilling final, kept fans on the edge of their seat as the Abuja-based Mentors looked set to do the impossible leading by four points (88-84) with nine seconds left. However, lost concentration in the dying moments of the encounter, allowing Pillars energetic point guard, Adeolu Olaiya Ojo to go on a fast-break for two points and an hasty ball-inbound cost them (Mark Mentors) the game as Ojo incepted a pass to set-up Pillars main-man, Usman who made a three-point with three seconds remaining.
Efforts by Mentors to draw a foul or make two points did not yield result as the buzzer went off to signal the end of the game. Scores in the four quarters stood at 20-25, 21-19, 20-18 and 28-26.
Usman recorded the play-off high of 38 points, 5 steal, 4 rebound and 4 assist in 35.27 minutes and was joined in double figure by the duo of Ibrahim Yusuf (11 points, 3 rebounds) and Adeolu Olaiya Ojo (10 points and 3 steal) to hand Pillars the trophy.
Dodan Warriors retained it third position with an 81-71 points (08-16, 14-22, 18-15, 27-14 and 04-14) victory over Gombe Bulls after over-time with both sides garnering 67 points in regulation time.
Meanwhile, the president of the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) Tijjani Umar said umpire Tunde Popoola got the decision to cancel the final basket scored by Mark Mentors right.
After he and the chairman of Mark Mentors, Mark Igoche came out of the OB van of TV right owners SuperSport to review the dying seconds of the epic final match.
"From the replay, it was clear that Musa Usman still had possession of the ball as time expired. The referee dully indicated that, and from the video footage I and Igoche saw, the referee got the decision right".
Controversy ensued at the venue when Popoola cancelled Mark Mentors Usman's basket at the end of the game. Mentors, who led all through the game, led by 4 points with 21 seconds to go. However there was a dramatic twist of fortune when Pillars took the lead by one point, 89-88 points with 5 seconds left on the clock. With the championship title still at stake, Mark Mentors pushed to score within the time left. They did score, but it was too late as time expired before they could get the ball in the basket.

KENYA : Champions Co-Operative Bank Roll Over Strathmore Blades

REIGNING national champions Co-op Bank of Kenya defeated Strathmore Blades 68-57 in KBF Premier league duel at the Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani.
James Mwangi scored 16 points for the bankers while Titus Musembi added 15. For the students' Robert Hope managed to net 14 and Valentine Nyakinda posted 11.
Thunder struck Nairobi Aviation College (NAC) 94-62, behind game high of 43 points from Griffin Ligare. Felix Luke and Frankline Delano managed 18 points and Job Byron made 10 points for NAC.
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) went into over drive humiliating Nakuru Club 121-65 in a one-sided demolition. Dickson Aran and Samuel Ochola managed 20 points each. Nakuru's James Okerio collected 23 points.
In the women's matches, Co-op Bank nipped Ulinzi Blades 59-58. Linet Atieno scored 16 points and Grace Wanjiku 12. The soldiers had 22 from Bridgid Nanzala and 15 from Rebecca Serange. At the Nyayo Stadium gymnasium, former champions Eagle Wings eclipsed Kenyatta University 'Oryx' 40-27 as veteran Eunice Ouma made 13 points. In the lower division matches, Trailblazers pipped Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University 59-58 while Eldonets beat Parklands Baptist 59-42. In the Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) provincial matches played at Railways Club, UoN Dynamites beat Gladiators 40-39 while Zetech College trounced JKUATS Juja 31-29.
Other results were as follows: Cuea 43 All Stars 36; Emyba 83 Pac University 55; Anu 35 MKU Thika 51; Parklands Girls 39 Footprints 30, Daystar 29 Equity 65; Dynamoz 44 Upper Hill 50, Our Lady Queen of Peace 38 USIU 31-29.

KENYA : KU Pirates keen to avoid relegation

  • Arial Okal of KAA against Kenyatta University Pirates who are keen to stay in the men's KBF Premier league after losing key players last season. The University only fields current students.
Kenyatta University Pirates, one of the teams promoted to the Kenya Basketball Federation men's premier league this year, has found itself fighting relegation in their debut season.
The varsity side had their eyes on the playoffs but a poor start has forced head coach Gitau Waringo to review his goals. Pirates has played twelve matches and won only one against bottom side Blazers.
“The playoffs are out of question for us looking at the performance. Our main objective in the remaining games is to play hard and be among the top fourteen teams and avoid relegation,” he told sportsnewsarena.com.
At the start of the season, Pirates lost five key players who were part of the starting five last season in their division one campaign. Gilbert Obiero (now with Umoja), Douglas Momanyi, Nicodemus Odhiambo, Robert Otieno and Jonathan Lando are not part of the team anymore and Waringo rues their exit.
“Its very difficult for us without the five,” he observed saying his team is equal to the task. “I cannot say competition in the league is big for us but its only that we don't have the key players. If they were there, we could now be playing in the top four and matching these top teams.”
He adds the institution’s policy of releasing players who graduate and picking players from within has put to rest any chances of seeking replacements. The university’s long holiday that begins in March till August has also complicated the team’s chances.
Since the start of the 2014 season in April, players have been operating from home and it is difficult to raise a quorum during training. On Sunday, they lost 55-75 to Thunder after putting up a strong fight.
Griffin Ligare scored 25 points for Thunder, grabbed seven rebounds and five steals with Cliff Alela adding 18 points, 16 rebounds and two steals. Jacktone Agunda was Pirates’ highest scorer with 17 points.Thunder beat Nairobi Aviation College 94-62 on Saturday.
Drama on Sunday
There was drama on Sunday after Equity Bank refused to play Kenya Ports Authority, KPA, at the Nyayo gymnasium which resulted in a 20-0 walkover for the dockers. The match was earlier slated for Friday night at Kasarani but rescheduled to Sunday.
However, Equity players insisted they were prepared to play against Blazers and not KPA occasioning the stalemate. KPA had earlier beaten Nakuru Club 121-65 on Saturday.
Nakuru was on the losing end again on Sunday going down 50-68 to champions Co-operative Bank. Nick Ondinyo had 13 points for the bankers while Nakuru’s top scorer was Robert Kibet with 11 points. Nakuru won the first quarter 15-13 and Co-op Bank the subsequent quarters 18-9, 20-11 and 17-15.
On Saturday, the bankers beat Blades from Strathmore University 68-57.
Lions continued with its resurgence after beating Strathmore University 60-58 at the death on Sunday. It was a comeback win for Lions who trailed 22-33 at the breather.
United States International University- Africa, USIU-A, extended its season record to 10-0 with a 67-35 win over Kenya College of Accountancy- University, KCA-U. Georgia Adhiambo top scored for USIU-A with 11 points while Celestine Isabwa scored 16 for KCA-U.
Ulinzi Blades registered their fourth win of the season beating Safe Spaces 50-40. Safe Spaces featured five players only without any substitutions for the entire game and exhaustion played a key role in their loss.
Rebecca Sarange top-scored for Ulinzi with 13 points and Florence Mbithe for Safe Spaces with 10. Ulinzi’s record stands at 4-5 and head coach Moses Shida remains hopeful of making it to the playoffs.
“The team is generally good only that our bench power is very weak. We don't have quality players to complement the regulars but we must play in the playoffs despite tough competition.”
in another match, Suzanne Akinyi scored 18 points to steer Sprite Storms to a 57-23 win over Western Delights. Jacqueline Chelashaw scored 11 points for Delights who lost all quarters 8-6, 12-4, 17-9 and 20-4. Eagle Wings scored 40-27 against Kenyatta University Oryx.
KBF Weekend Results: KPA 20 Equity Bank 0 (wo), Ulinzi Blades 50 Safe Spaces 40, KCA-U 35 USIU Flames 67, Co-op Bank 68 Nakuru Club 50, Sprite Storms 57 Western Delights 23, Eagle Wings 40 KU Oryx 27, KCA-U 58 Trailblazers 59, Parklands Baptist 42 Eldonetts 59, Lions 60 Strathmore University 58, Thunder 75 KU Pirates 55, Nairobi Aviation College 62 Thunder 94, Co-op Bank 68 Blades 57, KPA 121 Nakuru Club 65.

UGANDA : Dulah thrills to lift Power over UCU Canons

When Abdullahi Ramadhan first came to Uganda in 2009, Fuba president and Warriors boss Ambrose Tabshobya had a glowing description of the Tanzanian.
“He is probably one the best players I have ever seen in this region,” Tashobya said. The guard didn’t disappoint then, helping Warriors to their first Airtel National Basketball League title in his first season.
In that season, all we saw was ‘Dulah’, the match-winner. While the first cut was deep, he has since oscillated from brilliant to lethargic and individualistic, or even annoying.
On Friday at YMCA, Dulah was individualistic. However, Tiger Head Power, his current team having joined from Krishna Falcons, needed him to be exactly that, bordering on selfish.
They struggled offensively. His 17 points, most of them tough driving lay-ups, were crucial to Power beating UCU Canons 65-59. Paul Odong added 14.
This was an important result as the five-time champions lost 102-92 to Warriors seven days prior. Also, the game could be remembered for the depletion of the two rosters.
Philip Ameny and Norman Blick were missing due to suspension and injury respectively. UCU, already without Desmond Owili until November, had Sudi Ulanga join the treatment room with a knee problem.
“Someone had to try and win the game,” Dulah said. And he was dead right as UCU weren’t much better in terms of creating plays and penetration except when Dulah attacked, changed hands.
In the absence of Owili and Ulanga, Ivan Lumanyika scored 12 and 13 rebounds and Jonathan Engwau contributed 12 off the bench.

20 July 2014

KENYA : USIU Disqualified

KENYA's United States University Africa (USIU-A) team was locked out of the All Africa Games basketball final match against Uganda for allegedy fielding ineligible players.
Ugandan coach Albert Aciko lodged a complaint on Wednesday evening to the tournament's technical committee to the effect that USIU-A had fielded non-Kenyan players, which is against the championships rules. The technical committee then held a meeting to deliberate on the issue and found USIU-A guilty of the offence before subsequently disqualifying them from the tournament.
The Ugandan coach claimed that USIU-A had fielded four non-Kenyan players including--Ghyslane Uwimana, Magnifique Ndayikengerutse, Cynthia Irankunda (from Burundi), and South Sudanese Manuela Biel in their four matches of the tournament.
Reached for comment, the USIU-A coach George Mayiega declined to speak to the media on the matter. The players too were a non-committal on the unfortunate unfolding.
Effort to reach the director of the technical committee, Bonifas Salano to explain why the non-Kenyan players had been accredited to participate in the event were also futile.
The move saw Uganda pitted against Mozambique in the ladies' final and won the 48-44 to take home the gold medal. Though Uganda trailed 15-20 at the breather, they resumed the second half in high spirit to beat Mozambique 20-12 in the third quarter. It was a neck-to-neck affair in the fourth quarter with the two sides sharing spoils at 12-12.
Commenting on the game, Uganda's coach Aciko praised the girls for their hard work throughout the tournament. "I am happy the girls played so well to win the title. This is the first International Championships title for the team and this gives us joy and reason to celebrate," said the cheerful Aciko.
"I came to learn about USIU-A's ineligible players on the second day of the tournament and I had to be very sure that the girls we suspected were indeed not Kenyans. It was yesterday (Wednesday) that I was certain the four players were non-Kenyans and I immediately lodged a complaint with the technical committee. My complain was not malicious at all," added Aciko.
Clair Lamunu top-scored for Uganda with 18 points while Joy Chemtai came second with 8 points. Monica Tembo and Sousa Cita topped Mozambique's score sheet with 10 and 8 points respectively.
In the men's spirited final, pitting Egypt and Mozambique, the latter routed the North Africans 71-54 to emerge the 2014 All Africa University Games basketball champions.Meanwhile, Egypt retained the games overall title for the second time after they bagged 112 medals as the curtains came down on the week-long show at the University of Nairobi grounds. Egypt won the bi-annual event in 2012 in Namibia.
The pharaohs bagged 66 medals--20 gold, 38 silver and 8 bronze to finish ahead of hosts Kenya who bagged (68 )medals--8 gold medals, 33 silver and 27 bronze. Neighbours Uganda finished third with 48 medals--4 medals, 9 silver and 35 bronze.
Kenya won five gold, eight silver and six bronze in athletics and 11 silver and 16 bronze in swimming. In basketball, Kenya bagged bronze while in chess the hosts settled for four silver and two silver in football. Other Kenya medals came through Karate (two silver), handball (silver), tennis (one gold and three silver), and table tennis (silver).
Ghana finished fourth with 19 medals, 11 gold, four silver and four bronze while South Africa were fifth with seven medals--six gold and a silver. Senegal had four silver and 2 bronze while Cameroon and Zimbabwe tied in the seventh position with five medals apiece.

KENYA : Fiba Zone Five Africa Show Attracts 23 Clubs

A RECORD 23 clubs have confirmed participation in the FIBA Africa Zone Five Club Championships slated for Mombasa next month.
Coast Basketball Association (CBA) chairman Hilmi Ali yesterday confirmed everything is in place for the first international tournament to be staged at the coastal city.
This will be the biggest entry since the event was held in Kampala, Uganda in 2009. The six-day tournament throws off on August 25 and will bring together teams from Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and host Kenya. "Mombasa is all set for this big championships. Everything is in place and we are all raring to go. We have got some sponsorship and we still hope other sponsors will come on boar," Said Ali.
Hilmi revealed they will use two venues with the men playing at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Welfare Hall at Makande and the ladies battling it out at the Aga Khan Academy. Reigning national champions Co-operative Bank of Kenya and KPA together with last year's runners up United States International University (USIU) KPA men have confirmed participation. Women reigning champions Eagle Wings participation is still in doubt as they await clearance from FIBA. Urunani of Burundi are the defending men champions having won the title at home during last year's show in Bujumbura.

KENYA : Kenya's Clean Run at Stake as They Face Off With Uganda Aces

KENYA's United States University of Africa (USIU-A) women basketball team will face off with Uganda in the final match scheduled for today in on-going All Africa University Games at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Kenya ladies have had a stellar run winning all their matches in the tournament that was played on a home and away basis. Kenya United States USIU-A beat Uganda 59-39 and Mozambique 46-42 to sail to the finals having won all their matches. Zipporah Odhiambo and Cynthia Irankunda topscored for Kenya with 11 points apiece while Hilda Indasi followed in with 9 points against Uganda.
Against Mozambique, Indasi scored 19points while the skipper Odhiambo slotted in 18 points. For the Mozambique side, Alice Timba contributed five baskets to lead the score sheet while Chiziawe Nisa had 9 points.
In the men's category, Egypt booked their berth in today's final after beating hosts Kenya University of Nairobi 55-52 their return match in the second fixture of the day. The game started off on a sour note amid tension as Kenya sough to upset the Pharaohs for the second time in a row.
The Egyptians won the first quarter 17-12 as their star Ahmed Mohieb chipped in three baskets to contribute 6 out of the 17 points. Kenya bounced back in the second quarter with the sharp shooter Moses Wanjala commanding the attacks to lead the North Africans 17-10 at the interval.
On resumption, Hillary Kubai and Dan Nabuya slotted in a basket and a half each to fire the 'Comrades' 6-0 lead over Egypt. Wanjala then fouled Egyptian Abdelrahman Yosien in the 'D' earning him two free throws--allowing the Pharaohs to trail 2-6. The third quarter was full of stoppages as both teams' players and technical bench contested the calls made by the referees.
Seven minutes into the third quarter, the game came to a standstill for 90 seconds when a technical foul was called following a foul by Mohieb and Karim Dahshan against Kenya's George Omenda. This saw Omenda garner half a basket from the two free throws to help Kenya extend the lead 11-7. Nicholas Anyang' scored his first three-pointer of the match within four seconds of counter attack to take the lead to 18-14 after capitalising on poor handling of the ball by Ahmed Elgendy in Kenya's backyard.
Egypt put forth a water-tight defence in the last quarter with University of Nairobi (UoN) only managing two and a half baskets against Egypt's 14. Kenya's situation was made worse after Anyang' and Collins Gumba failed to convert two free throws each.
James Nyaribari topscored for UoN with 11points, Valentine Nyakinda was second with 10 . Dan Nabuya chipped in 8. Dahshan topped Egypt's score sheet with 18points while Yosien contributed 14.

Mali: Côte d'Ivoire Clinches the Ticket for Mali

Côte d'Ivoire win their ticket for the finals of the women Afrobasket U18. Led by a sparkling Salange Irene Bognigni, the Ivorian team won the qualifying tournament for Zone III which was held in Abidjan on 13 and 14 July. Côte d'Ivoire have dominated the double confrontation that pitted them to Burkina Faso, the only selection on the banks of the Ebrié lagoon for these playoffs Zone III.
Beaten 48-16 in the first leg match Sunday, the Burkinabe junior shattered in the second leg. It heavily tilted 10-76. These tussles took place at the Sports Hall in Treichville.
Member of the Five Major at Afrobasket U16 Maputo 2013, Irene Bognigni finished top scorer over the two games. Côte d'Ivoire therefore qualifies for the 13th edition of the U18 Afrobasket to be held in September in Mali.
Note that Uganda has also validated the qualification for junior African women's basketball championship.

NIGERIA : Nigeria Men's Basketball League Semi-Finals Hold Friday

Group A leaders and defending champions, Kano Pillars basketball club, will take on Group B runners-up, Gombe Bulls basketball club, in the first semi-final.
Group B winners, Mark Mentors basketball club of Abuja, will meet Group A runners-up, Dodan Warriors basketball club of Lagos, in the second semi-final game at the venue.
Pillars, led by Abubakar Usman who scored 31 points in the 84-79 win over Dodan Warriors on Tuesday, had won all their three group games.
They beat the Warriors (84-79), Union Bank of Lagos (88-71) and defeated Plateau Peaks of Jos (93-53) to earn the maximum points in the group.
Gombe Bulls posted an impressive 2-1 record with wins over Lagos Islanders (45-42) and Oluyole Warriors of Ibadan (53-34), and lost 58-76 to Mark Mentors.
The Mentors won all their Group B games - Oluyole Warriors (82-61), Gombe Bulls (76-58) and Islanders (53-50).
On their part, Dodan Warriors finished the preliminary round with a 2-1 record just like Gombe Bulls, by defeating Plateau Peaks and Union Bank (71-57 and 65-52 respectively).
They however went down 79-84 to Pillars.

RWANDA : Ubumwe win women basketball league title

WomenRAPP 43-67 Ubumwe
MenGisenyi 62-56 30-Plus
MenRusizi vs UGB 9amIPRC vs Gisenyi 11am
UBUMWE Basketball Club are the champions of this year’s women basketball league.
They claimed the crown after easily registering victory over RAPP in their final game of the season played at KIST courts yesterday.
Ubumwe BBC who also won the pre-season tournament in February won their first league title prior to thrashing 67-43 Rwandan Allied Peace for Progress (RAPP) in the last match of the women’s national basketball championship.
Ubumwe BBC head coach Jacques Habige told Sunday Sport that he was extremely happy with the milestone achievement. “I can’t believe we won this title dethroning a dominant APR who were reigning champions since 2008. Thanks to my players for this success.”
Ubumwe won the title with 15 points, on level with APR but the latter had a less score average.
RAPP and UR-Huye campus finished third and fourth-placed with 11 points respectively while UR-college of education finished bottom in the fifth position with seven points. The first four will feature in the forthcoming play-offs set for early August.
In men’s league, new entrants Gisenyi BBC beat 62-56 struggling 30-Plus and are back in action this morning playing IPRC-Kicukiro at 11am KIST courts while Rusizi BBC is hosting UGB this morning at 9am in Rusizi District.

19 July 2014

UGANDA : Okello eager for UCU to inflict more damage on Power

KAMPALA- Boniface Okello believes UCU Canons stand a chance of inflicting a second straight defeat on Tiger Head Power when the two teams meet today in the Airtel National basketball league.
“We stand a good chance if we can stop their fast prevent fast break offense,” said the small forward who also won two titles with Power in
2010 and 2011
UCU(6-3) have had a decent start to the season and are the only team to have beaten champions City Oilers this season.
Their roster is also expected to be beefed up by the additions of centre Francis Ogola and Martin Okwako who have been away from their recent games.
Power will meanwhile hope to bounce back from last Friday’s 102-92 defeat to Riham Warriors which left the five time champions with a 5-4 record.
In the continued absence of big man Phillip Ameny, Power will look once again look to shooting guard Paul Odong who is averaging 19 points from his last three games.
On Wednesday, Riham Warriors continued their renaissance with an 88-56 straight forward victory over Sharing Youth.
Guard Jude Ochen led all scorers with 16 points with three other players, Stephen Okias 12, Brian Gumisiriza 11 and Eric Malinga 10 all getting into double figures.
Stephen Otoa meanwhile scored 12 and Tony Okello 11 points as Caleb Ernest’s Sharing slumped to 4-6 this season.
The other game had six time winners Krishna Falcons, hold Nkumba Marines’ 24-12 third quarter surge to prevail 76-65.
Syrus Kiviiri continued his blistering start to the season with a game high 23 points coupled with able assistance from Peter Elungat’s 19 points.

RWANDA : Espoir, APR set for Zone V Club tourney

Reigning champions Espoir BBC have started preparations for next month's regional club tourney. Courtesy.
REIGNING CHAMPIONS Espoir and APR women basketball clubs are set to represent Rwanda at this year’s Fiba/Africa Zone Five club championships set for next month in Kenya.
The one-week competition will run from August 25 to 31 at the KPA Makande Hall in Mombasa, Kenya. Burundi’s Urunani BBC are the defending champions in the men’s category while Eagle Wings are holders of the women’s title.
Speaking to Saturday Sport yesterday, Espoir BBC head coach Jean Bahufite who doubles as national men’s senior team assistant said that his side is ready for the regional competition.
“We are ready for the tournament. Preparations are already underway. We have started early so as to get enough time to put our team in an excellent shape,” Bahufite said.
He also added that his side will build on the performance staged in the last two editions, having won the tournament in 2012 and reaching the final in 2013 to reclaim the zonal crown for the second time, adding that the target is attainable.
However, APR women’s team which also represented the country at the 2013 edition in Burundi did not perform well as they consecutively lost 50-35 to Burundi’s Les Gazelles and 65-51 to Tanzania’s Don Bosco to get knocked-out in the group stages

16 July 2014

KENYA : Co-op Bank, USIU, Ulinzi Win Big

  • Shem Otieno of KAA in a KBF men's Premier League action against Lions in a past match. KAA dropped to the third spot after losing to Aviation at the weekend (SNA File Photo)
United States International University - Africa ascended to the leadership of the Kenya Basketball Federation men's league after winning all their matches at the weekend.
Equally impressive were Co-operative Bank (the defending champions) and Ulinzi Warriors who also won their two league matches.
Following their wins at the weekend, USIU-A now lead the league with 22 points. The students kicked off their weekend harvest with a 73-42 win over Kenyatta University Pirates in a game they led 47-20 at halftime.
Abel Nson scored 27 points to lead USIU-A in winning all quarters 19-7, 28-13, 14-11 and 12-11 respectively. Pirates’ highest scorer was Jackton Agunda with 17 points.
On Sunday, USIU-A beat Nakuru Club 80-60 to bag maximum points. Samuel Odera scored 11 points for the students with James Okerio top scoring for Nakuru on 14.
Co-op Bank convincingly beat Blazers 84-40 on Saturday. The top scorers for the bankers were Frederick Odongo and Titus Musembi who had 30 points each.
The champions led 44-18 at the breather and swept home all the quarters 22-10, 22-8, 12-8 and 28-14. Joel Wafula scored 13 points for Blazers.
In their second match, Co-op Bank rallied from 27-29 down at half time to overcome KU Pirates 68-39. The bankers won first quarter 16-15 and Pirates’ the second 14-11.
A dominant display upon resumption saw Co-op Bank overpower their opponents with 23-2 and 18-8 wins in the third and fourth quarters. James Mwangi had 14 points for the bankers while Mike Oketch top scored for Pirates with 11 points.
Biggest mover
Ulinzi was the biggest mover going to the second spot with 21 points from eleven matches. The soldiers beat Equity Bank 62-46 on Saturday. They led 33-16 at half time.  Ancette Wafula scored 24 points while Vincent Onsogo had 11 for Equity.
On Sunday, Ulinzi beat Nairobi Aviation College 60-47, a comeback win after trailing 25-29 at the breather. Aviation won the first quarter 18-11 and the second went to Ulinzi 14-11.
The soldiers’ turnaround came in the second half after winning the third and fourth quarters 15-8 and 20-10 to nail down maximum points. Victor Odendo scored 12 points for Ulinzi while Felix Luke notched 11 for Aviation.
Kenya Airports Authority, KAA, dropped to the third spot after losing 58-65 to Aviation. They have 20 points.
Ben Oluoch scored a game high of 26 points for Aviation who led 28-22 at the breather. Shem Otieno was KAAs top scorer with 17 points.
KCB Lions beat Mennonite 65-52 in a match which saw Victor Ochieng, the captain score 20 points.  The Lions led 34-20 at halftime after winning the first two quarters 21-14 and 13-6.
They won the third quarter 18-14 but Mennonite bounced back to win the fourth quarter 18-13. Erick Wawire top scored for Mennonite with 16 points.
Thunder inflicted the 10th loss to Blazers whom they narrowly beat 67-60 on Sunday. Griffin Ligare scored 30 for Thunder who led 38-29 at the breather. Joel Wafula was the highest scorer for Blazers on18 points and Joe Koech added 17.
Sprite Storms and Strathmore University were on the winning end in women's Premier League beating Kenyatta University Oryx and Kenya College of Accountancy- University KCA-U) respectively.
Mercy Wanyama scored 14 points and Sylvia Omollo 11 to steer Storms to a 56-40 win over Kenyatta University Oryx. The top scorer for Oryx was Betty Kamau on 19 points.
Melissa Akinyi scored 20 points to lead Strathmore to a 73-18 win over KCA-U after a low-scoring first half. Strathmore was the superior of the two sides restricting KCA-U to a 16-0 score in the third quarter and 39-9 score in the fourth.
Strathmore University led 18-9 at halftime winning the opening quarters 11-6 and 7-3. Celestine Isambwa scored nine points for KCA-U.
On Saturday, KCA-U lost 30-56 to Eagle Wings with Annerose Atieno scoring 19 points for the winners and Helen Okwiri nine for the losers. Ulinzi Blades beat KU Oryx 58-44 to take their season's tally to 11 points.
Saturday: ANU 67 World Hope 74, Ulinzi Blades 58 KU Oryx 44, Trailblazers 64 JKUAT 51, Eagle Wings 56 KCA-U 30, Little Prince 54 Baraka Xtreme 51, Mennonite 52 Lions 65, Blazers 40 Co-op Bank 84, KU Pirates 42 USIU-A Tigers 73, Nairobi Aviation College 65 KAA 58, Ulinzi Warriors 62 Equity Bank 46.
Sunday: Parklands Baptist 41 ANU 76, Little Prince 53 JKUAT 47, KU Pirates 39 Co-op Bank 68, Sprite Storms 56 KU Oryx 40, Strathmore University 73 KCA-U 18, USIU-A Tigers 80 Nakuru Club 60, Thunder 67 Blazers 60, Ulinzi Warriors 60 Nairobi Aviation College 47.

LIBERIA : 'Our District Needs Basketball Court' - Montserrado County Youth

Monrovia — Youth of District 14 Montserrado County has called on Montserrado County Senatorial aspirant Robert A. Sirleaf to help build a basketball court in their community especially the Samuel Kanyon Doe community on the Bushrod Island.
Freeman B. Manubah Jr. speaking on behalf of the district youth said he is urging Mr. Sirleaf to help build a basketball court in their community because the district is very large and made up of both football and basketball players.
"Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Liberia and all over the world and Mr. Sirleaf himself is a basketball player, so we hope he will come to our aid and make our dreams come to reality."
Manubah said through Mr. Sirleaf's help several communities in and out of Montserrado County now have access to good football playing pitches and he thinks the same should be done for basketball players because there are several basketball players in all of the districts that he has built football pitches for.

Egypt: Kenya Hit Egypt

KENYA beat Egypt in basketball for the first time ever on Monday evening in the on-going All Africa Games at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
The University of Nairobi (UoN) men's team also known as Terrorists beat Egypt 64-51 to become the first Kenyan side to break the Egyptian dominance over Kenya. Under the guidance former Kenyan International coach Eugene Genga, the team played their hearts-- locking all avenues for the Pharaohs.
"It was a tough game and I'm happy the boys played very well to become the first Kenyan side to beat Egypt. We are taking a game at a time and we hope to make it to the Global University Games in China next year," said Genga, an alumni of the University of Nairobi.
Towering South Sudanese Nicholas Anyang' scored the game's high of 14 points while the captain Hillary Kubai contributed 11 points. Ahmed Dahshan led Egyptians with 9 baskets.
Kenya trailed Egypt 9-15 at the end of the first quarter with the Pharoahs leading 29-26 at the break. Kenya returned to the second half of play with a lot of determination and aggression--scoring two and a half baskets before Egypt could find their way to UoN's rim through Ahmed Gazav five minutes into the second half.
With the introduction of Dan Nabuya, Moses Wanjala powered the 'Comrades' side to cruise past the Pharaohs 20-15 at the end of the third quarter. The last quarter went the Kenyan way after the Egyptians yielded to the crowd's jeers whenever they gained ball possession. Anyang, Geoffry Oteki, Franklyne Nyakinda and George Omenda put up an impermeable defense for Egypt to close the last quarter at 18-07.
Against Mozambique yesterday, Kenya lost 50-59 with astute Anyang' scoring the game high of 11 points and Omenda adding 9. Jassias Nelson and Matos Pio top scored for Mozambique with 19 and 15 baskets respectively.
In the women's category, Kenya's United States International university-Africa triumphed in their second match of the tournament, beating Mozambique 59-51. The sharp and determined Hilda Indasi scored 33 baskets to lead Manuela Biel and Cynthia Irankunda, who posted 7 and 6 respectively.

15 July 2014


KENYA cruised past Uganda in their opening basketball match played at the Nyayo Stadium yesterday.
Representing Kenya, United States International University of Africa women's team, hammered Uganda National University 63-55. Kenya's attack was led by the never-say-die Hilda Indasi, who slotted in the game's high of 20 points while compatriot Emma Nyakweba followed with 10 baskets. Uganda won the first quarter 14-10 but Kenya changed the tide seven minutes before the break after the introduction of inspirational Georgia Adhiambo. The move saw Kenya win the second quarter 28-25.
On resumption, both teams offered water-tight defence kind of game and settled the third quarter 8-7 in favour of Kenya. Uganda's captain Maurine Amoding and Claire Lamunu led in the attacks, scoring 16 and 14 points respectively while Sylvia Nakazibwe, Joy Chemtai and Immaculate Kyalisima put up solid defence in the back-line.
With Uganda leading 14-10 in the last quarter, Kenya called for a time-out to put their house in order and it indeed, this worked wonders. Cynthia Irankunda and captain Zipporah Odhiambo scored three and two baskets respectively to help Kenya take a 15-14 lead barely a minute after time-out. Irankunda was then substituted and replaced by Manuel Biel, who bolstered the attack to close the last quarter leading 27-23.
"It is good that we have won our first match and we look forward to do well in the rest of our games," said the elated Odhiambo.
In a tightly contested second match of the day, Egypt battled hard to beat fit Mozambique 57-55. The match was so tensed from the onset and aroused lots of emotions from both the players and the bench.
Mozambique trailed Egypt 13-17 in the first quarter but bounced back in the second quarter to lead the Pharaohs 28-25 at half time. In the third quarter, Mozambique lost 11 points through Cossa Ivan and Koko Sika, who failed to score when they had clear chances to garner points. The quarter ended 21-16 in favour of Egypt.
With six minutes to the final whistle, Egypt lost Karim Eldahshan to injury and was carried out of the field of play. He was replaced by the team captain, Ibrahim Abokhadha who then led the side to winning the match. With 30 seconds to go and tying at 54-54, Mozambique were awarded a free throw and garnered half a basket, to lead 55-54.
Abokhadha turned out to be Egypt's saviour when he scored from the centre line (three-pointer) in the last three seconds of the game to earn three points and elevate them to win 57-55. In the other women's match played at the gymnasium, Uganda crushed Mozambique 59-33.

KENYA : Equity Bank Hit Nazarene University in NBA League

EQUITY Bank sunk Africa Nazarene University 77-23 in a Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) women's league match at the Railways Club. Irene Ondego led the chart unbeaten bankers with 14 points with Samba Mjomba contributing 17.
Gladiators beat Daystar University 39-31 with Stella Opondo nailing 17 while Linda Kimemia made a strong presence with 14. Daystar had eight from Claire Syokau. MKU Thika hit JKUATS 40-30, behind 15 points from Anne Lukongo while Mary Chepkoi had 10 for Juja girls. Don Bosco beat 4-Christ 69-58 as Joel Atebe provided game high of 21 points for the winners. Daniel Imbali shot the losers' 17.
Mt Kenya University, Thika beat Old Pirates 57-43 as Lameck Namwini nailed 13 points and Paul Kimathi hit Pirates' 12. JKUATS, Karen dimmed Pandas 47-39. Darlington Getuno was good for 17 while Denis Maluli managed 14 for Pandas. Collins Ochilo nailed 16 points as Emyba nipped Our Lady Queen of Peace 54-53.
Moses Nyandega made 13 for the losers. Machakos Hawks bagged maximum points as they eclipsed Upper Hill School 59-42. Augustine Munica nailed 21 points and Garang Deng posted 18 for the school boys. Strathmore University won 58-49 over Woodley Knights as Keith Adams collected 24. Arol Run made 15 for Knights. United States International University pipped Mt Kenya University Nairobi 47-42 as Amos Njue shot 15 points while Isaac Muraya scored the losers 13.

ZAMBIA : MTN, Basketball Body Partner

MTN Zambia has partnered with the Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) to help improve the sport at the grassroots level, especially in various schools on the Copperbelt.
The partnership will see the mobile service company funding the refurbishment of basketball courts in schools beginning with Chingola and Chikola high schools in Chingola, which will later be rolled out to other parts of the province.
ZBA northern region vice-president, Andrew Nyirenda said in an interview yesterday that MTN had offered to help promote the sport in schools in the northern region.
"MTN Zambia has come on board to partner with us and we are happy that the corporate world is showing interest in supporting the development of basketball in the country.
"As ZBA north executive, we are trying to strengthen basketball on the grassroots in schools and we would like to commend MTN for the gesture. Under this partnership, MTN will rehabilitate basketball courts in schools where they will also be donating sets of jerseys," he said.
Meanwhile, the 2014 basketball league season in Northern and Muchinga provinces will commence next weekend.
Last week, the ZBA held season-opening tournaments in the two provinces in an effort to popularise the sport.
"The tournaments saw a massive turnout, and served to mark as the flagging off of basketball leagues in the said provinces. The tournament in Kasama was held at St John's Parish, while the one in Mpika was held at Tazara Club," he said.
Kasama Eagles won the tournament and Saint Francis Secondary School scooped the Boys' Secondary schools category with Mpande Academy emerging winners in the girls' schools category.
The tournament in Mpika was scooped by Tazara, who beat Mad Skills Basketball Club to claim the top prize.

RWANDA : Ubumwe On Verge of Winning League Title

UBUMWE are one-match away from winning their maiden national women basketball league title after edging defending champions APR over the weekend.
APR, seven-time league champions - since 2007 - lost 61-69 to Ubumwe basketball club, who were established only two years ago.
Ubumwe now need to win their last fixture of the season - against Rwanda Allied Peace for Progress (RAPP) --, on July 20, to be crowned new champions.
Reigning champions now lead the standings with 15 points in eight matches, two points better than Ubumwe who have only played seven matches while RAPP are placed third with 11 points secured from seven matches.
In men's league, Rusizi bounced back from Saturday's 68-83 defeat to APR to thrash Gisenyi 91-68 on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the battle for the play-offs position is still on. Rusizi and United Generation Basketball club (UGB) are battling for the only slot to complete the format for the play-offs round.
Champions Espoir, Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) and APR booked the other slots.
Espoir lead the standings with 38 points, four ahead of second-placed APR, while CSK are in third place with 33 points and a game in hand. UGB are in fourth with 31 points, while Rusizi are fifth with 29 points and with two games in hand.
If Rusizi beat UGB on July 20 and Espoir on 26, they will snatch an automatic ticket to the play-offs round. However, should they lose to archrivals UGB then the latter will qualify to the play-offs set for August.
Rusizi 91-68 Gisenyi
APR 61-69 Ubumwe

14 July 2014

TANZANIA : TBF Needs Sh35 Million to Prepare Teams

THE Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) needs over 35 million/- for the national team's preparations for the All Africa Games and African Basketball Cup of Nations qualifiers.
TBF Secretary General Saleh Zonga disclosed to the 'Daily News' that the federation needs over 35m/- to prepare the two senior national teams -- men's and women's -- for the All Africa Games qualifiers to be held in Kampala, Uganda in September, this year.
"The amount is required to facilitate not only preparations for the All Africa Games but also the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers to be held simultaneously in Uganda," he said.
"We pledge to all sports stakeholders to support us in the preparations by sponsoring the teams in terms of training camp costs and participation in the two events," he added.
Popularly known as 2014 Afro-Basket Zone V qualifiers to be played in Uganda involve teams from East and Central African nations will determine two countries that will advance to the finals of the African Basketball Nations Cup, popularly known as the Afro- Basket.
Sixteen countries that are members of the African Basketball Federation will compete at the showpiece African basketball event. The 2015 All Africa Games will be in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. This is an auspicious occasion for the All Africa Games because it will be its 50th anniversary.
The first Games were also held in Brazzaville back in 1965. Meanwhile, TBF President John Bandie and Zonga are expected to represent the Tanzania at the FIBA Africa and Zone V meetings to be held in Madagascar.
According to Zonga, Zone V meeting which will discuss the sport's development and problems will be held on July 29, preceding the two-day FIBA Africa meeting scheduled for July 30-31. In another development, the Zone V basketball championship is set for August 25-31 in Mombasa, Kenya.

UGANDA : City Oilers aiming to continue ruthless run

W: A1 Challenge vs. Crane High (11.30am)
W:Nkumba vs. UCU (1.30pm)
M: Vegetarian vs. City Oilers (3.30pm)
W: Sparks vs. Stormers (5:30pm)
M: KIU Titans vs. Ndejje (7.30pm)

City Oilers have won three straight games and are 7-0 since losing to UCU Canons on the opening day of the season.
Vegetarian, meanwhile, are winless in three games since the shock 66-54 win over Tiger Head Power.
Both sides’ contrasting fortunes are expected to continue today when the champions City Oilers and Vegetarian face off in the pick of the games of the Airtel National Basketball League at YMCA court.
Oilers showed, last week that they are still the team to beat after a 66-60 triumph over six time champion Falcons in which MVP Kami Kabange had 18 points and 16 rebounds and Ben Komakech 16.
The second men’s game will have Ndejje University Angels, 61- 47 winners over Vegetarian, hoping to kick-start what has been a poor start to the season.
The same though cannot be said of their opponents KIU Titans, who at 6-3 have had a decent start to the season.
The Kansanga-based side will once again look to Francis Kasekende and guard Chris Omanye, who scored 17 and 13 points respectively in the 79-63 over Charging Rhino in their last game.

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