28 February 2015

KENYA : Kenya confirmed for South African Invitational tourney

  • USIU Hilda Indasi dribbles past KPA Hellen Oketch. KPA face Ulinzi Warriors in their 2015 opening game.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
The national men's basketball team has been invited to take part in a four-nation invitational tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa from March 18-22. Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Secretary General Vitalis Gode has confirmed they will be honouring the invite.
Already, Co-operative Bank tactician Carey Odhiambo has been handed the coaching job and has said key changes will be effected.
“We will work mostly with young players but still have some of the ones who did duty last time in Uganda. There must be good transition so we cannot overhaul the team completely,” he said.
Departure date has been tentatively set for March 17 and Kenya will face off with Nigeria, Mozambique and host South Africa in a round-robin format.
Meanwhile, KBF has released fixtures for the first half of the 2015 national classic league that gets underway in a fortnight.
Basketball league starts 
In the opening round of play on March 14-15, men premier league champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) begins their campaign with a home tie against Equity Bank while runners-up Ulinzi Warriors will play United States International University- Africa (USIU-A).
Newcomers Umoja will start life in the top league with an away fixture against Nakuru Club while Strathmore University plays Thunder and Lions will be up against Terror.
Equity Bank and Kisumu Lady Bucks are the new women premier league teams and will start their campaign against runners-up teams from last season’s campaign.
Equity begins away in Mombasa against KPA who finished second. The bankers are tipped to become a formidable force owing to the pedigree of their squad assemblage.
Head coach David Maina has his target set.
“We will be looking to make it to the playoffs. A qualification to the last four will definitely be a plus for my team.”
Kisumu Lady Bucks start at home to third-placed team in 2014 Co-operative Bank. Champions USIU-A will play Ulinzi Blades, Eagle Wings tackles Kenyatta University Oryx while Western Delight host Co-op Bank.
In division one, Blazers who were relegated from the premier league last season begins their campaign in the second-tier league against Don Bosco.
KBF Opening Fixtures: March 14- Baraka X-treme vs World Hope (Thika, 10am), MKU Thika vs Parklands Baptist (11:30), Eldonets vs Lakeside (UG, 10am), KPA Ladies vs Equity Bank (KPA, 2pm), KPA Men vs Equity Bank (4pm), Nakuru Club vs Umoja (MHS, 11am), EMYBA vs Trailblazers (Nyayo gymnasium, 9am), Blazers vs Don Bosco (10:30), Eagle Wings vs KU Oryx (12pm), Strathmore University vs Thunder (2pm), Lions vs Terror (4pm), Western Delight vs Co-op Bank (KPC, 10am); March 15- Kisumu Lady Bucks vs Co-op Bank (KSG, 11am), ANU vs Barclays Bank (9am, Nyayo gymnasium), Upper Hill vs IAT-Little Prince (10:30am), Dankind Academy vs 4-Christ (12pm), USIU Flames vs Ulinzi Blades (2pm), USIU Tigers vs Ulinzi Warriors.

RWANDA : IPRC-Kigali keen to maintain perfect start in hoops league

Patriots (Blue) in a recent game against UGB. Patriots take on in form IPRC-Kigali this afternoon. (File Photo)
IPRC-Kigali                vs               Patriots                        2pm (Amahoro)
30-Plus                       vs               Espoir                           2pm (CSK)
APR                              vs               UR-CoE                       2pm (Kacyiru)
UR-CASS                    vs               Rusizi                            3pm (Huye)
CSK                               vs               IPRC-South               4pm (CSK)
KBC                              vs               UGB                              4pm (Amahoro)
UR- CASS                   vs               Ubumwe                  5pm (Huye)
IPRC-Kigali will be looking to maintain their perfect league start when they face newcomers Patriots this afternoon in the national basketball league at Amahoro indoor stadium.
The Kicukiro-based side stunned reigning champions Espoir 73-65 last Sunday, and are targeting maximum points as they bid achieve their main target of making the playoffs in their second season after finishing fifth last year, according to coach Albert Buhake.
“Patriots are a good team, we have a lot of work to do this weekend. My players have to be wise and vigilant otherwise we could be in for a shock. We can win against any side in the league and we proved it on Sunday, we only need to keep focus and avoid complacency,” Buhake said yesterday.
IPRC-Kicukiro are the only league side yet to lose a game this season, they have so far played and won two games against 30-Plus and Espoir respectively.
Elsewhere, defending champions Espoir take on 30-Plus today at Cercle Sportif de Kigali courts while University of Rwanda College of Education (UR- CoE) host APR at Kacyiru courts.
Charles Mushumba’s University of Rwanda- College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR- CASS) are up against Rusizi today and Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) tomorrow respectively.  The varsity side, who have played three games so far, are still without a win.

 By: Richard Bishumba

27 February 2015

KENYA : Nairobi Provincial League Set to Start On March 28

NAIROBI Basketball Association Provincial League will throw off on March 28 at Railway Club. NBA chairman Ronny Owino yesterday said despite losing six teams to the Kenya Basketball Federation, the league remains strong as ever. "Already there are new teams ready to join the show,' he noted.
He said the league will feature two pools in the men's category with the top eight in each group making it to the play-offs. On the other hand, the women's league will be a straight fight with the top four sides going straight to the play off semi-finals. Owino said the league format and league regulations will be discussed at length during this Saturday's Annual General Meeting slated at the same venue from 4pm.

RWANDA : Ferwaba sets dates for U-16, Zone 5 club tourneys

Lionel Hakizimana (left) now with league champions, Espoir, was part of the national U-18 team the last time Rwanda hosted the Fifa Afrobasket youth championship in 2010. (File)
Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba) has set May 25-31 as the dates for the U-16 tournament.
According to the Ferwaba secretary general Richard Mutabazi, all the 10 countries in the Zone 5 region including Burundi, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda are expected to participate in the one-week long event.
The winners will qualify for the Fiba Afrobasket U-16 tournament with the girls’ edition scheduled for July 16-24 in Madagascar and the boys’ edition in July in Mali. Egypt has already qualified in both categories.
Mutabazi revealed that, “We have approval from the Ministry of Sports and Culture and are already engaging the private sector for funding. We are ready for this challenge.”
Rwanda will also host the Zone V Club Championships from October 4-11 to accommodate Uganda that will be representing the region at the Fiba Afrobasket Men’s Championships from August 19-30 in Tunis, Tunisia.
Uganda, the champions of the women’s Zone 5 event last August will compete at the All Africa Games from September 5-19 in Congo Brazzaville as well as the Fiba Afrobasket women’s championships from September 24-October 3 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Mutabazi is confident that Ferwaba has the capacity to organize successful tournaments following a good proven record having hosted the 2009 Fiba Afrobasket Men’s Championships, 2010 Fiba Africa U-18 Championships and the 2011 Zone V Championship.

26 February 2015

KENYA : Debutants Equity Bank Face Hosts KPA in League Opener

NEWLY promoted Equity Bank women's team will open their 2015 Premier League campaign against former champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in Mombasa on March 14.
According to the fixtures released yesterday by Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) competitions secretary Joseph Amoko, a total of 18 matches among them10 Premier League duels are on card in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kakamega, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret and Thika.
The bankers, considered as a new forces in women basketball in the country, will tip off their programme with a tight duel. They have a talent laden side led by last year's Most Vaulable Player (MVP) Hilda Indasi and previous holder of the crown Samba Mjomba.

25 February 2015

KENYA : Equity Bank Too Good for Rivals in Pre-Season Duel

EQUITY Bank beat Co-operative Bank of Kenya 36-21 to claim the women's pre-season final crown at the Nyayo Stadium gymnasium.
It was a tough test for the winners who will play in the Premier League for the first time after gaining promotion from the Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) last year.
Equity got off to a slow start after two foul shots by Hilda Indasi and went on to take a 14-8 advantage at the breather. At the end of the third quarter, they had build a strong 16-14 edge and went all the way. Inspirational Indasi nailed 12 points and Eleanor Musundi scored 7 for the winners.
Co-op with coach Caroline Ouma calling the shots had a combined 17 from Mercy Etyang, Mercy Achieng and Grace Wanjiku. In the preliminary ties, Co-op beat Kenya College of Accountancy University 36-14 and lost 21-33 to Equity, who also beat KCA 35-23 to remain the only unbeaten side in the three-team tournament.
Co-op Spartans won the men's finals, beating sister club Co-op Bank 47-33 in a lousy final match. In the semi-finals, Co-op beat Blades 56-46 as James Mwangi nailed 20 and Joseph Ongoro shot the losers' 11.
The other semis saw Co-op Spartans nip United States International University 48-45, behind Salim Ali's 15. Joel Ntambura had the losers 13.

24 February 2015

RWANDA : Poor preps led to Espoir’s loss, says Karekezi

Pascal Karekezi revealed that Espoir didn't train the whole of last week. (File)
Espoir                  65-73         IPRC-Kigali
UGB                     79-46         UR- CoE
Rusizi                   64-68         IPRC-South
APR                      78-59         CSK
Patriots               80-55         KBC
ESPOIR Basketball Club endured a shocking  65-73 defeat at the hands of IPRC-Kigali on Sunday at University of Rwanda College of Technology courts, their first regular season loss in three seasons.
The Nyamirambo-based side, which has won the league for the past three consecutive seasons, went a whole week without a single training session because their home court at Club Rafiki was under renovation. This could be the reason for their surprise defeat, according to forward Pascal Rurangirwa Karekezi.
He said, “We have to bounce back as quickly as possible, we leant our lesson from Sunday’s defeat and I believe we will recover and regain our winning ways. We had no training last week which I believe was the main reason for the loss to IPRC- Kigali.”
The 23-year-old also cautioned the defending champions to shift their focus on the next fixtures, adding that the campaign still has a long way to go.
The 2012 Fiba Africa Zone Five champions, Espoir, last suffered a regular season league defeat in 2011, when the league was won by Kigali Basketball Club (KBC).
But since then, Jean Bahufite’s team has dominated the local scene, winning three league and playoff titles. Last season, Espoir lost just once, in the game three of the playoffs finals series against KBC.

23 February 2015

RWANDA : IPRC- Kigali end Espoir's 3 year league unbeaten record

Yesman Bushiri, (left), of IPRC-South goes round Patrick Kalibushi of Rusizi BC in a league game in Rusizi on Sunday. (Courtsey)
Espoir 65-73 IPRC- Kigali
UGB 79-46 UR- CoE
Rusizi     64-68     IPRC-South
APR         78-59     CSK
Patriots    80-55     KBC
Patriots 62-67 UGB
30-Plus 56-50 UR-CASS
The Hoops Rwanda 55-46 IPRC-South
APR     55-36     UR-CASS
Friday (Men)
APR                        83-54     UR-CASS

IPRC – Kigali yesterday defeated Espoir 73-65 in the national basketball league to become the first team to beat three-time reigning champions Espoir in regular season on Sunday at the University of Rwanda’s College of Technology basketball courts.
Steve Havugintwari and Dieudonne Ndizeye combined to score 52 points for IPRC- Kigali with 27 from Havugintwa and 25 from Ndizeye respectively.
IPRC - Kigali head coach Albert Buhake praised his team’s strong mentality and hard work after the win.
“I am proud of my players, not only because of the win but because we have made history by beating Espoir after such a long time. This gives the team confidence that they will perform well this season,” Buhake told Times sport.
Meanwhile Huye-based IPRC- South point guard, Yesman Bushiri scored 25 points to help his team defeat Rusizi 68-64 in Rusizi.
The league newcomers, IPRC-South recovered from last weekend’s 79-65 defeat to reigning champions Espoir.
Rusizi, who won their first two games against University of Rwanda College of Education (UR-CoE) and CSK last weekend, were booed by their fans following yesterday’s loss.
Seven-time champions APR won their two weekend games, beating University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR- CASS) 83-54 on Friday and Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) 78-59 on Sunday respectively.
While Patriots BC had their confidence dented after a 62-67 loss against United Basketball Generation (UGB) on Saturday at UR-TECH courts but recovered to beat 2011 champions, Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) 80-55 on Sunday.
In the women’s league, The Hoops Rwanda beat IPRC-South 55-46 while former champions APR overcame UR- CASS 55-36 on Saturday.

22 February 2015

Nigeria: Kada Stars Players Demand 14 Months Pay

Kaduna — Players of Kada Stars Basketball Club of Kaduna and their female counterparts, GT 2000 have appealed to Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State to pay their outstanding 14 months allowances before the commencement of the next DStv Basketball Premier League season.
The captains of the two clubs blamed the low morale of players and lack of preparations ahead of the new season, scheduled to commence on March 13, 2015 to non-payment of players' allowances.
According to Samuel Anthony, Captain of Kada Stars, they are yet to receive any response from government inspite of several pleas.
"In year 2013 league season, we had four months outstanding allowances while in 2014, we were not paid all through. In fact, the last league season was not favourable to us because of the challenges we encountered due to lack of funds even though, we tried to finish in a comfortable position by ending seventh on the log so as to avoid relegation," he said.
He noted that the players may not be willing to play for the Kaduna club again, noting that the team will have to rely on local players for the DStv Premier League this season.
"With the current situation at hand, I doubt of we will play for the state again because we cannot be working without pay. Most of us have been stranded since we finished the league, we cannot go home because we do not have money and we have also lost fitness due to lack of training. Other clubs have started training and are preparing for the DStv league, here we are, doing nothing," Anthony lamented.
Also speaking in an interview, the Captain of GT 2000, Linda Okoro decried lack of motivation; saying players play without any form of motivation from the state government. This she said is affecting the players' performance.

KENYA : Teams shape up at Pre-season Tourney

  • Cooperative Bank coach Carey Odhiambo at a past game with his team.(Photo:SNA File)
Most of the teams continued preparations for the 2015 Kenya Basketball Federation league at the pre-season tournament held over the weekend at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
The new season begins on March 14 and the tournament was meant to aid in their preparations. Former men premier league champions Co-operative Bank fielded two teams that played each other in the final. Spartans beat Co-op Bank 47-33 helped by 15 points from Athiey Lwala and 10 from Nick Anyang. David Ogolla scored highest for Co-op Bank with 6 points while Spartans led 29-20 at halftime.
In the semifinals, Spartans won 48-45 against United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) while Co-op Bank beat Blades 42-34.
Spartans came second in Pool A with 5 points while Blades topped with 6. USIU-A and Co-op Bank tied in Pool B with 5 points each but the students finished top having beaten the bankers 47-36 in their tie.
The tournament was the last assessment platform for Co-op Bank head coach Carey Odhiambo as he fine-tunes his final squad for the upcoming season.
“We had 22 players in trials so we used this tournament to see who to pick as well as try out different combinations,” he said.
“We have statistics for every player in all games they played that we will use in making selection. We will not drop a player with no reason because we want only seventeen so five have to go.”
Strathmore University also had two teams that took part in the league last season. It is a tough season ahead for head coach Tony Ochieng as he seeks to get answers to their playoffs jinx.
Strathmore look to strengthen team
His teams are always at their best in regular season but fails to get past the playoffs quarterfinals.
“Our biggest problem is examinations because they come mostly when we are heading to playoffs. Its a big priority for the players because they are students and we can do nothing. Our training is hugely affected,” he said.
Ochieng had an opportunity to see some of his new players promoted from the low-tier team play at the pre-season tourney but most of them will link up in April.
“We had trials and over 70 players turned up but we will select only ten. The program we have has helped in ensuring consistency every season because I don't pick established players but straight from high school.”
He plans to hold a series of high-profile friendly games with league sides before the season starts. With the first league title still elusive for Strathmore, Ochieng is planning to employ a new strategy this season and mount a solid challenge for the title.
“I will come up with one strong team comprising of best players from the two teams plus a few recruits. The rest will form the second side.”
In the women category, only newly promoted Equity Bank and Co-op Bank participated playing two games. Equity won both 33-21 on Saturday and 36-25 on Sunday.
In the Sunday tie, new signing Hilda Indasi top scored with 12 points and Eleanor Musundi added 9 for Equity. Mercy Etyang and Mercy Achieng scored a combined 12 points for Co-op Bank.
Equity is angling to make a positive mark in their first premiership season and head coach David Maina was happy taking part in the tourney.
“Even though we have not played well, Co-op Bank was good opposition for us and we consider our participation value adding,” he said.
The team has only signed Indasi formerly with USIU-A and Mercy Wanyama from Sprite Storms with the hope of finalizing at least one more signing before pre-season ends.
Denise Apondi and Samba Mjomba who joined Equity last season from Strathmore and Eagle Wings respectively are some of the experienced players in the team.
Maina says their individual experience should not be used to judge the team’s performance this season.
“The most important thing is whether they will gel together because if they don't its a different story.”
Full results: Spartans 21 Blades 29, Strathmore University 45 USIU-A 38, KCA-U 33 ANU 38, Umoja 35 Co-op Bank 37, Blades 45 KCA-U 37, Strathmore 36 Umoja 39, Strathmore 29 Co-op Bank 32, Blades 31 ANU 26, Co-op Bank ladies 21 Equity Bank ladies 33, Spartans 42 KCA-U 34, USIU-A 47 Co-op Bank 36, Equity Bank ladies 36 Co-op Bank ladies 25; Semifinals- USIU-A 45 Spartans 48, Blades 34 Co-op Bank 42; Final- Spartans 47 Co-op Bank 33.

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