04 October 2015

RWANDA : Espoir upbeat on winning second Zone V title

Espoir announced the final 12-man squad led by team captain Aristide Mugabe (left) for the week-long competition on Friday evening. (File)
Despite suffering an early exit last year, Espoir are upbeat on winning a second FIBA Africa Zone Five Club Championship title when this year’s edition kicks of today and runs through October 11 at Amahoro indoor stadium.
The opening game of the 21st edition of the annual regional tournament will pity Jean Bahufite’s Espoir against an opponent that was yet to be determined by press time. The technical meeting was supposed to sit last night at 8pm to make the draws.
The 2012 winners Espoir announced the final 12-man squad led by team captain Aristide Mugabe for the week-long competition on Friday evening and head coach Bahufite is confident his side can make good use of home advantage to claim the tournament for the second time in the club’s history.
“Hosting the tournament is a great chance for us to win it again, but also an good opportunity to make up for last year’s early exit. We are well prepared both physically and mentally, we will do everything possible for the title to stay home,” Bahufite told Sunday Sport.
When asked about which side he thinks is his team’s major threat, the 44-year old former national team assistant coach singled out Egypt’s Gezira, last year’s finalists KPA and City Oilers of Uganda but challenged his players to treat every game as a final.
In a separate interview, Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) head coach Bob Ngoga emphasized that his men are fit and ready to challenge for the title, the first the club was formed in 2007.
Ngoga noted that, “The team is ready for the championships, the target is to go as far as we possibly can, we’ve had quality preparations for this competition and I strongly believe we are among top challengers for the title.”
In the women’s tourney, Rwanda will be represented by Charles Mushumba’s Ubumwe Basketball Club and the eight-time local league champions APR.
Speaking to this paper on Thursday, Mushumba said, “We have been training intensively for six weeks now, the players are on a good level and are determined to do the job. We want to make history of becoming the first Rwandan (women’s) club to win the competition.”
Meanwhile, reports in Bujumbura indicate that two-time reigning champions Urunani could miss the tournament due financial constraints however Rwanda Basketball Federation (FERWABA) secretary general Richard Mutabazi told Sunday Sport that there has been no official communication from the Burundian giants.
By press time, six teams namely Ulinzi, KPA (men) and USIU (women) from Kenya, City Oilers, Tiger Head Power (men) and KCCA (women) of Uganda as well as South Sudan’s National Engineering and Logistics (men) had arrived while Egypt’s Gezira, Dynamo of Burundi were being expected.
The two finalists in men’s category and champions of the female competition will earn tickets to the FIBA Africa Club Championships to be staged in Angola.
Espoir’s 12-man squad:
Aristide Mugabe (captain), Lionnel Hakizimana, Sankara Uwimana, Olivier Shyaka, Elie Kaje, Pascal Karekezi Rurangirwa, Edmond Mujyarugamba, Bruno Nyamwasa, Bienvenu Ngandu, Ally Kubwimana, Steven Havugintwari and Jean Louis Habineza.

03 October 2015

UGANDA : Inconsistent Star Times Falcons take on City Oilers

Falcons' Joseph Ouma closes down on City Oilers Geoffrey Omondi (R) during the first round match up © Kawowo Sports / AISHA NAKATO Falcons' Joseph Ouma closes down on City Oilers Geoffrey Omondi (R) during the first round match up
StarTimes Falcons vs. City Oilers 8:30 pm (YMCA)
One of the many sticks naysayers are using to whip out Falcons in the 2015 Regular Season is their inconsistency. An 11-8 record can justify that.
The former league champions’ variations in performances have left them in mid-table, which is putting them into a tough playoff bracket.
However, that does not deprive Falcons off their giant status as the City Oilers!
And when the two sides face off tonight at YMCA, there will be sentiments from either camp notably as the fight for play-off slots intensifies.
While Falcons are in fight to ascend in the table standings, Mandy Juruni's side hope to win and bring pace setters KIU Titans and UCU Canons at arm's length.
Falcons come off a an 86-76 loss to Ndejje Angels in their last fixture, but head in to the match-up with their tails in air having out classed City Oilers 81-66 in the corresponding first round fixture.
City Oilers, who currently sit third on the 12-team log, play their final domestic game ahead the week long FIBA Africa Zone V in Kigali that gets underway this Sunday.

RWANDA : Zone V Club Championships entry hits record 20 teams

Nicole Rwibutso of Ubumwe Basketball Club, seen here during a training session on Thursday. Ubumwe will be making their debut in the Zone V tourney. (S. Ngendahimana)
With three Tanzanian teams confirming their late entry, the upcoming 21th edition of the FIBA Africa Zone V Club Championships will have a record 20 teams—the biggest in the competition’s history.
The week-long regional tournament gets underway on Sunday and runs until October 11 at Amahoro indoor stadium and the National Paralympics Committee gymnasium.
The three Tanzanian teams include; Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa (men) and Don Bosco which will field teams in both genders.
According to Rwanda Basketball Federation (FERWABA) secretary general, Richard Mutabazi, the increase in the number of teams will consequently increase the level of competition.
Returning to Rwanda for the first time since 2007, this year’s tournament surpasses the 15th edition (19 teams) staged in Kampala in 2009 as the biggest meet since the inaugural edition in 1995 in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The biggest club championship in the East and Central Africa region will be contested by 13 male and 7 female teams from eight countries namely; Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi, South Sudan, Tanzania and hosts Rwanda.
Full list of participants:
Men: Urunani and Dynamo (Burundi), Kenya Port Authority and Ulinzi (Kenya), Espoir and CSK (Rwanda), City Oilers and Tiger Head Power (Uganda), JKT and Don Bosco (Tanzania), Gezira (Egypt), National Engineering and Logistics (South Sudan) and Water Sports of Ethiopia.
Women: USIU (Kenya), Ubumwe (Rwanda), APR (Rwanda), KCCA (Uganda), Berco Stars (Burundi), House Agency (Ethiopia) and Tanzania’s Don Bosco.

RWANDA : FIBA Zone V: A test for local basketball

While APR men's basketball club have won three Zone V titles, their female counterparts (above) are seeking their first. (S. Ngendahimana)

With two days to the start of the 21st FIBA Africa Zone Five Club Championships in Kigali, should Rwandans expect the titles to remain home as the country hosts the tourney in it’s back yard?
Returning to Rwanda for the first time since the 13th edition in 2007, this year’s regional club championship is scheduled for October 4-11 at Amahoro indoor stadium.
As hosts, Rwanda will field four teams; two in each gender. The clubs include; 2012 champions Espoir and former semi-finalists CSK (men) as well as APR and debutants Ubumwe in the women’s category.
In an interview with Times Sport, the Rwanda Basketball Federation (FEWRABA) secretary general Richard Mutabazi said they expect the home teams to do well, since they had enough preparations, on top of the home advantage.
Last year in Mombasa, Kenya, Rwandan representatives Espoir (men) and APR (women) performed poorly. Both sides were knocked out at the group stages.
Little-known on regional scene, APR would be excused because no one expected much from them anyway, but what came as a shock was the dismal showing by four-time reigning Rwandan champions, Espoir, who entered the competition among the favourites.
Jean Bahufite’s team won the competition in 2012 in Kampala after defeating Burundi’s Urunani in the final before the Burundians avenged for that defeat in the 2013 final in Bujumbura.
The year 2014 was not the best for the Rwanda senior men’s national team, after they lost 69-61 to hosts Uganda for a deciding qualifier to the 2015 African Basketball Championships held in Tunisia. It was the first time since 2007 that Rwanda missed out of the men’s Afro-Basket.
Though it remains to be seen in Zone Five history, for a Rwandan women’s club to reach at least the final, both Ubumwe and APR have pledged to battle hard as they seek to write a new chapter in the competition’s history.
While Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) is fighting to win the men’s title for the first time, Espoir will also look to bounce from last year’s woes to claim the title for their second time in club’s history.
APR are Rwanda’s most successful men’s club in the competition, having won three titles in 2002, 2007 and 2008.
Initially founded as the East Central and Southern Africa Confederation, the inaugural edition was held in 1995 in Harare, Zimbabwe and only attracted clubs from Kenya and Zimbabwe.
The event gradually grew in strength and in 2000, the confederation organized its first ever nations cup in Mahe, Seychelles.
In 2006, FIBA Africa decided to join forces with the administration of East, Central and Southern Africa to bring all activities under the FIBA Africa Zone Five to further spread the game and enhance the level of competitiveness.
The Zone Five Championship is contested by winners and first runners-up from basketball leagues of member states namely; Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan and Southern Sudan.
Past Winners since 2000
2000: Falcons (Men), Ogopa (Women)
2001: Vijana (Men), KPA (Women)
2002: APR (Men), KPA (Women)
2003: Ulinzi (Men), JKT E/AFRICA (Women)
2004: Postbank (Men) Lady Bucks (Women)
2005: KCB (Men), Storms (Women)
2006: KCB (Men), KPA (Women)
2007: APR (Men), KPA (Women)
2008: APR (Men), KPA (Women)
2009: Coop (Men), KPA (Women)
2010: Coop (Men), Eagle Wings (Women)
2011: Urunani (Men), KPA (Women)
2012: Espoir (Men), Eagle Wings (Women)
2013: Urunani (Men), Eagle Wings (Women)
2014: Urunani (Men), USIU (Women)
2015: ???

16 September 2015

UGANDA : Play-off hopefuls Sharing plotting Power upset

After winning just three of their first round games (3-8), Sharing Youth are making a late charge for the playoffs following a three-game winning sequence in the Airtel National Basketball League.
Victory today will move them above Charging Rhino, a team they are likely to tussle it out with for the final eighth play-off spot and who are left with two games against Warriors and Tiger Head Power.
This makes Sharing’s game today at YMCA against Power a potential banana skin for the five-time champions. Key to Sharing’s late surge has been the influence of former Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) duo of Brian Muramba and Alex Lugasi.
The pair is averaging 18 and 16 points respectively from the three games that include a 72-62 win over Warriors in their last game a fortnight ago to improve to 7-12 and just outside the playoff places.
Today’s game also offers what looks like the best chance for a Sharing win with high-flying UCU Canons and KIU Titans the other games left for the Nsambya-based side.
They will also be buoyed by an inconsistent Power team that crushed to an 80-75 defeat to Ndejje University Angels before an 87-80 overtime win over Warriors last Friday.
With five games left, Power should also be keen on a win that would improve coach Rober Mugabe’s side from an 11-6 record and their current eighth placed rating.

Our Saviour vs. Bush Court, 6:30pm
Tiger Head Power vs. Sharing, 8.30pm

NIGERIA : D'Tigress Overruntough Gabon to Reach Semis

Adaora Elonu scored 22 points and scooped eight rebounds to pivot the D'Tigress to a 73-65 defeat of Gabon yesterday in the basketball event of the ongoing 11th African Games.
The victory ensured the National female basketball team advanced into tomorrow's semi-finals of the competition, even though it was not as smooth as expected.
But for sterling performances from Joyce Ekworomadu (11 points, eight rebounds), Helen Ogunjimi (11 points, two rebounds) and Sarah Ogoke (seven points, four rebounds), the Gabonese were aiming for an upset.
Nigeria led 12-9 after the first five minutes, and could only take a 20-19 lead into the second quarter, in a game that kept going back and forth.
They extended their lead to 29-27 midway into the second quarter, but as the Gabonese fought back they could only take a 35-34 lead by the half time mark.
Then, the Gabonese had a remarkable return, taking a 46-43 lead midway into the third quarter, before the D'Tigress rallied for a 53-50 lead by the end of the quarter.
With Priscilla Udeaja scoring a total eight and scooping 10 rebounds, Olayinka Sanni scoring 10 and having five rebounds, and Ndidi Madu holding sway, the Nigerian side steadied their game.

KENYA : Allstars Lost Their Third Basketball League Match

After going unbeaten for five months, Allstars lost their third basketball league match in two weeks, losing 43-38 to Upper Hill School at Nairobi Railways Club.
Ajongo Jonkor sunk 13 points. But they beat Tazmanians 55-32 as Richard Pamba managed 20 points.
Daystar Univbersity women remain the only unbeaten side as they won two against Zetech University (46-42) and Strathmore University (49-37).
Claire Muthusi had 21, Steffi Ngabire 12 and Laura Makokha 12 against Zetech. Muthusi and Ngabire grabbed 10 apiece.
Other results- Tuk 44 Neosasa Morans 28. and Tuk dismissed Lycans 43-20, Morans hit Woodley Knights 48-37 before Knights hit Upper Hill 69-49.
Feba beat Jkuat Nairobi 51-44, Strathmore beat Upper Kings 45-22, Old Pirates beat Upper Kings 50-31, Kemu beat Jkuat Karen 62-47, Ulinzi beat Daystar 58-42, Riara University beat Embakasi Dynamoz 5- 49. Usiu beat Legacy 52-27. Riara 74 beat Jkuat Karen 74-45, Legacy beat Jkuat Nairobi 36-31, Usiu beat Machakos Hawks 51-37, Saints beat Ulinzi 38 -39, Kemu beat Mku Nairobi 66-55.

RWANDA : Regional teams confirm Zone 5 participation

Espoir's Pascal Karekezi (L) takes on APR's Nesto Manzi in a past match. (File)
With three weeks to go, East African giants have already started confirming their participation at the forthcoming FIBA Africa Zone Five Club Championship slated for October 4-11 in Kigali.
By press time, seven teams, four men and three women's teams had already confirmed but local basketball federation (FERWABA) was waiting for more confirmations as the deadline draws closer.
"So far only seven foreign sides plus four from here have confirmed they will compete. We are waiting for more confirmations before the September 17 deadline (today). Preparations for the competition are going on well. It is going to be a highly competitive and entertaining tournament," FERWABA technical director, Didier Shema Maboko told Times Sport.
He further explained that for a team to participate in the annual regional show, they have to confirm to World Basketball Governing Body (FIBA) and then FIBA notifies the hosts.
Hosts Rwanda will be represented by four teams, two in each gender and FERWABA has tipped local sides to shine.
The weeklong regional competition will also serve as qualifiers for the African Championships slated for November (men) and December in the women's category in Angola.
Confirmed participants
Men: Ulinzi (Kenya), Muzinga (Burundi), Espoir (Rwanda), Cercle Sportif de Kigali (Rwanda) as well as City Oilers and Tiger Head Power of Uganda.
Women: Les Gazelles (Burundi), Kampala City Council (Uganda), Uganda Christian University (Uganda), APR (Rwanda), Ubumwe (Rwanda).

  • KPA Coach Anthony Ojukwu is confident of making it to the playoffs. KPA won their two matches in Nairobi this weekend.
  • Strathmore University Blades completed a dominant display by beating USIU-A for the second time in the league. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • KPA Coach Anthony Ojukwu is confident of making it to the playoffs. KPA won their two matches in Nairobi this weekend.
  • Strathmore University Blades completed a dominant display by beating USIU-A for the second time in the league. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
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Strathmore Blades dominated from start to the end as they overran Unites States International University - Africa (USIU-A) 80-57 in a Kenya basketall Federation men's Premer League match at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.
The win saw Blades complete a double over USIU-A this season after beating their opponents in the first leg in May.
Blades used their key player Joseph Ongoro early enough to do the damage. He set off the tempo with two straight three-point shots and a basket for a 8-0. Ongoro finished the quarter with 15 points, 71 percent of his team's total score in the 21-18 win.
Blades who won the second quarter 19-14 to lead 40-32 at halftime came out stronger in third quarter with a 26-8 win but lost the fourth 14-17. Ongoro, who shot 69 percent at the three-point line, top-scored for Blades with 26 points while Kevin Kigotho had 14 points for USIU-A.
Blades scored 33 points from the three-point line and 19 from the free-throw line while USIU-A had six points off the three-point line and eight from free shots.
In the same league, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) collected maximum points from their tour of Nairobi. They beat Terror 75-51 on Saturday and Umoja 79-59 on Sunday.
Against Umoja, Evans Letting top-scored with 17 points while Athiey Lwal hit four three-pointers to finish with 15 points. Michael Munene top scored for Umoja with 16 points while Joseph Dibondo added 15.
Anthony Ojukwu, the KPA head coach had the opportunity to rotate his playing unit for both games to give more players playtime. He told sportsnewsarena.com that earlier losses have not complicated his team’s chances of defending the title.
The first loss was at home to Nairobi City Thunder. “I took full blame for that loss because my substitutes never worked. The starting five were fine but those that I brought in failed to click and we actually surrendered a 21 points lead,” he said.
Ojukwu: Poor officiating cost us
That was followed by back-to-back losses against Nakuru Club and USIU-A. “The loss to Nakuru was largely due to poor officiating so I never lost to a better team. Against USIU-A, I did not even consider that to be a game,” Ojukwu added.
“We did not have a referee and I fielded a weak team. USIU-A insisted on playing because they had travelled all the way from Nairobi so we decided to use that as a training game. To our surprise, it counted and that's how we lost. We can beat USIU-A any day.”
With three losses, Ojukwu has no fears of surrendering the title notwithstanding the fact that some of his players are based in Nairobi. “I am not worried because I know we will be ready for playoffs. I believe we have the best team.”
In another match, Co-operative Bank beat Strathmore University 76-62 in a game they had to wait until fourth quarter to be sure of a victory.
Strathmore did not surrender the game without a fight. The students started as the better side with a 4-0 lead inside first minute and had stretched to 9-3 with five minutes played to win the quarter 17-13.
With 6:40 of second quarter played, Strathmore’s lead was cut to a point at 19-18 but they surged ahead to lead 26-18. When the clock had 2:30 of play left, Co-op Bank took over leadership for the first time at 27-26 but Strathmore bounced back to re-take the lead 28-27 at 2:09.
Co-op Bank led again 29-28 at 1:56 but Martin Mugambi nailed a three -pointer for Strathmore to lead 31-29 at 1:26. Co-op Bank was in the lead again 33-32 at 0:30 to play and went to the breather leading 34-32.
Lead changed hands six times
Third quarter witnessed a similar display as both teams exchanged leadership at intervals of two points all through. In this quarter, the lead changed hands six times and was tied two times at 36-36 and 44-44.
The bankers went to fourth quarter with four points lead and had extended to ten after four minutes played at 62-52 to win the quarter 24-14.
Job Byron scored highest for Co-op Bank with 14 points and Joseph Khaemba added 12. Cliff Alela was the highest scorer for Strathmore with 15 points, Robert Otieno added 13 while Samuel Mogoko and Keith Adams scored 10 points each.
Equity Bank beat Mennonite 71-32.
Women's Premier League defending champions USIU-A narrowly beat Western Delight 54-47 in Kakamega. Head coach George Mayienga said the scoreline was okay considering the circumstances under which they played.
“That is not a worry. We had only six players because others had exams and we enjoyed a good lead only to allow them a comeback. When your opponent scores four three-pointers, they will definitely catch up and that is what happened.”
The game between Co-op Bank and Ulinzi Blades at Upper Hill was rained off with 1:14 remaining in third quarter and Ulinzi leading 36-31.
Masaku Sparks won 67-21 over Kenyatta University Oryx with quarterly scores of 29-6, 14-2, 9-6 and 15-7 respectively. Pamela Sinda top scored with 15 points while Hilda Ndegwa and Felmas Adhiambo added 11 each.
Berine Awour scored three three-point shots and a free shot to top score for Oryx with 10 points.
Saturday: Western Delight 47 USIU-A 54, JKUAT 42 Little Prince 39, Blazers 57 Nebulas Kakamega 45, 4-Christ 77 Kisumu Lakeside 58, World Hope 80 MKU Thika 78, Masaku Sparks 67 KU Oryx 21, Terror 51 KPA 75, Don Bosco 57 Baraka Xtreme 79, Equity Bank 71 Mennonite 32; Sunday: Little Prince 55 Lakeside 66, Umoja 59 KPA 79, Barclays Bank 58 ANU 44, Strathmore University 62 Co-op Bank 76, USIU-A 57 Blades 80.

13 September 2015

UGANDA : Joseph Ouma warns against complacency as Falcons take on Rhinos

Falcons' Joseph Ouma shoots from the line against City Oilers © Kawowo Sports / AISHA NAKATO Falcons' Joseph Ouma shoots from the line against City Oilers
Falcons vs. Charging Rhinos 6:30pm, YMCA
Falcons’ Guard Joseph 'Shiva' Ouma is aware of the devastating effects of undermining lesser sides.
The Kenyan international has warned his teammates against complacency when his side takes on Charging Rhinos today at YMCA.
New coach Benard Oluoch has restored confidence that had deserted the team during Sam Obol's scandalous stint.
Falcons come into the game off a loss to Warriors last Friday and will be searching for victory to regain their winning touch.
     Victory, though, will be farfetched if complacency isn't ironed out according to Joseph Ouma.
“We should not be complacent. That is my simple warning to my teammates” Ouma said.
“We are facing a lesser Charging Rhinos but believe me small teams are good at causing upsets. I know they (Charging Rhinos) will not give it to us easily but gradually we will take it” Ouma told Kawowo Sports.
Inspirational player Steven Omony is expected to return to the team after injury recovering from the injury that kept him out against Warriors and last game at Afrobasket.

UGANDA : Durable Power strikes Warriors

Warriors’ Sam Gombya fights for the ball with Michael Makiadi of Tiger Head Power during over time of their game on Friday. photo by Ismail Kezaala  

Kampala. Few fans could have left the YMCA court on Friday evening disappointed; for this was a true Stanbic Warriors-Tiger Head Power encounter.
The fans, mostly absent during the regular season, returned in good numbers to witness the two bitter rivals tussling it out.
Power were fast out of the blocks with Paul Mwaka scoring the first 10 points as Warriors played catch-up for large parts of the tie.
Twice Warriors clawed themselves level, in the second quarter before a late surge in the fourth quarter climaxed with a lay-up and three pointer from Sedar Sagamba as the game drifted into overtime at 71-all.
The guard also finished with 15 points while Joshua Etalu added a game high 19 for Warriors.
Sudi Ulanga and Michael Makiadi were among five Power players in double figures and finished with 14 points apiece as the side pulled away for an 87-80 victory. There were also two ejections with Power’s Abdullahi Ramadhan and Donald Ssali, whose 10 points played a key part for the Warriors, the guilty parties.
Similar resolve in upcoming games could well see both Power now at 11-6 and Warriors 10-9 improve on their current records.
One such team in need of grit though is record six-time champions Falcons, who went down 68-56 to play-off chasing Charging Rhino.
Allan Kobel and Abel Omongin’s 14 and 12 points led the charge for Rhino, who improved to 7-13 and ahead of Sharing with two and three games respectively.
The league resumes on Wednesday with Power playing Sharing Youth while Our Saviour dates Bush Court.

Airtel FUBA league
Power 87-80 Stanbic Warriors
Rhino 68-56 Falcons
Power vs. Sharing


12 September 2015

TANZANIA : TBF to Unveil National Coach

THE Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) today is expected to name the national men and women's teams head coach will take charge of the teams in various competitions.
TBF Secretary General, Saleh Zonga, told the 'Daily News' in Dar es Salaam yesterday the coach who will take charge of the teams comes from the United States of America. He will be the second US national to be appointed head of the national teams.
Zonga said the federation will hold a press conference at the former National Sports Council (NSC) offices in the city at 10.00am to unveil the coach. The first American coach was Post University men's basketball coach Al Sokaitis in 2012 on a longterm basis to promote the game.
TBF focuses on promoting the game through participation of young players, particularly in schools where they are readily available.
Sokaitis also served as a technical advisor and was charged with bringing Tanzania basketball to a competitive world level.
He was appointed the country's basketball coach after a longtime basketball associate of his, former New York Knicks strength and conditioning coach Greg Brittenham, was invited to Tanzania to evaluate and suggest how both the men and women's national teams could become competitive in the African championships and at the Olympic level.
Naming the US national as the national teams head coach focuses on building Tanzania into an African basketball powerhouse.

KENYA : USIU-A to turn tables against Blades?

  • University of Nairobi Terror will be in action this weekend facing KPA. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • Tony Ochieng, the Strathmore University Blades coach meets USIU-A in the second leg. They won the first match. (SNA: File Photo)
  • University of Nairobi Terror will be in action this weekend facing KPA. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • Tony Ochieng, the Strathmore University Blades coach meets USIU-A in the second leg. They won the first match. (SNA: File Photo)
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United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) hope they can overturn a first leg 57-61 loss to Strathmore Blades when the two varsity rivals meet this weekend at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
In this match, Blades will be playing a slightly changed team. USIU-A lost their point guard Victor Bosire to Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in mid-season as well as Abel Nson who turns out for Nairobi Aviation College. Another guard Joseph Khaemba returned to Co-operative Bank.
But, Blades is still intact and hoping to make it a double. Joseph Ongoro, Peter Shilton and George Okoth are some of the key players expected to give USIU-A stiff challenge on court. USIU-A have  experienced Yoni Wanambiro, Kevin Kigotho and Alvin Nyangweso.
Blades are top of Western Conference with 28 points while USIU-A are seven points behind with three games at hand.
In another match, Ulinzi Warriors hope to keep the pace with Blades by securing a win over Lions on Sunday.
KPA have an opportunity to catch up with Eastern Conference leaders Nairobi City Thunder when they play twice in Nairobi. On Saturday, they face University of Nairobi’s Terrorist and Umoja on Sunday.
Terror has not been performing well losing eleven of their fifteen games. They are up against a side which has lost only thrice in 13 outings and are the league's defending champions.
Terror could bank on the individual brilliance of Collins Ochieng, Frank Manyala and William Mayiel but will need the support from teammates to score a rare win.
KPA has creme de la creme of the league to line up against the students including Valentine Nyakinda, Arou Ramadhan, Tobias Onyango and Martin Kitonga. But after losing to Nakuru Club in first leg, the dockers cannot afford to underrate Terror.
Formality match
Their match against Umoja might a formality. Umoja has underperformed with eight losses from 12 games.
Co-operative Bank will play Strathmore University while Zetech University will face Kenya Airports Authority (KAA). Nakuru Club will be seeking their third straight win when they tackle Kenyatta University Pirates.
Equity Bank will play against Mennonite hoping to win and push their playoffs qualification chances a notch higher. After a shaky start, the bankers are faced with the risk of missing out on the playoffs for the second season running as competition in Eastern Conference is tight.
Newcomers Zetech are shaping up as serious contenders while Strathmore are also in the running to join red hot Thunder, KPA and Co-op Bank.
Jeremy Opiyo, Jeremy Yongo and Joshua Kisali have been instrumental to Zetech’s fine form in their first season. Unless Mennonite register their third win against Equity, their arithmetic for league survival will become complex.
Women Premier League champions USIU-A travel to Kakamega to play Western Delight on Saturday. Masaku Sparks who have been impressive in the second leg have a date with Kenyatta University Oryx who have only two wins in ten games.
KBF Weekend Fixtures
Saturday: USIU-A vs Western Delight (11a.m., Kakamega), ANU vs EMYBA (9 a.m., Upper Hill), JKUAT vs Little Prince (10:30), Blazers vs Nebulas Kakamega (12:00), 4-Christ vs Lakeside (2:00), KAA vs Zetech University (4:00), Don Bosco vs Baraka Xtreme (9 a.m., Nyayo gymnasium),Masaku Sparks vs KU Oryx (10:30), World Hope vs MKU Thika (12:00), Terror vs KPA (2:00), Equity Bank vs Mennonite (4:00); Sunday: EMYBA vs Nebulas Kakamega (10:00, Upper Hill), KCA-U vs JKUAT (12:00), Ulinzi vs Lions (2:00), KU Pirates vs Nakuru Club (4:00), Little Prince vs Lakeside (9:00), Barclays Bank vs ANU (10:30), Umoja vs KPA (12:00), Strathmore University vs Co-op Bank (2:00), USIU-A vs Blades (4:00).

UGANDA : Fuba face Fiba sanctions over Gazelles failure

KAMPALA. The national women’s basketball team, the Gazelles, face the prospect of missing out on another continental championship unless Fuba raises Shs360m ($100,000) to fund their trip to Cameroon for the September 24 to October 3 AfroBasket Championship.
The team has just missed out on the All Africa Games after National Council of Sports (NCS) slashed the travelling contingent due to lack of funds. “We must find a way of travelling otherwise we risk a three-year ban and Shs144m in fines,” Fuba president Ambrose Tashobya said during a press briefing at Hotel Africana yesterday.
The team qualified for both tournaments after winning the Fiba Africa Zone V Championship held here last year. “We missed a unique opportunity, a hard earned one and it hurts that some federations who are just trying to qualify are given money yet we sent a budget to government last year,” Tashobya, flanked by national team committee chairman, Mohamed Santur, said.
“The Sports Commissioner, Omara Apita, told us Shs1b was released to NCS for three disciplines; netball, athletics and basketball. Shs580m was given to netball and when we asked for money all we were given was Shs36m ($10,000) in addition to the Shs82m President Museveni gave us,” the local basketball body boss explained. According to Tashobya, Fuba only paid $5000 of the $20,000 outstanding dues to the international basketball federation, Fiba. Fuba committed to complete the balance before the women’s tournament.

UGANDA : Oilers resume title hunt

Ramathan Arou of City Oilers tries to dribble past UCU’s Desmond Owili during last season’s semifinal playoff series at Lugogo. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 
By Elvis Senono

Posted  Wednesday, September 9   2015 at  01:00
In Summary
Basketball. Due to the national team’s continental engagements, City Oilers have been away from local league action for one month now. They return today with a clash against Diamond in the Sun at YMCA, Wandegeya

Today is exactly 30 days since City Oilers last played a competitive game. Their last Airtel National Basketball League game was a 59-50 defeat of Charging Rhino on August 9. The men’s national team, the Silverbacks’ participation in the Fiba Afrobasket, has had a lot to do with Oilers’ inactivity as their clash with KIU Titans was postponed.
That period of lull has two faces; the two-time defending champions could be rusty or the players are in fine form after getting rid of niggles.
Their coach Mandy Juruni must be hoping for more of the latter as they face minnows Diamond in the Sun at YMCA court today.
“You cannot rule out the rustiness but we should still be able to cope with it,” said Juruni, who during that break, has also been away with the national team.
The coach also thinks Ben Komakech is close to return after a lengthy injury layoff. “He is about 50 per cent fit but may find it difficult to handle the physical demands of the game at the moment,” Juruni said. The two-time playoffs MVP hasn’t featured this year after undergoing knee surgery back in January. Without the mercurial point guard, Oilers have won 14 of their 16 games, a record only matched by UCU Canons.
That could be treated as water under the bridge as the important period of their season is yet to come. The playoffs are on the horizon and Oilers know they must up the ante in their chase for a three-peat. Also, they have to travel to Rwanda for the Fiba Africa Zone V Club Championships next month hoping to improve on their third- place finish in Mombasa last year.
Perhaps, a game against Diamonds, who have lost all but one of their 19 games thus far, doesn’t serve as perfect preparation for the task ahead. However, Juruni will know that players are only good when playing. He must also feel desperate to see Burundian forward Landry Ndikumana dominate the opposition.
Today at ymca (men)
Bush Court vs. Titans 6:30pm
City Oilers vs. Diamond 8:30pm                                                                                  

10 September 2015

RWANDA : Ubumwe eye first FIBA Africa Zone 5 title

Ubumwe won the women's league title in their second season last year.

Debutants Ubumwe women’s basketball club are keen to put up a strong fight as they seek to win their first title at the upcoming FIBA Africa Zone Five Club Championship slated for October 4-11 in Kigali.
The 2014 regular league champions started preparations for the regional championships o weeks ago and the team trains four times a week at KIST court and Amahoro indoor stadium.
In an interview with Times Sport, Ubumwe head coach Jacques Bahige said his target is the title and believes his players can become champions.
“We are targeting the title which is why we started preparations earlier and I’m confident in my players. As hosts, the least we can settle for is reaching the semi-finals,” tactician Bahige told this paper.
The three-year-old Ubumwe side enjoyed their maiden season in the national women’s basketball league finishing second before dethroning APR to win the 2014 title and consequently qualifying for this year’s zone five championships.
APR will also represent the country at the week-long regional tourney while 2012 winners Espoir and Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) will be the two representatives in the men’s category.
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and United States International University (USIU) also from Kenya are the reigning champions in men and women’s category respectively.

08 September 2015

KENYA ; Mennonite face possible relegation

  • Mennonites Migan Njeri in a previous match against Masaku Sparks' Esther Kawoche. They face relegation.
Mennonites women's basketball tcould be relegated after forfeiting their Kenya Basketball Federation weekend game against Ulinzi Blades at Upper Hill School.
They compete in the Eastern Conference and are winless after 14 matches. It was the second match Mennonites has missed this season.
Their male counterparts are treading the same path and lost both matches at the weekend. On Saturday, they fell 49-95 to Blades.
In this match, the students won all quarters 21-14, 17-4, 21-9 and 36-22. Joseph Ongoro had 25 points for Blades while Mennonite's top scorer was Maina Irungu with 14.
On Sunday, they were convincingle beaten 98-52 by Ulinzi Warriors.  The soldiers dominated all quarters winning 19-8, 27-8, 27-15 and 25-21. Eric Mutoro (Ulinzi) and Irungu Maina (Mennonite) top scored with 21 points each.
After the weekend results, Mennonite have lost 12 from 14 matches.
Umoja may also be relegated. They also lost two matches this weekend. Umoja were beaten  64-45 by Nakuru Club on Saturday in a match where Gilbert Obiero (Umoja) and George Kiarie (Nakuru) top scored with13 points each.
On Sunday, they were beaten 68-44 by Strathmore. Umoja share the bottom slot in the Western Conference with Mennonite at 16 points but have played two games less.
A third team which could be relegated are Lions who were beaten 76-64 by Blades on Sunday. They have 17 points. Peter Shilton scored highest for Blades with 23 points and Victor Ochieng top scored for Lions with 20.
Blades and Ulinzi are still neck-to-neck at the top of the summit with 28 and 27 points. Kenyatta University Pirates, Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) and Nairobi Aviation College are all in the relegation zone in the Eastern Conference.
Pirates were not in action this weekend. KAA and Aviation lost their games. KAA was beaten 87-78 by Strathmore University after trailing 33-39 at halftime. Strathmore won the first three quarters 20-19, 19-14 and 23-19 before KAA won the fourth 26-25.
Trevor Ochieng scored highest for Strathmore with 22 points while Vincent Anyim had a game high of 28 points for KAA and Steve McOdongo 20.
Ulinzi won all quarters
Ulinzi Warriors inflicted a 99-29 defeat to Aviation. They won all quarters 23-6, 17-9, 23-6 and 36-8. Eric Mutoro scored highest for Ulinzi with 21 points while Abel Nson had 13 for Aviation.
Pirates are on 17 points while KAA and Aviation are tied at 18 points. Equity Bank with 19 points from 12 games still remain in danger following their 49-55 loss to Nairobi City Thunder on Saturday.
Strathmore pulled away after double wins to increase their tally to 22 points same as Zetech University who lost 56-72 to Thunder. In both games, Griffin Ligare combined for 39 points. Thunder is at the top with 32 points.
In the women's Premier League, Equity Bank and Kenya Ports Authority had a fruitful tour of Western Kenya against Kisumu Lady Bucks and Western Delight.
KPA beat Western Delight 80-20 helped by a combined 30 points from Annerose Mandela and Evelyn Itabu. They beat Kisumu Lady Bucks 77-42.
Hilda Indasi and Samba Mjomba helped Equity to double wins; 66-34 against Western Delight and 64-41 against Kisumu Lady Bucks.
KPA went clear at the top of Eastern Conference with 26 points. Strathmore University are second on 24 points after beating Sprite Storms 46-42. In this match, Susan Abwoga tscored 15 points. Mercy Wanyama replied with 13 points for Storms.
Equity are third on 22 points while Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCA-U) have only won two of their 12 matches.
Kisumu Lady Bucks and Western Delight are in Western Conference and have 11 and 12 points respectively. They are at the bottom of the log while KU Oryx has 12 points as well.
KBF weekend results
Saturday: Western Delight 20 KPA 80, Kisumu Lady Bucks 41 Equity Bank 64, Barclays Bank 61 EMYBA 47, Blades 95 Mennonite 49, Strathmore University 87 KAA 78, Umoja 45 Nakuru Club 64, Equity Bank 49 Thunder 55, Nairobi Aviation College 29 Ulinzi Warriors 99; Sunday: Kisumu Lady Bucks 77 KPA 42, Western Delight 34 Equity Bank 66, Mennonite 0 Ulinzi Blades 20, Strathmore University 46 Sprite Storms 42, Don Bosco 62 4-Christ 67, Little Prince 50 Parklands Baptist 48, Umoja 44 Strathmore University 68, KCA-U 78 Baraka Xtreme 43, World Hope 56 EMYBA 61, Ulinzi Warriors 98 Mennonite 52, Blades 76 Lions 64, Thunder 72 Zetech University 56.

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