28 April 2007
KENYA : Telkom Set for Battle With Old Mombasa Foes
By Caxton Apollo
National women's basketball league champions Telkom will host Kenya Ports Authority in their first leg tie at Nairobi's Nyayo National Stadium today at 2 pm.
It will be a repeat of last year's play-offs final which saw Telkom battle from behind to deny KPA their fifth consecutive title. Telkom, who last won the title in 2000, shocked the dock women 2-1 in the best of three series final to win the 2006 championship.
The two have the bulk of players in Kenya's national team currently preparing for the All Africa Games to be held in Algiers, Algeria in July. They are expected to use the league match to shape up for national duty.
Ulinzi Warriors, who made history by becoming the first team to win the league title five years in a row, play their season opener against newcomers Kisumu Lakeside. Ulinzi dismissed Co-op Bank 2-0 in the 2006 play-offs final while Lakeside registered a 2-0 win over Java Warriors to clinch the lower competition championship.
The soldiers start as favourites to grab two points. They are expected to parade their experienced players Moses Shida, Simon Mugambi, Ancette Wafula and Ken Oliver.
After losing 71-62 to Co-op Bank last weekend, University of Nairobi's Terrorists return to the court against International Christian Centre. ICC also had a disastrous start when KCB Lions beat them 98-74.
In another women's match, Catholic Dream Team take on Kisumu Lakers while Nairobi Pentecostal Church will host visiting Kenya Ports Authority. The dock men have been out of action for two years and Nairobi fans will be out to see how the coastal team have prepared for their bid to regain lost glory.
Tomorrow, Kisumu Lakeside will wind up their Nairobi tour against fellow newcomers Strathmore University. The sides joined the top competition this year and will be battling it out to make a name for themselves.
Yana Milele meet Kisumu Ladies, KPA take on Blazers while Don Bosco have a date with Langata Crusaders.
Last weekend, KCB Lions re-discovered their winning form as they beat hard battling ICC 98 - 74.
The Lions who came to this match with a point to prove, having lost their first match of the new season to Co-op Bank, lead their opponents from start to finish with some brilliant display particularly from David Nyarsouk who kept fans from both sides on their feet with powerful slams.
It was however Patrick Kirui who gave his team the much needed points sinking 26 points to crown a man-of-the match display.
In earlier matches played on the same day, Java Warriors were unlucky loosing Strathmore University by a solitary point in a nail biting match. The final score was 56 - 57 in favour of Strathmore University.
In the women's leagues, Yana beat Dynamites 56 -22 thanks to an impressive display by Judith Okoth.
In the other match -played on Sunday Sprite Storm hammered University of Nairobi 'Dynamites' 57 - 24 points.