20 November 2008
KENYA : Search for African queens starts
By PHILIP ONYANGO
The 14th Fiba Africa championships for women start at the Nyayo Stadium Gymnasium from Thursday with 12 teams in the draw.
By Wednesday, only the two teams from DR Congo had not arrived in the country but were expected later in the evening.
Kampala City Commission from Uganda, which was not in the original programme, were a surprise inclusion in continental championship.
They have replaced Sonatra from Madagascar who withdrew.
The Ugandans arrived Wednesday morning together with the Rwanda Patriotic Army (APR) who beat them 89-82 in the semi finals of the Zone Five club championships in Ethiopia a fortnight ago.
The Zone Five secretary, Vitalis Gode, could not immediately confirm which teams KCC had replaced but was categorical that they were here to compete like the rest.
Other teams CSA from Cote D’Ivoire, First Bank from Nigeria, Deportivo from Mozambique and Primero de Agosto from Angola arrived on Tuesday. The teams had an opportunity Wednesday to have a feel of the Nyayo Gym, venue for the championships.
First on the floor
The draw for the championships was due to be conducted last night to know the grouping and teams that will be first on the floor.
Kenya’s representatives Eagles Wings and defending champions Desportive have been separated and will each lead a group.“We will know the teams playing tomorrow after the draws but am sure at least one Kenya teams will be taking to the courts."
While the Kenya teams will be enjoying home support, another team expected to get huge support from Kenyans is APR from Rwanda who will have in their line up two Kenyan exports.
The two are Kenya under 18 star forward Purity Adhiambo, a form three student at Shimba Hills Secondary who transferred from Mombasa High and former Mombasa High school mate Brenda Wasuda. The two played crucial roles in Rwanda teams qualification in Ethiopia a fortnight ago.
Meanwhile, Coca Cola Company has offered to give all fans and officials attending matches at the a free soda for the entire duration of the championships. Kenya Basketball federation treasurer Peter Orero said the sodas will be available at the gates and that everybody entering the gymnasium to watch the games will be entitled to a free soda each.
Orero said the gate charges will be Sh200 for VIP stands while the rest of the terraces will be Sh150.