23 March 2009

TANZANIA : Zone Five Inter Cities throws off in Arusha tomorrow

The waiting is over as the whistle goes tomorrow for the start of the 11th Edition of East and Central Africa Inter Cities championships in the Tanzania city of Arusha.

Executive Officer Agina Wesonga, who left Nairobi on Saturday said the stage is set for perhaps the most eagerly awaited tournament in a long while. He said that it will roll off with a two day referees clinic to be conducted by one of Africa's top whistler- Vitalis Gode.
"We are looking forward to a great event. We have worked closely with Local Organising Committee for some time now, the time to see the fruits of a long dream is now. I believe the five day championships will be a wonderful one as his Worship the Mayor and his team have worked hard." said Agina.

Nairobi women's team departed for Arusha on Monday morning all set for the show. The team that missed the Dar es Salaam festival last year due to funds have this time round solicisted for funds from well wishers and are rearing to go. The mission is- return the crown home.

The team under coaches Ben Oluoch and Sylvia "Sly" Kamau wound up their four week training at the Railways Club with the tacticians expressing optimism that the girls would do well enough to reclaim the regional title from Kampala City Council (KCC) side.

Oluoch told Fiba Afrique yesterday that there is some problems at the post with the unavailablity of some key players in that position but noted that there are enough cover with the experience of Caroline Achieng "Majeng" to bank on.

He said that, even with some important players missing from the squad due to other commitments, the team would try their best to redeem the image of the nation following the disastrous outing in Rwanda by the national side.

"The post has been of great concern to me during trainings. We might not have the best but with Majeng and expected help from the others we will have the work done and hopefully return the trophy to Nairobi "observed Oluoch.

Oluoch decried the absence of Beryl Amayo, the Strathmore University center who also missed out on the national team duty during last month's Zone Five Africa Nations Cup qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda due to college commitments.

"We will miss Beryl, but as I had said earlier we will have players like Bridgit Nanzala to help out and expect that our experienced guards like Angela Luchivya, Rebecca Sarange, Hilda Luvandwa and Eunice Ouma would step up." said Oluoch

Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) chairman told the players. "We have run around looking for funds as this is our responsibilty. With the little resources that we have got, we will try to make you feel as comfortable as possible. For you,m just do the job at hand." he said.

Nairobi men's team will be missing though. The teams won the event at home in 2007 but were unable to make it to Dar. The dominating Nairobi side were also winners in Kampala in 2006. Reigning champions are Kampala (women) and Dar (men).

The Nairobi team will consist of 13 players namely- Luchivya (captain), Achieng (assistant captain), Eunice Ouma, Rebecca Sarange, Bridgit Nanzala, Mildred Achieng, Anastasia Njeri, Hilda Luvandwa, Irene Makori, Emma Nyakweba, Faith Owich, Eleanor Musundi and Joyce Nyagol,

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