25 November 2009

KENYA : KPA return to calls for total overhaul

Kenya Ports Authority women basketball team needs a total overhaul or should be disbanded altogether .

This is the message awaiting the dockers when they return home today after a poor performance at the 15th edition of Fiba Africa club championships for women in Benin.
Former Kenya Basketball Federation chairman Agina Wasonga, KCB team manager George Omondi Nyundo, national women coach Smarts Olumbo and international referee Juma Kent are among the Kenyans who want KPA to send all the current players into retirement to pave way for young players to take the team to greater heights.

KPA lost all but one match to finish a poor eighth at this championships which attracted 10 teams, a position they held last year and for the over ten years they have been participating at this games.

The poor performance by KPA who won only one match against newcomers Energie of Benin has left many pondering at the future of women basketball in Kenya.

Five titles in a row

Surprisingly, KPA have won five national league titles in row and are currently in the playoffs enroute to the sixth title which brings into question the standards of the national competition.
“KPA’s poor showing has nothing to do with Kenya basketball standards because if teams like Eagle Wings and Eastern Queens were given the same financial support KPA women is getting, they could easily conquer Africa”, Wasonga who has travelled with KPA for several international events, said.

Agina is wondering why KPA have maintained the same old players for the past decade they have been to the Africa championships while their opponents keep recruiting young and energetic players.

According to the statistics released by Fiba Africa, KPA had the oldest players at the championships with an average age of 30.4, a position they have held for the past four years.

“Apart from youthful Helen Oketch, the rest of the KPAplayers have no business playing competitive basketball at the moment and should pave way for young blood”, was Wasonga blunt conclusion.

George Omondi Nyundo, one of the most experienced Kenya basketball administrators, agreed that there is need for a fresh start for the KPA side which he says has been a disgrace at international level.

“The problem is not Kenya basketball as such but KPA as a team because they have continued to rely on the same old players for years”, Nyundo said.

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