31 July 2009

UGANDA : Warriors, KCC Lions in Zone V semis

By Charles Mutebi

Warriors 76 CSK 62

A1 54 UNR47
APR70 Rangers 40

Warriors v Power (YMCA)
Falcons v KPA (YMCA)
Semifinals, Makerere

THEY are not called the Warriors for nothing. As their Ugandan peers have floundered at the opposition in the 2009 Sprite Zone V Basketball championships, the Kyambogo Warriors have battled convincingly and now they are, as group winners, in the men’s sem¬ifinals for good measure.

Their place there was safely cemented with a 76-62 hard-fought win over Rwanda’s CSK at the YMCA court yesterday.

CSK have a menace of a frontcourt, shepherd by two six-foot plus cops, Rene Gakari and Elis Kayijuka. The pair had accounted for D’Mark Power’s downfall the previous day.

Gad Etau’s men chose to keep the damage under control, limiting Gakari and Kayijuka to a team-high 20 and 14 points respectively.

Led by the cool Abdullah Ramadan, who dropped a game-high 24 on JKT, the Warriors overcame the two towers in their oppo¬nent’s perimeter by rely¬ing on outside shooting. 30 of the 76 points came from three pointers

Martin Okwako, Steven Okias and Jude Ochen all clocked double figures for the Warriors with 12, 11 and 10 respectively.

Uganda’s women side the KCC Lions are also in the semifinals which take place today at Makerere. place today at Makerere.

UGANDA : Gloom for Uganda as Falcons, Power and A-1 Challenge lose grip in Zone 5

by Sande Bashaija

Yesterday’s results
UNR 52-77 Eagle Wings
KPA 92-58 KIU Rangers
Berco 36-79 APR
A-1 62-67 Leopards

KCB 71-72 KPA
Power 61-63 Coop
Newstars 61-66 Marines
Falcons 85-73 ABC

Today at Makerere
UNR v A-1 Challenge (10am)
Rangers v APR (12pm)
KPA v Berco Stars (2pm)
JKT v Coop (4pm)-men
KPA v Marines (2pm)
Warriors v CSK (4pm)
Eagle v KCC Leopards (6pm)
Falcons v Newstars (8pm)

Local sides DMark Power and Mogas Falcons will have to rely on results from other matches to stand a chance of making the penultimate stage of the ongoing Africa Zone 5 Sprite Championship.

Power, the reigning local league champions, yesterday evening suffered their second loss of the tournament when they clumsily folded at the hands of Rwandan side CSK 82-91 at Makerere University main ground.

It was a big blow for Peter Mubanda’s side as they have to pray that Warriors defeat CSK today to leave them with a chance of sneaking through to the last four. That result though won’t be good enough as Power must defeat Warriors in their last group game.

Although they recorded their first victory, an 85-73 beating of Tanzania’s ABC last night, Falcons can only squeeze through by winning their remaining two group matches and pray that Kenya Ports Athority (KPA) falter along the way.

At the moment, its all gloom for Uganda as women sides A-1 Challenge and KIU Rangers also got eliminated.

RWANDA : Hoops win in Italy


Rwanda 99-73 Milan select
Rwanda v Turkey

RWANDA’s men basketball team showed glimpses of what it is capable of after a solid performance against a Milan select side on Wednesday night.

The team, camping in Italy ahead of the 25th FIBA Africa Nations Championship (2009 Afrobasket) in Libya thumped the Milan select side 99-73 to signal their intentions at the lucrative competition scheduled to run from August 5 to 15 in Tripoli and Benghazi.

Rwanda’s head coach Kavedzija Vaceslav though chose to rest Robert Thomson. The center player is trying to shake off a niggling pain just above his left ankle but reports from Italy indicate that he will be fit for tomorrow’s tricky game against Turkey.

“Word from Italy is that Vaceslav did not want to risk him (Thomson) on Wednesday night but he should play on Saturday,” the president of the national basketball federation (Ferwaba) Eric Kalisa explained.

Rwanda is seeded in Group D alongside Cape Verde, Morocco and Tunisia and will open their Afrobasket campaign on August 5 with a tricky test against Morocco; winners in 1965.

The Afrobasket competition is a biannual event which dates back in 1962. Angola is the record champion with nine titles.

30 July 2009

TANZANIA : ABC, JKT fall miserably in Kampala

TANZANIA'S JKT and ABC yesterday suffered their second straight losses in the Zone Five clubs basketball tournament at the YMCA Wandegeya courts in Kampala, Uganda.

The Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) Secretary General Lawrence Cheyo, who accompanied the teams in Kampala, said it was a disappointing start for the local clubs in recent years in the qualifying series of the Africa Championships.

Despite exhibiting an entertaining basketball, JKT who are the Mainland champions failed to prove their prowess outside the borders after falling 51-67 to Kyambogo Warriors.

Ugandan side owed in no small part to their Tanzanian point guard Abdullah Ramadan, who came in four minutes to help them wrestle back control of a match that was going in JKT's favour early in the first quarter. Ramadan went on to end the contest with a game-high 16 points.

Kyambogo skipper Brian Gumisiriza, who was an earlier injury doubt was in equally impressive form, picking up multiple boards on the way to sinking 12 points.

JKT's Gerald Balu dropped a team-high 12 points for the Tanzanian outfit, who have now lost both of their matches, following their 53-89 loss to Ugandan champions D'Mark Power on Monday night.

As if the loss on Monday evening was not serving as wake up call, yesterday ABC went down to 66-87 to Marine in another encounter at the same venue. They lost 70-102 to Kanya Ports Authority (KPA) in their opening match.

LIBYA : Libya Eliminated by Egypt in Quarters at Arab Basketball Championships

AS expected, Libya’s adventure in the 9th Arab Basketball Champion-ship’s currently being held in Morocco (July 16-26) was halted when they were eliminated from the tournament at the quarterfinal stage by Egypt. The Pharaohs beat Libya 84-54 to proceed to the semi-finals with a 100 per cent record.

Egypt, still unbeaten, will now meet Syria in the last four while Tunisia, also unbeaten from six matches after beating Kuwait 99-57 will take on Morocco.

Libya’s elimination was not surprising as with Tunisia, Egypt are proving to be the strongest contenders for the championship.

So Libya ends its participation with a record of three wins and three defeats, having achieved its victories in the group stage over Syria, Lebanon and UAE. The defeats in Group A were against Tunisia and Algeria.

In their quarterfinal encounter Libya found the Egyptians a tough opposition as the Pharaohs controlled the rhythm of the game from the very beginning. Libya tried to get going but found the a very strong defence, though running up a creditable score of 54 points.

But Egypt managed to control the game without too many problems and in the end were full value for their 30-point advantage.

It is worth mentioning that one of the semi-finalists, Syria, who eliminated Saudi Arabia 83-73 in the quarters, were 87-91 losers when they faced Libya in the group stage. That was one of Libya’s best matches in a very encouraging start to the championships in which Libya had two straight wins.

Libya started these championships that could serve them well in view of the forthcoming African Basketball Championships it will be hosting next month with a well-deserved overtime victory in the opening match against Syria.

It was the Syrians who played the better basketball at the outset and ended the first quarter, 20-16 ahead. They even increased this lead to nine points half way through, 43-34.

But Libya reacted strongly in the last two periods to level the score at 77-all by the end of normal time and force extra time, which saw them at their very best as they won by 91-87.

Libya, drawn in a group made up of Algeria, Lebanon, Syria and UAE, faced Lebanon in their second match. They were by far the stronger of the two teams, dominated throughout and easily won 78-46.

But Libya were then outclassed by Tunisia who beat them 84-48 and suffered another loss against Algeria by 70-51. This was a disappointing finish. After a well balanced first quarter Algeria drastically improved and led by eight points at half time.

Libya could not find their shooting power as Algeria intensified their efforts in the second half of the game, which they dominated, opening up a comfortable 22-point lead to make the lat 10 minutes a formality.

Against Tunisia Libya offered little or no resistance and it was no surprise that our neighbours managed an easy success with a 36-point advantage (84-4) in the end.

Libya then regrouped in the game against UAE and obtained their third victory in the tournament, 75-63.

The UAE started well by building an 18-16 lead and the Libyans looked as if they could slip another time, but eventually things turned out for the better and by the end built a good enough advantage that they sustained.

Group B was Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Yemen.

TANZANIA : Tanzania falters in Zone Five basketball

Former Vijana's ace Abdullah Ramadhan Dulla inspired Kyambogo Warriors of Uganda to beat JKT 67-51 points in the Fiba Zone Five Basketball Championship.

Playing at YWCA court in Kampala on Tuesday, Dulla displayed extraordinary skills that left his compatriots in deep anguish.
The hosts introduced Dulla in the first quarter of the match and his wide international experience sank the Tanzanians.
Dulla made an immediate impact as he notched up 16 points to put the hosts in strong position to emerge victorious.
Kyambogo's captain Brian Gumisiriza, who was replaced by Dulla after sustaining an injury, managed to score 12 points.
Gerald Baru of JKT played heroically to chalk up 12 points, but they were not enough to rescue his team.
JKT have failed to post a win in their first two games, thus derailing their hopes of clinching the coveted regional trophy.
The Tanzanian champions lost their first encounter to D�Mark Power of Uganda by 89-53 on Monday.
JKT's expert shooters Charles Mekene, Frank Kusiga and Juma Kissocky did not show a glimpse of their usual brilliance.
It was the third defeat for Tanzanian flag bearers as ABC also bowed out to Kenya Port Authority (KPA) after being demolished 102-63.
Three-point expert Musa Hodari inspired his team to ease past hapless ABC who relied on their playmakers Gilbert Batungi and Haleluya Kavalambi.
The head coach of ABC, Leonard Kwale, said their defeat was down to fatigue after travelling a long distance to Kampala.
"We had to play barely an hour after arriving here, so the loss is understandable�I didn�t expect them to perform miracles,"he said.

Following results of the preliminary matches, Tanzanians teams have a slim chance to sail through to the quarterfinals.

UGANDA : Uganda champions Power fail to take off

By Charles Mutebi

Zone V championship
CSK 91 Power 82
Falcons 85 ABC 73
Leopards 67 A1 60
KPA 92 Rangers 58
Warriors v CSK (YMCA)
Falcons v Newstars (YMCA)
A1 v UNR ( Makerere)
Rangers v APR (Makerere)

MEN’S national basketball champions D’Mark Power are almost certain of elimination from the Sprite Zone V basketball tournament after their 91-82 defeat to Rwanda’s CSK at Makerere yesterday left them at the mercy of group mathematics.

Power’s second loss in three games left them praying for favourable results in matches involving the other group A teams.

Power are tied on four points with group leaders Cooperative Bank, from Kenya, who have a better head-to-head than the Ugandans after edging them 63-61 Tuesday night.

However, Cooperative Bank, CSK and Uganda’s Kyambogo Warriors have all played a game less.
Power will rue a dreadful second-quarter performance for their fatal loss to CSK. It is the only quarter they lost, by 25-7, but it was enough do them in. They won the others 22-21, 27-21 and 26-24.

On a positive note, Uganda’s Falcons recorded their first victory of the tournament, downing Tanzania’s ABC 85-73 to boost their slim chances of progressing out of Group B to the semifinals.
Uganda’s women KCC Leopards beat local rivals A1 Challenge 67-60 while KIU Rangers fell to Kenya champions KPA 92-58.

UGANDA : Leopards, Rangers off to Zone 5 flier

by Sande Bashaija

Monday night results
KCB 20-00 Newstars
Power 89-53 JKT

Yesterday (women)
A-1 Challenge 45-49 Eagle
Berco Stars 40-61 KIU
KCC Leopards 79-35 UNR
APR 64-39 KPA

Warriors 67-51 JKT
Marines 87-66 ABC
Falcons 69-75 KBC

Today at YMCA
A-1 v KCC Leopards (2pm)
KBC v KPA (4pm)
ABC v Falcons (6pm)
Warriors v Coop (8pm)

At Makerere mainground
UNR v Eagle Wings (10am)
KPA v KIU Rangers (12pm)
Newstars v Marines (2pm)
Power v CSK (4pm)

Who says women’s basketball is boring? If you subscribe to that school of thought, think again. Kampala City Council (KCC) Leopards and Kampala International University (KIU) Rangers, two of Uganda’s representatives in the ongoing Sprite Zone 5 Championship yesterday fired up crowds at YMCA Wandegeya.

Not only did the two sides record comprehensive victories against foreign opposition but the Ugandan sides exhibited free-flowing, entertaining basketball. Mariam Birungi and Annet Nakiwu combined for 25 points as KCC, semifinalists last year, humiliated University of Rwanda (UNR) 79-35 in the first game of their campaign before KIU outplayed Berco Stars (Burundi) 60-41.

Rangers, making their debut appearance in the Africa Club Championships qualifying showpiece, had Susan Amito (19 points) and Judith Nansobya (10) to thank for their dream start.

It was, however, a bad day for A-1 Challenge as they went down to Kenya’s Eagle Wings 45-49 despite a brave second half display.

In the men’s category, Kyambogo Warriors dismissed Tanzania’s JKT 67-51 but Falcons suffered their second straight loss, falling 69-75 to Kenya’s KCB.

KENYA : Wobbly start for Falcons in Zone 5

Sande Bashaija

Yesterday’s results
Falcons 71-75 Marines
ABC 70-102 KPA
Coop 81-63 CSKA
Today at YMCA
Berco stars v KIU (12pm)
A-1 Challenge v Eagle (2pm)
KPA v APR (4pm)
KCB v Falcons (6pm)
DMark Power v Coop (8pm)
At Makerere
KCC v UNR (10am)
Marines v ABC 12pm)
Newstars v KPA (2pm)
JKT v Warriors (4pm)

Everything went wrong for Falcons as the Sprite Zone 5 Championship got underway at YMCA Wandegeya yesterday evening. First, the local league record champions almost got penalized for arriving late.

After several calls, they showed up only to find their opponents, Rwanda’s Marines, ready to get rolling. That was blunder number one for Uganda’s representatives in the regional tournament.

Falcons didn’t get enough time to warm up and psyche for the game but that can’t be an excuse for the 71-75 loss. True, Marines are a side with technically gifted players but for Falcons to give away a five-point lead with just less than three minutes on the clock was unforgivable.

The Rwandans got off to a dream start, winning the opening two quarters 16-13 and 21-19 respectively but Falcons’ experience was always expected to come to the fore.

After all, the Ugandans beat Marines 77-74 during a warm-up engagement in Kigali last week. But Arnold Akwira (16 points), Elibo Muhire (21) and Gedeka Kateguhaga (20), three rare talents in the Rwandan side, kept the Falcons’ defence on its toes despite the Ugandans winning the third session 22-13.

And when they found Stephen Omony, Francis Tumusime and Sam Obol not at their usual best, the Rwandans were in for a party. Falcons trailed for the bigger part but finally took the lead (54-50) going into the final quarter This gave the energetic and passionate fans every reason to shout themselves hoarse.

Then in came a moment of madness. Obol (7) unluckily missed on the break and Eric Malinga (14) hit the rim from outside the arc with Falcons leading 64-61.

Marines made no error, every move of theirs ended in a basket during crucial moments to render Henry Malinga’s team high 17 points irrelevant. Falcons now find themselves in a must-win situation going into their next game against Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) this evening.

Elsewhere, Kampala City Council (KCC) Leopards, women semifinalists last year, begin their campaign with an encounter against University of Nairobi at Makerere this morning.

UGANDA : Zone 5 - How prepared are Ugandan teams?

by Sande Bashaija

For a good number of years, Ugandan sides have struggled to match their counterparts in the Africa Zone 5 region.

Falcons (2000) and Lady Bucks (2004) were the last clubs to rule regional basketball but tables have since turned against the Ugandans.
Yet the general consensus is that Uganda’s basketball league ranks up there compared with neighbours Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi.

Kampala City Council (KCC Leopards), have in the past three years carried the country’s flag. Throughout their campaigns, KCC Leopards have been nearly women. At last year’s edition in Ethiopia, they finished fourth. Now, KCC are leading the women’s charge as the Sprite-sponsored tournament begins at YMCA, Makerere and Namboole today. But can the mayor’s girls or any other team keep the trophy home?

“There are high chances we can win the tournament and qualify for the Africa Championship,” KCC Leopards coach Timothy Odeke said on Thursday. “We have had good preparations and when you look at the talent in our squad, there is no doubt we shall do well,” he added.

With MTN-Fuba League champions UCU Lady Canons having pulled out, Uganda’s hopes obviously lie in the Leopards and A-1 Challenge.
The two sides have the necessary experience but who says the foreign legion is limited in that aspect.
“I am only worried about KPA (Kenya Ports Authority). It’s the kind of team everyone would love to avoid,” Odeke said, acknowledging the threat presented by the Kenyan women league champions.

Most KCC players still remember how KPA overturned a 20-point deficit to beat them in the 2007 Zone 5 inter-city tournament in Nairobi.
Good for KCC, they have beefed up their side with the recruitment of Uganda’s best female basketball player, Flavia Oketcho and other youngsters. The depth is a big plus.

But like A-1 Challenge, lack of pre-tournament action seems to be the biggest hindrance in the 2007 league champions’ preparations.
“Apart from A-1 Challenge, other local teams are not very competitive. So it would be a waste of time to play build-up games with them,” Odeke noted.
A-1 Challenge overran KCC and negotiated the MTN-Fuba League first round unbeaten, making them the most feared local team - on paper, at least. But all is not rosy in the A-1 Challenge camp. “To play in such a tournament, you need to dedicate at least two weeks to residential training. But you realise that most of our players can’t leave their jobs to enter camp,” A-1 Challenge skipper Ali Mavita revealed early last week. “It’s a tricky situation for us.”

Mavita’s team comes up against equally experienced but better prepared opposition in the 10-day tournament. A-1 Challenge’s best performance in the Zone 5 tournament came in 2006 when they finished third in Nairobi. They won’t complain of inexperience, it’s their chance to try and go one better. “We shall give it our best shot. But it won’t be easy,” Mavita, one of Uganda’s best female players, noted.

Rangers’ wild card
The withdrawal of Lady Canons opened the door for Kampala International University (KIU) Rangers to represent Uganda as the third team.
Fourth on the league table at the close first round, KIU Rangers have their match-ups in the tournament but can’t be counted among contenders for the top prize.

The Kasanga-based team should, however, be able to outlast Somalia’s Heagen and Ethio Water (Ethiopia), with home ground advantage as their biggest strength.
From Rwanda, APR carry with them loads of experience, making them fierce title contenders.

Burundi’s Berco Stars and Tanzania’s JKT look outsiders but can’t be taken lightly bearing in mind their consistency in international competitions.
For Falcons, record champions of the local league, this tournament brings with it special memories.

Their mettle is tried and tested. They defeated Seychelles side Premium Cobras to lift the regional trophy in 2000 in Kampala and have been to the semifinals twice (1999 and 2001).
And they are not taking this year’s edition for granted.

The six-time league winners are fresh from a build-up tournament in Kigali, Rwanda. “The Kigali trip was key in our preparations. People will see how good we are,” Ssimbwa said on Wednesday.

Ssimbwa’s charges put up a commendable show against the Rwanda national team, losing 93-117, edged CSK 77-74 and comprehensively defeated Marine 87-65 to complete their tour last week.

There couldn’t have been a better way for Falcons to build up for the zonal challenge. “We are in upbeat mood. If all goes according to plan, we should be able to make the final,” promised Ssimbwa.

Lack of funds ensured Falcons missed out on last year’s tournament held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and it’s only now that they can make up for that disappointment.

Their ambition is unquestionable and with Stephen Omony back in the squad after a professional stint in Seychelles, Falcons look well-equipped to compete favourably.

Of course there are teams like KPA (Kenya) Bilpam Warriors (Sudan), Haegen (Somalia), New Stars (Burundi) and Kenya Commercial Bank to worry about but Falcons have faced most of them before.

Whereas Falcons can boast of good preparations, DMark Power technical director Peter Mubanda is sweating over his team’s readiness. “I wish I could say things are okay,” Mubanda told Scoreline when asked about the developments in his team’s camp. “Our big players are busy with work while others are at school. It’s a difficult situation,” Mubanda noted.

Bring in the fact that the reigning league champions last played a competitive game on June 26 and it’s a hell of worries for Mubanda.
All he can pray for is that his talented players can rely on their natural abilities and give their fans something to smile about. That they can. How about Warriors?

Tanzanian Ramathan Abdulahi and Kenyan Martin Okwako have given Warriors enviable depth. The duo’s performances in the league have been awesome and they can sure help Warriors mount a challenge in this tournament.
Thank God, there is no Egyptian team taking part.

Not to count off the rest of the opposition, but its time for Ugandans to make their home ground advantage count. It’s only unfortunate that all games are to be played outdoor because Lugogo is undergoing renovation.

RWANDA : APR ladies roar in Zone 5


Fifa Africa Zone 5

UNR v A-1 Challenge 09:00
KIU Rangers v APR 11:00
KPA v Marines 13:00
Warriors v CSK 15:00

APR ladies instilled fear in their Zone 5 opponents after thrashing Kenyan giants and defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) on Monday.

The Rwandan champions thumped KPA 64-39 to get their FIBA Africa Zone 5 championship campaign off to a flier.

It was however a bad outing for National University of Rwanda (UNR) as they went down 79-35 to Uganda’s KCC Leopards.

Mariam Birungi and Annet Nakiwu combined for 25 points as Leopards raced to their first win of the championship where the top two sides will qualify for the FIBA-Africa Club Championship for women in Cotonou, Benin later this year.

Marine also seem to be enjoying themselves in the men’s fray after winning their opening two games. The 2007 champions edged Uganda’s Falcons 75-71 in their opener before thrashing ABC 87-66

By press time, Marine were gearing up for their final pool game against Burundi’s Newstars. CSK were also warming up for a tricky test against Uganda’s D’Mark Power.

CSK suffered an 81-70 defeat in their opening match against Kenya’s Cooperative bank.

KENYA : Wings Soar in Uganda

Eagle Wings continued to impress at the East and Central Africa Basketball Club Championship in Kampala, Uganda.

They thrashed National University of Rwanda (UNR) 77-55 at Makere University grounds yesterday.

The Kenya Basketball Federation women’s Premier League champions, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), had a rough start in their quest to defend the regional trophy as well as qualify for the Zone Five championship in Benin in September. They, nevertheless, overcame Kampala International University’s Rangers 92-58 shortly after the Wings’ match.

KPA won the first quarter 32-18 to lead 53-34 at half time. After the break, KPA who, were hungry for a win owing to their poor performance in their first game, made the scores 78-45 and 92-58 in the third and last quarters to carry the day.

KPA women had a difficult time tackling APR of Rwanda who walloped them 64-39 at YMCA Social Hall in a battle in which KPA’s Yvonne Akinyi managed only seven points as the game high.

"KPA were down and their guards ineffective. APR are younger and played a fast-paced game that KPA failed to match," said a Kenyan official who was at the venue.

Anastacia Njeri, who sunk 18 goals for Wings in the opening match against A1 Challenge in which the former won 49-45, was again on target on Tuesday evening. Njeri scored a game high 16 points to put Wings 48-24 ahead of UNR at half time.

Brigit Nanzala pushed Wings, who have vowed to dethrone KPA, ahead with 10 points and the win. Umutoni Salama scored 11 points fo KIU Rangers.

Local League Champions Kenya Commercial Bank’s Lions started their hunt for the men’s trophy on a silver platter, thanks to the stringent rules at the championship.

Lions picked a walkover (20 goals and two points) after New Stars (Burundi), arrived late at the venue on Monday night.

Lions defeated Uganda champions, Falcons, 75-69 in another thrilling encounter. Local men’s league runners-up, Co-operative Bank, won their second match of the championship on Tuesday night when they edged DM Power of Uganda 63-61.

Coo-op Bank won 20-23, 12-9, 15-16 and 16-13 with the aid of Eugene Genga (20 points) and Richard Osano (13).

KENYA : Eagles Wings ready to fly

Last year’s women’s basketball Premier League runners-up Eagle Wings hope to stamp their authority and wrestle the East and Central Africa Club Championships trophy from Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) as the regional event kicks off in Kampala on Monday.

Eagle Wings, who are yet to win the regional title, are optimistic of flooring their perennial rivals KPA.

KPA’s Millicent Onyango evades a tackle from Mennonites’ players in a past league tie. Eagle Wings and KPA head to Uganda for regional clubs’ tournament. Photo: Martin Mukangu
To prove just how well prepared they are for their maiden title chase, Eagle Wings walloped the Kenya College of Accountancy University 73-35 at Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium on Saturday in a Premier League encounter.

Eagle Wings won the first quarter with a massive 17-6 score before increasing the tempo in the second quarter, which they won 24-7.

After the break, the team won the last quarters 15-13 and 17-9 to carry the day.

"There is nothing that is going to stop us from winning the title. With a little of hard work, we are going to do it," said Eagle Wings player Evelyn Kedogo.

Kedogo was formerly with Kenya Railways and Sprite Storms before crossing over.

Stable form

Coach Thomas Smatts Olumbo, who confirmed his girls are in a stable form of mind and physique, said there are no worries since the team has no injuries.

"We are stepping up training at the Nairobi Railway Club and we will gauge our capacity with the Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCA-U) against whom we have a league match tomorrow (yesterday)," Olumbo had said earlier.

High expectations

Besides aiming to bag a slot to Benin this year, Olumbo said Eagle Wings have high expectations, including hopes of bagging the women’s Premier League title this year.

"Last year, KPA beat us with a basket and we are working on the mistakes we made. This year, beating us will not be easy as such," he said.

Olumbo was set to name his final squad on Saturday, after they played KCA-U in a league tie at Nyayo National Stadium. The team leaves for Kampala tonight.

Among the players the squad will rely on to bag the title include Lillian Achieng who has captained the women’s national team since 1998, besides representing the country in two editions of the All Africa Games.

Rebecca Sarange, Eunice Ouma and Anastacia Njeri all who have also had a stint with the national team, will champion Eagle Wings’ campaign for a maiden regional title.

The team was formed in 2003 as a promotional club but later got a foothold in the league in 2007 where it finished third. The same year, the team got a major boost when players from the defunct Telekom, who had won the league, crossed over.

KENYA : Americans in love with Shimba girls


Shimba Hills Secondary, the national schools girls’ basketball champions, continues to attract top American basketball coaches.

Oklahoma Baptist University women’s basketball coaches John Marcum and John McCullough will be visiting the school to help them prepare for the East Africa Games scheduled for August in Fort Portal, Uganda.

The visit by the coaches of the former National Athletics Intercollegiate Association champions comes on the heels of a similar one by Union University women’s basketball coach Katie Woodruff a fortnight ago.

She stayed for seven days. The Union team, which has four Kenyans in their team, are the reigning NAIA champions. McCullough arrives in Mombasa on August 15 and will be coaching the team until August 22 when he flies back to the US.

Marcum, the university’s head coach, is expected on August 23 and will accompany the girls to the East African games. The coaches will also conduct coaching clinics with players from all over the country, whom they intend to recruit for scholarships at the university.

Developing interest

“We have been developing interest in the players from Mombasa after the success of Union University, whose real strength in the front court was Josephine Owino, Beatrice Awino Oyenje, Miriam Wandanda and Mildred Olumasim, all of who developed their skills in Mombasa,” McCullough said.

The coach said he will however give a chance to potential players from other parts of Kenya if they meet the university’s standards. McCullough said he was targeting at least three players from Shimba Hills to beef up his squad ahead of the NAIA games in September.

In June, Woodfruff identified Shimba Hills’ international Purity Odhiambo for the Union team after she finishes school later this year.

In a Coast league match at the weekend, Shimba Hills hammered Kisauni Queens 98-29, even without Odhiambo, who is in Uganda with Rwandan Patriotic Army (APR) team for the Fiba Zone Five club championships.

Newcomers Ziporah Khasoa, Risper Anyango, Mildred Nekesa and Mwijabu Mwidadi took over the mantle, running rings around their opponents to score with abandon.

Earlier, Shimba Hills, who remain second in the league with eight points, one less than Rollers Babes who have a match in hand, defeated Kiembeni 62-15. Rollers Babes beat Kiembeni 44-22 to remain at the top of the table with eight points.Makupa Lakers regained the top men’s spot when they defeated Oceaners 50-29 to tie with Changamwe Rollers with 10 points each after Rollers beat Maweni 54-38.

Unbeaten run

Shimba Boys maintained their unbeaten run after defeating Maweni 62-39 while Mombasa Polytechnic beat Makande Rebels 45-37.

Lakers top the men’s league with ten points from five matches followed by Changamwe Rollers who are placed second with similar points from seven matches. Mombasa Baptist, who had a free weekend, occupy the third slot with nine points from six matches.

Mombasa Poly are fourth with nine points from five matches, followed by Kiembeni Heats (7,4) and Makande Rebels (7,6).

Rollers Babes lead the girls with nine points from five matches, followed by Shimba Hills with eight points from four matches, Baptist (4,3), Kisauni Queens (4,3) and Changamwe Secondary (3,3).

KENYA : Maseno sends seven to Sprite Slam final

Maseno High School has produced seven contestants in the national finals of the Sprite Slam Basketball Tournament.

Erick Wanire, Valentine Nyakinda, Simon Ojuong, Vincent Juma, Ronald Ngundo, Simon Opel and Samuel Oderprevailed over 160 contestants at the Kisumu selection that picked nine stars. The others are Mzee Salim from Kisumu Boys High and Rufina Lucy from Tigoi High.

On Saturday, six players were picked at the opening competition in Eldoret. They are Tyler Okari and Nickson Were of Friends School Kamusinga, Steven Onyango (Bishop Delany High), Enoch Ngeno (Kapsabet High), Gilbert Aluoch (St Patrick High) and Susan Manya of Moi Girls High.

They will meet winners in mini tournaments in Eldoret, Mombasa and Nairobi at the finals in Nairobi on August 15.

Basketball camp
The students are fighting for five tickets to the Basketball Without Borders National Basketball Association camp in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September. Coca-Cola and Miles and Associates International will stage a series of mini camps.

Sprite, the lemon-lime flavoured beverage, is the official soft drink of the NBA.

“We are impressed with the level of interest that the students have in the sport and our aim as Sprite is to nurture this talent ... to be great basketballers who can be ranked amongst the best in the world,” Ms Maureen Sika, the Coca-Cola Brand Manager for Kenya, said at the function.

Kenya Basketball Federation chairman Paul Otula lauded Sprite, saying: “We are grateful to Coca-Cola Company, through their brand Sprite, for this initiative as we see it helping us greatly in not only seeking out talent but also ensuring its sustainability.”

With some US$500,000 (Sh40 million) invested in the tournament in Kenya alone, Coca-Cola East and Central Africa will also refurbish 50 basketball courts across the country this year and the next, among them Railway Club, which serves as a training ground for Nairobi.

An NBA player will help out in the final, while Miles & Associates coaches will manage the selection camp in partnership with top coaches forwarded by KBF.

The tournament will also be staged in Uganda and Angola, with each country sending five players to South Africa.

Miles & Associates has stationed a country manager and two program managers to manage the slams in each of the participating nations. The country manager will ensure overall efficiency of the mini-camps and provides on-site support for the program, while program managers select and develop sites for the slams and identify coaches for each event.

KENYA : KPA out to conquer the region


Rwanda’s armed forces side APR will provide the biggest challenge to the Kenya Ports Authority teams in the Fiba Africa Zone Five championships which start in Kampala on Monday, coach Anthony Ojukwu said.

The Rwandese team has Kenya international Purity Adhiambo in its ranks.
“APR should be the main team to watch at this years club championships after they defeated us in the classification matches of the Africa Club championships in Nairobi last year, but we have prepared well and should be in a position to tame them,” Ojukwu said.

The coach spoke after after the team received the flag from the KPA Human and Resource Controller Salim Chingabwe on Wednesday.
He named an almost unchanged women side for the event including veterans Ethel Wakesho and Millicent Anyango However, Caroline Arato and Mwajuma Suleiman will not be travelling to Kampala.
Mike Opel will be leading the men’s team which is seeking it’s first Zone Five title while Joyce Makhungu will skipper the women who are the defending champions.

Other country’s expected to send teams in the week long event include hosts Uganda who have entered six teams, three men and three women, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Somalia. Meanwhile, the Coast basketball league continues this weekend with eight matches on the card at the KPA Hall Makande

IVORY COAST : The Elephants working out for Libya in Spain

Côte d'Ivoire is currently in Getafe, Spain for its final preparations for the 25th FIBA Africa Nations Championship to be played from 05th to 15th August 2009.

The Elephants, who previously took part in a summer league in Sacramento, now are in full swing in Getafe, Spain under the eyes of head coach Randoald Dessarzin and assistant coaches Frederic Thuries and John Douaglin .

Joining the current team in Getafe are Stephane Konate and Arnaud Dahi as well as naturalized U.S. American player Errick Craven while the pack will be led by Pape-Philippe Amagou and and Mohamed Kone.

Before heading over to Libya, the Elephants will be facing a local team from the Asturias and on the 30th of July the Malian national-team in France. After that, Dessarzin is going to choose his twelve players for Libya were they are facing Nigeria on the 5th of August in FIBA Africa Nations Championship.


NIGERIA : Rivers State to take over Royal Hoopers

New entrant to the MultiChoice Premier Basketball League, the Royal Hoopers Basketball Club of Port-Harcourt is to be acquired by the government of Rivers State with effect from August 1, 2009. Indications to this effect emerged Thursday as the Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi hosted the NBA legend, Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald and eight other foreign coaches from America at the Government House in Port-Harcourt.

He said that the state is aware of the good work the initiator of the Royal Hoopers team, Syndoph Endoni has done and Endoni is now set to leave for another duty post, the state will take over the team to keep the dream alive.

“We’re elated that so much has been achieved with Royal Hoopers through the efforts of Syndoph Endoni. The selfless service won’t be allowed to fade away and as such we are renovating the basketball facility to enable we have them play on a befitting venue. We certainly don’t want his absence to kill the laudable programme he has started with the Royal Hoopers.”

He thanked the organisers for taking time off to be in the state to help train the young players and keep them away from vices. Amaechi noted that poverty is a big factor that leads young men into criminal activities.

“With a camp like the one we have here serving as a good schedule, our youths will understand that they can have a future in education through basketball and as such get more focused. On our part, we’ll do our best to keep supporting this programme.”

Earlier, the NBA Hall of Famer, Archibald had told the governor that he was glad to be in Nigeria and had by his visit achieved one of his life long ambition. “I must tell you, you’re Excellency that we’ve had a nice time working with the kids.”

Syndoph who led the delegation had pleaded that the state government should do well to continue with the programme. His views were also emphasised by coach Alex Nwora, founder of the Global Sports Advantage which partners Royal Hoopers on the Elite Camp and Classics as he noted that letting the project die will amount to the youths loosing focus of the gains made already.

At the meeting were the Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye and Sam Ahmedu. There were also Jackie Knowles, Tyrone M. Duren, Josh Bland, Ernest Browne, and Cecil Sievers who are all coaches from the USA. Nigeria’s former internationals Osita Nwachukwu and Abdulrahman Mohammed complete the list.

Pius Ayinor
FIBA Africa

KENYA : Tops guns KCB Lions, KPA, Co-op Bank and Eagle Wings all set for regional show in Kampala

Top guns led by national champions KCB Lions and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) hit the road this weekend for Uganda to take part in the Fiba Africa Zone Five club championships that throws off Monday in Kampala.

The other three teams headed for the regional show are Co-operative Ban of Kenya, KPA men and Eagle Wings. Of the lot only Co-op Bank faltered during last weekend games played both in Nairobi and Mombasa. They used the matches as warm up fixtures for Kampala show.

Lions clobbered International Christian Center (ICC) 72-57, KPA men whitwashed Strathmore University Blades 91-57 while ports women too had it too easy against Strathmore Swords running away with a one sided 100-8 thrashing of the students.

Co-op who had beaten Posta 64-45 only a week ago, continued to confound finding life too difficult against United States International University (USIU) inexplicably allowing the students to come back from an 18 point difference to carry the day 81-78.

Eagle Wings had it easy, bolting off to a strong start taking a 33-12 lead at the break before humiliating Sprite Storms 66-25 in a one sided demolition to send stern warning to their rivals.

All the four coaches, Francis "Officer" Ngunjiri (KCB), Anthony Ojukwu (KPA), Carey Oketch (Co-op) and Thomas Olumbo (Wings) all remained confident yesterday assuring that the teams would make the country proud by doing well in the championships.

Lions: This team remains very much the side to beat in this championships. Last year in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Lions faltered 56-65 against eventual winners APR of Rwanda. Team manager George Omondi "Nyundo" remind all to that KCB are the national champions and needed some recognition.

Coach Ngunjiri has a side capable of going the extra mile this time round. "I am having Dennis "Dikembe" Opiyo back and his presence at the front court will be key. He will be helped by the lanky David Otiso and work horse Yoni Wanambiro with the young Tony Mbori expected to give them a breather.

In Tobias Onyango, Victor Odendo and Juma Ikapian, Lions have three pure snipper - league's most deadly trio- who can score and there is the upcoming Eric Omari who together with Paul "Dudu" Onyango will bring the ball. Wycliffe Onyango is fearless and can not be ignored either.

Without APR, who sailed through to the final tour in Kigali in November by virture of being the reigning champions, compatriots Marines whom KCB pipped 71-69 in Addis, there is glimmer of hope but there will be Uganda champions, Power playing at home.

KPA: Head coach Anthony Ojukwu believes that his teams remain very much the sides to beat in the regional meet. He said the ladies who are the reigning champions and the men's teams have trained well and seem to have hit form at the right time.

Talking on phone from his base in Mombasa, the tactician who is given the huge task of handling the men and women's teams predicted that "If things go well, we will sweep the boars in Kampala in this championships."

He noted that the return of Mike Opel back to active basketball has given the boys so much confidence ahead of this show. KPA have lost only one of their seven premier league show and are second behind leaders KCB Lions on 13 points.

Opel's return, he noted, is great news to KPA and its effort ton win this event. The morale in the team is very different as the boys lacked leadership in his absense earlier in the year. I convinced him to return from retirement specifically to help the team gell after which he can now decide top retire for good."

He said that the team have signed some superb youngsters whom he will expose during the six day tournament and see how they cope with the international pressure. He remained highly convinced that they will prevail.
"The team has morale, they have the confidence and they can surely bring results. "beamed Ojukwu naming the youngsters as Anthony Okello, Java Odhiambo, Innocent Oduor and Geoffrey Omondi who has been playing in the Uganda league.

On the ladies who are also the title holders, Ojukwu also said that the return of another old player Millicent Anyango has also come at the right time. Anyango, a former international who has been regular in the past few years will help the side a lot in the show.
"She is back to the team. She played well during this weekend's premier league tie in Mombasa and she will soon be back to top form." said Ojukwu, adding that Everlyn "Taliban" Akoth is in a class of her own and Yvonne "Atoti" Akinyi is working well in and out of the post."

Wings: The self sponsored side, the second best women's team in Kenya have vowed that they are not going for the Zone Five club championships Kampala, Uganda merely to make the numbers.

Team tactician Thomas "Smatts" Olumbo said that his team has the experience that shoul see them home and dry. Despite a poor run in last November's Africa club championships in Nairobi, Wings have trained well at their Nairobi Railways club courts.
"I believe we can win this tournament. My team has the experience and I hope that they will rise to the occasion." said Olumbo who has only lost one player- Maureen Andalia from the side that took part in last year's Africa club championships in Nairobi.

He said that as part of the preparations, he would have loved to play rivals and national champions KPA and newly formed Eastern Queens. But this was an exercise in futility and the meetings will now be after the Kampala date.
"The two are currently the top placed teams in the country and any meeting with them would have been greatly welcomed at this time as we prepare for Kampala. But unfortunately, that was not in programmed but all the same we remain focused." he noted.

Team manager Nellie Odera was equally as optimistc that the girls would do well in the week long show.The team that was not well placed during last continental show that attracted 12 teams. Mozambique's Desportivo emerged winners.

"We anticipate a good show. We know everyone coming out to beat us and we will not under rate any of our opponents in this tournament. We are continuing to work on new tactics and shoot a lot as the daily training develops each day." She echoed.

Olumbo said that Ugandan teams will provide tough opposition. Let us not think it will be easy, Ugandands have worked so hard to develop their games lately and with the kind of organisational skills they have shown, they will suprise many." he noted.

Co-op Bank: The multi talented bankers still remain the most enigmatic side in the premier league this year. Blowing hot and cold despite such an array of talent is what team fans have failed to understand. But despite all this, Coach Oketch however remains upbeat.

He said that the team preparations has gone on well. But the Kampala performance will very much depend on which Co-op side will show up."I believe we are ready and will approach one game as it comes." he said.

His weapons to be unleashed on the rivals remains Richard Osano, Allan Ouma Moses Kamau and Ben Mufutu. At the posts he has two of the tallest players to do this job, Dan Gaiko and Roy Kahure.

HE Zone Five Africa club championships started in Zimbabwe in 1995 when then Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) chairman Joseph Herman Kimani and Tom Michael Munyama Arum traveled with two teams Posta (men) and KCB Lioness to Harare for the maiden tournament.
Continental basketball body FIBA Africa the moved in 2006 when the event was held in Nairobi and swept by Kenyan clubs KCB Lions and current holders KPA women.Nations comprising the zone are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan Somalia, Ethiopia and Egypt.

But power house Egypt has never sent any club to this championships. Sudan and Somalia are the other two- but there may be a club or two coming to Uganda for the event tipping off Monday in Kampala.

Kenya teams have previously dominated this competition with Lions, Co-op, Posta, Telkom n the men and KPA, Lioness and Ogopa laying claim to the regional diadem..

But the winds of a change is blowing with APR of Rwanda, Falcons and Lady Bucks of Power of Uganda have threatened the hold briefly. Cobras of Seychelles, JKT of Tanzania too have also won it.

Year City Men Women
1995 Harare Posta KCB Lioness
1996 Nairobi Coop KCB Lioness
1997 Kampala Coop KCB Lioness
1998 Dar Coop KCB Lioness
1999 Lusaka Cobra (Sey) Telkom
2000 Kampala Falcons Ogopa
2001 Kigali Vijana (Tz) KPA
2002 Nairobi APR KPA
2003 Zanzibar Ulinzi JKT
2004 Kampala Postbank Lady Bucks (Ug)
2005 Dar KCB Lions Sprite Storms
2006 Nairobi KCB Lions KPA
2007 Kigali APR (Rw) KPA
2008 Adis Ababa APR KPA
2009 Kampala ..... .....


TANZANIA : Regional basketball tourney starts today

The FIBA Africa Zone Five Basketball Championship gets underway today in Kampala, Uganda with three Tanzanian teams ready to contend for the title.

Tanzania is represented by JKT, JKT Stars and the Army Basketball Club (ABC), which left for Kampala on Saturday for the tournament.

Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) secretary general Lawrence Cheyo was optimistic that the teams will excel despite facing financial hardships.

The tournament is deemed tough and exciting since almost all basketball giants from East, Central and Southern Africa will participate.
Falcons, Warriors and the reigning champions DMark Power who also hold the Ugandan title, are among several teams that will represent the hosts.

The three-time champions have a formidable squad that makes them favourites to retain the title.

Falcons are also among the teams which boast of strong sides like Tanzania' JKT and ABC.

Falcons defeated Seychelles' Premium Cobras to clinch the regional trophy in 2000 and have sailed through to the semi-finals in 1999 and 2001.

Other teams, which pose a big threat to Tanzanian teams, include Kenya Port Authority (Kenya) Bilpam Warriors (Sudan), Haegen (Somalia), New Stars (Burundi) and Kenya Commercial Bank.

The women's teams include Kampala International University, A-1 Challenge, KCC Leopards, KIU Rangers, UCU Lady Canons (Uganda) and Marine of Rwanda.
The event is held annually on rotational basis among member countries and helps to warm-up the teams before taking part in other international championships.
Tanzania locked herself out of the international and age category assignments for many years due to unending financial difficulties.

AFROBASKET 2009: African countries put their trust in foreign coaches

[by Kris SANTIAGO] - I did a quick check on the coaches who are supposed to lead their respective national-teams to Libya in a few days:

Ivory Coast: Randoald Dessarzin (Swiss - JDA Dijon, France)
Nigeria: John Lucas (U.S. American)
Cape Verde: Alex Nwora (Nigerian - Erie CC, USA)
Morocco: Francis Jordane (French)
Tunisia: Adel Tlatli (Tunisian)
Egypt: Zeljko Zecevic (Serbian)
Libya: Neven Filip-Luetic (Serbian)
Angola: Luis Magalhaes (Portugiese - Primero de Agosto Luanda, Angola)
Mozambique: Carlos Alberto Niquice (Mozambiquan - Ferroviario, Mozambique)
South Africa: Flosh Ngwenya (South African)
Rep. of Congo: Maxime Mbochi (Congolese - Avenir de Rail Brazzaville, Congo)
Central African Republic: Rodrigue M'Baye (Central African - Geneva, Switzerland)
Cameroon: Lazare Adingono (Cameroonian)
Rwanda: Veceslav Kavedzija (Croatian - APR, Rwanda)
Mali: Hugues Occansey (French - BBC Nyon, Switzerland)
Senegal: Abdourahmane N'diaye (Senegalese - ASVEL women's team, France)
Note: Country, Coach, Nationality, Club-Team

It's more than evident that most of the coaches listed here learned how to coach abroad as half of the 16 coaches are foreign-born while others like Adingono, Nwora, N'diaye and M'baye are coaching abroad besides being involved in their respective national-teams.
International experience is the key word and the main aspect for the dominant basketball-countries on the continent for hiring a coach. Also necessary for coaches is that are able to communicate with the players in a language spoken in the country like French, English or Portuguese.
Nigeria will be coached by U.S. American John Lucas who brings a lot of experience but also has never coached a team that played under FIBA rules which are slightly different to the NCAA and the NBA. Same goes for Alex Nwora, who is Nigerian but is coaching in the NJCAA, in the U.S with probably another coaching philosophy then the European-minded coaches in the field.
On the other hand you got a lot of coaches that learned their profession in Europe but may have to adjust to the country's mentality like Filip-Luetic, Zecevic and Kavedzija, while others like Dessarzin, Niquice and Occansey worked with African players in their home-leagues in Europe before, but may also have to deal with diverse shortcomings and the lack of professionalism that some African federations displayed in the past when it came to organizing preparations and all other arrangements prior to an international tournament.

It will be interesting which teams and in which tactical system they are going to succeed. Good luck to all teams participating in the African Championships!

by fiba.com

NIGERIA : NBBF commence repair of sports hall

Lagos (MultiChoice Premier League) - The Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF has commenced the repair work of the sports hall of the national stadium, Lagos ahead the start of the MultiChoice Premier League billed to jump-start on August5 across the country.

The repair of the sports hall became imperative as the floor has become deplorable why most of the toilet facilities have since gone bad and needed to be repaired before the commencement of the first year of the four-year MultiChoice sponsorship of the nation flagship competition – The Premier League for Men.

Part of the hall that have been earmarked for repair includes the floor, painting of the wall, repair of toilet facilities among others.

According to the president of the NBBF, Tijjani Umar says the repair is meant to add value to the game and enhance its beauty on television since matches will be broadcast live on SuperSports cable channels.

The federation has also enlarge the teams in the league to its traditional sixteen teams format (eight from each of the Atlantic and Savannah conference).

Our correspondent learnt that this year’s league will not involve road trip due to lack of time but teams would play within their conferences while a full season (2009/2010) will jump-start in November this year.

The Nigeria Police Bombers basketball club is making a come back to the Atlantic conference while Royal Hoopers basketball club of Port Harcourt is another new entrant into the league from the Atlantic conference while Kada Stars basketball club of Kaduna rejoined the Savannah conference after several years in limbo.

Other teams in the Atlantic conference includes former champions, Lagos Islanders and Ebun Comets basketball clubs; Nigeria Customs basketball club; Dodan Warriors basketball club; Union Bank basketball club and Delta Force basketball club of Asaba.

And in Savannah conference is reigning champion, kano Pillars basketball club, Niger Potters basketball of Minna, AHIP basketball club of kano, Bauchi Nets basketball club, Yelwa Hawks basketball club of Bauchi, Plateau Peaks basketball club and Tapgun Rockets basketball club of Jos.

By: Olusegun Ikuesan
FIBA Africa


After a grueling camping exercise in the United States of America the coaching crew of the senior men national team led by John Harding Lucas-II have short listed twelve players from the USA camp and four from the camp conducted in Kaduna, Nigeria the team assistant coach, Sani Ahmed.

The twelve foreign-based players includes, Joshua Akognon, Michael Umeh, Michael Efevberha, Ebikekeme Ere, Jayson Obazuaye, Gabe Muoneke, Ejike Ugbaja, Aloysius Anagonye, Ayodeji Akindele, Benson Egemonye, Akinlolu Akingbala and Chamberlain Oguchi while the four home-based players are former team captain, Abdulrahman Mohammed of Nigeria Customs basketball club, Abubakar Usman of Niger Potters, Stanley Gumut of Niger Potters and Ibrahim Yusuf of Kano Pillars basketball club.

The president of the NBBF, Tijjani Umar says all sixteen players will be accorded equal chance of vying for a place in the final 12-man list that will fly the country flag in Libya.

The team is expected to have its final work-out in Abuja on Wednesday (July 29).
Imeh Udoka, formerly of the San Antonio Spurs who is now a free agent is waiting in the wings while he sorts out his next career move, meanwhile the team will now be hosted to a farewell dinner in Abuja on Friday and fly out to Libya at the weekend.

Nigeria is in Group-A alongside host, Libya, Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa for her first round matches.

By Olusegun Ikuesan
FIBA Africa

23 July 2009

TANZANIA : ABC floor Bulls 77-51 in hoops

By Oliver Albert

Army basketball club (ABC) played brilliantly to post 77-51 win over Vijana City Bulls in a friendly basketball match at Mgulani court on Wednesday.

It was a build up match for ABC, one of three teams to represent Tanzania in the East and Central African basketball Championship slated to start on July 28 in Kampala.

The victory was a sweet revenge to ABC after losing to Vijana in the best of three semi final stage of Kili RBA last season.
Playing with determination ABC sealed 15-6 led right at the first quarter and maintained it 28-22 at the end of the first half.
ABC extended their lead to 56-32 at the end of the third quarter. The final quarter was even fascinating. Vijana managed to fire 23 points at the final quarter and restricted ABC to card 21 points at the fourth quarter.
Playmaker Gilbert Batungi, Steven Charles and Frank Majura were the pillar-heads of ABC victory.
Steven Charles emerged the match�s top scorer after posting 25 points followed by Majura who chalked 24 points.
Vijana relied on Mohamed Ally Dibo who combined well with Sylvian Maige and Obote Mwambongo upfront. However, their struggles failed to bar ABC from winning the match.
Sylvian Maige scored 21 points for Vijana while Dibo could only manage 11 point.
Today the two teams meet in the return leg at Zanaki School court the home base of Vijana.
Meanwhile National Sports Council yesterday presented national flag to ABC, JKT and JKT Stars the Tanzanian representatives in the Zone 5 Basketball Championship to be held in Kampala, Uganda.
The Deputy Secretary General of NSC Mohamed Kiganja who officiated the brief presentation ceremony urged the teams to fight bravely and win the top thrones.
All three teams are scheduled to leave for Kampala on Sunday, July 26, two days before the event�s take off.

UGANDA : Poor preps worry D’Mark Power

By Charles Mutebi

POOR preparations are a cause to worry for national men’s basketball champions D’Mark Power ahead of next week’s FIBA Africa Zone Five Championship.

Power are arguably Uganda’s best hope in the men’s category of the event attracting the champions from the eight-country zone. But they have not been in competitive action since completing the local league first round on June 26.

It is a situation that has the club’s hierarchy, and particularly technical director Peter Mubanda, gravely anxious.
“We are seriously concerned,” said Mubanda. “We broke off the league a long time ago, and just when we were getting ready for this tournament (Norman) Blick went and got employed, Ben Komakech is busy with his studies so we are in a difficult position.”

Mubanda has been at the forefront of Power’s latest rise to the top of Ugandan basketball. After winning the 2008 Championship, the club spent a fortune on, among other signings, Norman and his brother Donald seeking to make a big splash in the Zone Five tournament. Mubanda says his players must be psychologically astute if the team is to avoid a flop.

UGANDA : Falcons raring to go in Zone 5

by Sande Bashaija

For Falcons, experience is the best weapon. Counted off by some as a spent force by regional standards, Falcons are determined to silence critics when the Sprite Africa Zone 5 Championship rolls off in Kampala next Monday.

The MTN-Fuba League record champions returned from Rwanda on Monday where they played a couple of build-up games and Falcons patron John Ssimbwa believes his charges are set for the challenge.
“The Kigali trip was key in our preparations. People will see how good we are,” Ssimbwa said yesterday. Falcons are representing Uganda alongside Warriors and reigning league champions DMark Power but going by experience, Ssimbwa’s team can negotiate its way out of the deep end better. “We are in upbeat mood. If all goes according to plan, we should be able to make the final,” promised Ssimbwa.

Falcons’ international record is clearly superior to any other local team’s. They defeated Seychelles side Premium Cobras to lift the regional trophy in 2000 in Kampala and have been to the semifinals on two occasions (1999 and 2001).
Now that they are playing at home again, Falcons are hoping to reclaim their trophy at the expense of teams like KPA (Kenya) Bilpam Warriors (Sudan), Haegen (Somalia), New Stars (Burundi) and Kenya Commercial Bank.
Action begins on July 27 atthe YMCA Wandegeya, Makerere University main ground and Namboole stadium.

The local women’s teams taking part in the regional event are A-1 Challenge, KCC Leopards and KIU Rangers who replaced league champions and university side UCU Lady Canons

SEYCHELLES : National League - Lesperance rains down the treys

IS he the best 3-point shooter here? There are no statistics to prove that, but Darren Lesperance surely ranks among the greatest shooters of all time in the local game.

When he’s hot, he can rain down 3-pointers and Praslin Warriors suffered the consequences on Saturday at the Grand Anse Praslin court in a 60-122 loss to Premium Cobras in a men’s division one match.
It was no doubt ‘Lesperance time’! After connecting once from behind the arc in the first and third quarters, Lesperance got into a groove in the fourth to knock down eight treys – among those three in a row – to finish with a game-high 42 points.

A pure shooter, Lesperance, 25, who joined the Cobras from Angels last season, said he was in a groove on Saturday.
“I just felt good,” he told Sports Nation.
“I realised I was hot, and sometimes I just stood and took a shot and the basketball just went down the hoop. It was easy,” he added.

With his 10 treys that tamed the Warriors, Lesperance – whose shooting style might look normal, but his release is excellent – is now the sole leader in long-range shooting this season.

Before his exploits on Praslin, he was sharing the record of six 3-pointers with Cascade Bullets’ Dan Côme, Beau Vallon Heat’s Marlon Marimba and MBU Rockers’ Brian Morel.

A master of catching and shooting, Lesperance says it takes a lot to shoot lights out from long distance.
“I do a lot of shooting before and after each club training session. I also train one hour on my own on Tuesdays and Thursdays before HotShots use the Anse Boileau court,” added the Seychelles international, who made his debut with MBU Rockers in 2003 at the age of 19.

He was with Angels from 2005 until last year, when he joined former champions Premium Cobras, with whom he wants to perform well and win a lot of silverware.
“We had a poor first round in the league and we now want to stay unbeaten in the second and also win the Seychelles Basketball Federation Cup to add to the Curtain-raiser title we won earlier in the season,” he said.

The player, who wants to cement himself in the local sport’s history as the ultimate ‘clutch player’, is also looking forward to the eighth Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) here in 2011 after returning home empty-handed with the national team from the last games in Madagascar in 2007.

After winning the hearts and minds of the spectators on Praslin on Saturday, Lesperance hopes to show, come the next IOIG, that no one is more money from behind the arc when it matters.

G. G.

RWANDA : Down to business


Star point guard back to finish unfinished business

HAMZA Ruhezamihigo has started his preparations for the upcoming Fiba-Afrobasket competition in Libya.
The point guard who can also play as a shooting guard was the last player to join the squad after jetting in on Tuesday. Mathew Miller and Robert Thomson arrived on Monday from USA, much to the delight of head coach Kavedzija Vaceslav.

Ruhezamihigo has unfinished business after failing to live up to Vaceslav’s expectations early this year when Rwanda hosted the Zone 5 championships.
Ruhezamihigo, who plays in Canada with Concordia, became a crowd favourite during the 2007 Zone 5 Championships which were held in Kigali. He was by far Rwanda’s best player and there was little surprise when he was voted the tournament’s most valuable player (MVP).
Ruhezamihigo together with Miller and Thomson are expected to play a key role for Rwanda in the event, which also doubles as a qualifier for next year’s FIBA-World Championships.

Currently, the 16-man squad camping at La Palisse Nyandungu is under-going two daily sessions at Amahoro.
Rwanda, making a second appearance in the event has set their sights at a top eight finish.
“We all the preparations we have had, anything short of a top eight finish will be below par,” Eric Kalisa, the president of the local basketball governing body (Ferwaba) stated.

RWANDA, seeded in Group D alongside Cape Verde, Morocco and Tunisia will intensify their preparations with a two-week training camp in Italy.

Reigning champions Angola are still favorites to retain the title. The team lifted their ninth title in 2007 after beating Cameroon in the final.

22 July 2009

UGANDA : FUBA close to meeting Zone V tourney budget


Local basketball governing body FUBA is halfway meeting its minimum budget for the upcoming FIBA Africa Zone V championship after Coca Cola fulfilled half of their financial needs with a sh25m sponsorship
The beverages giant gave the cash as part of a sponsorship package totalling sh125m but FUBA remains with a significant shortfall five days to the start of the week-long tournament.

They are in talks with software provider NCR, SMS company D’Mark and Toyota to meet what remains of the essentials budget and hope is high for an immediate breakthrough.
“We will know by Thursday (tomorrow) which of these companies is going to come on board,” revealed Robert Buga, vice president FUBA and chairman tournament organising committee.

Buga is aware there is little time left but he expects “one or two” of NCR, D’Mark and Toyota to bail out FUBA.
“We are in advanced talks with them and we are hopeful they will come through,” he explained.

In the worst case scenario, FUBA will depend on the sh0.5m which each of Uganda’s male and female participants in the tournament agreed to pay.

Uganda will be represented by D’Mark Power, Falcons and Kyambogo Warriors in the men’s category while A1 Challenge, the KCC Leopards and KIU Rangers will enter the women’s event.

The tournament could attract as many as 24 clubs from eight countries around the region, with the winners qualifying for the respective continental club championships.

* Falcons build up games
Rwanda 117 Falcons 93
CSK 74 Falcons 77
Marines 65 Falcons 87

Mogas Falcons’ confidence has shot through the roof ahead of next week’s East and Central Africa Club Championships after a largely successful trip to Kigali, Rwanda, over the weekend.

The Falcons that fell to the Rwanda national team 117-93 on Friday edged CSK 77-74 the next day and wrapped up the tour with an 87-65 spanking of Marines on Sunday.

Manager John Ssimbwa hailed his boys for securing a decent result against the Rwanda team currently preparing for the Africa Championship in Tripoli, Libya next month.
“We had an excellent test in Rwanda. Playing a national team with players based in US and you lose by a decent margin is praiseworthy. We are now more than ready to take on any team in the region,” Ssimbwa said.

UGANDA : A-1 team optimistic

by Sande Bashaija

To do well in a big championship, it’s ideal to have a fully fit and committed bunch of players. But 2005 MTN-Fuba League women champions A-1 Challenge go into next week’s Zone 5 Championship grappling with ill-preparation due to players’ tight work schedules.
“To play in such a tournament, you need to dedicate at least two weeks to residential training. But you realise that most of our players can’t leave their jobs to enter camp,” A-1 Challenge skipper Ali Mavita revealed on Monday. “It’s a tricky situation for us.”

A-1 Challenge completed the MTN-Fuba League first round undefeated and would ideally be considered top contenders for honours in the regional championship.

But they come up against equally experienced and better prepared opposition. A-1 Challenge finished third in the 2006 Zone 5 held in Nairobi and this year’s edition due in Kampala, starting July 27, presents them a chance to try and go one better.

RWANDA : APR girls ready for Kampala contest


HONOREE Ayebare, Dominique Mwiza and Blandine Ndaya can’t wait to enjoy themselves when the eagerly awaited Zone 5 Club Championships throw off next week in Kampala, Uganda.

The trio, who starred for Rwanda during this year’s Zone 5 Championship and in the process earned the country her maiden ticket to the Afrobasket women scheduled for October, is eager to transfer their league form into the one-week event which gets underway on July 27.
“The mood in the team is wonderful and we can’t wait to get started,” Ayebare said.

APR, who have been training at Nyarugenge courts, are expected to shift to Amahoro’s indoor stadium as they fine-tune themselves for the regional event, which also counts as a qualifier for this year’s Fiba-Africa Club Championships.

In Kampala, APR will contend with the likes of KCC Leopards, A-1 Challenge and Kampala International University from Uganda, Kenya Port Authority (KPA), Eagle Wing, Somalia’s Heagem and Tanzania’s Jeshi Stars among others.

The top two sides will represent the region at this year’s FIBA Africa club championships whose venue is yet to be confirmed.

KENYA : KCB Lions recover to bring down high fying ICC

Champions Kenya Commercial Bank Lions over the weeked beat International Christian Centre 72-58 in their men’s basketball Premier League first leg tie at the Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.

Others results at the same venue were: Eagle Wings 66 Sprite Storms 25, Kenya College of Accountancy 67 Parklands Baptist 59, World Hope 63 Nairobi Pentecostal Church 49. In Nakuru hosts Nakuru Club pipped African Nazarene University 52-51.

Having surrendered their unbeaten record to Kenya Ports Authority, who beat them 77-69 last weekend, KCB Lions came back with a different approach to silence the high -riding ICC 72-58.
Tobias Onyango scored 24 points, Ikapian Juma had 14 and Opiyo 12 as the Lions prevailed over a nervous looking ICC for for who Griffith Ligare shot 20 points and James Omune 12.
Ikapian Juma opened the Lions’ account with a three-pointer and Tobias Onyango joined the fray as the champions led 23-13 at the end of the first quarter.
Ben Ogolla brought ICC into the picture with a few shots in the second quarter but KCB prevailed 31-28 hal f-time lead. ICC were down 18-16 in the third quarter. Griffins Ligare scored 13 points which included two three-pointers in the last qua rter in which ICC demostrated signs of recovery to outscore Lions 18-14.

In Mombasa, Kenya Ports Authority men and women sides kept up their brilliant league form humiliating Strathmore University sides at the KPA Makande Gym over the weekend Hall in Mombasa.

KPA women were imperious in their mismatch with the Strathmore Swords thrashing the students 100-08 while KPA men hit Blades 91-52.

Yvonne Akinyi led the scorecard for KPA with 17 points while Evelyne Akoth had 12 points. Strathmore who scored only half a basket in the second half had Carol Onzongo and Grace Wanjiku score three points each.

Strathmore made a contest of the men’s match with Big Phil Amenyi dominating the front court. KPA led 24-15 in the first quarter but Strathmore stepped up to make the scores 12-14 in favor of KPA in the second quarter.

Musa Odari scored a game high 20 points while Patrick Kirui and Francis Odari had 18 points each. Amenyi and David Ogola scored 16 and 14 points respectively for Strathmore.

21 July 2009

UGANDA : Fuba lands Shs125m Sprite cash for Zone 5

by Sande Bashaija

Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (Fuba) breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after Coca-Cola East and Central Africa, under their Sprite brand, announced a Shs125m sponsorship package for next week’s Zone 5 Championship.

“Basketball is a growing game in Uganda, which makes it relevant to us as a brand,” Coca-Cola East Africa brand manager Maggie Kigozi said during a press gathering held at YMCA Wandegeya, the main venue for the 10-day regional showpiece.

“We are determined to take the Zone 5 tournament to another level but let’s wait and see how this works out,” added Kigozi. Shs25m of the package will be handed over to the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to cater for teams’ accommodation, feeding and transport.

The rest has been earmarked to publicise the event through media adverts, upgrading facilities and dressing all the teams. “We initially had a budget of Shs300m but scaled it down to cater for the essentials. Irrespective of the available resources, we are determined to host a very good tournament,” LOC chairman Bob Buga stated.

The championship, set to attract teams from Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Ethiopia and hosts Uganda starts July 27. “Since Lugogo is unavailable, we shall have games at YMCA, Makerere and Namboole,” Buga announced.

Fuba president Ambrose Tashobya said he was looking ahead to cementing the partnership between his body and the soft drink manufacturers.
“We are dealing with people who are interested in developing the game. I am sure we won’t stop here,” he said.

DMark Power, Falcons, Warriors, KCC Leopards, A-1 Challenge and Kampala International University (KIU) are representing Uganda.

SEYCHELLES : Veteran Dubois leads Mont Fleuri past champs HotShots

IT’S anybody’s title now that women’s defending champions HotShots have dropped a point against Mont Fleuri, who inflicted a first league defeat on them this season.

With former international Williana Dubois, 41, getting a team-leading 19 points, and Patricia Mont Fleuri’s Dubois plays defence on HotShots’ Solin (foreground)Samynadin and captain Lindy Aglaé adding 10 apiece, Mont Fleuri really hurt HotShots on Saturday at Victoria Gymnasium for a 56-48 win.

Mont Fleuri won the first two quarters 19-8 and 10-5 for a 16-point (29-13) half-time lead, and although they lost the second period 27-35, they held on for a famous win after losing the first-round encounter 50-54.

The win was Mont Fleuri’s third in five games for eight points – one fewer than leaders HotShots and runners-up Anse Etoile Stars, who, despite losing 42-55 to the champions in the first-round match-up, will be looking to add to the woes of coach Philip Arissol’s team when they meet on September 19.

Clearly missing centre Tina Agathine, who chose to play volleyball on the day with defending champions Arsu – who suffered a rare second defeat in the league – HotShots were paced by international forward Myra Solin with a game-high 20 points and Jenita Toussaint added 14, including three 3-pointers.

After throwing the league wide open with their win, Mont Fleuri, coached by Tony Juliette, believe in their chances of winning the league title.

“It’s up to us to play hard in the remaining matches, especially against Anse Etoile Stars,” Dubois told Sports Nation.

The versatile Dubois, who played handball with Rybar in the morning for a 26-22 win over PLS Hurricanes Sisters, added that the title is up for grabs.

“Everything’s possible if we put our minds to it. We can beat the Stars if we play well,” added Dubois, who has represented Seychelles at five Indian Ocean Islands Games – in Mauritius in 1985 (in athletics), in 1990 in Madagascar, in Seychelles in 1993, in Reunion in 1998 (all basketball, winning the silver medal each time), and in Mauritius in 2003 (basketball).

The Mont Fleurians lost 57-67 to the Stars in the first-round encounter.
It was a good day for Mont Fleuri teams, as Mont Fleuri Dawgz put on a good show to earn a 31-point (83-52) margin win over Beau Vallon Heat in the men’s division one championship.

Aubrey ‘Spider’ Adeline had the hot hands with a game-high 25 points for the Dawgz, who had three other players – centre Jim Créa (14 points), captain Reggie Ah-kong (12) and his young brother Sergio Ah-kong (10) – scoring in double figures for the team’s fourth win in 12 games to bring their points tally to 16.

The Heat, who got 15 points from Pascal Bibi, are on 14 points after two wins and nine defeats.

A week after their self-destructing act against champions Baya in a match they could have won but lost 70-84, MBU Rockers came to their senses with a 66-57 win over Cascade Bullets.

With 15 points, captain and playmaker Nigel Sinon led two other players – Brian Morel (13 points) and Cyril Agrippine (11) – in double figures in the Rockers’ ninth win in 12 games for 21 points.

The defeat was the Bullets’ seventh in 12 outings and, like the Rockers, they had three players scoring in double digits – Dan Côme (15), Biko Biong (14) and Kenneth Sophie (10).

Diminutive shooting guard Steven Servina came up big for Angels with 33 points in an 80-71 victory against RC Dynamics, who have now conceded nine defeats in 12 games to drop into the danger zone with 15 points.

Kieren Agathine contributed 12 points and centre Steve Antat added 10 in Angels’ win, while Dynamics, who had Ronny Julius, Albert Duncan, James Joubert and Isaiah Rose fouling out, got 20 points from captain Jean-Paul Desaubin.

Meanwhile, in a men’s division two match, skipper Serge Radegonde scored 13 points to lead three other team-mates in double figures in a 71-62 win over Anse Etoile, who got 17 points from Faizal Naiken.

G. G.

NIGÉRIA : Yelwa Hawks confirmed for Royal Hoopers classics

PORT HARCOURT (Pre-season tournament) - Yelwa Hawks of Bauchi have confirmed their participation in the 2009 Royal Hoopers Basketball tournament slated to hold in Port Harcourt, Nigeria from July 25th through August 1st. The Hawks complete the list given to FIBA by one of the coordinators of the competition, Sam Ahmedu.

“After a close look at the profiles of the teams in the Savannah Conference of the Nigerian league Yelwa Hawks stood out as the ideal team for this year’s competition. Certain criteria were set and whichever club met the standard got on board. Next year it could be another team but for this event it’s Yelwa,” Ahmedu said.

The now annual tournament is programmed to take the jump ball the following day after the round off of the Royal Hoopers Camp which will start on the 22nd of his month. While the camp is specifically for the players to develop their skills, the competition will parade a mix of Nigerian Premier League teams, division one teams and two clubs from the West African sub-region.

The 12 teams slated for the competition have been divided into two groups with Bayelsa Waves, the defending champions Royal Hoopers, Delta Force and Yelwa Hawks in Group A. The other teams are FCT Hawks and Elpizo Academy team from Cote d’Ivoire. In Group B are the maiden champions Ebun Comets, Dodan Warriors, Union Bank, Lovenna Heartlands, Police Bombers and ASPAC of Republic of Benin. The top two teams from each group will move straight into the semi final stage and then the final match on the first day August.

The Royal Hoopers tournament which began four years ago as a post season competition has continued to attract top teams from across the country and beyond with the likes of Comets, Union Bank and Dodan Warriors as some of the regular entries while Yelwa, Elpizo and ASPAC are making their debut.

Pius Ayinor
FIBA Africa

KENYA : Its is now an eight team play offs, says KBF after teams voted for change

Its now official, this year's play offs will have a total of eight teams, Kenya basketball Federation (KBF) announced yesterday.

Vitalis Gode. the KBF secretary while releasing the results of the vote returned by team managers on play - offs system, said that the clause 13 of the 2009 League and Competition rules now stands amended in favour of the yes vote.

The votes were taken by all the 27 teams in the men premier, women's premier and lower division league and a whopping 22 teams voted for the change Gode said in an email copied to all stakeholders.

To determine the winner of the respective league categories this year, the top eight teams in each Category will compete in a Play-Offs system as per the new format.

The top seed will play number eight, number two will take on number seven, number three will meet number six while number four tackle number five in the quarter finals.

Gode said that the quarter finals shall be on two game series, while the semi-finals and the finals shall be on three game series. Classification matches,,he said, shall be based on one game series.

"In the event of a game three, the League Committee shall determine the venue provided that both teams shall have enjoyed home court advantage.

Any team that fails to honour its Play-Offs match shall forfeit the series and may be liable to such sanction, as the Committee shall determine." he said.

The teams that voted yes for the change are- Men premier : Co-operative Bank of Kenya, United States International University (USIU), University of Nairobi " Terrorists", Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Strathmore University, Posta, Lomboritz, and International Christian Center (ICC).

In the women premier category: KPA,USIU, Mennonites, Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA), Eastern Queens and Strathmore University.

While the lower division teams are : Mennonites, Africa Nazarene University (ANU), Blazers, Nakuru Club, KCA, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST), Parklands Baptist and Nairobi Pentecostal Church (NPC)

Five teams abstained from voting,they included national champions KCB Lions , Eagle Wings, Sprite Storms, Yana and World Hope.

Only one team from each of the three tiers will not make the play offs.

20 July 2009

KENYA : Champs KCB Lions clobber ICC as USIU brings Co-op Bank down to earth

National champions KCB Lions thrashed International Christian Center (ICC) 72-57 in a top premier league show at Nayo National Stadium gymnasium.

The bankers roared to a 5-0 opening the show with a Juma Ikapian three pointer followed by a basket by Tobias Onyango before Nelson Njau replied with a three pointer. Lions then raced to a 23-13 first quarter advantage.
The second quarter was a close affair but KCB, who kept dangerman Griffin Ligare in close checks still topped 17-13. Ligare had only four points to his name. The teams went to the brea with Lions taking a 40-24 lead.
After the break Ligare hit a reverse lay up as ICC went 4-0, but Lions response was a scintilatting play that started deep with fast passes that was completed by Onyango without the ball even touching the ground. He hit another one for a 44-28 cushion.
Another exiting play resulted in a basket by Tony Mbori before Onyango baseline three point jumper pushed the scores to 49-29. Ligare was pulled out and was a forgotten man on the bench as ICC made desperate substitutions that bore no fruits.
As the last quarter started, KCB were up 58-40 but they committed three fouls within under a minute as the two teams went scoreless for over two minutes. Aleu Dhol made the first basket and when Ligare checked back with 7:14 to play, ICC posed many problems.
The Eric Omari made Lions opening basket in this period and soon the lead skied to 66-41 before Griffin made crucial threes, including one that saw him thread the ball between the legs of an opponent picked it up and bang, that drew a huge applause. It reduced the lead to 18 points.
But then, this game expected to be all fire, was all over as a contest.. Onyango led Lions, who have now 15 points from eight games, with 4 points, Ikapian settled for 14 while Dennis Opiyo picked his mark with 12. ICC had 20 from Ligare and James Omune hit 12.

United States Intenational University (USIU) stunned Co-operative Bank of Kenya 81-78 in another tight clash.After that great display against Posta, a week ago, the bankers left chasing shadows most of the time confounded again.

The students, who seemed to have prepared well for this tie, went ahead 25-24 lift off in the first qurater. But their best effort was still to come as they out witted the former four time champions 19-10 in the second quarter with free shooting Abel Nson leading the way.

Sensing the game was getting out of hand, Richard Osano and Allan Ouma then brought Co-op back taking a 27-19 advantage after the break. Despite another 20-15 claw back in the last, USIU hanged on for their two precious points.

Nson drainied season high 33 points while Chris Mulumba chipped in with 17 for Tigers, who won only their second game in six outings to gunner 8 points. Co-op, with four wins an four loses had 19 from Osano, 17 from Allan Ouma and 11 from Roy Kahure. They have 12 points.

But It was misery for USIU Flames as they were doused 47-46 by new comers Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University. Everlyne Adhiambo post 16 and Monica Odhiambo score 15. USIU, down 17-27 at the break, had Evlyne Nora sinking 18.KCA have four wins against USIU's two having played a game more.

In Mombasa, Kenya Ports Authority KPA) also had a great week as they humiliatyed the visiting Strthmore University sides in matches played at the Makende Welfare Hall. KPA men had 18 points each from siblings Furaha and Musa Odari and Patrick Kirui then Java Odhiambo hit 12 and Mike Opel 10 in a 91-52 win over Blades.

The women's side were on a roll with a whopping 100-8 thrashing of Swords as Yvonne Akinyi collected 21 points while Caroline Mureji added 12 in that lopsided demolition. KPA are unbeaten from six games and tops thechart with 12 points.

Eastern Queens tormented Mennonites hitting them 94-29 in a one sided fixture. Linda Alando lead the rout with 17 points while Hilda Indasi managed to hit 13. Queens have 10 points from five wins. The losers, with one win out of eight, were led by Susan Anyango who made 11 points.

Eagle Wings bolted off strong taking a 33-12 lead at the break before humiliating Sprite Storms 66-25 in an easy women's game. Anastasia Njeri was good for 13 points in that win that saw non of the losers score in double figures.

In the lower division, Gerald Mwangi nailed 21 points to propell KCA to a 67-59 win over Parklands Baptist who had 17 points from Radcliffe Nyamai. World Hope hit Nairobi Pentecostal Church (NPC) 63-49 behind Maurice Obilo's 20 points. Jay Michoma scored 12 for the losers.

Host Nakuru club shut out Africa Nazarane University (ANU) 52-51 and Baptists hit Africa Nazarene University (ANU) 67-55.

And in the Nairobi Basketball Association, leaders Trailblazers beat Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) 77-41as Steve Okwako made 14 points while Kevin Otieno hit similar number for KAA.

KAA recovered to hit Balozi 68-45 as Otieno shot 31 points. Dennis Opondo had the losers 19.Nairobi Aviation College (NAC) shut out Baraka Xtyreme 49-42 in an interesting tie. Geoffrey Kuleta hit 14 Calvis Apwoka had the losers 14.

Friends of Basketball (FOB) beat Emyba 47-44 in another closely fought duel. Joseph Achege potted 15 points for the winners. Roy Javan nailed 13.Hillary Kubai shot 11 to guide Kenya Ploytechnicto a 35-27 win over Upper Hill School.

Savio Kanyanja scored 15 points as Balozi beat Satelite Mercenaries 37-22. Nairobi Aviation College (NAC) beat Kenya Polytechic University 60-52 behind Alvin Mbalukas' 1 points Poly had 10 from Lameck Ombuya.

The women's matches, ANU clobbered Baraka Xtreme 36-16 with Irene Kimani leading the way with 11 points.

Winnie Kanani scored 21 points and Wilkister Oduor make 17 as Predatots hit Baraka 57-6 while Nairoi Deaf Queens puit up a fight before losing 46-21 to Kenya Poly. The deaf teams got new uniforms from the NBA.

The kit, handed over by chairman Ronnie Owino was received from Kent University in the USA courtesy of former national team player, Lorraine Odhiambo who is playing for the team.

FIBA Africa

KENYA : Five Kenyan clubs for Kampala show in final league matches before event

Five Kenyan teams led by national men and women champions KCB Lions and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) showed class in the premier league with only a week to the Zone Five club show in Kampala, Uganda.

Lions thrashed International Christian Center (ICC) 72-57 in a top premier league show at Nayo National Stadium gymnasium, Nairobi while KPA shoed little respect for Strthmore University at their Makande Welfare hall in Mombasa winning 10-8.
Tobias Onyango led Lions, who have now 15 points from eight games, with 4 points, Ikapian settled for 14 while Dennis Opiyo picked his mark with 12. KPA had 21 from Yvonne Akinyi and 12 from Carol Mureji.
But Co-operative Bank of Kenya were brought back to earth when they were stuned 81-78 by an upbeat United States Intenational University (USIU) Tigers.
Abel Nson ruined the day for Co-op who as he drained season high 33 points for Tigers, the former four time champions had 19 from Osano, 17 from Allan Ouma and 11 from Roy Kahure.
Brothers Musa and Furaha Odari were in superb form guiding KPA to a 91-52 humiliation of the visiting Strathmore University. The porters had 18 points each Furaha and Musa Odari. Patrick Kirui also had 18 while Javan Odhiambo had 12 and Mike Opel 10 in that over Blades.

Self sponsored Eagle Wings bolted off strong taking a 33-12 lead at the break before humiliating Sprite Storms 66-25 in an easy women's game. Anastasia Njeri was good for 13 points in that win that saw non of the losers score in double figures
Wings, the second best women's team in Kenya have vowed that they are not going for the Kampala championships merely to make the numbers. They are eyeing the continental ticket

Team tactician Thomas "Smatts" Olumbo told Fiba that they will from today launch a serious training programme and also hope to play some two friendly games before departure for the show that tips off July 27 at the Lugogo Indoor Stadium.
"I believe we can win this tournament. My team has the experience and I hope that they will rise to the occasion." said Olumbo who has only lost one player- Maureen Andalia from the side that took part in last year's Africa club championships in Nairobi.

He said that as part of the preparations, he would have loved to play rivals and national champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) who also won the crown I Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last year and newly formed Eastern Queens.
"The two are currently the top placed teams in the country and any meeting with them would have been greatly welcomed at this time as we prepare for Kampala. But unfortunately, that is not in programme and we will now have friendlies against other teams.

Wings, who won their two weekend premier leageue matches beating Yana 57-40 and United States International University (USIU) Flames 63-40, have so far gunnered nine points from five games. They meet Sprite Storms this weekend.

Team manager Nellie Odera was equally as optimistc that the girls would do well in the week long show.The team that was not well placed during last continental show that attracted 12 teams. Mozambique's Desportivo emerged winners.
"We anticipate a good show. We know everyone coming out to beat us and we will not underate any of our opponents in this tournament. We are continuing to work on new tactics and shoot alot as the daily training develops each day." She echoed.

Olumbo said that Ugandan teams will provide tough opposition. Let us not think it will be easy, Ugandands have worked so hard to develop their games lately and with the kind of organisational skills they have shown, they will suprise many." he noted.

Lusophone Games: Angola clinched title in Portugal with win over Cape Verde

Nine-time African champions Angola won their showdown with Cape Verde 106-64 to clinch the title of 2nd Lusophone Games in Almada, Portugal.

Armando Costa and Carlos Morais scored 18 and 19 points, respectively, for the winners who are coming into form at just the right time with the AfroBasket tipping off at the beginning of August in Libya.
The most valuable player of AfroBasket 2007, Joaquim Gomes, poured in 12 points and grabbed 16 rebounds – a performance that earned him the honor of the MVP of the final.
“Angola played a good game and we lacked some organization,” Cape Verde captain Rodrigo Mascarenhas said to FIBA.com.
Former Providence College guard Jeff Xavier led Cape Verde with 19 points but that was not enough to guide his team to the upset.
Cape Verde’s recently appointed coach, Nigerian Alex Nwora, couldn’t be at the final after making an emergency trip home. He will rejoin the team next Wednesday in Rio Maior, Portugal.
Cape Verde, who captured bronze in the African Championship 2007, surprisingly beat Portugal 67-66 in the Semi-Final.
Portugal started the event as defending champions, having claimed the title three years ago in Macao.
The Portuguese overcame Brazil 95-71 to claim the bronze this year.
Cape Verde are also preparing for the AfroBasket.

Julio Chitunda

19 July 2009

EGYPT : Egypt rolled over Kuwait 89:46 at the 9th Arab Basketball Cup

Egypt rolled over Kuwait 89:46 at the 9th Arab Basketball Cup. Egypt started with 22:10 in the opening quarter and never looked behind after. They added 17-9 in the second frame for 39:19 at the halftime. Egypt was better also in the third period with 24-20 and easily sealed the victory. The winners improved to 2-0 record, while Kuwait dropped at 1-1. Egypt will face next Yemen that is winless with 0-2. Kuwait plays today with Saudi Arabia that is 1-1.

EGYPT : Ismail Ahmed returns back home

The 32 years old power forward Ahmad Ismail (201-F-76) signed last week for his home team Itthad ( Alexandria) for three years, Ismail had a sucessfull 7 years in Lebanon played for Hekma and Reyadi winnning a lot of titles there. However, news said that the deal passed 1 million Egyptian pound per year to be the hieghst deal in Egyptian basketball history .Ismail would add a lot to Itthad next season putting Gezira ,Ahly under great pressure.

from africabasket.com

TUNISIA : Tunisia smashed the United Arab Emirates in Day 4

Tunisia smashed the United Arab Emirates in Day 4 of 9th Arab Basketball Cup. Tunisia started very well in defense and opened the game with 27:7 in the first quarter. The winners produced 20-10 in the second quarter for 47:17 halftime advantage. The third frame became the most productive as the teams scored 45 points together. Tunisia won again 33-12 to feel more comfortable at the end. The final whistle closed the game at 104:47 for the favorites that improved to 3-0 record. United Arab Emirates dropped to 1-2 in the group.

Libya 2009 Afrobasket: D’Tigers (NGR) begin final camping

The nation’s senior men national team D’Tigers will tomorrow commence final preparation ahead of its Group-A opener against fellow FIBA Africa Zone-III team, Cote d’Ivoire on August 5 in Benghazi, Libya in the 25th edition of FIBA Africa Championship for men tagged, “Libya 2009 Afribasket”.

The team under the watchful eyes of Coach John Harding Lucas-II is expected to round-off its training at the John Harding Lucas-II training facility in Houston, United States of America on July 27 and head to Nigeria.
The team will torch down in Nigeria on July 28 and would be joined by some selected home-based players.
Players and officials including members of the Nigeria Basketball Federation will meet the press and be hosted to a get-together on August 1 in Abuja.
The NBBF has also set aside August 1 for members of the national team to visit an orphanage in the Federal Capital Territory while the contingent is expected to depart for Benghazi through Tripoli aboard Afriqiyah Airways in the night of August 2, the team will torch down at the Tripoli airport in the early hours of August 3 and move straight to Benghazi for its Group-A games against Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and host Libya.
Meanwhile President of the NBBF, Tijjani Umar jet out today (Sunday) to Houston to cheer the players and officials up ahead the task ahead.
The Nigeria federation president is optimistic that the team will do well at the Libya 2009 Afrobasket.
Nigeria is taking part in the continent biggest basketball competition which began in 1962 for a record fourteen times, the country has won three silver (1997, 1999 and 2003) and two bronze (1995 and 2005) medals and have participated in the FIBA World Championship twice (1998 and 2006).

By Olusegun Ikuesan

FIBA Africa

NIGERIA : 80 Basketballers for Royal Hoopers Camp

ORT HARCOURT (Camp) - No less than 80 players drawn from around Nigeria, Republic of Benin and Cote d’Ivoire are expected to be in Port-Harcourt for the 2009 edition of the Royal Hoopers Basketball Elite Camp.
Players are expected to arrive in Port Harcourt July 21st while the event starts in earnest the following day. The players who would have the opportunity of interacting with the renowned players and coaches will be taken through life skills, basketball basics and character moulding sessions that would prepare them for the future.

According to the elite camp co-ordinator Sam Ahmedu the list of 80 players invited for the camp includes members of the national U-18 team to last year’s FIBA Africa championship for U-18 men held in Alexandria, Egypt. The list includes Gift Achuwa, Moses Johnson (Royal Hoopers), Godwin Ikonsul (Cross Rivers), Hope Okojie, Godspower Igben (Lagos Islanders) and the duo of Seun Olarenwaju, Abayomi Oyeniyi (Dodan Warriors).
Some other players are Mohammed Buka of Dodan Warriors basketball club, Peter Odia, Nanu Agu (Police Bombers), Adeolu Ojo, Kaduna State, Obeten Christopher (unattached), Joseph Victor Junior PG (Warriors Academy), Owolabi Suleiman (Oyo State), Martins Okome, Erikefe Umukoro (Delta State) and Adindu Obinna Williams (Imo State) who are all guards. Players in the off guard position include Adewale Aladefa (Lagos State), Jonathan Odia, (Police Bombers), Ronald Alalibo (Bayelsa Waves), Jackson Namapele, Macarthur Finecountry, Moses
Fiberesima (Royal Hoopers) and Adeola Alade (Lagos State).

The elite camp is being organised by the Royal Hoopers Basketball Club in conjunction with Global Sports Advantage headed by its founder coach Alex Nwora - Head Coach of Erie Community College, Buffalo, New York. Also coming from America is basketball legend, Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald. The former NBA icon leads other foreign coaches like Jackie Knowles – Coach, USA; Tyrone M. Duren – Coach, USA; Myke Scholl – Assistant Coach Loyola Marymount University, USA and Josh Bland - Associate Head Coach University of Bridgeport. Former Nigerian internationals in the persons Godwin Owinje, Obinna Ekezie, Osita Nwachukwu and Tunji Awojobi are billed to feature.

The foreign coaches would be ably assisted by top home based tacticians in the game in the likes of Adeka Daudu and Mike Akuboh who is the assistant coach, at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

By Pius Ayinor, FIBA Africa

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?