31 July 2011

UGANDA : Alweny absence clouds Falcons loss


Friday results
M: UCU 80-69 Falcons
W: KCC 60-38 Mak Sparks
Today at YMCA
W: KIU v Crane (6pm)
Nabisunsa v Mak Cubs (2pm)
Division Three
Bush Court v Crane (4pm)
Stone v City Oil (12pm)
Jackets v Shooters (10am)

The pain of losing 80-69 to UCU Canons in the MTN-Fuba League on Friday night may not be the last 7UP Falcons may have to endure if making the play-offs remains a realistic target.

Falcons were forced to remove Kenyan power forward Philip Alweny from their roster following the warm up as the Fuba technical committee stopped him due to lack of registration papers. Alweny allegedly absconded from Co-operative Bank and must seek clearance from the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF).

An argument between club chairman Denis Mbidde and a combination of Fuba officials led by technical boss William Musaazi enthused in front of the patient crowd. “We couldn’t do anything about him (Alweny) before doing a thorough investigation,” Musaazi said when quizzed about allowing the player to feature in two games already. But Mbidde said: this is a sign of a federation being inept and ineffective because we wrote the email for his release and all that remains is Fuba to send a two-sentence letter to KBF. If the irregularities are confirmed, Falcons, now 4-4, will have to forfeit the two points for beating Charging Rhino and the single point earned in the loss to Warriors.

All this chaos precipitated into a 30-minute delayed start but Falcons still got off to a flier taking the first quarter 28-19. Ex-Falcons guards Sudi Ulanga (23) and Sande Okot (19) commanded the offense lasting the entire distance. UCU took the rest of the periods 22-18, 16-9 and 22-14 with a dominant performance from their big men. Robert Ogweno scored 12 points and 11 rebounds while Desmond Owili made nine points and 10 boards.

American Jachin Wettstone, 6ft 9’, contributed four points and three blocks as both teams rotated only seven players with UCU coach Nick Natuhereza looking more restless than ever in lifting his side to 5-3. Abdullahi Ramadhan dropped 18 points and Peter Elungat added 17 in the losing effort worth 40 minutes. “My players were worn out. We missed Alweny” said Falcons coach Sam Obol.

RWANDA : Hoops’ Paris camp called off

The Hoops team will not be travelling to Paris for two-week training camp as had initially been scheduled, the basketball federation president Lt. Eric Ssalongo Kalisa has confirmed

The men’s team had been planned for the trip ahead of its participation in the 26th FIBA Africa Championship due in Madagascar from August 17-28 as well as the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique in September.
However, in a sudden change of plan, which will surely surprise many hoops fans, Lt. Ssalongo Kalisa confirmed yesterday that the team will instead train in Kigali.
He said, “We have ruled against training in France because our main target of playing some friendly matches against African teams which are camping in Paris was not so successful as we had origanally planned.”
Ferwafa officials had planned to play build up matches against Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Mali but this was not possible.
However, Ssalongo added that there is a possibility of playing friendly matches against Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Congo en-route to Madagascar.
“There is a possibility of playing these countries before the team heads to Madagascar. We are revising plans of having them (the three teams) pass via Kigali before heading to Madagascar for the Fiba finals,” added Ssalongo.
The other teams which will compete in Madagascar tournament include; Tunisia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, Mali, Morocco, Central Africa republic, Chad, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, South Africa defending champion Angola.

Rwanda qualified for the quadrennial games after clinching the Zone V championship title in February.

30 July 2011

UGANDA : Contenders for women’s play-offs

The return of Flavia Oketcho to KCC Leopards has clearly brought the missing championship feeling they haven’t had in a long time. The Leopards are yet to lose a game but are aware they must step up gear to regain the championship.
As the first round nears a climax, Saturday Monitor’s Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo picks out teams KCC Leopards will have to contend with in the postseason in search of their third title.

UCU Lady Canons
In winning the MTN-Fuba League last year, UCU Lady Canons were completely irresistible. A1 Challenge, the team they swept 4-0 in the finals, looked out of depth. It’s not that A1 were bad, UCU had simply raised the bar. Kenyans Anastasia Njeri and Lorraine Akinyi plus play-offs MVP Maureen Amoding were a class act. Njeri has since gone to the United States on a sports scholarship and they aren’t the same team which terrorised all. Amoding, too, is yet to show her potency outside the arc.
Akinyi and Lyn Nalunkuma continue to be efficient with Brenda Mbone and Peace Proscovia in support and still look good enough to win a third title in just five years.

KCC Leopards
Timothy Odeke, the KCC coach, spent the earlier part of the first round complaining about the lack of depth amongst the guards. Oketcho answered his prayers with a timely return.
Now, adding another title to their cabinet is realistic. She arrives with Martha Soigi and Annet Nakiwu still giving them size. Odeke might want more from former play-offs MVP Miriam Hamala and Becky Akullo who are formidable when in their zone.

A1 Challenge
The disappointment of last season gave A1 Challenge every reason to re-think the speed of their team. Guard Mavita Ali retired and they needed to cut the age of the side. Olivia Mulwama is back from her maternity leave but may not be as effective as she was when they won the league title in 2005.
Elizabeth Baziira has looked good in patches but it’s the development of the numerous young players which will define their season.

Makerere Sparks
Just like several former champions, Makerere Sparks find themselves with a huge fight to make the postseason. One day, they look good like the narrow 44-42 loss to A1 envisaged and then slump.

KIU Rangers
Running close to UCU before losing 41-42 when Akinyi blocked Sylvia Nassuna at the buzzer gave KIU lots of belief that they can return to the play-offs for the second straight season.
Losing 60-53 to Magic Stormers provided a timely reminder for Nimrod Kaboha. His trident of Judith Nansobya, Florence Nanyonga and Mercy Etyang must do more to match the frontrunners UCU.

Magic Stormers
Being rank outsiders for a debut postseason appearance, Magic Stormers have no pressure at all. They just amazed themselves in beating KIU.
Stormers are very capable of springing a few more surprises especially against most of the teams and probably upstage UCU on the latter’s off-day.

RWANDA : will bid for the 2013 FIBA-Africa basketball championship.

By Bonnie Mugabe

The local basketball governing body (Ferwaba) Secretary General Jean Lucien Mugabo yesterday said, “We are very interested and have started lobbying.”
“Fiba-Africa is aware and we hope we shall succeed.”
The host for the next edition will be decided at the end of this year’s edition in Madagascar. In 2009, Rwanda hosted their first ever Afrobasket competition and will hope to build on that if they win the 2013 bid.

Ivory Coast is also in the race but Ferwaba boss Lt. Eric Ssalongo, who played a crucial role in swaying Fiba-Africa in 2007, is confident about Rwanda’s chances.

Meanwhile, the hoops have stepped up their preparations ahead of next month’s 26th FIBA Africa Championship due in Madagascar from August 17-28.

The winners of the 2011 Afrobasket tournament will represent Africa at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

RWANDA : In-form APR entertain NUR

By Doreen Umutesi

KIE vs KBC 2pm (Amahoro)
APR vs NUR 4pm (Amahoro)

APR is eager to maintain their winning streak when they host National University of Rwanda (NUR) this afternoon.
After four games, the army side sits atop of the national women league table with eight points and will make it ten if they win today.
“Today‘s game will be a ‘walk over’ because my team has prepared well,” APR coach Charles Mbazumutima said confidently.

In the day’s other game, the national men’s league defending champions Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) take on struggling Kigali Institute of Education (KIE).

29 July 2011

UGANDA : Oketcho doubtful

By Usher Komugisha

Uganda’s most decorated female basketball player, KCC Leopards’ Flavia Oketcho is doubtful for tomorrow’s basketball league match.
The Leopards are up against
Makerere Sparks at YMCA courts.
Oketcho who has been down with malaria and severe headache for two weeks may not feature for her side if she is not cleared by her doctors
However, the player (inset) believes her team will overcome their rivals.
The unbeaten Leopards face a Sparks side that has suffered losses to the ‘big’ teams –– UCU, A-1 Challenge, KIU and Magic Stormers.
Sparks captain Charlene Karungi said, “The the team that plays well will take the win.”
There will also be action in the men’s event with UCU Canons pitetd against Falcons.

UGANDA : Heaters get first win, Falcons face Canons

Peter Nyoroto led Heaters’ charge with 16 points, 10 rebounds and one assist.

Wednesday results
M: KIU 60-63 Heaters
Division 3
M: City Oil 57-59 Air Force
Today at YMCA
M: UCU v Falcons (8.30pm)
W: KCC v Sparks (6.30pm)

Youth Heaters stunned KIU Titans 63-60 on Wednesday to record their first win in this season’s MTN-Fuba League.

In front of a paltry crowd, the Makerere-based side, showed little respect for the Titans, winning the first quarter 16-12. Coach Nimrod Kaboha’s Titans rallied to snatch the second session 12-11 and the third 19-15 but were pegged back 21-17 in the last one.
“I am very happy about today’s win. Our first round games are over, we shall try to play better in the second round,” Heaters coach Brian Wathum said after the game.
With only two wins in the first round, Kaboha left YMCA a disappointed man.
He said: “I am a bit bitter about this game. We committed so many turnovers.”
Kaboha blamed the loss on poor preparations as most of his players are on holiday. “You can’t win with only seven players,” he said.
Thomas Tomach scored 18 and Joshua Etalu added 17 in KIU’s losing effort.

With the season turning out to be unpredictable, the men’s topflight game between 7UP Falcons and UCU Canons tonight should serve up another spectacle.

There was a promise last week from Falcons chairman Denis Mbidde last week that they would appoint a new coach before today.

That has come to pass as Falcons will stick with Sam Obol, at least for now. “We shall appoint a permanent coach in time for the second round,” Mbidde said when quizzed yesterday.

Play-off onslaught
Primarily, Obol must make the presumed second round play-off onslaught worth it. There might be a better chance to underline their attentions than against UCU with whom they are tied 4-3. After rugged starts, UCU added Desmond Owili and Jachin Wettston whereas Falcons got in Philip Alweny to aid Richard Omondi’s presence on the inside.

Falcons still have worries of thinness among the guards when Abdullahi Ramadhan needs a breather like the 69-67 win at the buzzer over Ndejje University Angels showed.
“UCU is not an easy team but we shall play our game irrespective of the opposition,” Obol said, admitting that his bench is small.

Victory for either Obol or Nick Natuhereza will put them in control of their own play-off destiny behind Warriors (8-1), DMark Power (6-1) and Miracle (6-2).

28 July 2011

African club Championships, Zone 4: BC Mazembe (DRC) emerges victorious

The BC Mazembe of DR Congo won yesterday Sunday the final of the Basketball African Clubs Champions championship, Zone 4 against the Equatorial Guinea Malabo Team (66-56).

From July 9th to 17th, were held at the Palais des Sports of Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, Central African men's and women's basketball Championships. In men, the BC Mazembe, who won the final against the Malabo Team (66-56), occupied the first position on the podium. However, these two finalists will represent Zone 4 in the final stages of the African Clubs Championships scheduled for December 2011 in Morocco. In a classification match for third place, Condor of Cameroon beat Gabon's Manga Basketball by 64-60.
In the women's category, the tournament was organised following a championship formula. Arc-en-ciel of DRC was crowned champion in Zone 4 with 11 points. Followed by INJS of Cameroon who collected 10 points. Both teams will then defend the colours of Central Africa in Morocco.
The competition was attended by five clubs in the women (INJS, Arc-en-ciel, Noblesse Ladies of Cameroun and INSS of the Democratic Republic of Congo) and eight in the men (Condor INJS of Cameroon, Somo and Manga Sports Gabon, Onatra of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Victoria of Sao Tome and Principe, BC Mazembe and Malabo).

RWANDA : Hoops to play Angola & Luxembourg

RWANDA’s basketball team is expected to play Angola and Luxembourg in their two-week training camp in Paris, France next month, the basketball federation boss Lt. Eric Ssalongo has confirmed.

The team will be using the training camp as part of its preparing for the 26thFIBA Africa Championship, which will be staged in Madagascar.
“The team will play a series of friendly matches against Angola, Luxembourg and a team of an American university,” Ssalongo told this paper yesterday.
The men’s team which will compete in the FIBA Africa Championship is expected to head to Madagascar straight from Paris.

Other teams which will compete in Madagascar tournament include Tunisia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, Mali, Morocco, Central Africa republic, Chad, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, South Africa and defending champions Angola.

From Madagascar, the team will head to Maputo for the All Africa Games from September 3-18.

Rwanda qualified for the Games after clinching the Zone V championship title in February. To lift the title, Rwanda beat Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda at Amahoro indoor courts.

27 July 2011

UGANDA : No comfort for sliding KIU Titans

Today at YMCA
Div. III:City Oilv Air Force

Heaters hate the position they find themselves but neither do KIU Titans love theirs either heading into the teams’ final fixture of the MTN-Fuba League first round at YMCA Court today.

Two years after they made their maiden play-off appearance, KIU face Heaters with relatively similar goals with the latter having not won a game in eight. Relegation looks a certainty with each passing day for coach Brian Wathum’s young side while there’s no comfort for KIU, who are 2-6.

Drop scare
At the moment, the fight to beat the drop, which will sink two teams, also has Charging Rhino (2-7) and Nkumba Marines (3-6). KIU are yet to see the situation as dire as it plainly looks. “There is still a lot to fight for if we sort out the small things,” KIU’s Moses Olobo said after the 63-61 loss to Marines on July 15. That losing margin defied Olobo’s 14 points and Brian Wati’s 15. However, that has been the story of KIU’s season – so near yet so far.

Heaters’ target for the season was simply defined in surviving the axe for at least one season the moment they earned promotion from Division Two last year. “Our plan has not been perfect. I wanted us to win at least one game in the first round then take it from there if I get two more signings,” Heaters chairman Denis Osikol said.

An improvement does not look imminent for them as they must contend with the gritty defence offered by the university side and Collins Onyango’s jump shot.

26 July 2011

UGANDA : Power make easy stroll over Marines

Sunday results
M: Power 78-66 Nkumba
W: Crane 43-75 Mak Sparks
Division Two
Riders 49-51 Kings
Division Three
Shooters 55-56 Ssaku
UPDF 61-84 Stone

Only hours after making a trip across the country, DMark Power came to YMCA court on Sunday night in demolition mode beating Nkumba Marines 78-66 in the MTN-Fuba League.

Most of the team which attended Power forward Isaac Afidra’s introduction to the family of his fiancé in Lira, a five-hour-drive from Kampala, showed no ill-effects.

They showed lots of camaraderie, celebrating each successful basket wildly, in a game the champions bossed three of the four quarters 19-17, 21-22, 16-7 and 23-19. “The game started in a very tough way but players did a great job. This league is hard especially being the defending champion(s),” Adam Kakuru, the Power statistician, said.

They had overcome Philip Wakimwero’s game-high 23 points and 19 rebounds in a game illuminated by dunks from Robert Mubiru and reserve Robert Wanitho.
Afidra watched from the sidelines as Mubiru scored eight points and 10 rebounds whereas Michael Kojo contributed eight and 14 boards.

RWANDA : CSK’s coach disappointed with forfeited points

By Doreen Umutesi

CSK head coach Javier Kamanzi.

Women’s results
KIE 25-85 APR
St Joseph 72-46 St Aloys
St Joseph 20-0 CSK (forfeit)
NUR 20-0 CSK (forfeit)

St Joseph 20-0 UGB (forfeit) RUSIZI BC 20-0 UGB (forfeit)

CSK head coach Javier Kamanzi a.k.a Vava has expressed his dissatisfaction with the manner win which his ladies’ team penalized for not honoring their league games at the weekend.

With the men’s team not in action at the weekend, Vava, as he’s commonly known in the local basketball circles, and his ladies’ team forfeited points in their scheduled two games against St. Joseph and the National University of Rwanda (NUR).

Speaking to Times Sport by phone after learning that his team had forfeited a possible four valuable points, Vava, who also handles CSK’s men’s team, articulated his disappointment with the basketball federation, Ferwaba.
“Most of our players are students and they have been in examination period, we couldn’t have them to train for the weekend games. We wrote (to the Ferwaba) requesting that out games be postponed but the response came in late,” explains Vava.

According to the league rules, the federation is supposed to response to such requests 48 hours before the scheduled game date.
“I made a request on Wednesday morning but got the response on Friday in the evening yet we were not prepared,” he recalls

However, according to the federation technical director Didier Shema Maboko, there is no rule that justifies CSK’s request.
“This is a national league, not an Inter-schools’ competition, he explained, adding that, “There other different situations where by the game can be postponed. For instance, a death of a player or if three of team’s key players are on the national team.”

25 July 2011

UGANDA : Warriors the team to beat

Written by Dorothy Kyamazima

Kyambogo Warriors look set to exorcise the demons that saw them lose last season’s FUBA basketball title, writes Dorothy Kyamazima.

Ever since the Miracle Eagles stepped on the scene as potential contenders for the playoffs, tongues have been wagging, not only because of their aptitude but also because of how it would go down when they stepped up to play among the big boys.

For a team that banks on the Blick brothers, Steven Omony and a set of more talented players, Miracle’s position was hyped; so, you can imagine the euphoria when the Eagles had a faceoff with Kyambogo Warriors last Friday.

The beauty behind the exhilarating show that had both teams exude raw talent was because they were at par when it came to rankings and were chasing that top slot. In the end, however, Warriors snatched the victory in the last minutes of the fourth quarter as the Eagles who had put up such a fight powered down.

Why Warriors
When the Warriors lost their title to D’mark Power last year, a lot was said that contributed to that loss. This time however, they are proving that the past is behind them.

Juruni the X factor
See, ever since Warriors took on the expertise of former UCU Lady Canons’ coach, Mandy Juruni, to pick up the pieces, things have been looking up for the 2009 league champions. After what seemed like a period of utter confusion and disappointment within the team during Gad Etau’s era as coach and the loss of valuable players like Abdullah Ramadan and Josh Etalu, Warriors have a formidable team under Juruni’s leadership.

Contrary to what most pundits thought of Juruni (that he lacked the ability to steer a men’s team), today, he has a field day, disproving not only the pundits but his rivals as well. After his success with the KCC Leopards and the Lady Canons last year, Juruni is the perfect description of the difference a good coach can make on a team.

With only one loss to Charging Rhinos this season, Warriors is at the top of the list and the most favourable contender for the title this year. However, Juruni was quick to note during the game on Friday against the Eagles that it could have gone either way, and being a good coach takes more than just being able to manage the team; it also includes studying the players and knowing what they can do well.

Team composure
When it comes to team composure, no team can match Warriors especially now that they have one of the best defending player, Carlos Ochi along with the Malinga brothers, Eric and Henry Malinga. In fact the two left a lot of wreckage behind when they tore up the paint with a total of 19 and 18 points respectively.

Teaming the likes of Ivan Enabu and Ronnie Kasewu and Steven Okias together, the federation might have one of the best teams to be put together.

UGANDA : Okello guides Falcons to thrilling win over Angels

M: Falcons 69-67 Ndejje
W: A1 67-39 Nabisunsa
Division 2
Stormers 93-67 St. Michael
Division 3
Crane 67-80 Sky Jammers
Emperors 80-76 Jackets
Sharing 56-32 TLC
Air Force 70-57 Bush Court

They might have Richard Osano Omondi, Philip Alweny and Abdullahi Ramadhan but 7UP Falcons need a lot more than just their ‘big three’ to get back to where they belong in the MTN-Fuba League.

On Saturday night, without Alweny, the six-time champions needed a desperate put- back from Andrew Okello at the buzzer to edge the fighting Ndejje University Angels 69-67 at YMCA court.

Normally played as a reserve until last week, the former St. Michael player picked a rebound off his own shot after Ndejje had tied the score with 11 seconds on the clock.
Cyrus Kiviri’s sweet lay-up had nearly set up the prospect of only the second overtime game of the season following Miracle Eagles’ 76-71 defeat of KIU Titans. Okello, who had seven points, had different ideas. Drenched in sweat and teary-eyed, Walker Obedi, the Ndejje coach, appeared to have never felt worse after his team came from behind to take the final two periods 19-14 and 21-15. “Players didn’t listen to instructions. Our experience was lacking. We were unlucky. We shall get back and work on what we didn’t do,” a dejected Obedi said in failing to point to one reason his team fell short. Adding; “I called a time-out with two minutes and 21 seconds but the table was so sucked into the game and never gave it.”

A daring Kiviri dominated Falcons with a game-high 25 points, seven rebounds and nine assists but committed three of his four turnovers in the dying moments. “The players made some rush decisions and some were tired because my bench is a bit small.” Falcons coach Sam Obol said. “Every game is important and we cannot afford to lose anymore that’s why we needed to get this win however slim.” Omondi scored 23, eight rebounds and seven assists, Dulah contributed figures of 12-7-7 and Peter Elungat looked good for his 17 and eight boards.

Falcons improved to 4-3 as they prepare for a fight to make a play-offs onslaught whereas Ndejje fell to 4-4. The former are still way behind Kyambogo Warriors 8-1 and Miracle Eagles 6-2.

UGANDA : Malingas inspire Warriors

M: Miracle 70-79 Warriors
W: Stormers 60-53 KIU
Today at YMCA
M: Power v Nkumba (7.30pm)
W: A1 v Nabisunsa (5.30pm)
Division Two
Ridersv Kings (3.30pm)
Division Three
Shooters v Ssaku (1.30pm)
UPDF v Stone (9.30am)

The Malinga brothers – Henry and Eric – reminded everyone who came to YMCA court on Friday night that they remain the toughest dyad to stop when they find their sweet spots in the paint.
A dominant performance from the pair gave Kyambogo Warriors a 79-70 victory over Miracle Eagles to finish the MTN-Fuba League first round with an enviable record of 8-1.
It looked like the old days when they led 7UP Falcons to multiple championships, the last having coming four years ago.

Invincible pair
Totally unbeatable when in tandem, Eric’s hot hand got him 19 points with Henry scoring 18 and five assists to provide the difference in a close game watched by a capacity crowd.

“We needed to stop their transition – it was killing us. The experience of the Malingas proved crucial too,” a satisfied Mandy Juruni, wearing his widest smile in months, said.

Miracle, buoyed by a rare appearance by club patron, Pastor Robert Kayanja, had their noses in front taking the first period 20-16 but Warriors took the next three 17-16, 18-17 and 28-17.

There was little to choose between the two as the biggest lead was only nine points which Miracle held mid-way through the third quarter but it also ended as the losing margin.

Stephen Omony, Francis Tumusiime and Norman Blick scored 18, 17 and 13 points respectively to have respectable footnotes for Miracle who are now 6-2.
Warriors, wearing a new dark blue jersey with an orange strip in the sides, had an anti-dote in opting for size whereas Miracle lost it in the ultimate three minutes fouling Ivan Enabu. He made eight of 10 free throws, six of which came inside the final two minutes, for 11 points and 11 assists.

Wrong decision
“It was our game but we lost it at the very end. We had a time-out and opted to foul Ivan and it didn’t work,” Omony said. He missed one crucial mistake – Miracle doesn’t have a Malinga and could have done with Ronnie Kasewu’s 11 points and 11 assists for Warriors.

In the early game, Magic Stormers stunned KIU Rangers 60-53 in the biggest shock of the women’s league thus far. Rukia Meme scored a game-high 28 points.
Today former champions Power face Nkumba Marines in the big game of the night.

UGANDA : Falcons, Angels in play-offs rehearsal

Today at YMCA
M: Falcons v Ndejje (7.30pm)
W: A1 v Nabisunsa (5.30pm)
Division 2
Stormers v St. Michael (3.30pm)
Division 3
Crane v Jammers (1.30pm)
Emperors v Jackets (11.30am)
Division 3 at Makerere
Air Force v Bush Court (3pm)
Sharing v TLC (1pm)

Every game for the teams just below pacesetters DMark Power, Kyambogo Warriors and Miracle Eagles is a potential decider in terms of which one will make the MTN-Fuba League playoffs.

Ndejje University Angels and 7UP Falcons are some of those who harbour such ambitions, making their contest today at YMCA court of huge importance.
It’s easy to write this off like any other game since it’s only the first round but neither team will treat it that way. “Honestly, if we pick results off the so-called big teams, why not make play-offs?” questioned Ndejje coach Walker Obedi whose team is 4-3.
For Obedi to achieve this, guard Cyrus Kiviri must show more skin. “I have noticed that Cyrus struggles against the big teams but a solution is what we are working on,” he added.

Offensive company
The coach may not be entirely right as Ndejje’s go-to-man got five points in the 77-45 battering by Warriors on Sunday but also had a 19-point game in the 81-67 loss to Power.

Kiviri needs more offensive company from Geoffrey Soro and the now-quiet pair of Paul Mwaka and Donald Ssali with the return of Crispin Biko from a compassionate absence looming.

Falcons, who beat Charging Rhino 81-71 on Wednesday to move to 3-3, promised to treat each game like a final from now on since the trio of Abdullahi Ramadhan, Philip Alweny and Richard Osano Omondi is getting more minutes together.
“We lost too many games at the start and cannot afford many more if we are going to catch with the leading teams,” Dulah said after his 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against Charging Rhino on Wednesday.

CHAD : First-timers Chad won’t back down in Madagascar

BORDEAUX (Afrobasket 2011) – An unfamiliar team will be at the Afrobasket in Antananarivo next month that no one should take lightly.

When the tournament tips off in Madagascar, Chad will be the only national side taking part that has never competed in Africa’s showpiece event.

This is nothing that worries Chad’s coach, Frenchman Patrick Maucouvert.

“We don’t have much experience, but all we are going to do is play with attitude,” Moucouvert said to FIBA.com.

Recently handed the reins to the team, Maucouvert, who coaches French club Feurs Forez of NM2, plans to bring a combination of home-, Europe- and United States-based players to the tournament.
“Looking at the Afrobasket nowadays, you have to recognize that the quality is high and it has improved significantly due to the quality of players,” Maucouvert said.
“We’ll put together the best players we have.
“It will be an extraordinary experience to play African teams like Angola, Senegal and Morocco in Madagascar.
“We are talking about the top teams on the continent.”

Chad were expected to launch their preparations in Paris at the end of this week.
“They (Chad Basketball Federation) want me to build a good and solid team,” Maucouvert said.
“A good team requires attitude, which I'll be working on.”
The 50-year-old coach wants his squad to face its “opponents in the eyes.”
“We are going there (to Madagascar) to write a new chapter in the Africa basketball history,” Maucouvert said.

Chad preliminary squad: Jacques Alingue, Garba Makka, Guillaume Pina, Ali Djim Abdoul, Robinson Russel, Dounia Issa, Baykam Kang-Irang, Elysee Djimrassem, Ronald Kolmia, Theodore Mbaiarsi, Bienvenu Djimassal, Lebtoloum Ahidjo, Abderamane Mbaindiguim, Asnal Noubaramadji, Koibe Mickael, Dillah Mbairessem, Ngadi Mario, Ousmane Sale, Richard Moguena, Ngarasde Djimtoide.


19 July 2011

African club Championships, Zone 4: BC Mazembe (DRC) emerges victorious

The BC Mazembe of DR Congo won yesterday Sunday the final of the Basketball African Clubs Champions championship, Zone 4 against the Equatorial Guinea Malabo Team (66-56).

From July 9th to 17th, were held at the Palais des Sports of Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, Central African men's and women's basketball Championships. In men, the BC Mazembe, who won the final against the Malabo Team (66-56), occupied the first position on the podium. However, these two finalists will represent Zone 4 in the final stages of the African Clubs Championships scheduled for December 2011 in Morocco. In a classification match for third place, Condor of Cameroon beat Gabon's Manga Basketball by 64-60.
In the women's category, the tournament was organised following a championship formula. Arc-en-ciel of DRC was crowned champion in Zone 4 with 11 points. Followed by INJS of Cameroon who collected 10 points. Both teams will then defend the colours of Central Africa in Morocco.
The competition was attended by five clubs in the women (INJS, Arc-en-ciel, Noblesse Ladies of Cameroun and INSS of the Democratic Republic of Congo) and eight in the men (Condor INJS of Cameroon, Somo and Manga Sports Gabon, Onatra of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Victoria of Sao Tome and Principe, BC Mazembe and Malabo).

UGANDA : Angels wrecked by Warriors

M: Warriors77-45Ndejje
W: Amazon24-90 Stormers
Division Two
Kings 55-41 Gulu
Vegetarian 37-43 Riders
Division Three

Ndejje University Angels joined the growing list of victims wrecked by Kyambogo Warriors in the latter’s quest to reclaim the MTN-Fuba League title.

Warriors recovered from a pedestrian start to thrash 77-45 on Sunday night thereby assuming sole leadership of the standings at 7-1, one game ahead of champions DMark Power and Miracle Eagles.
Ronnie Kasewu, MVP when Warriors won their only title two years ago, scored 16 points, five rebounds and four assists in what was a warm up for the clash with Miracle this Friday. Ndejje stood their ground a bit in the first two quarters which they clinched 12-12 and 13-10 to hold a slim lead.

Wounded lions
From then on, last year’s losing finalists played like wounded lions to close out the game 32-12 and 23-8, forcing Ndejje into a total of 24 turnovers, seven less than Warriors’ aggregate. Coach Walker Obedi tried to rally his side but they combined for only 14 assists whereas Warriors controlled this column with 25.
Forward Steven Okias added 16 points, point guard Ivan Enabu had 12 points, six assists and four steals and Henry Malinga added 10 to the winning effort. Geoffrey Soro dropped 13 points and nine rebounds on a tough evening for the university team.

RWANDA : Hoops begin Afrobasket preps

By Bonnie Mugabe

THE national men and women basketball teams have started intensive training ahead of the upcoming 26th Fiba Africa Championship (Afrobasket) and All Africa Games.

The men’s Afrobasket tournament which has been moved to Madagascar is slated for August 17 -28 while the All Africa Games will run from September 3 -18 in Maputo, Mozambique.
For the women national team, after the Maputo games, the team will head to Mali for the women Afrobasket tournament from September 23 to 28.
Some of the other teams to compete in Madagascar include defending champions Angola, Tunisia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, Mali, Morocco, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Egypt and South Africa.
Rwanda qualified for the All Africa Games after winning the Zone V championship back in February.

To lift the title, Rwanda beat Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda at Amahoro indoor stadium.

The men’s team is coached by Vaceslav Kavedzija while Nedad Amanovic is in charge of the women side.

18 July 2011

UGANDA : Free throws undo Rhino

M: UCU 67-64 Rhino
W: KIU 70-44 Nabisunsa
Division 2
MBC 32-50 Gulu
Rez Life 59-56 UCU JV
Division 3
TLC 66-55 Crane
Ssaku 57-54 Sharing
Stone 27-37 Air Force

Charging Rhino missed out on an opportunity to dent UCU Canons by fluffing 12 of their 30 free throws to lose 67-64 in the MTN-Fuba League at YMCA court on Saturday night.

Herbert Akitah and Mark Opio were the main culprits, shooting wayward.

RWANDA : APR thrash champions KBC

National Basketball League Results

APR made their intentions clear as far as recapturing the national men’s basketball league title is concerned after thrashing reigning champions KBC on Saturday.

The indomitable lions were five points short of 100points as they smacked KBC 95-74 at a fairly packed Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
Patrick Buzangu proved why he is such an important player to APR after top scoring with 20 points.
“The boys played well and deserved to win. I think we showed that we are still the best team in the country,” APR’s coach Cliff Owuor said.
Oliver Kanamugire scored a game high 26points but that could not deter the army side from winning the contest.

APR then went a notch better yesterday after thumping CSK 101-59 to finish the first round with a 100 per cent record.

17 July 2011

UGANDA : Marines dream of play-off

Friday results
M: Nkumba 63-61 KIU
W: Mak Sparks 39-81 UCU
Today at YMCA
M: Warriors v Ndejje (7.30pm)
W: Amazon v Stormers (5.30pm)
Division Two
Vegetarian v Riders (3.30pm)
Kings v Gulu (9.30am)
Division Three
S. Jammers v UPDF (1.30pm)
Jackets v Planets (11.30am)

One result seems to have completely changed the targets of Nkumba Marines guard Julius Lutwama as the fight to get into the MTN-Fuba League play-offs hovers over the horizon.

A nervous but uninspiring 63-61 victory over KIU Titans on Friday night got him renewed hope and belief. “There are so many new players in the team who are getting used to each other,” Lutwama said. “If we get into some kind of form and go on a run, we will get into the play-offs.” Having started the season on the sidelines, Lutwama hasn’t really played like play-off bound but rather a relegation candidate.
To walk the talk, he must do more than the eight points and seven assists he managed at a quiet YMCA court. It should be the return to form of forward Philip Wakimwero that should please the two-time champions.
The forward had his second straight 17-point game. Marines played to their big man’s strength, pounding the inside where KIU found themselves smaller or an inch slower.
Abraham Juma Deng scored a team-high 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists but Marines were never going to be denied especially in the final two periods. The two were level at 16-16 after the first quarter then KIU took the second 14-7.

SEYCHELLES : International friendly tournament

The two local men’s selections taking part in the ongoing international friendly tournament at the refurbished Palais des Sports, started the competition on the wrong foot with defeats in their first matches on Thursday.

The Seychelles ‘A’ team lost 53-67 to the Mozambican selection, while the Italian side defeated the local ‘B’ selection 79-70.
The tournament, which serves as preparation for our local selections who will compete in the forthcoming Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG), features four men’s teams – Seychelles ’A’, Seychelles ’B’, a Mozambican selection and an Italian side – and three women’s selections – Seychelles ’A’, Seychelles ’B’ and a team from Mozambique.
The Seychelles ‘A’ teams are made up of players who will represent the country at the IOIG, while the ‘B’ selections feature players who are not part of the national team.

In the first match, the local ‘B’ selection held their opponents and trailed by a single point – 35-36 – at halftime.
It was during the last two quarters that the foreign side outscored the boys of coach Nigel Ah-kong 25-18 and 20-17 for a 79-70 final score.
Ugbaje Ajodoh was the Seychelles ‘B’ team’s top-scorer with 17 points, while with 18 points, G. Zampolli led the scoring for the Italian side.

For their part, the Seychelles ‘A’ selection lost the first three quarters – 8-12, 12-15 and 11-28 – against their Mozambican opponents. It was only during the last quarter that captain Cyril Agrippine and company managed to outscore the Mozambicans 22-12. It was too little too late as the Mozambican selection had already sewn up the match for an easy 67-53 win.
Abdel Sylla scored 13 points to finish as the Seychelles ‘A’ team’s top-scorer, while I. Matavel led the Mozambicans with 15 points.

Yesterday, Seychelles ‘B’ were to meet Seychelles ‘A’ in a women’s match, while Seychelles ‘B’ were to play the Mozambican selection and Seychelles ‘A’ were to meet the Italian side in two men’s matches.

16 July 2011

UGANDA : Power the history boys

By Charles Mutebi and Usher Komugisha

Power 86 S. Sudan 84

Canons v Rhinos
Rangers v Nabisunsa

SOUTH Sudan’s national men’s basketball side lost their first ever contest 86-84 to Uganda club champions Power on Wednesday.

If that surrounds historic, it probably is.
South Sudan gained independence from the North on July 9 and this basketball game was part of celebrations to mark the occasion.
The friendly contest took place two days later than earlier scheduled because Power’s air tickets arrived late from their hosts.
The game was almost cancelled even after Power’s arrival in Juba because South Sudan’s new national sports stadium was not yet ready.
But the match finally went ahead and Power ended on the winning side of this small piece of history –– in the full glare of Chicago Bulls star Luol Deng.
“It was good especially playing against guys who are 6ft and above,” said Power captain Isaac Afidra. “They will be a basketball force very soon.”

UCU Canons' new signing Jachin Wettstone from the United States will make his debut against Charging Rhinos as the national basketball league continues at YMCA, Kampala today.

UGANDA : Titans dreaming big

The word titan means giant. For a team to call themselves that implies they cannot be shaken. When Kampala International University (KIU) won the 2002 East Africa Inter University Games title, no name was as fitting as Titans.
That regional victory came in the year when the institution opened. They also started competing in the national league that same year.
“I can recall that since we came, we have been very consistent in the league, playing in the men’s topflight,” said Bernard Egwel, the senior sports tutor at KIU.

According to Egwel, adding KIU Rangers, the female basketball team, to the cocktail, is a major step in using basketball to keep the university’s name afloat.
“We have moved through the ranks with the Rangers reaching the play-offs on seven occasions and Titans once,” revealed Egwel.
To reward the enduring sportsmen, KIU, through basketball, offers both sports and academic scholarships to the best players which boosts their morale.
“This scholarship scheme was implemented to attract qualified and talented players,” he divulged.

Over the years, KIU have produced several stars, some of whom have gone to attain similar scholarships in America. Tewin Semakula, Hadijja Kiiza, Miriam Tamale and Carlos Oluka are some players, who excelled at KIU before landing scholarship opportunities in America - the spiritual home of basketball.
Despite losing star players to other clubs very often, KIU continue to win numerous accolades at university level. “We have been the defending champions in the East Africa Games until last year when we lost to Strathmore University,” Egwel, also Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (Fuba) vice-president (administration), added.

So often, their rhythm is distracted by players missing games during holidays. Egwel remains satisfied with the success thus far under the circumstances.
The losses make him even more motivated for the second round of this year’s league starting August 21. A championship vow is not far over the hill.

“We believe KIU has the best squad to win the 2011 championship,” he added keeping faith in coach Nimrod Kaboha, the main architect of the meagre league success.

Kaboha has produced the some awesome talent in the league, lifting the pride of both the Titans and Rangers. They are among the most feared teams in the league, slightly behind DMark Power, Kyambogo Warriors and Falcons for the men and KCC Leopards and UCU Lady Canons for the women.
Kaboha has managed to beat Falcons this season and lost by a point to UCU. Despite his strictness, Kaboha is referred to as ‘Daddy’ by his players.
This name was bestowed upon him for his uncompromising character when players report late for training – both Titans and Rangers. This season, Titans’ captain Abraham Juma Deng has risen to be one of the most outstanding players whom the team looks up.

Brian Watti and Saidi Marine are also some of the other players who make the team proud though the latter hasn’t played this season.
Kaboha’s catchment in the women’s team includes Judith Nansobya, the team captain, Ritah Kyomugisha and Mercy Etyang.
“Since the scholarship scheme only allows competent players to apply, there is always talent, Kyomugisha said.Adding: “Besides we have a basketball court in the university so we hardly use other courts to practice and get ample time to play.”
Kyomugisha pointed out that before the school constructed their own court, they used to trek to YMCA in Wandegeya, some good miles away.
“Being an international university, the best international players join us which is good for the team in terms of talent,” Kyomugisha noted.
There is an even bigger bonus for players who performed as the institution retains them for employment when they complete their studies, thus guiding the new ones.

Prohibitive rules
Challenges remain in plenty. “Our main challenge is when our players go for holidays yet the league is on and unfavourable weather conditions like rain,” she explained.
“The only problem is that we have an open court and if it rains no one shows up,” she added. The rules are also prohibitive at times. Whereas the league allows all, the university games only let in players below the age of 28 and must be students.
These restrictions have not deterred KIU from collecting a mammoth 15 trophies but still wait for a league trophy.

UGANDA : Revamped Canons target Rhino scalp

Today at YMCA
UCU v Rhino (7.30pm)
KIU v Nabisunsa(5.30pm)
Division 2
MBC v Gulu (3.30pm)
Rez Life v UCU JV (1.30pm)
Division 3 (YMCA)
TLC v Crane (11.30am)
Ssaku v Sharing(9.30pm)
At Makerere
Stone v Air Force (12pm)
Shooters v Emperors (10am)

Bringing in Kenyan forward Desmond Owili has almost led to a complete turnaround for UCU Canons. Last year’s MTN-Fuba League losing semifinalists looked far from postseason contenders without him. Charging Rhino, UCU’s opponents at YMCA court today, have every reason to be wary of Owili beyond the diversion of his slam dunks.

Coach Nick Natuhereza returns after missing the 91-63 rout of Nkumba Marines just in time to see what his late acquisition can do. In that victory, Owili had seven points and 11 rebounds to add to his 11 points on debut to vanquish Heaters 94-50.

The support cast of guards Sudi Ulanga and Sande Okot bore most of the burden before Owili. This strength in depth now easily makes former champions Rhino underdogs.

Slow start
Rhino wouldn’t bother about this tag if they play in the manner they did to defeat Kyambogo Warriors 82-68 some weeks back. Following a slow start to the season, Walter Omony has started to impress offensively to share the podium with Mark Opio like it’s a continuation of their duopoly in the Division Two Championship run last season.

They beat Heaters 48-42 last Saturday but the disparity in size will definitely play against them which demands for a collective effort on the inside.

At Makerere University main ground, rejuvenated Livingstone face Air Force and Shooters take on Emperors in Division 3 encounters. In the women’s category, KIU meet Nabisunsa.

15 July 2011

UGANDA : Marines sail with Titans

Today at YMCA
M: Marines v KIU (8.30pm)
W: Mak Sparks v UCU (6.30pm)
Wednesday results
W: Crane 38-58 Stormers
Div 3: City Oil 76-64 TLC
South Sudan 84-86 Power

Both Nkumba Marines and KIU Titans admit that their MTN-Fuba League fortunes would be in much better health than they are if they were getting the basics right.

The university sides, boasting similar records (3-4), clash at YMCA court today following tough losses to in-form Kyambogo Warriors. Marines coach Timothy Odeke and his KIU counterpart Nimrod Kaboha have endured poor rebounding by their teams especially late in games.

In addition, playing without point guard Ladislas Ikungura has made Marines so impotent at creating plays whereas KIU commit too many turnovers.

That promises a tight contest for two sets of players who would not want to get sucked into a dogfight this early. “Relegation is too far away since it’s still only the first round but you want to do things right fast,” Odeke warned.

13 July 2011

NIGERIA : Efevberha's Olympic dream

HOLLYWOOD (Afrobasket 2011) – Nigeria have played at FIBA World Championships but they have yet to appear at an Olympic Games.

National team captain Mike Efevberha is desperate for this to change.
The 26-year-old was born in California but has dual citizenship thanks to his Nigerian father.
To make it to the London Games wouldn’t just be special for the player, he says, but his dad,
“Playing in the Olympics for Nigeria would definitely put a big smile on my father's face,” Efevberha said to FIBA.com.
“Playing for Nigeria already makes my dad feel great, but now if he got the opportunity to see me in the Olympic games, it would probably blow his mind.
“He is so proud of me for all that I have accomplished with basketball so far.
“Making it to the Olympics would just be the icing on the cake for him.”
Efevberha's first appearance for Nigeria came at the Afrobasket in Libya two years ago and it was an impressive debut.
He averaged 17.4 points per game and Nigeria looked as if they were on their way to a place at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, but an 84-80 setback to Cameroon in the Quarter-Finals ended their hopes of playing in Turkey.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Efevberha, who had 24 points in that defeat.
Ahead of Nigeria’s preparations for Afrobasket 2011, the objective is clear.
“Our goal is the same as everyone else’s, which is to win the African Cup and be a part of the 2012 Olympics in London,” Efevberha said.
In 2007, Nigeria won five of their six games at the Afrobasket but missed out on the Beijing Games.
“Things are different now,” Efevberha said.
“I can’t believe that Nigeria has never made it to the Olympics.
“We have so much talent from what I can tell, but hopefully we can pull it together this summer and qualify.
“Playing in the Olympics has always been a dream of mine, and I am just happy I get the opportunity to try and help Nigeria make it there.”
Nigeria will take on hosts Madagascar, Mozambique and Mali in Group A of the Afrobasket.
“I can’t wait to get out there and start competing,” Efevberha said.
“Our first group for the tournament will be tough, but I think every round will just get tougher and tougher.”
A good showing this summer for Efevberha would enhance his chances of finding a good job for next season.
Last season certainly went according to plan as he helped Lugano Tigers win a Swiss Cup, Lega Cup and Swiss Championship treble.
“This season was great,” he said.
“My team competed very hard all season long, and I am very proud of everyone.”

12 July 2011

UGANDA : Surging Warriors ease past Marines

Weekend results
M: Warriors 83-62 Marines
Heaters 42-48 Rhino
W: Gladiators 51-38 Crane
Amazon 27-103 KCC
Mak Cubs 16-76 KIU
Division 3
Emperors 58-70 City Oil
Sky Jammers 59-38 Livingstone
Sharing 47-39 Jackets
Shooters 40-31 TLC
Air Force 53-67 K’la Univ.
UPDF 52-57 Ssaku

Kyambogo Warriors were yesterday given a day-off by coach Mandy Juruni. It was more than just him being pleased that his team swept Nkumba Marines 83-62 in the MTN-Fuba League on Sunday night.

“I think they (players) are feeling so tired from the workouts we have had of late,” Juruni said after his team improved their season record to 6-1. Juruni might have passed as arrogant for good reason as Warriors are now tied with Miracle Eagles and champions DMark Power at the summit.

Like the recent games, it looked so easy for Warriors as Eric Malinga put up another salvo worth 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Eric, whose brother Henry Malinga scored 10 points and nine boards, played like a continuation from the mid-week win over KIU Titans where he had 21.

Warriors cruised through the four quarters 20-16, 12-5, 26-25 and 25-16 respectively. They won’t train again until tomorrow whereas Marines want to get back to business now that their season is 3-4. Philip Wakimwero had arguably his best game thus far with 17 points and 11 boards adding to Danson Ngati’s brilliant but fruitless 17. Marines really lacked the depth to match Warriors who also had Ronnie Kasewu (15), Ivan Enabu 12) and Brian Gumisiriza (11) make notable contributions.

10 July 2011

UGANDA : Unpredictable Marines face rising Warriors

Today at YMCA
M: Warriorsv Marines(7.30pm)
W: Amazon v KCC (5.30pm)
Mak Cubs v KIU (1.30pm)
Div. Three
Emperors v City Oil (3.30pm)
Sky Jammersv Stone (11.30am)
Sharing v Jackets (11.30am)
Div. Two – Gulu
Gulu v UCU JV(9.30am)
Div. Three – MUK
St. Michael v MBC (3pm)
K’la Univ. v Ssaku (11am)
Crane v Planets (9am)

Today may not be the most ideal time for Nkumba Marines to be facing Kyambogo Warriors if there MTN-Fuba League status is to be preserved for another season.

The former’s coach Timothy Odeke, ahead of the game between the two at YMCA court, is quick to notice the recent intent shown by last year’s losing finalists.
“If there ever was a best time to face any team, it’s now because in the second round everyone is very focused,” Odeke told Sunday Monitor.
“However, Warriors are on a run at the moment and seem to be strengthening with each passing game.”

A rusty Julius Lutwama has not helped much offesnsively since his recall to the side and this contributed to Odeke being cautious about the chances of beating Warriors.

Marines were the only team to defeat the 2009 champions in last year’s second round as Warriors fought hard for a place in the postseason. That agonising wait to make the play-offs which came down to beating Miracle Eagles has taught Brian Gumisiriza lots of lessons.
“After last season, we want to win our games early since we also have the Zone V championships. If we do our job, then we will need two or three more wins in the second round,” Gumisiriza, a forward who doubles as team manager, said.

At least Eric Malinga and Ronnie Kasewu are ably communicating the message to the league loudly like the 87-80 win over KIU Titans suggested on Wednesday night. The two dropped 21 points apiece.

Stopping them is key to Marines who have now won three of their six games. One of the victories was given in the boardroom following the loss to Rhino which was overturned as the latter used an unregistered player.
Warriors’ challenge is different as victory will enable them match Miracle and DMark Power for the league’s best record at 6-1.

RWANDA : Team to foot own costs at All Africa Games

09 July 2011

UGANDA : Rhino get home court advantage

Today at Makerere
M: Heaters v Rhino (5pm)
W: Gladiators v Crane (3pm)
Division 3
Shooters v TLC (1pm)
Air Force v K’la Univ. (11am)
UPDF v Ssaku (9am)

Youth Heaters are the only team yet to win a game in the MTN-Fuba League men’s topflight division. The newcomers could find a way out today when they face Charging Rhino at Makerere University main ground and not the usual YMCA court.

Despite the latter being former champions, they also just got back into the topflight this season after four years in the lower echelon. This way, Heaters, the team Rhino swept in last year’s Division Two play-offs best-of-three final series 2-0, still see them as equals. “Our target in the situation we are in currently is to win one game before the end of the first round and give it our best in the second,” Heaters patron Denis Osikol said.

Coach Brian Wathum should implement the message which might entirely depend on denying Rhino’s lethal shooting guard Mark Opio the ball and space. Exuberance alone has not been enough for Rhino. The 69-63 loss to Ndejje University Angels must have been another easy lesson to take if they are to add to the sole victory this season.

08 July 2011

BOTSWANA : Shortage of match officials haunts basketball

Correspondent Thursday 7/7/2011

The shortage of professional referees and table officials continues to haunt the basketball league amid reports that players are unhappy with the level of officiating. The league chairman, Kabo Khama said there are only 10 professional referees in the country. The shortage has forced the association to use inexperienced referees. Khama is optimistic that with time, the situation will improve as there are currently many youngsters that are being groomed by professional referees.

He explained that they have organised fixtures in such a way that an inexperienced referee officiates with a seasoned one. Khama expressed disappointment with certain clubs, which fail to provide two officials per match as stipulated. This year, the BBA held a well-attended referees' clinic just before the league commenced. Unlike last year when the clinic was coordinated by locals, the BBA invited a trainer from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

Khama said they will host another referees' clinic after the first round of the league. He stated that the BBA is in the process of teaching table officials and referees ways of using the recently introduced 24-second short clock. Under the system, the referee has to alert the table official to reset the clock every 24 seconds of the game. The new system has caused a lot of confusion during games. Besides officiating problems, the league is suffering because of failure by clubs to honour fixtures.

Recently, Drillers were kicked out of the league for missing games. The BBA did not fine the club because the league is not sponsored. 'We cannot implement the fine that we introduced in our constitution two years ago because the league is not sponsored,' Khama said. He stated that BBA are sourcing sponsorship for the league and hopefully next season, they will have a financier. 'Having a sponsor would definitely improve the standard of the league as people would be playing for incentives,' he said.

NAMIBIA : When Will Basketball Start?

Windhoek The persistent question has taken a life of its own. It has been asked again and again. It has been answered again and again. It is a question that reflects, we believe, a love for the game of basketball and a strong desire to play and continue playing.

The mission of the Namibian Basketball Federation is about much more than sporting excellence. It is also about developing a culture of respect, excellence and friendship. We are committed to making basketball a game for all across the nation.

Furthermore, we want a re entry onto the continental and international arena.

To that end, we are encouraging our affiliate members to develop teams and clubs whose players are stronger, in tremendous basketball shape and are intense competitors.

We know that players play harder and better if they are having fun. They will only do so in an environment that is safe and free of violence; where the tradition of fair play is promoted and honourable sports competition is the norm.

To create this environment we must have trained, accredited coaches, referees and table officials.

Over and above that, we must be in compliance with FIBA General Statutes and Internal Rules because we are members thereof. So in answer to the question: When will the league start?
Courtesy of: New Era

U16 masculin – Egypte 2011 : Nouvelle Composition des groupes

Suite au désistement du Nigeria, de la Guinée, de la Lybie et de la RDC, la composition des groupes a été modifiée après tirage au sort ce 08 juillet.
Le principe de ce tirage était d’équilibrer les 2 groupes en choisissant une équipe du groupe B (Mali exempt) qui allait basculer dans le Groupe A.

Voici la nouvelle Composition des groupes
Groupe A : Egypte, Algérie, Mozambique, Afrique du Sud
Groupe B : Mali, Congo, Angola, Tunisie

La rencontre Egypte-Mozambique est prévue pour ce soir 18h00(heure locale)

UGANDA : Photo

Warriors’ Enabu lays up past KIU’s Nathan Scott

UGANDA : Warriors close gap on Power

M: Warriors 87-80 KIU
W: KCC 101-27 Mak Cubs
Today at YMCA
KIU v A1 (6.30pm

Kyambogo Warriors moved closer to the leading pack in the MTN-Fuba League with an 87-80 victory over KIU Titans at YMCA court, Wednesday night.

The former champions improved their season to 5-1, just one triumph behind joint leaders Miracle Eagles and champions DMark Power (both 6-1).

In all, this was one of Warriors’ most ruthless performances though KIU might look at the final scoreboard and find solace. The latter only earned respect in the final four minutes having barely made it a contest prior to this. Coach Mandy Juruni had the luxury of giving all his stars a breather for most of the fourth period having held a 23-point lead for most of the game.
Guard Ronnie Kasewu was unplayable early on when he made four of his first five three-point attempts. He eventually finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Cheers for Gombya
Juruni’s side partly shed the recent slow starts to take the first quarter 29-20 and nearly closed out the game 28-8 in the third after KIU had taken the second 17-12.
By the time KIU rallied to clinch the ultimate period 35-18, Warriors were never going to be touched after Eric Malinga notched 21.
Eric, Kasewu, Steven Okias (16), Michael Kariuki (5) and Henry Malinga (5) left the court early for Sam Gombya (7) to receive all the cheers.
Nimrod Kaboha, the KIU coach, was pleased with former Warriors Joshua Etalu’s futile 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists but not the final outcome as the university side slid to 3-4.
Brian Wati, who started the game with a monster dunk, ended with 14 points. Elsewhere, Power’s game with 7UPFalcons scheduled for today has been postponed after the champions got an invitation to play in Juba, South Sudan this weekend.

The world’ newest country is marking independence on Monday. In the women’s game, KCC Leopards humbled Makerere Cubs 101-27.

07 July 2011

UGANDA : Challenges facing Tashobya’s new Fuba regime

Dorothy Kyamazima looks at the demands of the new federation. http://www.observer.ug

Upon re-election as Fuba president last Saturday, Ambrose Tashobya, silenced rumours he was unwilling to serve the federation. He says the federation can no longer be run on a voluntary basis, which most officials are doing. However, being president of the federation does not necessarily mean all is well.

He says the federation is facing major challenges this time round. For one, it remains to be seen whether they will raise the Shs 290 million shillings budget for this year because it’s clear Fuba lacks the means to obtain this amount of money. It has so far received $1,500 and are eyeing Shs 86 million from league sponsors MTN before the end of this month.
Hopes for raising more money also rest partly on the gate collections, which would be enough to raise Shs 100 million at the end of the season, leaving another Shs 100 million to be sought from other sponsorships. Despite the former accusations that the federation has been suffering a lot of incompetence when it comes to the management of finances, Tashobya disputes these allegations.

He says all the money was properly accounted for unlike last term, when former treasurer Chris Kyebambe failed to properly account for Shs 244 million. “It’s for that reason that Fuba came up with a new constitution, where decisions can easily be made and whoever is at fault is easily and quickly dealt with,” he says.
When it comes to the issue of Fuba lacking a venue, Fuba is riding on the completion of the Lugogo indoor stadium. “As soon as they finish, we are ready to talk to MTN and make sure it becomes the venue for most of the games, especially the big games and playoffs,” adds Tashobya.

For now, however, Fuba is under pressure from players over the poor state of YMCA court, which hosts virtually all league matches now. Several teams have complained about the slippery oil paint laid on the ground but not much can be done to solve this problem since the court does not belong to the federation.
“The best we can hope for is to cover up the oil paint with a less slippery paint that will not leave the surface in the same state as it is in now,” he says.

The president still has hopes to professionalise the league by organising friendly matches for the national team. A tournament between the three countries; Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania is yet to be fixed under the names Victoria Cup.

With regard to the small manpower of referees, Fuba plans to conduct a few clinics to train and polish new referees in the hope of increasing their number by the end of this year. This, along with a referee committee meant to address problems with various referees.

UGANDA : Hoops stars to play in Estonia

A group of top East African basketball players have been invited to a camp that includes some of Europe’s top coaches, scouts and coaches in Estonia from July 28 to August 1.

Through VC Sports Solutions, a local basketball specialised agency that manages a string of players in the local league, several players could get an opportunity to join the paid ranks from the camp if they impress.
“During the camp, there will be a tournament, giving Ugandan players a chance to excel. They can be taken up by clubs there,” Joshua Ssentongo, the VC Sports Solutions director, said. Three Enabu brothers; Ivan, Jimmy and Emmanuel, Isaac Afidra, Ben Komakech, Joseph Ikong, Desmond Owili, Sam Gombya, Edwin Kateregga and Norman Blick are the Ugandan players set to benefit.

Warriors coach Mandy Juruni has been sourced to offer technical advice. Currently, Ssentongo is seeking visa waivers from the Germany embassy which handles Estonia consular services. Several European scouts will grace the camp to look out for talents.

06 July 2011

UGANDA : Warriors turn guns on Titans

Today at YMCA
Men: Warriorsv KIU
Women: KCC v Mak Cubs

For all their ability to deliver close shaves in the MTN-Fuba League, KIU Titans find themselves on the wrong end of the standings. Having managed only three victories in six games thus far, KIU face Kyambogo Warriors today at YMCA hoping for better luck as the season nears a short mid-season break.

Something has not been right and Brian Wati is taking note. “I think we need to finish better especially in the final moments of the game,” the KIU centre said after the narrow 71-66 loss to DMark Power.

High turnover rate
In that particular game, coach Nimrod Kaboha’s side committed 39 turnovers. Point guard Collins Onyango committed seven of these to go with eight points. A similar scenario might render this a no-contest basing on the outside quality Warriors will offer in the likes of Ivan Enabu and Ronnie Kasewu.

In addition, whatever KIU has in the size of Moses Olobo, Wati and the enigmatic Nathan Scott can be matched by Michael Kariuki and the Malinga brothers – Eric and Henry. Eric led last year’s losing finalists with 26 points when they smacked 7UP Falcons 92-77 just over 10 days ago. KIU would love to get the ball out of his sweet spots and make more contact on the inside.
In the day’s first game, KCC Leopards play Makerere Cubs in the women’s match.

04 July 2011

UGANDA : Dennis Mbidde: 7Up Falcons will bounce back after rocky start

Written by Dennis Mbidde

Two weeks ago, there was an unprecedented media frenzy when Falcons unveiled a new sponsorship deal worth Shs 130m with soft drink giant 7Up, a new coach in Zsirivar Mwogi as well as star players Phillip Amenyi and Abdullah Ramathan.
In essence, the euphoria reflected the recognition throughout Fuba’s most scrutinised club that handling this season’s enormous expectations would require as much mental rubbing and attention to bonding as pure, hard physical work.
After playing like nervous strangers in their first match in which they lost 77-91 against Warriors, Mwogi wasted no time, making it a point to stress the importance of teamwork. Now, Falcons look smooth-running and spectacular.
This is in sharp contrast to a few days back when several pundits concluded Falcons’ basketball epitaph following the demise of club founder, John Ssimbwa. But as the man tasked with moving Uganda’s most successful team forward, that scepticism didn’t get into my head.
Meanwhile, anticipating the animosity that would follow Falcons’ collection of star players, Mwogi is preaching brotherhood. He senses that players can truly sacrifice for one another only if they cared about and respected one another like family members - a pillar on which Ssimbwa built Falcons’ successes.
Mwogi isn’t alone in his pursuit. Richard Osando Omondi, the team’s engine last season, opened his arms to his new teammates, diffusing any tension with grins and shrugs
If anything, last weekend’s training session provided the perfect glimpse of what to expect of Falcons for the rest of the season. All this, surely, is a mark of a team on a mission. Falcons may be down – two wins in the first five matches – but they are definitely within a shot at the playoffs. And everyone knows what they can do afterwards.
At each of their recent matches at YMCA court, Falcons’ players have faced sold-out, vibrant crowds and throngs of the media. That was unheard of a few years back when the team was the envy of many a basketball fan as it dominated the local scene. The buzz the new ensemble has generated makes them feel, players say, super special.

So, amid the echoing and booing, cheering and jeering, they remain focused. That’s the only way to move forward.

The author is Falcons president

UGANDA : Tashobya retains Fuba seat

The Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (Fuba) elective assembly held at Kati Kati in Lugogo on Saturday unanimously adopted a new constitution reducing the number of executive members from 10 to seven.
These were massive changes as Ambrose Tashobya was returned unopposed as president in addition to most positions on the old executive being scrapped under the new dispensation.

Positions of general secretary and his deputy, treasurer, organising secretary, publicity secretary and the three executive members were scrapped. Tashobya will now have three vice-presidents.
In came Patrick Egwel as vice-president in charge of administration after beating the outgoing deputy Bob Buga with 23 votes to 11.
Yunus Nkutu (technical and competitions) and Robert Musisi (finance) went through unopposed.
Also elected unopposed was Ali Balunywa to lead the media, publicity, marketing and sponsorship commission. Viola Akuma edged Joy Olinga and Sylvia Kaweesa to the women’s commission headship. Justus Mugisha (26) beat Peter Kirabo (9) to the youth, mini-basketball and educational institutions’ responsibility.

The assembly also passed a resolution to appoint a chief executive officer to manage the affairs of the league. Eligible candidates will apply and get interviewed soon.

03 July 2011

UGANDA : Power losing its touch

Written by Dorothy Kyamazima http://www.observer.ug

It’s pretty safe to say that their wins notwithstanding, D’Mark Power have so far flattered to deceive in the local basketball league.

Not so long ago, Power pulled up short when they faced off with Kyambogo Warriors. With that little puncture in their ego, Power, the defending league champions, managed to pick up the pieces. They have gone on a winning streak that has paradoxically won them more doubters than approvers.

During the first two quarters of last weekend’s match between Power and KIU Titans, the doubters were vindicated. Power chased shadows, and it wasn’t until the end of third quarter that the defending champions closed the 13-point margin. This was great news in itself, but the fact that Joseph Ikong only managed two points throughout the match soured things. Power used Richard Balemwa’s 13 points and new recruit Jimmy Enabu’s 11 points to turn around things.

Speaking of Jimmy Enabu, had Power not had the assistance of this shooting guard Jimmy, the game would well have slipped out of the defending champions’ reach.
The duo Jimmy and Emma Enabu seems to be making quite a name for the team. Many pundits reckoned the two star players would take awhile to fit into the team. None imagined they would soon carry the team on their own shoulders so soon.

By the fact that Power won, they might have less to worry about. Many critics have, however, reduced this to papering over the cracks. Big egos look set to hurt the club. Undoubtedly, this team made up of some of the league’s finest has now more than ever started to let the fame go to its head.

Whether it is because of the lack of organisation or the need to be on the score sheet, Power’s prowess has definitely wavered. The only team that managed to capitalise on this was Warriors, but many won’t be surprised if the 7up Falcons also manage to get one up on Power next Friday.

UGANDA : Maryhill in USA for Youth event

The basketball teams of Maryhill High School and St. Mary’s College Namagunga are representing Uganda at the Intercontinental Youth Sports Championship that opened in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday in the United States of America.

The five students of Maryhill High are being led by the school headmistress Ms Margret Atim, accompanied by the school basketball’s coach Mr Denis Katungye.

They are Mercy Omega, Faith Dorothy Ahurira, Melody Musiimenta, Martha Atuhairwe and Bredget Natukunda.

Ms Atim, while briefing the press at National Council of Sports office at Lugogo Kampala said the school was invited to participate in the intercontinental showpiece after being identified among the best teams in East Africa.
The sixth annual Continental Cup International Youth Sports Festival tips off today in Greater Cleveland.
The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will host the four-day event, presented by Cleveland Clinic Sports Health.
The Cup consists of three sports — soccer, baseball and basketball for teams around the United States and internationally.

UGANDA : UCU steal the show from returning Oketcho

M: UCU91-63 Nkumba
W: Stormers 51-76 KCC
Today at YMCA
M: Miracle v Ndejje (post.)
W: A1 v Gladiators (5.30pm)
Division Two
St. Michael v Kings (3.30pm)
Riders v Diamonds(1.30pm)
Division Three
K’la Univ. v Ssaku (11.30am)
Sharing v Crane (9.30am)

Share On a Friday night perfectly set up for Flavia Oketcho to return to the MTN-Fuba League after a near 18-month maternity leave, UCU Canons took most of the plaudits instead.

Though looking rusty, Oketcho scored 14 points and four rebounds to lead former women’s champions KCC Leopards to a resounding 76-51 victory over Giant Stormers.

The small crowd was treated to an even better but one-sided feast as UCU Canons looked like a team ready to fight for the postseason with 91-63 rout of an awful Nkumba Marines team.
Even the conspicuous but unexplained absence of Nick Natuhereza from the UCU bench almost went unnoticed. That is how focused they were to clinch the battle of universities.
Sudi Ulanga led all scorers with 31 points and seven assists to improve the Mukono side’s season to 3-3 in the easiest of fashions. “(This is) one of our worst performances in my memory,” Timothy Odeke, who doubles as Nkumba and KCC coach, said.
His assertion represented the picture wholly as Nkumba trailed 10-31, 17-13, 17-26 and 21-19 in the four periods respectively. UCU even had the luxury of resting the starting five for the final half of the ultimate quarter.
Nkumba could hardly recall anything they did right having looked like relegation candidates on the night. Martin Okwako dropped 14 points and picked eight rebounds whereas Sande Okot (15) was not far behind his UCU teammate. Centre Naftary Msogoti also sat out after an impressive 8-5. In the early game, points guard Oketcho enjoyed a good return without necessarily looking dominant.

Today’s game between Miracle Eagles and Ndejje Universities Angels has been postponed to enable the latter attend the burial of a brother to Crispin Biko in Kisumu, Kenya.

02 July 2011

UGANDA : Tashobya poised for another term

Barring a late decision by a member to stand, Ambrose Tashobya is to be re-elected unopposed as Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (Fuba) president.

The body goes to polls to choose office bearers for the next fours years today and Bob Buga, the current vice-president and previously rumoured to be interested in the top job, has declined to stand. “I am not standing (for president),” Buga said yesterday ahead of the elective assembly to be held at Kati Kati, Lugogo.
Tashobya, also Kyambogo Warriors patron, confirmed his candidature. “Yes, I will stand,” he said. Buga is, however, non-committal about seeking another term as vice-president.
The elections were initially scheduled for April but were postponed to allow time for a financial audit and constitutional review.

KENYA : Strathmore, Wings in tricky Delight ties at Kakamega’s Police Canteen


Strathmore University basketball teams have a tricky outing in their Basketball Premier League matches when they face unpredictable hosts at the Kakamega Police Canteen this weekend.
After surrendering their unbeaten run to champions Kenya Ports Authority (52-36) in Nairobi last weekend, Strathmore’s women face Western Delight at 10am on Saturday.
Hosts Delight have proved capable of shaking giants, having beaten KPA 34-32 at their backyard recently.
The students, who had won nine matches in a row before losing to KPA, will rely on Melisa Akinyi and Faith Owich to register an away victory and remain at the top of the table standings.

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) host Strathmore in a men’s first leg tie expected to be tight.
MMUST lost two matches in a row during their last tour of Nairobi and will use the home court advantage to avenge the defeat.
Led by Lugasi brothers Fred and Alex, MMUST crashed 76-67 to Mennonites before Thunder beat them 89-64.
Strathmore also went down 64-52 to Tigers of the USIU-A. Coach Tony Ochieng will need to inject new ideas to the Strathmore outfit which has started fading out.
Tomorrow, Eagle Wings will also be in Kakamega to take on Delight. Wings, who lie second on the standing with 17 points, will be seeking a win to dislodge Strathmore from the top of the table.
In Nairobi, five matches have been switched to World Hope Centre in Lavington today from 10am but action at Nyayo National

Stadium resumes on Sunday.

Kenya Commercial Bank Lions have a tight match against Blazers at 2pm today while Tigers meet Kenya College of Accountancy

University (KCA-U).

The bankers, with 14 points from five wins and four losses, must find a winning strategy after Thunder edged them out 67-66.
Co-op Bank will be out to improve on their placing in the women’s championship when they meet Mennonites while Flames of the
USIU-A face KCA-U and Kenya Airports Authority entertain Trail Blazers.

Full fixtures

Today – Kakamega: Western Delight v Strathmore University (10am), MMUST v Strathmore (11.30am); Nairobi: KAA v Trail Blazers

(10am), KCA-U v Flames of USIU-A (12pm), Mennonites v Co-op Bank (12pm), Tigers of USIU-A v KCA-U (2pm), KCB Lions v

Blazers (2pm); Tomorrow – Kakamega: Delight v Eagle Wings (10am); Nairobi: ANU v Nairobi (9am), Flames v KCA-U (10.30am),Terrorists v Kenya Polytechnic (12pm), Predators v Gladiators (1.30pm), Co-op Bank v KCA-U (3pm), Mennonites v Tigers (4.30pm)

01 July 2011

BOTSWANA : Drillers disqualified from basketball league


FRANCISTOWN: Basketball league new comers, Drillers have been disqualified after failing to honour two consecutive fixtures. Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) chairperson, Kabo Khama has said the disqualification means the debutants previous results have been nullified. He said Drillers failed to turn up for the game against Thebepahatshwa based Eagles a fortnight ago and the clash against Dolphins.

He stated that the club's officials failed to give valid reason for the failure to honour the fixtures. Khama said the officials claimed that they were not aware of the fixtures. The club did not honour summons to appear before the Disciplinary Committee. Khama explained despite the suspension, Drillers can take part in other BBA tournaments and activities. 'The team remains affiliated to the BBA,' he said. Drillers were struggling at the bottom of the log after losing all the six games it played.

ZIMBABWE : JBC want to keep their titles

By Ellina Mhlanga
Herald 1 July 2011,

JBC coach Addison Chiware is confident in his teams ahead of this weekend's Basketball Union of Zimbabwe national championships finals set for Bulawayo. The championships are pencilled for tomorrow and Sunday and the matches will be played at BCD with 16 teams battling it out in the quarter-finals of the national championships. The men's category will feature defending champions JBC, Raiderz, Kings, Hustlers, Unicoms, Heat, Varsity Leopards and Mercenaries while the women's category is made up of Giants, Platinum Ballers, Lakers, Stormers, Real Returners, Varsity Leopards and title holders JBC.

JBC men's team have been the champions for the past three years and will be out to defend their title while the women's team have won the title twice in the previous years. Chiware said they were hoping to retain the title in both the men and women's divisions. 'Obviously we are taking the games seriously and we really expect a repeat of last year's competition. We know the competition is going to be really high.

'We are going to get ready for a very good quality competition.'We are just hoping we can play better and prevail in both the men and women's categories,' said Chiware. Chiware said he expects his players to play as a team as they want to defend their title. 'It's a team sport and we expect everyone to be playing very well and according to instructions. ' Giants women's team coach Belia Zibowa said they were ready for the competition.

'We are expecting to do very well. Our preparations have been good, we went to Botswana for an invitational tournament and we actually won in the tournament. 'In the preliminary games we beat Varsity (Leopards) one of the best teams in Harare. 'Our aim is to reach the finals and win to get a ticket to represent the country in the Zone Six championships,' said Zibowa. BUZ competitions director Simon Lawson said it will be the battle of the best clubs in the country and he expects a competitive event.

'There are interesting games and you can't underestimate anyone. 'For the teams to qualify it means they have done well. 'These are the best teams in the country and you can not take anything away from them. 'Hustlers are new comers in the men's competition and maybe they will pull a surprise. 'All the teams are targeting to make it into the finals and are fighting for a ticket to the club championships,' said Lawson.

The top two teams from both the men and women's categories will qualify for the Zone Six club championships to be held in Zambia later this year.

Fixtures Quarter-finals
Men: JBC vs Kings, Raiderz vs Hustlers, Unicoms vs Heat, Varsity Leopards vs Mercenaries.
Women: Giants vs Platnum Ballers, Lakers vs Stormers, JBC vs Raiderz, Real Returners vs Varsity Leopards.

NIGERIA : Premier Basketball League: Royal Hoopers BC road to glory

Royal Hoopers basketball club of Port Harcourt last Sunday became the new champion of the Nigeria DStv Premier Basketball League with a 102-72 points victory over highly rated Union Bank basketball club of Lagos at the 2010/2011 DStv PBL Final-8 Playoss finals in Lagos.

Playing away from home the Hoopers with Union Bank basketball club taking an early lead in the early part of the first quarter but Coach Odaudu quick time-out paid off as the Hoopers fought back to shock their opponent in all department of the game winning in all four quarters by 22-21; 23-15; 24-13 and 33-23 to snapped its first league title.

The club won two of the four individual awards on offer with its combo-guard and former Union Bank basketball club captain, Azuoma Dike grabbing the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award and small forward Musa Usman winning the highest rebounder award leaving the highest scorer award and best three pointer award to Abubakar Usman of Kano Pillars basketball club and Oladipupo Oshunnubi of Dodan Warriors basketball club respectively.

UGANDA : Oketcho return boosts KCC

Today at YMCA
M: UCU v Nkumba (8.30pm)
W: Stormers v KCC (6.30pm)
Wednesday results
W: KIU 77-26 Amazon
Div III: Sharing 72-59 Planets

She has won more than two MTN-Fuba League championships but Flavia Oketcho remains as committed and hungry as a debutante.

No wonder when she makes a return to KCC Leopards against Magic Stormers today, her team will start to dream about winning a third championship. “Flavia is a big inspiration and her teammates rally behind her. It’s a big deal to have her back,” KCC coach Timothy Odeke said. “She is so instrumental and will solve our problems at the point guard position where we have been having slight trouble.”

KCC, then defending, lost to A1 Challenge in last year’s semifinals by a whisker while Oketcho embarked on her maternity leave in United Kingdom. “I think with her around, we can go one step better,” an elated Odeke added.
Oketcho, who guided KCC to the title in 2009 on her debut season with the side, has previously told this newspaper that she often plays ‘basic basketball’ to stay fit and it’s now the lasting power to be tested. The fast-dribbling star has also won titles with UCU Lady Canons and women record champions Lady Bucks.

In the men’s topflight division, UCU Canons face Nkumba Marines. Meanwhile, Fuba will hold their elective general assembly at Kati Kati, Lugogo tomorrow.

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