31 December 2011

NIGERIA : Grassroots Basketball - Mark Declares D Ball Tourney Open

Salifu Usman
President of the Senate, Senator David Mark yesterday declared open the 2011 edition of 'Mark D Ball Basketball' competition in Otukpo, Benue State reiterating the need for government and corporate organisation's support to develop sports. He said the sector has the capacity for national unity and integration.
He noted that the yearly tournament which started like mere recreation is now a gathering for future basketball stars. He challenged competitors in the tourney not to leave the championship without putting in their best to ensure growth. In the exhibition game dunked off by Mark, veterans of Otukpo slammed men from Abuja 23 to 17 points.
Alex Nwora of the ERIE Community College, Buffalo, New York, Col. Sam Ahmedu of FIBA - Africa and Obonle Ogbole; coordinator of Mark D Ball competition hailed Mark for promoting sporting activities in the country.

30 December 2011

KENYA : Coop and Wings Prove Best in 2011

Cooperative Bank of Kenya and Eagle Wings retained their crowns beating KCB Lions and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) respectively to become the year's biggest domestic basketball achievers.

The greatest rivalry in Kenyan basketball in both the men's and women's categories saw upbeat Co-op and Wings finish on top. Co-op shut out fellow bankers KCB Lions 2-0 while Wings came from a game down to claim the series 2-1 in the best of three finals.
Co-op narrowly beat KCB 71-69 in a fiercely fought Game One where they received as good as they got. But when Lions thought they were in with a chance in Game two, they found out early that they were no match for the winners who had 15 points from the much travelled Peter Kiganya before wrecking them 79-60. But the architect of the show was non other than diminutive play maker, Titus Musembi.
Wings reclaimed their national title by clobbering KPA 82-65 in the decisive Game Three. The saddest part of the day was the porters decision to boycott the awards ceremony leaving behind their runners up trophy, medals and certificates. KPA had won Game One at their back yard in

Africa Awards 2011
Divine Ndhlukula, Founder and Managing Director of SECURICO, winner of the 2011 Africa Entrepreneurship Award.
Mombasa with a close 53-46 triumph but in Game Two Wings pounded them 68-58 in an entertaining show.
Samba Mjomba led with 22 points, Angela Okoth collected 19 while Silalei Shani scored 17 for the champions. Mjomba and Titus Musembi were named Most Valuable players. The duo bagged Sh5,000 each for their feat during the play off finals.
Basketball Initiative gave out Sh50,000 each to the winners while the runners up were each given Sh20,000. In the same breadth.
Coast branch chairman Hilmi Ali also rewarded Co-op with Sh20,000 and KCB Sh15,000.
In the Lower Division, Kisumu Lakeside, another self sponsored side topped the rest beating University of Nairobi "Terrorists" to claim the title at home. But they had to do it in overtime as they found the campus lads were no pushovers.
At the regional level, Co-op, KCB and KPA were the country's representatives in the Zone Five club competition in Dar es Salaam. After training for weeks Eagle Wings sadly failed to make it to the Tanzanian port city due to financial constraints. KPA found the going tough finishing fourth before finally regrouping to beat home girls Jeshi Stars to win the regional event. Co-op suffered a shock loss at the hands of Burundian side, Urunani.
Both KPA and Urunani then flew the Zone's flag in the Africa club event in Nigeria and Morocco respectively. KPA wound up fifth position losing to eventual winners Inter Clube (Angola) 81-33, First Bank (Nigeria) 93-49, Deep Water (Nigeria) 78-50 and MG Maculoss (Angola) 59-56. It was even worse for the Burundians who finished 10th in the 12 team festival. They went down 77-90 to Al Ahly of Libya, 43-110 to AS Sale of Morocco, 51-70 to Al Ahly Libya and 44-84 to Union Bank Nigeria.
At the national level Kenya sent the women's side to Maputo, Mozambique for the 10th All Africa Games where the team finished sixth, one position short of the last continental festival in Algeria four years ago. The Inter provincial show in Mombasa was dominated by the Nairobi Basketball Association teams with Kenya Airways and Upper Hill School doing the branch proud by making it to the national Division One.
The incoming year (2012) will be an election year.

26 December 2011

RWANDA : APR in talks with forward Malinga

Basketball giants APR are set to finalise the transfer of Ugandan born Eric Malinga from Kampala’s Warriors.

The club’s head coach Cliff Owour told Times Sport yesterday, “We are in talks with Malinga and everything is materializing pretty well.”
   “We are restructuring our club and Malinga is one of the top players in the region. We have thought about him for quite some time, and if we can get, he will help us achieve our set targets in this coming year,” added Cliff.
Malinga is a four-time champion with Falcons before moving to Warriors at the start of last season.
Brian Gumisiriza, a senior player and team manager at Warriors, has left the door open for arguably the best perimeter shooter here.
   “His contract is up for renewal. If he doesn’t move to Kigali, we will renew his contract,” Gumisiriza told the Daily Monitor on Saturday.
Though the local league has been marred with complications, the military side has currently finished the regular season, and going into the playoffs unbeaten with 28 points.
Complications rose recently after rivals and former champions CSK fielded an ineligible player in one of their fixtures. However, the general assembly is set to meet to solve the issue before January 7, 2012.
APR, who finished second last year behind KCB, has great ambitions this year. According to Owour, they want to lift the regional title which will qualify them to compete in the Africa club championship.

24 December 2011

UGANDA : Malinga headed for Rwanda

Warriors are bound to start a rebuilding process with the imminent departure of Eric Malinga.The forward held talks with APR about the possibility of playing for the Rwandese giants next season. Warriors have lost the last two national basketball titles to DMark Power and are currently healing from the pain of the 97-99 defeat last Friday.

Malinga, a four-time champion with Falcons before moving to Warriors at the start of last season, has been part of those losses. “I have spoken to them but it’s not yet conclusive,” he told Saturday Monitor on phone from Kigali yesterday. One of the stumbling blocks in his way now is that the Rwandan League is at the playoffs stage, which will run until January 7. Teams will only review what they need to do after that.
If he pulls it off, it will be the first time Eric plays without his brother Henry, a centre with Warriors. Eric’s move is dependent on securing a job in his profession – accountancy. “The talks have been positive on both fronts – work and basketball,” Eric said before embarking on the return journey.
Brian Gumisiriza, a senior player and team manager at Warriors, has left the door open for arguably the best perimeter shooter here. “His contract is up for renewal. If he doesn’t move to Kigali, we will renew his contract,” Gumisiriza said.
The 2009 champions held a meeting in the aftermath of the nerve-wrecking loss where they threw away a 12-point lead (98-77) with 5.12 minutes to play.

23 December 2011

ZIMBABWE : All Set for Sebastin Masawi Memorial Basketball Tourney

EIGHT teams are expected at the Sebastian Musiiwa Masawi Memorial Basketball tournament set for Redcliff tomorrow.

Four teams from the Southern Region Basketball League - Highlanders, Kings, Unicorns and Steelers - are expected to feature in a tournament that will also be graced by Saints, Fibres, Mbizo and Harare-based Gentlemen Association.
One of the organisers, Walter Mabhena, confirmed the tournament yesterday.
"We have a memorial tournament in Redcliff on Saturday in memory of Rambo (Sebastian Musiiwa Masawi) and eight teams will take part.
"A prominent sponsor, Rambo, died in the United Kingdom three years ago and his family has invited us to this tournament with view of making it an annual tournament.
"All is now set and come Saturday basketball roads will lead toRedcliff and we hope to make it a success," said Mabhena.

KENYA : KPA Face Disciplinary Action

Kenya Ports Authority's women's basketball team faces disciplinary action for boycotting the awards ceremony after losing their national league play-offs final to Eagle Wings at the Nyayo National Stadium last Sunday. Kenya Basketball Federation first vice chairman, Henry Shihemi, and treasurer, Peter Orero, in separate statements also said that KPA women's coach Anthony Ojukwu could be disciplined for leading the players into boycotting the closing ceremony and engaging the referees in a verbal exchange during the tension-packed game three of the final.
Eagle Wings, a self-supporting team, won the decisive game 83-65 to reclaim the trophy they lost to KPA last year.
Ojukwu has also been reprimanded for stopping KPA first aider, Dina Chepyator, from attending to her own player, Brenda Angeshi, who was injured during the match.
"I have never seen anywhere in the world where a first aider is prevented from attending to any player who is injured during a match," Agina Wasonga, a commissioner with the International Basketball Association (Fiba), said.

Team will forfeit trophy
According to Orero, the team will also forfeit this year's runners-up trophy, certificates and medals for boycotting the awards ceremony.
Orero said KPA team captain, Mwajuma Suleiman, was, however, later presented with a Sh20,000 cash award due to the ports women.
On Thursday, the Daily Nation could not reach Ojukwu for comment. But KPA's sports officer, Lennox Safari, who was the team's head of delegation during the game, said he was approached by Shihemi to ask the players to go for the awards ceremony and said he communicated the same to Ojukwu, who declined to lead the players to the ceremony.
"I then called KPA captain Suleiman and told her to convince her team mates to go for the ceremony because my role as head of the KPA delegation at that moment and was to direct the players and coach," he said.
"But Mwajuma told me the coach had told the players not to go for the ceremony. I reported the same to my boss Jane Kamau (KPA's administrator in charge of sports)."
The winners in the men's and women's leagues were each awarded Sh50,000, while second-placed teams got Sh20,000 each.
KPA beat Eagle Wings in Mombasa 43-39 but lost Game Two in Nairobi 68-58 to tie the game 1-1, setting the stage for the decisive Game Three, which Eagle Wings won 83-65 to reclaim the trophy.

UGANDA : 2011 Review - End of Year Honours in Basketball

The 2011 basketball season will go down as one of the most dramatic ever; from the seven-game playoff final thriller, between Dmark Power and Kyambogo Warriors, to the controversial failure of 7Up Falcons to make the playoffs and UCU Canons playing an entire season with just eight players.
Felix Eupal awards the best and worst of 2011.
Regular season MVP Men: Without doubt it's got to be Warriors' Ivan Enabu. His wizardry with the ball was second to none.
Regular Season MVP Women: Flavia Oketcho returned from a long maternity break and straightaway went back to notching three pointers like she hadn't been away. Her performance was the reason KCCA Leopards lost just one game in the regular season.
Defensive player of the Year: The stats don't give the right picture but most players will tell you they endured hell when they faced Canons' Jeff Omondi.
Sixth man of the Year: I give the nod to Richard Balemwa. He hardly started any game but he offered Power the much-needed depth whenever he came off the bench.
Coach of the Year: Bernice Ankunda was the brain behind Power's second successive title. He transformed a team that had 'indiscipline' as their middle name and turned them into a bunch of dutiful soldiers.
Most Improved Player: Sam Gombya is undisputed in this regard and turned from zero to hero, coming off the bench to finish off the Canons in game four of the semis and even tormenting Power in the final.
Rookie of the Year: Nabisunsa's 18-year-old Joy Chemutai is the runaway winner and has every big team eyeing her services after her series of dazzling performances this season.
Worst Player: He follows wherever Norman Blick, his elder brother, goes but despite having four championships to his name, Donald Blick was a disaster in the Miracle Eagles jersey.
Worst Referee: This page wouldn't be enough if I was to note down Peter Kirabo's poor calls.
Mess of the Year: After attracting capacity crowds during the regular season, Fuba knew the numbers would swell during the playoffs and seized the opportunity to make a quick buck by increasing the entry fee by 100% to Shs 10,000.
Some fans exercised their power by shunning the games and opted for the nearest bars, forcing a shamefaced Fuba to reverse the decision.
Men Playoff MVP: It's a tough call between Ben Komakech and Isaac Afidra but my nod goes to Koma for his overall influence and contribution to Power's championship.
Women Playoff MVP: Interestingly, only Ugandans have won the award before but Purity Odhiambo, the Lady Canons' Kenyan import, slightly edges compatriot Moreen Amoding for the award.
She redefined post play in the women's league and is the reason they swept KCCA Leopards 4-0 in the final.

22 December 2011

UGANDA : Slump in Fuba revenue is only tip of task

Basketball is definitely the envy of so many sports disciplines in Uganda. Their games enjoy relative peace and fans come in their thousands without much appealing from the local body, Fuba. Of course, this season never passed without bad incidents like a fan who poured beer on UCU Canons’ guard Geoffrey Omondi or another who struck an umpire with a missile in Game Five of the finals.

This has not been the most successful of seasons for Fuba especially when it came to their bank balance. During last year’s playoffs, Shs68m came through the gates. Just over half of that – Shs35m – was realised this season from the playoffs even though the number of games is exactly the same like last year.
Fuba know they could have made more if the rates were constant from the beginning. It took a media outcry to reduce the fees from Shs10, 000 to Shs5, 000 for ordinary stands. The semifinal games in the playoffs didn’t have big crowds. Fans did return for the latter part as the rates were reviewed downwards and thrill multiplied – sevenfold.

If basketball officials were getting lost in the success of a sport moving in a positive direction with limited support from volunteers and individuals, this should be a wakeup call. The league still needs to be better marketed and packaged to penetrate new audiences with a fan not needing to call up a friend to find out whether there is a game or not.
The media has done its job even when information is often not easy to find. Recently, the Uganda Super League (USL) launched a website – www.usl.ug – and basketball ought to head into cyberspace. There are some people doing basketball a commendable service on the social networking site – Facebook – but not everything found on such channels is factual.
It’s high time this is streamlined to have communication not dependent on having a personal relationship with an official in the federation. Clubs must play their part too. To this day, most clubs fail to attract sponsors despite the marketing potential any company would see in the size of the crowd that crams YMCA court.
Common sense dictates that basketball is headed in a positive direction which cannot be said of so many other disciplines curtailed by maladministration. Like the dwindling bank balance, the sport needs more than the adrenalin rush.

21 December 2011

KENYA : USIU rule in varsity baskteball

USIU on Tuesday roared their supremacy in University basketball after lifting both the women and men’s titles in the finals of the 2011 Inter Universities championship at the KCB Sports club basketball court.

In the women’s finals, USIU rekindled their KBF league rivalry against Strathmore University with the Flames inflicting an eight points defeat on their rivals -The Swords- in a hotly contested match that ended 48-40 in favor of USIU.
Hilda Indiasi led USIU’s assault with a maximum of 14 points “Strathmore is a good side but we just had to win today. Having finished the KBF league without any trophies, this was a must win for us and we are excited to have taken home the title. But it was a tight match.” Said Hilda after the match.
Strathmore coach Sylvia Kamau accepted defeat and said “ It was a tight match. What can we say, we lost and that is sports, you accept defeat and soldier on by rectifying where you went wrong”.

In the men’s finals. It was a fierce battle between USIU and Kenyatta University but in the end USIU proved superior and took home the triumph with a 70-64 win after an entertaining tension packed final match.
In the 3rd and 4th play offs, University of Nairobi took Bronze in the men’s category after a 37 -30 win over Catholic University (CUEA) while Kenyatta University finished 3rd in the women’s play offs with a low scoring 20 -19 win over University of Nairobi.
Kenyatta University took home the overall title after winning 47 gold medals, 25 silver medals and 29 silver medals.Moi University finished second with 13 gold medals, 19 silver medals and 12 bronze while University of Nairobi was third with 9 gold,17 silver and 19 Bronze.
USIU finished 5th overall wit 7 gold, 7 silver and 7 Bronze.

KENYA : Africa title next .

NEWLY crowned national women champions Eagle Wings are now eyeing a continental title after a successful year at the local front. Head coach Thomas Olumbo said Africa was their next focus his girls dethroned Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) 82-65 in decisive Game Three at Nyayo Stadium gymnasium. He said they are as good as any other team in the continent but their problem in the last two years has been the inability to secure a sponsor to take care of their financial needs. “We will be going out early next year to look for a sponsor. We will be talking to people asking them to even sponsor our air fare only while we take care of the rest. This way, I think we will get somewhere,” he said.

The long serving Olumbo, who has also handled the national women’s side, said the team prepared well after losing Game 53-46 to KPA in Mombasa. “I am happy the way my girls responded in the last two games to take the crown. After we lost the opening series tie in Mombasa, we had a lot of time to train together and this is one reason why we were unstoppable,” he said.
Agina Wesonga, the asistant team manager repeated Olumbo’s sentiments, saying they will go the extra mile not to disappoint the players once again after failing to travel to Dar es Salaam at the last minute. “We missed the zonal tournament in Tanzania this year due to finances after training so hard for the event,” he said, adding: “But I can assure you next year we will enter the team for the show.
Wings, a successful self-sponsored side won their first national title in 2009, shutting out their bitter rivals KPA. The dock women reclaimed it a year later before going down again this year. Last year, they won the Zone Five tournament in Bujumbura, Burundi after beating APR of Rwanda in the final. But they could not travel to Bizerte, Tunisia for the prestigious Africa Club Championships due to finances. Agina said they intend to fly in star players— Dubai-based Rose Ouma (guard) and USA-based Anastacia Njeri (forward) for the Africa club event. Ouma and Njeri are both national team players. The Africa Club Championship will bringing together 12 of the best clubs on the continent. KPA was in Lagos, Nigeria early this month but lost four of the five matches during the event.
Meanwhile, Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) have warned of a severe disciplinary action against KPA after they boycotted the award ceremony following their defeat against Eagle Wings The KBF first vice chairman Henry Shihemi and treasurer Peter Orero said they will issue an official letter to KPA about the conduct of the team coach Anthony Ojukwu. “We have been embarrassed by your coach in the presence of our sponsors and other guests. Ojukwu is not helping us and the game grow.
As the chairman of the technical committee, I have heard complains about him and I am seeing this for the first time. I am not happy.” Shihemi told the team head of delegation. He said there must be change of attitude at the KPA technical bench if this team is to go far. He said the guests snubbed by KPA had brought in Sh150,000 as awards to the top teams. “Ojukwu even refused to have a team doctor attend to an injured player onto the court and besides called one of my match officials names while he had made the call as per the rules.” he said.

20 December 2011

UGANDA : Power Class

It is understandable that for the majority the lasting memory of one of the most dramatic play-off series in Ugandan basketball history will be the big three Isaac Afidra sunk from downtown to turn Game Seven on its head as the clock wound down. For me though it is one particular scene amidst the mayhem following the final whistle that left a lasting impression.
Going into the decider under immense pressure considering the manner in which the Warriors had evened the series a few days earlier, the Power team had still had the presence of mind to bring along Robert Wanitho, their teammate who had broken his leg in that Game Two loss that had seemed to hand the title to their rivals. Now triumphant after the great comeback in the series and in the final game, the Power players had Wanitho pick up the hard-earned trophy for them. It is the kind of gesture that provides evidence of and lends hope to my belief that the commercialism that has taken over and adulterated sport has after all not robbed us of all the core values that were the initial attraction.
It would have been easy for Afidra, Ben Komakech and all the other on-court heroes of Power to bathe in the glory of victory and forget about the 25yr-old centre who had not really contributed and who in only his second year with the club was not yet the 'family member' that, say, long serving Joseph Ikong is. But, credit to the champions, they didn't. In doing that Power showed true class, and it wasn't lost on me that Isaac Lugudde, the player with the closest ties to and who most exemplifies the lifestyle of the USA, the birthplace of basketball and home to the capitalism that ripped the soul out of sport, was at the forefront of this old-fashioned sporting gesture. It reminded me of Barca handing the La Liga and Champions League trophies to Eric Abidal, following his recovery after surgery on the tumor on his liver that had threatened not just his career but his life.
Having resisted the evils of commercialism by grooming their own 'raw material' rather than buying 'finished goods' as well refusing shirt sponsors for long, Barca have now succumbed. But playing in a country where racism in sport is rife, and in a region where tribalism is the order of the day, it was good for sport that Barca honoured a black Frenchman so. It is the true Power of sport.

19 December 2011

KENYA : Samba Mjomba named 2011 Most Valuable player

After a splendid second season with Eagle Wings, Samba Mjomba was named the most Valuable player of the season 2011 during the finals of the Kenya Basketball Federation premier league played at the Nyayo stadium gymnasium on Sunday. Eagle Wings won the title with a 2-0 win over arch rivals KPA.
Samba was instrumental in her team’s 2011 success, she attributes the achievement to hard work, focus, self discipline and team work.
“I thank God for the season, it has been great and I appreciate the efforts by my team mates for making it happen. We have worked so hard the whole season to get back our title.” This is my first championship title in my career and so excited, there are better things to come.” She said.
To recognize her hard work, Samba received a trophy from Kenya Basketball Federation for being the most Valuable Player MVP,5,000 shillings from basketball initiatives and an assortment of basketball kit from michezoafrika that included playing shoes, protective gear and a basketball.
“Am so humbled to receive all this. Being named an MVP is not an easy fete, I just can’t explain how excited I am at this moment. Thank you to all of you guys for all the support, I will work harder to ensure I even achieve better heights next season and during the regional championship.” She added.
She joined Eagle Wings basketball team in 2010 from USIU- Flames.She was a student at Moi Girls high school Nairobi where she developed her basketball career.

KENYA : Eagle Wings shake off KPA’s challenge in league play-off .

EAGLE Wings beat reigning national women champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) 68-58 in an entertaining Play-off final Game Two at Nyayo Stadium gymnasium. Eagle Wings got off the blocks forcefully, taking a 4-0 lead through two quick baskets by Rebecca Sarange and Angela Okoth; but KPA charged back to tie 4-4 tie courtesy of a shot from Brenda Angechi.

KPA trailed 18-8 in the first quarter but did well in the second as impressive forward Carol Mureji started to cause havoc. The losers closed down the victors 15-17 before going trailing again 33-25 at the breather. At the start of the third quarter, Linda Nyikuli and Okoth baskets saw the game move in Wings favour as they raced away 49-36. But once again KPA fought back into this top contention before a surprisingly near empty gymnasium.
It was Angela Okoth efforts that saw Wings surge ahead again 66-51 after Rebecca Sarange nailed a free shot. Okoth led all scorers with 21 points, Silalei Shani shot 16 while Samba Mjomba bagged 10. Mureji popped in 14 with Miriam Awuor sinking 12 for KPA who never took a lead in the proceedings.

18 December 2011

KENYA : KPA or Eagles ?

After yesterday’s game, the entire KPA bench was in denial. “That was not our game, let’s wait and see what happens on Sunday". The saying was common in the KPA camp including from the coach who remained confident they will shake off Saturday’s weak outing to retain the title.

On the other side, Eagle Wings went back to re-strategize on how best they can finish off the week with a coup against their fierce rivals who dethroned them last season.To read Saturday's match report click here
KPA have found themselves in the same tricky situation that they put Eagle Wings into last year at the same stage of the Premier League finals. Last season, KPA lost their first match at home in Mombasa to Eagle Wings but recovered to win game two and three in Nairobi.
Both teams have to win today’s tie where only one will be the winner or will be in tears after 40 minutes. Today’s game will probably be the longest forty minutes the players of both teams have ever experienced and any time outs, end of quarter breaks and halftime break will be a great relief to the players.
Both sides were good during game two played on Saturday, staging an intelligent game from the second quarter. KPA were made to pay for their first quarter errors when they had not settled into the game.
What if there will be a tie after the first quarter today? Then fans will be assured of a more thrilling than Saturday’s. KPA are known to pick up as the game progresses and should Wings let them tie up or even lead from the first quarter, then they would be staring a defeat.
If KPA take 7 minutes to settle into the game like they did during game two on Saturday, it will be almost impossible to overturn tables against an Eagle Wings team with a dreaded defense.
The beauty of basketball is that when the athletic aspect of a player is depleted and he cannot gather enough strength to be quick as he began the game then the technical aspect comes in. in this bothcoaches are heavily endowed and it will be a ‘wait and see’ for the fans.

TANZANIA : Mwanza Cruise Into Taifa Cup Basketball Final

MWANZA men's basketball team solidified their title chase in the Taifa Cup tournament after cruising to the final with a 74-62 victory over Unguja in a semi-final clash at the Leaders Club venue in Dar es Salaam on Friday.

Mwanza, which is one of strong favourites for the title, put solid performance against the Isles outfit and showed signs of emerging victors after commanding a 67-51 lead midway through the last quarter.
The winner's veteran player, Kizito Bahati, was delighted by the victory and told the 'Daily News' shortly after the match that his side is determined to go all the way and lift the trophy particularly after clearing the biggest of the hurdle, when it knocked rivals, Mbeya, out of the quarter-finals.
Mwanza's opponent in the final, which is expected to be played at the Leaders Club venue on Saturday, was to be determined in the Friday's second men's semi-final between Lindi and Singida, which was taking place at the same venue in the evening.
Mwanza, popularly known as the 'Rocky City Boys,' had previously qualified for the semi-finals with a 56-42 win over Mbeya in an entertaining quarter-final duel played at the Don Bosco venue earlier in the morning.
Juma Kisoky scored 18 points, Vincent Shinda had 16 points and Adam Jegame added six points to steer Mwanza to victory and stay on course for winning the title that has eluded them for the past few years.
Mbeya were no pushovers in the match and will be credited for showcasing a spirited performance to push their opponents throughout despite losing.
The team had an edge over Mwanza in the first quarter, in which the team's guards managed to put away most of their shots whenever they pushed forward and the former's game plan looked to have gone well until midway through the quarter, when Mwanza started taking command of the game.
Mwanza players made timely blocks and steals, whilst pushing forward to score and reduce the points' margin considerably thanks largely to the exploits of playmaker, Adam Jegame.
Mwanza was the stronger side in the second quarter as the team's attacking flair picked up tremendously and with Jegame efficiently driving play on the flanks, it was not surprising to see the side dominate and eventually lead 26-20 at the breather.
Jegame then picked a head injury after colliding with Mbeya's guard, Lusajo Samwel, when the duo was battling for a rebound down Mbeya's post and the gifted Mwanza playmaker had to be substituted for veteran guard, Kizito Bahati, whose presence helped Mwanza continue to stay in control for the remainder of the second quarter.
The game was a balanced affair in the third quarter as both sides attacked in turns but Mbeya, surprisingly, lacked composure in front of Mwanza hoop and thus missed a series of attempts in the process.
Mbeya also won more free throw chances in the quarter, but, again, missed a good number of them and the team was punished for its profligacy as Mwanza continued to widen the margin whenever the latter pushed forward.
Mbeya's scorers of points were Lusajo Samwel with 12 points, Humphrey George (seven points), Adam Aaron (six points) and Oswald Maboko (five points).
Mwanza was expected to face Unguja in the men's first semi-final at the same venue later in the afternoon after the Isles' outfit defeated Morogoro 52-33 in the morning quarter-final match also played at the same venue.
The semi-final matches of the women category were also scheduled to take place at the Leaders Club venue the same day, in which Mbeya and Morogoro were to clash in the first match before Pemba met Unguja in what promised to be an exciting duel.

TANZANIA : Mbeya Ladies Sink Pemba to Lift Taifa Cup Title

MBEYA women basketball team emerged champions of this year's Taifa Cup Championship after beating Pemba 67-60 in a gripping final played at the Leaders Club venue in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

Faraja Malaki (39 points) and Veronica Patrick (eight points) were instrumental in Mbeya's victory, although the side had to endure stiff opposition from Pemba throughout the four quarters of the duel.
Mbeya started the match impressively and went on to lead 23-10 in the first quarter but their opponents chalked a 20-15 lead in the second quarter to see the former manage a slim 38-30 lead at the breather.
Faraja, who was in fine form in the game, tormented Pemba guards and scored almost at will and the mercurial playmaker, who also turns out for Dar es Salaam's Jeshi Stars at the club level, enjoyed much support from Nipael Kessy in putting Pemba ladies at bay.
Pemba ladies came out much stronger on resumption and had Amina Ahmed and Sada Ahmed as their most potent weapons in their attempt to reduce the score margin and eventually turn tables on Mbeya.
Faraja and Nipael continued to forge a stunning teamwork spirit with the rest of their team mates to see their team take a 60-47 lead in the third quarter before Pemba began replying with a series of swift moves to score and reduce the margin.
Sada exhibited her three-point scoring skills to add points for her side and helped Pemba draw to within three points adrift of Mbeya midway through the fourth quarter.
The men's final, though, was mired in controversy, in which three outfits of Singida, Mwanza and Unguja entered the venue and claimed the right to play the match before Mwanza eventually exited the venue to give room for the other two sides to play the final.
Although Mwanza qualified for the final with a 74-62 victory over Unguja in the semi-final played at the same venue on Friday, the latter filed a protest to the Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) claiming Mwanza fielded two more players in their previous 12-man list in the tournament contrary to the rules of the event. Unguja won the protest and was given the right to play in the final.

UGANDA : Irresistible Afidra delivers fifth heaven for Power

An effervescent MTN-Fuba League best-of-seven series final fittingly came down to the final shot before DMark Power edged Warriors 99-97 to defend their title at YMCA court on Friday night.

The phenomenal crowd watched the final seconds on their feet. They surely had to.
This hair-raising clash was a great advert for Ugandan basketball and the debate about whether a limping Ivan Enabu remains the best player to have never won a championship continues in earnest.
Point guard Ben Komakech got the winning baskets from the foul line with three seconds to play to end a nerve-wrecking series, which Power clinched 4-3 to make it three titles in four years.
Unlike his previous MVP crowns (2008 and 2010), the latest conquest was delivered by Isaac Afidra. The forward, now an MVP contender along with Komakech, scored a game-high 29 points and 15 rebounds.
None came bigger than a long three-pointer, which gave Power the lead (97-96) with nine seconds to play in a game Warriors must feel they threw away.
The 2009 champions, who once held a 2-0 lead in this series, losing three in succession before forcing a decider, had a 12-point advantage (89-77) with 5.12 to play.
Even as Power fought with their customary full court press, it was still Warriors’ championship to lose at 95-93. Ronnie Kasewu could have grown the margin to four, only to miss two from the charity line in a game he surely lost for a side he helped win their only title.

Komakech, scorer of 27 points and 13 rebounds, pulled it within one and Kasewu again only made one of two. “He (Komakech) is a good player and was consistent,” a disappointed Kasewu, struggling to speak, said.
It was now Warriors 96-94. Enter Michael Kariuki. Just like the semifinals against UCU Canons, the centre, formerly with Power, celebrated when fouled only to miss both. The reprieve never came this time.
That Afidra moment followed. He too could have been a villain as he failed to convert two on the line thereafter.
Warriors’ Steven Okias (28) must have thought overtime was here when he made one of his two to tie the thriller at 97-up with four seconds to play.
There was still time for Afidra to foul out and Kasewu to needlessly impede Komakech literally ensuring that Power completed a maiden defence and five titles in total, just one behind record champions Falcons.
Warriors’ coach Mandy Juruni called a time-out. Upon emerging, the inbound went to Eric Malinga, whose elder brother Henry (16) had been ejected.
He went in but couldn’t add to his 12 points, shooting an air ball under pressure. “I am happy to be part of this team. This team is a unit and (Bernice Ankunda) is the best coach I have worked under,” Afidra said.
The memory of losing the Blick brothers – Norman and Donald – to Miracle Eagles and Robert Mubiru (family) this season is irrelevant. Power fans had filled the court whereas Warriors sat quietly on their bench, mourning in unison holding back tears. These were 40 long minutes and both sides could have easily notched three figures.

UGANDA : Enabu still has to wait as brothers celebrate

Denis Enabu ran on to the YMCA court when the final buzzer sounded on Friday night to bring an end to an exciting best-of-seven MTN-Fuba League final series like a firefighter.

His quickness was matched by hordes of DMark Power fans celebrating a narrow 99-97 win over Warriors to complete a successful defence of the national basketball title.
Unlike all other fans who knew where their allegiances fell, Denis, a pilot in Canada, here for his annual holiday, must have had torn loyalties.
Three of his younger brothers he taught how to play had been on the floor - Warriors’ Ivan plus the Power duo of Emmanuel and Jimmy. All with a common family name – Enabu.
Denis chose to embrace Ivan first and whisper into his left ear for minutes before congratulating the other two. He surely felt his pain.

Ivan has still failed to match what Emmanuel (twice) and Jimmy have accomplished.
Another brother – Mark – and sister – Evelyn have also won the national title with Power (2008) and UCU lady Canons (2008) respectively.
By far the most popular from the family, the extremely skilled Ivan, MVP when Uganda won the Zone V Nations Championship in 2005, still doesn’t have a national title.
Figures of 92 points and 33 assists at an average of 13.1 in a series where he played through a painful groin and suffered an ankle in the decider, limiting his movement, deserve a championship.
He spent six years at UCU Canons where he was joined by Jimmy in his final year there.
Before Jimmy offered a helping hand, Ivan lost in two semifinals and together, they lost to Warriors in the semis last year.
They moved on and the Ivan-wait goes on. No wonder he couldn’t speak and his eyes were red, holding back tears.

UGANDA : Power beat Warriors to win Fuba championship

Isaac Afidra scored a screaming three-pointer in the dying moments for DMark Power to stun Warriors 99-97and lift the MTN Fuba League at YMCA on Friday night. Power have now become the second men’s team to defend a championship after six-time winners Falcons.

The clash between Power and Warriors last season were so bruising and there has been so little to separate the two sides in this year’s best-of-seven series. But Warriors will feel hard done to lose the title after winning the opening two games of the series. Only them know how they let Power go on a three-game winning run before they pegged them back in Game Six. Even in the decisive clash, Warriors looked destined for victory for the bigger part. Power though have their password. Before Afidra’s three-pointer, Warriors had a slight control of the game, leading 96-94 game. They could have even stretched it but Michael Kariuki missed two on the foul line. Regrettably for the Warriors, Kariuki celebrated before he attempted his shots! And shortly after his miss, Afidra did the damage on the transition. With Power enjoying a one-point advantage – 97-96 – Afidra found himself on the line but converted none of the two throws. Just shortly after, Warriors’ Stephen Okias had a chance of reclaiming the advantage for his side but could only level the scores 97-97. When the usually composed Ben Komakech got onto the line, Warriors hopes were completely dashed. He sunk two from the line to seal the grueling clash, which will not leave basketball fans’ memories very soon. Warriors, beaten in the finals by the same side last season, started the soul-searching again.

17 December 2011

KENYA : Thriller as Eagle Wings face KPA in finals

Former Champions Eagle Wings have their work clearly cut out when they meet a tough KPA side this afternoon at the Nyayo gymnasium, this is game two of the best of three finals. Wings have to win the next two games to snatch the crown from KPA but they are well aware that KPA is some menace and beating them consecutively is some Herculean job. The former Kenyan champions have to be extra smart when they face the current East and Central Africa Clubs Champions, this has been projected to be a thriller with both sides sounding extra confident. Coach Olumbo’s nickname of ‘Smart’ must be portrayed by his side especially on how they will contain KPA’s duo of Brenda Angeshi and Hellen Okech.
“We want to finish this game today and take our trophy back to Mombasa, No third match, we are prepared and ready for today’s clash.” Said Hellen Oketch.
In the likes of Shani Silalei, Samba Mjomba and Angela Okoth, coach ‘Smart’ boasts of an experienced side but he’s well aware the dock women match his side almost in every aspect and should his side commit any small error, they will pay the price by handing KPA the crown.
Eagle Wings are obviously under pressure and must win today’s match if they hold hopes of reclaiming the title they won in 2009. In this game, fans are assured of nothing short of a thriller unlike last weekend one-sided affair between KCB Lions and COOP Bank.

16 December 2011

KENYA : KBF FINALS - Eagle Wings vs KPA preview


These two sides have proved to be the finest Kenyan basketball sides and each time they meet, fans are certain of a thrilling encounter. The two meet for the third time this season on Saturday to decide the 2011 KBF Champions.
In the past two encounters each side has a single win after Eagle Wings failed to travel to Mombasa for their away league match.In the first match of the best of three played in Mombasa, KPA won 53-46.
For the dock women, they are out to defend their crown and only a win out of the two games to be staged this weekend will get them to the crown.KPA arrived in Nairobi on Thursday and are ready for the task ahead keen to burry the match on game two.
KPA bring Africa Clubs Championships experience while Wings believe they have been and are still a good side, ripe for a stab at the crown. Tomorrow’s game is thus a perfect opportunity for either team to stamp its authority and show dominance over the other.
Eagle Wings will tomorrow rely on the speed of Angela Akinyi, the skills of Samba Mjomba and the power of Shani Silalei but KPA is expected to respond in equal measure with their evergreen trio of Salma Akinyi, guard Hellen Okech and Brenda Angeshi in their bid to defend their trophy won last year at the Nyayo gymnasium.
Game two of the best of three series will be staged on Saturday 17th December from 4pm. Eagle Wings will be keen to avoid a repeat last year’s finals when they failed to win just a single game and be crowned the champions after winning game one at KPA’s Mombasa backyard

15 December 2011

UGANDA : Warriors in Make or Break Encounter

THE Kyambogo Warriors can force a decisive game 7 showdown and earn a chance to claim the basketball title if they manage to overcome the favored D'Mark Power in tonight's 8pm clash at the YMCA.

Thought Game 5 would be another defensive showdown? You weren't alone, but the offensive fireworks really came out for both squads last weekend. After four grueling defensive battles, an offensive explosion took place in Sunday's Game 5 of the 2011 FUBA league finals.
It was another thrilling matchup between two determined teams, a make-or-miss contest in which Power used their superior shot-making ability to close out the Warriors. And in the end, Power made enough shots to overcome their defensive lapses en route to a 77-70 victory Sunday night to take their first 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Now the MTN basketball league finals head back to the YMCA court tonight as Warriors aim to do their darnedest to come from behind for the second time in the Finals to capture the title.
Warriors enter this primetime clash looking for a victory and a chance to force a decisive game 7 where winner takes all. Power meanwhile only need one win and an opportunity to claim their second successive title in two years.

Warriors to force this series to seven games
The Warriors and their "All-Star Trio" find themselves facing elimination as they return to the YMCA for Game 6. If Warriors hope to force a championship-deciding Game 7, they must defend much better than they did in Game 5.
Allowing a team to shoot 56 percent from the field and 68 percent from beyond the arc simply cannot happen in the men's division 1 finals-especially when you call yourself a defensive team.
Defense is all about effort, heart and determination. The Warriors must show that they have the heart to do whatever it takes to get the job done on the defensive side of the floor. They must fight over the top of screens, shut off penetration and contest every single shot'"even if they do all of that, Warriors still have to hope that Power misses shots.
As talked about in earlier previews, Warriors' supporting cast has been one of the biggest factors in the team's performances throughout the playoffs.
If Brain Gumisiriza and Sam Gombya can match that huge impact they've mustered (albeit primarily at the playoffs) and Jude Ocen finds his shooting rythm, Power will find it incredibly difficult to hang on offensively, especially the way Warriors offense has buckled down on the Power swith-up defense.
Power's 1-2-2 zone defense has for the past three games completely shut down the Warriors and it could play a pivotal role again today if the Kyambogo-based side does not find a way to break it down.
For Power, Game 6 is an opportunity to realize another dream. To seize that opportunity, they must play with great energy and limit the energy of their opponents.They must take full advantage of the opportunity that Game 6 presents.
However, the way this series has shaped out thus far, the only suitable conclusion would be to say there could easily be a can't-miss seventh and deciding game later in the week.

NIGERIA : Enterprising Ikyaator Powered Union Bank Past Urunani

Nigeria international point guard, Orseer Ikyaator was in superb form yesterday scoring 23 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds to help Union Bank basketball club secure a 40 points margin victory over Urunani basketball club of Burundi at the final round of the 26th FIBA Africa Champions Club for Men in Rabat, Morocco.

Ikyaator good court vision and decision proved too much for the Burundian who were overwhelm by the 'Stallion Boy' as the Nigerian are also known as they powered to second victory in a group-A game of the preliminary round of the champions cup.
The game which was the second of game Day-3 saw Union Bank winning in all four quarters by 18-12, 17-10, 24-11 and 25-11 points as they observe today as rest day.
Other Union Bank players who recorded a double figure include Nigeria international combo-guard Mohammed Bukar with 13 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds and William Ndounmbe scoring 12 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists while centre Godspower Igben grabbed 13 rebounds for the Nigerian side who defeated ASB Mazembe basketball club of Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday at the magnificient Salle Athallah Bouzzaoui gymnasium in Rabat by 68-49 points having lost its group-A opening game to Angolan league champion GDR Libolo basketball club 80-85 points on Monday.
Union Bank search for a comfortable finish in the group continue on Friday when it file out against Benghazi, Libya-based Al Ahly basketball club before confronting host club Association Sportive de Sale basketball Club (AS Sale) of Morocco on Saturday.
Union Bank head coach Ayinla Johnson describe the 40 points margin victory over Urunani as a sign of good things to come from his wards who could only manage to record three points in the third quarter against Mazembe on Tuesday.

14 December 2011

KENYA : KPA basketball star Mwajuma out of comma

KPA basketball star Mwajuma Suleiman is currently recuperating at a Mombasa hospital where she was admitted immediately after her team landed in Nairobi from Nigeria where they took part in the 2011 FIBA Africa Basketball Club championshp.The team returned on Monday 12th December from Nigeria.
During the club championship in their final match against Malucosso of Angola, Mwajuma collided with an opponent and received a heavy knock on her back with doctors suspecting she could have injured her spinal cord.
According to team coach Anthony Ojukwu, Mwajuma went into a comma for two days when in Nigeria and was admitted in a Nigerian hospital but has been improving steadily.
“It was a very nasty injury, doctors are suspecting she could have injured her spine but we are yet to receive a detailed report after the scans conducted on Tuesday.Since we arrived in Mombasa she has been improving and can now manage to walk.” Said Coach Ojuku who blamed the extent of the injury to lack of proper medical facility on the court at the time of the injury.
“There was no ambulance and no qualified doctors to take care of her when she fell after the knock, it took a very long time to get her to hospital thus worsening the injury.” Added Ojukwu. “But we are happy she can now walk and talk a good sign of quick recovery.”

TANZANIA : Pemba, Unguja Ladies March Into Taifa Cup Basketball Quarters

Pemba became the first region to sail through the women's quarterfinals of the Taifa Cup basketball championship going on at the Leaders Club grounds in Dar es Salaam.
Despite losing their last game to Mbeya by 58-74 points, Pemba made it to the quarters set to throw off starting Friday at the same venue.
Pemba who finished all its group matches qualified for the round after attaining five points when they won four out of five matches.
Mbeya's well experienced players Faraja Malaki and Nipael Kessy who carried the day despite some resistance from Pemba, who started slowly and picked up with quick and long passes.
Unguja who are in group B have also made it to the quarter finals after managing four points with two matches in hand.
So far the Mainland teams for the quarters are expected to be known on Wednesday. In Tuesday's men encounters Tabora humiliated Kilimanjaro by 102-58 points in a dull and one sided game at the same venue.
Tabora's Francis Mlewa and Tumsifu Apollo were instrumental for their team's victory as they scored 22 and 15 points respectively.

KENYA : Poor preparation cost KPA in Africa Club event .

KENYAN teams must change the way they prepare for continental championships if they are to make a mark in the competitions, an international referee revealed yesterday. Juma Kent, Fiba international referee and coach, who accompanied Kenya Ports authority (KPA) to the 17th edition of the Africa women championships in Lagos, Nigeria said the team suffered heavy defeats because they were ill prepared for the task ahead. He said KPA need a serious training programme if they are to succeed. “KPA have participated in this championships for long but they have never made a mark.

The recent event in Nigeria exposed them as one of the worst teams in the tournament,” he observed adding: “the institution must now invest in new players.” Kent said KPA lacked a play-maker to drive the team and did not have reliable players at the post to score and rebound. KPA finished bottom of five team event, losing all their four matches and winning a match courtesy of a walkover. “KPA didn’t have a play maker who could feed the post players and this is why they were beaten.”

UGANDA : Caged Warriors plot jail escape


M: DMark Power vs. Warriors (8.30pm)
(Power lead series 3-2)
Div. 2: Rez Life vs. Vegetarian (6.30pm)
(Series tied 2-2)

An MTN-Fuba League best-of-seven final series that promised so much has lived up to its billing. First, Warriors did call the shots by winning the first two games to take a 2-0 lead. The tables have turned dramatically now as DMark Power have won three on the bounce to assume a 3-2 lead and can complete the defence of their crown with victory in Game Six at YMCA court today.
It’s not a new position for Warriors who need a dramatic jail escape to force a decider scheduled for Friday. They trailed 2-1 against UCU Canons in the five-match semifinal series but managed to win 3-2.
Perhaps, last year’s final is even a bigger inspiration. The 2009 champions came from 3-0 down against Power before surrendering their title in Game Seven.
Achieving that will need Ivan Enabu to play his lungs out despite a painful groin. The injury he suffered months ago flared up in the 70-77 loss on Sunday night. He took several medical timeouts.

The guard, signed from UCU in the off-season following the departure of Abdullahi Ramadhan to Falcons, has been the most productive player offensively in the finals so far with 74 points, 24 assists and 27 steals. Without him, it could be a catastrophe. What is lacking is the support for Enabu as the other notable guard Jude Ochen has laboured through the season. 
All this is not helped by the fact that Ronnie Kasewu has almost been converted from a guard to a forward. You cannot take anything away from Power as they have done their homework well. They are running as usual with the influence of Isaac Afidra and Michael Kojo keeping Warriors’ big men relatively quiet.
After the blowout wins in the first three games, two for Warriors (88-73, 80-61) and one for Power (85-55), the last two have been close. “I think we have made wrong decisions at crucial stages,” noted Warriors centre Henry Malinga. He opted to pass to Ochen to shoot a three and not turn and shoot as they lost 77-78 in Game Four on Saturday.
Power have never managed to defend any of their four league titles thus far and need no reminders on how they almost let last year’s slip out of their grasp. “I have never looked at it that way. That’s history now,” Power coach Bernice Ankunda said. “It will be such a big accomplishment but also a huge challenge to build a legacy. We need to work harder now.” Ankunda is ticking all the right boxes while Warriors’ Mandy Juruni must be wondering what has hit him after a near-perfect 17-1 in the regular season.

Juruni knows he has at least one more chance to rectify the situation.

13 December 2011

KENYA : Eagle Wings vs KPA finals confirmed for this weekend

The second match of the best of three womens’ Basketball premier league play offs has been confirmed for this weekend Saturday 17th December in Nairobi at the Nyayo gymnasium. The match between archrivals Eagle Wings and KPA of Mombasa had twice been postponed to allow the 2010 champions take part in this year’s African Club championship in Nigeria.

KPA lost all her matches in the tournament and failed to progress to the semi finals but they are seeking to retain the Kenyan title they won last year with a second straight win over Eagle Wings.KPA won game one in Mombasa at the Makande hall
But this will not be an easy task owing to the fact that they will be playing away. KPA won the first match in Mombasa 53-46.
“We will not let them walk over us at home again, we are well prepared to make it one all and go to the final stretch in game three.” Said Janet Okoth of Eagle Wings.
During last year’s final, Eagle Wings won the first match in Mombasa but lost the second and third in Nairobi under their nose at home. If history is anything to by in this match, then there is no clear favorite though KPA stand a better chance especially after the exposure gained in Nigeria from the club championship.

12 December 2011

NIGERIA : D' Tigers to Play Olympics Playoffs in Venezuela

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has slated the men's Olympic qualifying tournament for Venezuela.

The decision was taken at their second and final meeting of 2011 in Madrid, Spain. The Nigerian senior team grabbed the playoffs spot earlier this year at the Nations Cup in Madagascar. Joining Nigeria and the hosts in the tournament are Angola, Dominican Republic, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Greece, Jordan, Korea, Lithuania, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and Russia. The 2012 edition will take place 2-8 July. The 12 teams will be divided into four groups of three teams. The top two teams from each group will progress to the quarter-finals. The two winning semi-finalists will qualify for London alongside the winner of the third-place playoff. Nigeria currently stands 21st in the FIBA rankings and missed the qualification spot available at the African Championships in August. She is, however, aiming to use the playoff to consolidate for a first Olympic Games men's showing.
Derrick Obasohan Nigeria's leading point scorer at the African Championships believes the country has a chance. "I definitely will be playing for Nigeria in the Olympic qualifying. Although I was born in the US, my parents, grandparents and brothers were born in Nigeria.
"To me, it means a lot to represent Nigeria. I have been talking to a lot of players who want to play for the national team. "All of them show great passion to represent Nigeria. For many of us, it means a lot to play for Nigeria."
Nigeria has a strong squad with players like Mike Efevberha, Lokomotiv Kuban guard Ben Uzoh and Spartak Primorye's Deji Akindele.

UGANDA : Power closes in on basketball crown

Game 6-YMCA court Warriors vs Power- December 14th, Wednesday, 6pm
Game 5 Results: Division 1
Power 77 Warriors 70
(Power leads series 3-2)
Division 2
Rez Life 56 Vegetarians 55
(Series tied at 2-2)

THE FACTS: D’MARK Power is one win away from successfully defending their championship title following Sunday's 77-70 defeat of the Kyambogo Warriors in Game 5 of the MTN Basketball Finals.
Richard Balemwa tugged on the edges of his jersey and took a good, long look at the rim before draining a dagger-installing 3-pointer with 9 seconds left on the clock, icing the game for Power and choking whatever life was left in the Warriors surge.
Balemwa's shot was the fitting end to a roller coaster ride that included two dramatic shifts in the final six minutes of a game, and really thrilling series that has seen dozens of emotional shifts for both sides over the past 10 days.
Balemwa went 4-for-4 from beyond the arc on Sunday for Power just 24-hours after the team had claimed a narrow 78-77 victory over the Warriors on Saturday. Teammates Michael Kojo had 19 points, Joseph Ikong scored eight of his 21 points during a game-ending 7-1 run that gave the defending champions, Power a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
After toasting Power's vaunted defense and toasting the fans in the first three quarters of the game, Warriors’ star player Ivan Enabu fell short where it mattered the most.
The MVP title contender Enabu was magnificent early on, dictating the tempo and attacking the heart of Power’s defensive set-up with repeated forays into their 3-2 play. But disheartening for Enabu and his teammates was when the guard missed 3-consecutive free-throws inclusive of a game tying one that could have shifted the game tide either way.
QUOTABLE: "We're going to play whistle to whistle. I heard that term. Been watching the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball games. A lot of people in the NCAA College ball world use that term, and that's what we're going to do. We're going to try to win each possession and just take it one at a time.” Power coach Bernes Ankunda.
Game 6 of The Finals to be played on Wednesday will offer much more pressure than anything the Warriors have seen to this point. But counting them out at this point would be as foolish as anything Power could do to this point.
Warriors will have to work double hard on the court when they play game 6 so as to erase the nasty memories from their collapse last year against Power at this very stage. Power in the meantime, head for game 6 with a 3-2 lead and a chance to retain their title in the 2011 basketball Finals.

UGANDA : UCU Lady Canons retain Ladies Basketball title

by Usher Komugisha FUBA Women's basketball finals
Women (Best-of-Seven series results)
Game 4: KCC 57 UCU 68
Game 3: UCU 75 KCC 55
Game 2: KCC 39 UCU 45
Game 1: UCU 65 KCC 57
(UCU win the best-of-seven series 4-0)
THE UCU Lady Canons have surely forgotten what it feels like to lose a basketball game because victory has become nothing but their closest acquaintance this season.
With only one loss to fellow title contenders-the Leopards in first round, UCU have since dominated the women’s league dubbing it the most predicted season in past years.
Three titles in four years should be enough to give the Lady Canons bragging rights in the women’s category of the FUBA basketball league after the university side swept the KCC Leopards 4-0 in the best-of-seven series in the playoff finals.
   “It always feels great when you set a goal at the start of the year and you achieve it. We are excited that we are this year’s champions because we really worked so hard to get where we are,” explained American Dale Scully, UCU’s head coach.
Relying on the forward trio of three time league top scorer Lorraine Akinyi, former APR star Purity Adhiambo and Olympian-to-be Peace Proscovia, UCU dominated the front court especially on the boards both on offense and defense in these series.
Unlike last season where Akinyi had to do most of the work for the champions, this season has seen new signing Adhiambo pick an impressive 67 rebounds and drop 60 points in just the finals.
Spectacular Akinyi (48 rebounds, 28 points) and Proscovia (50 rebounds, 29 points) did not leave the Leopards with much of an option in the paint.
KCC’s reliance on top rebounder and scorer Martha Soigi stretched the forward who picked 53 rebounds and sunk 50 points in these finals as veterans Miriam Hamala (24 rebounds, 28 points) and Annet Nakiwu (23 rebounds, 14 points) struggled against the youthful UCU.
“UCU have a blend of youngsters and experienced players which really stretches us in the paint and the truth is that they were more prepared than us for the finals,” admitted Timothy Odeke, Leopards’ head coach.Offensive brilliance from guards-reigning league MVP Maureen Amoding, Brenda Mbone, Captain Angella Namirimu and Peace Nakirijja provided the youthful energy to run down the KCC defense.
Amoding dropped an amazing 81 points and picked 13 rebounds in these finals as well as limiting her match-up opponent KCC’s point guard Flavia Oketcho to only 22 points and 18 rebounds.

UGANDA : Lady Canons are champions, Power lead Warriors 3-2


Game 3: Power 78-77 Warriors
Game 4: Warriors 70-77 Power
(Power lead series 3-2)
W: KCC 57-68 UCU
(UCU win series 4-0)
Div. 2: Rez Life 84-81 Vegetarian
Vegetarian 55-56 Rez Life
(Series tied 2-2)
Div. 3: Bush Court 81-57 City Oil
(Bush Court win series 3-0)

UCU Lady Canons easily coasted to a second successive MTN-Fuba League women’s title with a clean sweep of KCC Leopards whereas DMark Power could also defend the men’s championship as they lead Warriors 3-2.

UCU beat KCC 68-57 to clinch the seven-match series 4-0 at YMCA court on Saturday night. A more incident-filled game saw Power win a third successive game, beating Warriors 77-70 yesterday. Umpires had walked off with less than a minute to play with Power leading 70-69 after a fan struck one of the officials with a missile. The hooligan seemed to contest a clear call when Power’s Jimmy Enabu fouled his brother Ivan Enabu.
The latter had the chance to put Warriors ahead. The break seemed to have killed Warriors’ ascendancy when the umpires did return. Ivan missed his free throws.
Power also did edge Game Four 78-77 on Saturday night when Warriors’ Jude Ochen missed a three-point attempt at the buzzer and his team is now in big trouble. Game Five is on Wednesday night.
For a second successive season, UCU made the finals anti-climatic. Maureen Amoding, the MVP from last season when the university side swept A1 Challenge, scored 24 points and Purity Odhiambo added 15 points and 17 rebounds. “I am a little surprised we won 4-0,” UCU sports tutor and women’s coach Dale Sculy said.
On the whole, the series was hugely one-sided and disappointing. Questions are bound to arise about the quality of competition in women’s basketball. Are UCU this good or were KCC that bad? “I don’t think we have better players than KCC but as a team, the girls played exceptionally well and it all came together at the right time,” Sculy added. “It was a team effort and not about one trying to be a star.”

11 December 2011

ZAMBIA : Association Southern League


Saturday, 10.12.2011...
Game 1. Nkwazi Vs Hawks (Masculine League B) - 1100 hrs
Game 2. Evelyn Hone Denvers Vs Green Buffaloes (Masculine League B) - 1300 hrs
Game 3. Green Buffaloes Vs Rim Oilers (Feminine League) - 1500 hrs
... Game 4. NAPSA Hurricanes Vs Kabwe Legends (Masculine League A) - 1700 hrs

Sunday, 11.12.2011....
Game 1. Intrepid Bulls Vs Junior Hurricanes (Masculine League B) - 1100 hrs
Game 2. Shells Vs Hotspurs (Feminine league) - 1300 hrs
Game 3. Spartans Vs Matero Magic 'A' (Masculine League A) - 1500 hrs
Game 5. LCC Looters Vs ZNS Eagles (Masculine League A) - 1700 hrs
Venue: NASDEC - Lusaka

ZAMBIA : Zambia Basketball Association Southern League

Games played on Sunday,04.12.2011...(Venue was OYDC):

Hawks 94 Matero Magic 'B' 64 (M)
LCC Lootresses 94 Hotspurs 55 (F)
LCC Looters 67 Spartans 44 (M)



Results from games played on 03.12.2011...
Intrepid Bulls 74 Evelyn Hone Denvers 65 (M)
Green Buffaloes 89 Nkwazi 51 (M)
Shells 20 Rim Oilers 0 (F) - Walk Over
Matero Magic 'A' 69 Kabwe Legends 56 (M)
Heroes Play United 78 Napsa Hurricanes 73 (M)

KENYA : Coop retain Basketball title with win over KCB

COOP Bank made a meal of KCB Lions to bank the KBF title for the second time in a row. The Lions were honestly no match for the bankers who beat them in all departments on Saturday afternoon to win the match 79-60.

KCB were the first to bag a basket and taking an early 5-0 lead but two quick three pointers from Abel Nson and Ali Salim sparked up the game in the otherwise slow first quarter which ended 13-17 in KCB’s favour and that was the last time they had any control in the game.
They were now at the mercy of a merciless COOP’s who were out to defend their title. COOP amidst great composure threatened to turn the game into some training session whipping the helpless Lions 29-18 to head to the halftime break with a seven-point lead.
COOP’s duo of Brian Busu and Titus Musembi were outstanding in the second half watering down the efforts of KCB that played like they were inside the Nyayo gymnasium for the first time. COOP Bank tore them apart in the third quarter 20-11 to send signs that anything short of a win would not be accepted by their coach.
There were however some tensed moments during this particular quarter with KCB’s Victor Ochieng’ letting his frustration to Michael Makiadi but the referees whistle was blown from nowhere to cool down the players and avoid any ugly scenes. COOP wrapped up the game with a composed 17-14 win against a KCB side that looked like they never deserved to be in the finals.
Kiganya and Abel led at the forefront for their side nailing 15 and 11 points respectively while KCB’s duo of Roy Kahure and Tobias Onyango who was harmless during the entire game donated 11 points to their side’s loss. COOP Bank was the best of the two sides and they deserved lifting the crown.

UGANDA : UCU Lady Canons are basketball queens again

By Usher Komugisha FUBA basketball finals
Game 4: KCC 57 UCU 68
Game 3: UCU 75 KCC 55
Game 2: KCC 39 UCU 45
Game 1: UCU 65 KCC 57
(UCU win the best-of-seven series 4-0)

THE UCU Lady Canons have surely forgotten what it feels like to lose a basketball game because victory has become nothing but their closest acquaintance this season.
With only one loss to fellow title contenders-the Leopards in first round, UCU have since dominated the women’s league dubbing it the most predicted season in past years.
Three titles in four years should be enough to give the Lady Canons bragging rights in the women’s category of the FUBA basketball league after the university side swept the KCC Leopards 4-0 in the best-of-seven series in the playoff finals.
“It always feels great when you set a goal at the start of the year and you achieve it. We are excited that we are this year’s champions because we really worked so hard to get where we are,” explained American Dale Scully, UCU’s head coach.
Relying on the forward trio of three time league top scorer Lorraine Akinyi, former APR star Purity Adhiambo and Olympian-to-be Peace Proscovia, UCU dominated the front court especially on the boards both on offense and defense in these series.
Unlike last season where Akinyi had to do most of the work for the champions, this season has seen new signing Adhiambo pick an impressive 67 rebounds and drop 60 points in just the finals.
Spectacular Akinyi (48 rebounds, 28 points) and Proscovia (50 rebounds, 29 points) did not leave the Leopards with much of an option in the paint.
KCC’s reliance on top rebounder and scorer Martha Soigi stretched the forward who picked 53 rebounds and sunk 50 points in these finals as veterans Miriam Hamala (24 rebounds, 28 points) and Annet Nakiwu (23 rebounds, 14 points) struggled against the youthful UCU.
“UCU have a blend of youngsters and experienced players which really stretches us in the paint and the truth is that they were more prepared than us for the finals,” admitted Timothy Odeke, Leopards’ head coach.
Offensive brilliance from guards-reigning league MVP Maureen Amoding, Brenda Mbone, Captain Angella Namirimu and Peace Nakirijja provided the youthful energy to run down the KCC defense.
Amoding dropped an amazing 81 points and picked 13 rebounds in these finals as well as limiting her match-up opponent KCC’s point guard Flavia Oketcho to only 22 points and 18 rebounds.

10 December 2011

UGANDA : Lady Canons close, pivotal moment for men’s finals

Playing today

M: Power vs. Warriors (8pm)
(Warriors lead series 2-1)
W: KCC vs. UCU (6pm)
(UCU lead series 3-0)
Div. 2: Rez vs. Vegetarian (4pm)
(Vegetarian lead series 2-0)
Div. 3: B. Court vs. City Oil (2pm)
(Bush Court lead series 2-0)

Today might feel like 12 months ago for UCU Lady Canons. Last December, UCU swept A1 Challenge 4-0 to clinch a second MTN-Fuba League title in three years.
UCU can repeat the feat if they overcome KCC Leopards at YMCA court just before the men’s finalists – DMark Power and Warriors – jostle for control of their own seven-game series which the latter lead 2-1. Unlike the first two games which UCU won by a canter, Game Three was much closer.

The Mukono side won 45-39 with reigning MVP Maureen Amoding scoring a game-high 12 points including a late three that gave them the crucial lead. With the exception of Lorraine Akinyi and Brenda Mbone, UCU are dribbling time in the examination room and success on court. “It’s hectic. Our experience and attitude should be good. It’s not over yet,” Amoding said.
KCC guard Flavia Oketcho fell short of promising to take matters into her own hands and the result was zero points last time out to compound her struggles. “They won three games so we can do the same,” KCC coach Timothy Odeke said. “We made some bad decisions but can build on the last display to do a better job.” KCC’s Miriam Hamala and Carol Nantalo were part of the Makerere Sparks team that won the championship in 2003 while teammate Oketcho led UCU to their first title.
No one needs to explain the same to either Warriors or Power following three blowout games. After two one-sided games won by Warriors (88-73 and 80-61), Power burst out of their shells on Wednesday night.
Warriors can still be champions this weekend by winning today and tomorrow’s Game Five. The onus is on the champions which they showed by annihilating their rivals 85-55. “Saturday (today) is going to be hard. Mandy is a brilliant guy and will do his homework to rectify this,” Power coach Bernice Ankunda said in praise of his Warriors’ colleague Mandy Juruni.

09 December 2011

KENYA : KPA lose fourth straight tie as they fall to Angolan side .

KENYA Ports Authority (KPA) lost their penultimate Africa women’s Club championships game after going down 56-59 to GD Macauloso of Angola in Lagos, Nigeria. The loss means the Kenyan champions, who face off against host club First Deepwater today are out of the race without winning a match. Their only maximum points came courtesy of a walk over awarded after Cameroon’s INJS failed to show up in Lagos for the 17th edition of the event.

In their closest game of the tournament, KPA trailed 11-12 in the first quarter and battled hard to take a closely fought second quarter 19-13. Both teams retired for the breather with the dock women ahead 30-25. But after the intermission, Macauloso hit back, taking a 14-11 edge in the third quarter. In the decisive fourth, Angolans continued to push forward for the vital baskets, taking the quarter and the game 20-15.
With key guard Mwajuma Suleiman taken ill, it was Hellen Oketch who scored the porters 13 points while Brenda Angechi and Mirriam Awuor added nine each. For the winners, Marisa Nsimane was the star sinking game high 26 points. In an all Nigerian clash, the 2009 champions First Bank beat compatriots First Deepwater 68-60 in a nip and tuck encounter. First Bank and reigning champions InterClube have yet to lose a game.

UGANDA : Charged Power back in Fuba title contention

Clean sweep! What clean sweep? MTN-Fuba League men’s champions DMark Power answered this and many more questions at YMCA Court on Wednesday night. Down 2-0 in the best-of-seven finals against Warriors, Power thrashed their rivals 85-55. The champions still trail 1-2 but this relieved them of a huge load.

The women’s final remains one-sided after UCU Lady Canons edged KCC Leopards 45-39 to take a 3-0 lead and can retain the title tomorrow. Power showed mental toughness, beat Warriors’ zonal defence, negated the size mismatch and executed better.
“I think it’s the best game we have played this season so far,” Power coach Bernice Ankunda said. They cruised through the four quarters 21-16, 19-6, 24-24 and 21-9 respectively. Point guard Ben Komakech conducted the Power roulette with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Komakech also did score 19 in Game One but they lost 73-88. Game Two was a 61-80 hammering which also had centre Robert Wanitho, alias Ben Gordon, break his leg. So what changed?
The Malinga brothers – Henry and Eric – scored 64 points and 30 rebounds in the triumphs. This time, Henry scored nine points and six rebounds whereas Eric managed seven and four.
“Collective defence was key. It’s not about defending the Malingas or Ivan (Enabu),” Ankunda reasoned. Ivan fought hard for his 13 points and four assists. His brother – Emmanuel Enabu – an understudy for Komakech – made 14 points, four boards and six assists as Power disappeared fast. Joseph Ikong added 16 points.They also made 14 of 16 from the foul line unlike Game Two where Power missed 11 of 18.

“(Warriors coach) Mandy (Juruni) is a brilliant guy and will do his homework,” Ankunda said.


08 December 2011

NIGERIA : Deepwater Suffer First Defeat

Nigeria's female basketball champions, Deepwater suffered their first defeat in the ongoing FIBA African Women championship as they crumbled to the defending champions, Interclube of Angola in an exciting match.

The Angolan team showed the stuff of a champion as they clinched the match with an 82-75 margin.
The Angolans demonstrated their superiority by winning the first quarter 26-20 and won the second quarter narrowly at 23-22.
Deepwater ladies however fought back winning the third quarter 23-9 and drew the last quarter 17-17 to take their total points to maximum 9 points in three matches. They will now play First Bank in the last match of the round robin championship.

NIGERIA : Afrobasket - Hoopers, Union Bank Optimistic of Chances

Royal Hoopers and Union Bank Basketball Clubs - Nigeria's representatives to the men's Africa Champions Cup - have expressed optimism of a good outing when the competition dunks off on Sunday in Morocco.

The two clubs were given automatic qualification for the Africa Championship, having met the FIBA Africa requirement.The championship is scheduled to hold in Rabat, Morocco from Dec. 11 to Dec. 21.
Royal Hoopers of Port Harcourt and Union Bank of Lagos were champions and runners-up respectively in the 2010/11 DSTV/NBBF League.
In an interview with NAN on Tuesday in Lagos, Ogoh Odaudu, the Hoopers coach, said that the club was determined to do well at the championship, unlike in the 2010 edition when they performed poorly.
"The 2010 edition of the championship was our first appearance and we were like observers; but not this time around," Odaudu said.
He said that the club was participating in the championship this year to make an impact and acquire more experience.
"We would make sure we correct all our last year's mistakes in order to make a lasting impression this year" Odaudu said.
He said the players resumed training in Lagos last Wednesday and would leave for Morocco on Saturday.
The Union Bank handler, Johnson Ayinla, expressed similar sentiments, saying that they hope to improve on the fourth position they reached last year.
He said that they had fine-tuned their strategy with the help of the friendly games.

07 December 2011

NIGERIA : FIBA-Africa Club Tourney: First Bank Battle Deepwater

The Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, will come alive this evening as fans of the dunking game in the country will be treated to display of skills and ball handling by Nigerian basketball league gladiators, First Bank and First Deepwater, both Lagos- based clubs.

The encounter is one of the Day 4 pairings of the ongoing 17th FIBA-Africa Champions Club Championship for Women. The game will dunk off at 6p.m.
Speaking ahead of their match against First Bank, coach of Deepwater, Lateef Erinfolami, said they hope to bounce back with a victory against the Elephant Girls, as First Bank are popularly known, after their painful 75-82 points defeat to Interclube of Angola yesterday.
Coach Aderemi Adewunmi of First Bank on his part said his players will approach the tie with all seriousness having suffered defeats in their last two matches against the ‘Oil and Gas ladies’.
Other matches scheduled for this evening include the tie between Kenyan Port Authority, KPA, and GD Maculosso of Angola.
The defending champions of the tourney, Interclube of Angola, will observe a day rest due to the absence of their opponents, I.N.J.S of Cameroon.

NIGERIA : First Deepwater Confronts Angolan Interclube

Nigeria women club basketball champions, First Deepwater will today face FIBA Africa defending champions, Interclube of Angola in the 17th edition of the Champions Club for women. This is after the Nigerian team got off to a fine start in the final round of the tourney.

The Oil & Gas ladies who handed down a 64-46 points' defeat to GD Maculosso of Angola in the championship opening game on Sunday at the sports hall of the National Stadium, Lagos, will bank on its strong defensive play to rattle the defending champions.
Head coach of the Lagos based team Lateef Erinfolami said his team will not be complacent against any team as it will treat all opponents with respect. He assured that the Nigerian league champion will not lose focus in setting its eyes on the title.
"We are battle ready for any opposition and the players have promised to give their all in all the games and do Nigeria proud" declared the club tactician.
First Deepwater was spearheaded in scoring by Chinyere Ibekwe who recorded 21 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Nigeria league reigning Queen of the court, Nkechi Akashili added 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists while point guard Upe Atosu contributed 10 points in the victory over Maculosso.
Nigeria second representative in the championship and two-time champion of the champions club, First Bank which walked-over INJS of Cameroon on Day-1 will file out against GD Maculosso of Angola while Kenya Ports Authority will engage INJS. The six teams in the biggest women club competition will take turn to engage each other in a round-robin basis while the top four teams move to the knockout stage.

UGANDA : UCU Canons Withdraw From Third-Place Playoff Game

UGANDA Christian University Canons have withdrawn from today's third-place playoff game against Miracle Eagles citing player injuries and the looming final examinations at the campus.

A Division one side, Canons e-mailed their decision to pull out of today's fixture after reviewing their squad and realising that minus the injured players, the team would be comprized of only six players(available) for the game.
"I regret to inform you that UCU Canons will not be able to participate in tomorrow night's(December 6th) 3rd place game at the YMCA. We have had a team player that needed to go home this past weekend and two injured players who we can't risk fielding before university games which begin in 10 days.
This leaves us with 6 healthy players who would rather study for final papers than play in the 3rd place game. I respect this decision as their future is more important than a 3rd place finish.
Sorry for the late notice on this. We simply could not predict how slowly our players would heal and the need of a player to travel home(Kenya) to be with family. Please, send Miracle Eagles our apologies and congratulations upon securing 3rd place."
The decision to withdraw means Miracle Eagles will now finish their 2011 National basketball league campaign in third place overall.

3rd Place playoff-Today
Miracle Eagles vs UCU Canons(Canons withdraw)

UGANDA : Steady Warriors Crack Power's Speed Advantage

If it wasn't Steven Okias dragging his long strides through D'Mark Power's defence, it was Ivan Enabu bewildering his defender with his unmatched combination of pace and fabulous ball handling.

If the ball found Henry Malinga, he would sample from his endless array of low-post moves. His brother Eric Malinga, was meanwhile content to shoot the pull-up jumper every time Power's defence allowed him a look at the basket.
Basically, this was the story of Game 2 of the FUBA men's top division finals, which the Kyambogo Warriors won 80-61 Sunday to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Power were simply outmatched all over the court.

Warriors flip switch on offense
With teamwork, late-game execution, a fast-paced offensive transition and great coaching the warriors have flipped the switch on Power. Warriors have dominated games 1 and 2 thanks to their clinical on-court execution, and they certainly benefitted from the passiveness of the league's best basketball talent (Benjamin Komakech-Power point guard).
And in the end, Kyambogo Warriors have taken the proverbial bull by the horns, and closed out D'Mark Power in impressive fashion in these past two games.
The rest of the story remains to be seen on December 7th when they meet for game 3 on whether Power can reverse their misfortunes and take advantage of their opponents' turnovers. And to do so, Power will have to take care of Warriors clutch player in Henry Malinga"We have better match ups, especially inside the paint," said Warriors coach Mandy Juruni post-match. Okias led Kyambogo with a game-high 17 points, Henry Malinga , Ronnie Kasewu and Eric Malinga adding 15, 11 and 10 respectively.
Enabu had a rare double-double with 10pts and 10rebs. Power's total score of 61 was their lowest this season. Many fans expected a much closer finals but Power have failed to show up.
To add onto the Power woes, the defending champions lost Robert Wanitho for the rest of the series after
the centre broke his right shin in the second quarter, a calamity that was handled deplorably given the lack of any on-site medics and an ambulance.
It's not over yet but the idea of Power winning four of the next five games looks improbable.

FUBA Playoff finals
Men's results, Game 2
Division 1:
Warriors 80 Power 61
Warriors lead series 2-0
Division 2:
Vegetarian 87 R.Life 78
Vegetarians lead series 2-0
Division 3:
Bush Court 89 City Oil 78
Bush Court lead series 2-0
UCU Lady Canons 75 KCC 55
Lady Canons lead series 2-0
Today, 3rd place playoff-YMCA court
Men's division 1:
UCU v Miracle- 8:00pm
KIU v Magic- 6:30pm

UGANDA : Abysmal Power, KCC need magic wand

Just two games into the MTN-Fuba League finals and blanket conclusions about the destiny of the men and women’s titles are being made.

Warriors and UCU Lady Canons have been so dominant against Power and KCC Leopards respectively that the discussions are shifting to whether the latter two can avoid being swept. Such has been the difference between the sides that a 2-0 lead is everything Warriors and UCU deserve in the seven-match series.
Both series have been extremely one-sided and anti-climatic. Power’s grip on the title they won last year after beating Warriors 4-3 is being loosened fast. Besides negating the size advantage widely enjoyed by Warriors, Power need a bailout from their big players –Ben Komakech and Isaac Afidra. The duo are playing within themselves.

Point guard Komakech has managed 29 points and nine assists to go with five turnovers in the finals so far. Skipper Afidra, a forward, has 20 points and 17 rebounds plus six turnovers. That has translated into Warriors coasting to one-sided 88-73 and 80-61 victories. All this has been painful to watch for Bernice Ankunda, the Power coach. Upon the completion of the semifinals with Miracle Eagles which Power won 3-1, Ankunda told Daily Monitor that he preferred Warriors in the finals as they laboured 3-2 past UCU Canons.
His intuition has backfired. “We need to work on our composure,” Ankunda said. He needs to win at least three games to avert this crisis that had centre Robert Wanitho break his leg in Game Two.
“There won’t be a trophy awarded on Saturday,” he added in total defiance of a clean sweep which would imply the men’s final ends this weekend. KCC are perhaps in worse shape than Power having been pounded 57-65 and 75-55 by UCU.
Elsewhere, Miracle Eagles have secured third place after UCU Canons opted out of yesterday’s classification match. “We can’t raise a team because of injuries. We are also focusing on the Inter-University Games,” UCU team manager Dale Scully said yesterday.

Playing today
Third place play-off
Stormers vs. KIU Rangers, 5pm
Finals (Game 3)
M: Warriors vs. Power (9pm)
W: UCU vs. KCC (7pm)
(Warriors, UCU lead series 2-0)

KEYA : KPA lose second tie against First Bank .

KENYA Ports Authority (KPA) were felled 93-49 by Nigerian side First Bank in the ongoing 17th Africa women’s Club Championships in Nigeria on Monday. The victors, playing before their delirious home crowd, started off the hunt with a huge 27-7 lead in the first quarter and never looked back as subjecting the porters to another humiliating day. The second quarter was not any better for the Kenyan girls as they trailed 17-7 for 44-14 advantage at the break. After resumption, First Bank, who are the 2009 Africa champions then dictated the tempo taking a 22-12 edge in the third quarter. They build their biggest lead of the game to 47 points and this came as early as the third minute of the third quarter.

KPA, like they did in their opener against Inter Club of Angola on Sunday, rallied in the fourth quarter, making respectable scores but they still trailed 23-27 as the Nigerians dictated the tempo early. KPA, who were whipped 81-37 by reigning champions Inter Club in their opening fixtures, had 12 points from speedy guard Mwajuma Suleiman while forwards Mercy Wanyama and Miriam Awuor combined for another 17 points haul. For the Nigerians, Ukato Magdalene made 16 and Udo Imaoboga hit 16 points each with Sadiq Rashedat making 11. In other games of the day, host club First Deepwater of Nigeria were awarded a 20-0 walkover win over INJS Cameroon failed to show while Inter Club humiliate compatriots GD Maculosso 80-30.

06 December 2011

KENYA : KPA thrashed .

KENYA Ports Authority (KPA) started their Africa Club Championships campaign on a sour note succumbing to 37-81 defeat at the hands of reigning champions Inter Club of Angola as the 17th continental show tipped off in Nigeria on Sunday. The dockers, who are also the reigning national champions, found out early that the Angolans were a different proposition, putting them to the sword from the onset as they took a 23-7 edge in the first quarter.

In the first five minutes, the victors had raked in 17 unanswered points and it was Everlyn “Taliban” Akoth , who have Kenyan the first points courtesy of a three-pointer. New recruit Mercy Wanyama nailed the next two baskets. It , however, didn’t take long before Inter Club, who are enjoying top form, started to exert pressure. They rained baskets against KPA, whose preparations for the event were suspect from the start, reducing them to minnows. KPA managed to score 4 points in the second quarter and were left trailing 11-40 as the one-sided first half came to an end.
In the third quarter, the Angolans build the game’s biggest lead of 52 points as they subjected KPA to their worst ever defeat in many years at the competition. The KPA technical bench seemed to have run out of ideas as scores swelled to 66-14. With the damage already done, Interc Club slowed down in the last quarter with a 15-10 edge. KPA senior players under-performed in this showdown with non of them showing directions.
Akoth made 7 and Salma Akinyi added 6. For the rampaging Angolans, Vincente Asirida Tumba buried 19 points and Green Danielle managed 16. In the other games, First Bank were awarded a 20-0 walkover win over INJS of Cameroon while the hosting club First Deepwater beat GD Maculosso 64-46. Chinyere Ibekwe had 21 and Nkechi Akashile (16) for the winners. The format of play is round robin and the top four team will proceed to semi’s with the winners at this stage clashing in final The semis will be played on December 9 and finals a day later. 10th Dec 2011.

UGANDA : Wanitho leg-break compounds Power misery

Robert Wanitho broke his right leg trying to retrieve a high ball in the second quarter as Warriors cruised to an 80-61 blowout win to assume a 2-0 lead in the seven-match series on Sunday night.

He was rushed to Mulago Hospital and scans confirmed a compound fracture. It is the second time the 25-year old has broken his leg

As Wanitho spent yesterday in the theatre, his teammates came to YMCA court for evening practice feeling his pain but also with lots to ponder. The anticipated thriller between the two finalists from the past two years is proving to be monotonous unlike last year’s 4-3 series victory for Power. Warriors’ fans started to see the Holy Grail at the end of third quarter with their heroes leading 53-32.

“UCU was better,” they chanted endlessly in reference to Warriors’ 3-2 series win over the university side in the semifinals.
To stand the faintest chance of retaining the title, Power must win at least three games which looks highly unlikely. Stephen Okias scored 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists to give Warriors a fourth successive win over Power in as many games this season. The 2009 champions looked much better defensively than the 88-73 Game One victory while Power were anything but holding on. The two teams are heading in different directions.
Power shot 18 of 59 from the field, 6 of 27 from downtown and 7 of 18 from the foul line. The title is in Warriors’ hands ahead of Game Three tomorrow and a clean sweep is firmly on.
Last year, Power cruised into a 3-0 lead before Warriors hit back to force a decisive Game Seven. The rivals wouldn’t want to offer them the slightest escape route. “This is the pivotal game of the series,” Ronnie Kasewu said before Game Two.
“Let’s see but I don’t think they (Power) are as mentally tough as us.” Ivan Enabu scored 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors.

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