KCB Lions over the weekend extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches with a 74-65 win over Defence Forces side Ulinzi Warriors in a KBF premier league match at the Nyayo Gymnasium. The Lion’s ,coached by Shitshama whose aim was to finish the first leg unbeaten, are now close to actualizing their dream with two matches remaining on the card. KCB will play bottom placed Lakeside next weekend at the Nyayo Gymnasium. Despite the loss, Ulinzi’s James Omune had a great game managing 23 points for his side followed by point guard Mike Tanui who had 14 points. Omune was also brilliant on rebounds denying the Lions attack with 8 defensive rebounds and securing 2 in the attacking rebounds. Former Warrior Ancent Wafula who has been in top form for the bankers anguished his former teammates posting a total of 20 points. The Warriors have managed only one win out of their six matches and are placed 11th on the table standings with 7 points.
THE national U-18 men's basketball team will play three build-up matches as they continue their preparations for the African U-18 basketball tournament slated for Maputo-Mozambique from August 16-30.
According to the president of Rwanda Basketball Federation Desire Mugwiza, the proposal to have a training camp in Gabon is not yet finalized but says friendlies against top local clubs APR and Espoir will provide the coach with good knowledge on where and how to improve the team before the continental show piece.
"We want to take the boys to Gabon for training because the weather is similar to the one in Mozambique and they also have a good team which would provide us with good knowledge on how our team is faring but since nothing is finalized, but we have secured friendlies with APR and Espoir," Mugwiza told this paper.
Rwanda beat Kenya 68-29 and 96-34 respectively to claim the zonal qualification slot and the junior hoops team have since returned back to residential camp at La Pallise Nyadungu to intensify their training sessions which are held twice daily at Amahoro.
Nigeria: Ndanusa Tasks D'Tigers On Sharp Shooting Against Lithuania
Nigeria Olympic Committee president Engr. SaniNdanusa who was on the stand and watched Nigeria senior basketball team, D'Tigers beat Tunisia on Sunday has charged the team to sharpen its shooting today against Lithuania.
Nigeria will today confront the Europeans in a dicey clash that may see them pick a quarter final tickets should they win. Nigeria had beaten this same team last month at the Olympics Qualifying Tournament in Caracas, Venezuela. But Ndanusa told LEADERSHIP SPORTS exclusively that he would want the Nigerian side to improve against Lithuania in the area of shooting.
"I am happy that we won our first match against Tunisia but I want to see D'Tigers improve in the area of shooting against Lithuania today. They have to sharpen their shooting skills and take good advantage of free throws. I believe that we are getting better" He however said that today's encounter will be tough. "Lithuania will be tough so D'Tigers must improve today because the higher they go the tougher it will become."
Nigeria: D'Tigers Vs Lithuania No Predictions, No Assumptions - Umar
Nigeria's Basketball team, D'Tigers will be on the march again today when they play their second game of the Basketball event at the Olympics. The Nigerian team routed their African Champions, Tunisia, 60-56 to set tongues wagging and sent out warning signals that they are here for business.
Their opponents, Lithuania suffered a set-back in their opener against Argentina who dismissed them 102- - 79 and today out there at the Basketball Arena, Lithuania will be attempting to assuage their fans when they confront the Nigerian Tigers in a match that many describe as mission impossible.
President of the Nigerian Basketball Federation, Alhaji Tijani Umar is not carried away by plaudits that have come the way of the Tigers after their feat against Tunisia in the opening game..
"I'm happy with the kind raves that have come the way of the Nigerians but we must play one game at a time. What is certain is that we will play well but, there is no predictions and no assumptions", Umar who led the Tigers to achieve the monumental result of playing in their first Olympics said.
The Nigerian Tigers are the rave of the moment at the Olympics and many Basketball faithfuls are tipping D'Tigers to cause sensation in a group that includes power-house, the American Dream Team Basketball.
KPA point guard Alex Lugasi proved just why the Port men acquired his services from Kakamega based Masinde Muliro University last month as he guide his side to beat UoN Terrorists 81 – 53 in the Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League played on Sunday afternoon at the Nyayo Gymnasium. Lugasi had 23 points the highest points scored match. Along the way in getting the impressive score Lugasi made 5 (3 pointers) after nine attempts and getting 8 points from the 2 point shot Lugasi while speaking after the match was pleased with his performance and hoped that he can continue with his current form, “I am really enjoying my game at the moment and I know if I can continue this way I can help my team to get the desired end season result.” Lugasi pointed out that he was under less pressure compared to his former team, “In the team we have people like Abel Nson and Martin Gitonga who can still push the game if I am manned or out of the game. The coach also has a lot of experience and this helps a lot.” He said. It was only in the 1st quarter that the Mombasa based team trailed the students with a 14 – 10 result but they rallied back in the second to get 19 points against 12 for the students to put the half time scores at 29 – 26 in favor of the visitors. Lugasi continued to support KPA’s surge as they beat Terror once more 23 – 12 in the 3rd and 29–15 in the last quarter to give them their second win of the weekend having beaten Mennonites 86 – 79 on Saturday. Brian Namulata scored 13 points for the students followed by Bill Oketch and Brian Obimbo who had 9 points each. Obimbo stood out in terms of securing rebounds getting 18 of them followed by KPA’s Martin Gitonga who secured 13 rebounds.
It would be suicidal for the Junior Hoops to dwell too much into the just ended Zone 5 U-18 basketball tournament. The home team won the two-day tournament which also doubled as the 2012 Afrobasket U-18 Men's Championship qualifiers after thumping Kenya 68-29 in Game 1 and 96-34 in Game 2. However, the real test does not begin until next month in Maputo, Mozambique.
From August 16-25, Africa's top teams will descend on Maputo for the Afrobasket U-18 Men's Championship. They are, among others, Angola, Egypt, Senegal, Tunisia, Gabon, Mali, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
After lifting the Zone 5 trophy, the Rwanda basketball federation (Ferwaba) has set the youngsters a target of finishing in the top six. This means that the team must at least reach the quarter-finals. However, this could be a little too much to ask of the inexperienced side.
Two years ago, the U-18 Afrobasket Men's tournament was hosted in Rwanda. At the time, the team was relatively stronger than what it is today but still finished a distant sixth despite all the support from the home crowd.
So what chances does Nenad Amanovic and his team have playing superior opposition away from home? Not a lot.
The Junior Hoops entered camp last week and are expected to play a series of warm-up games against top national league sides CSK and APR as well as select sides from Uganda. They will then travel to Gabon for a training camp before heading to Maputo for the tournament proper.
The chairman of Ferwaba Desire Mugwiza believes the team will be in good shape after these warm-up games.
"They have a good coach and have made tremendous progress over the last two months and I believe that this training camp will only make them better," he said. "We have set them a target of finishing in the top six but at the same time, we don't want to put them under pressure."
"All we want is for them to play freely and enjoy themselves out there," Mugwiza added.
In Maputo, Rwanda's chances will rest heavily on the shoulders of the trio of point guard Olivier Shyaka, Mohammed Rafiki and Eric Ngenzi who were without doubt the team's outstanding players against Kenya.
While conceding that his youngsters face an uphill task in Maputo, Amanovic said that the team has nothing to lose.
"No one expected us to qualifier but we did, so we shall not put ourselves under any pressure," he remarked. "All we want is to go out there and play t,"o the best of our ability."
The coach of the Tunisian basketball team, Abdel Tlatli has said that lack of real international exposure put a lot of pressure on his team in the match a against Nigeria.
The Tunisians were beaten 60-56 by Nigeria in the men's opening match at the London Olympics. He maintained that Nigerian players have always been at advantage over his country in view of their exposure and physical strength.
"We knew they were great going into the encounter. We didn't have that kind of physical strength exhibited by Nigerians. We expected nothing less from them have watched them over time," Tlatli said.
The coach said that even though they had arrived in London as the African champions, the pressure was more on them because it was their first appearance in a competition like the Olympics.
He said, "We are champions but the Olympics is collection of great teams of the world and we have never been here in the past. The players were under heavy pressure to say the least. All tried do was to manage the huge challenge in terms of exposure by making them believe in themselves. I told them we could either win or lose but the final result depended on how we approached the game.
"We eventually lost but there's surely nothing to regret about. It is a good learning point for the future for Tunisia basketball."
The coach said that they would put in their best in their remaining four matches of the competition.
"In games some things eventually turn out differently from what was originally envisaged and so we cannot begin to say we may no longer do this or this what we intend to do. We will take the next games one after the other. We all we need is to play well," he said.
Nigeria's basketball team, D'Tigers survived a huge late surge from Tunisia to beat the African champions 60-54 to kick off their London 2012 quest on a winning note.
D'Tigers, who had defied all the odds to pick an Olympic ticket from the qualifiers, which held in Venezuela, had looked to be cruising at the end of the second quarter when they comfortably led the North Africans.
However, the Ayo Bakare-tutoured lads appeared to lose their way at the start of the third quarter, allowing the Tunisians make the first three baskets and letting the North Africans close to within two points at a stage.
The Nigerian side did not fair match better in the four quarter and as the clock was winding down were barely holding on for dear life to their lead.
In the end the buzzer sounded to save the West Africans from a spectacular collapse and allow the two points slip away.
In view of the very tough Group A which D'Tigers are in it was imperative that they were able to beat arguably their 'weakest' foe in the sectionOther teams in the group including reigning Olympic champions, Team USA, Argentina, Lithuania and France - all three are higher ranked than Nigeria.
Favourites Team USA gets her campaign under way later Sunday against France, while Argentina and Lithuania clash in the evening game.
Nigeria's next match is on Tuesday against European powerhouse, Lithuania.
Following the denial of access to Lugogo Indoor Stadium (MTN Arena) by MTN officials for FUBA to have league games played at the facility, the basketball governing body has postponed all games scheduled for the weekend. All leagues games in all divisions were affected regardless of the venue. The position was reached during a highly publicised meeting of game stakeholders on Saturday at Lugogo.
A task force was also formed to discuss the way forward. "We have formed a task force and we will use all ways and means such that by Wednesday we access the stadium" FUBA president, Ambrose Tasobya said. The federation also demands the official position of MTN on the matter as the body (FUBA) claims this comes down to individuals in MTN. "It's not a policy of MTN to stop games, it's individuals. We demand MTN for an official position" Tasobya, added.
In a task force meeting, the way forward agreed upon was to draft a letter on Sunday (today), copy different individuals and petition the house on Wednesday, if nothing is done by Tuesday a source said. The federation will also take the legal route against MTN or individuals in the company after MTN has made its position in this matter clear for the damages caused.
Ulinzi basketball team coach Eliud Nzioka has said that containing KCB in today's encounter will be their highest priority as the team seeks to post better results in the league since their return at the start of this season. This comes just a day after losing to Strathmore University on Saturday afternoon with the match ending 52-59. Speaking to michezoafrika.com, Nzioka admitted that the Lions are in top form but that does not mean they are scared of them, "KCB have very good shooters but our priority is to cut them out and not to allow them easy space for throws ." He went on to add that cutting off KCB's fast breaks may assist the Defense Forces side to get the much desired win, "They have quick players and they use it to their advantage so if we can keep the ball, then we shall be okay."
Ulinzi vs KCB will kick off at 4:30 at the Nyayo Gymnasium.
30 points by in form Hilda Indasi fired the USIU Flames to their 9th win of the season as they humbled reigning champions Eagle Wings 58-52 to cement their position at the summit of the KBF women’s premier league table on an unbeaten run. Supported by the Sarah Chan who also had brilliant day scoring ten points, Indasi frequently ripped apart the Eagle Wings defense line with flawless three pointers leaving behind only but praise and hats off recognition from the other side. “She had a brilliant day. Hilda was on point and I must admit she was the player of the day. This was not our day, we were just out and it is high time we seriously dissected ourselves deeper to understand the exact reason we crack under pressure. We need to work harder.” Said Eagle Wings Angela Okoth. Known for their great charges, Silalei Shani and Evelyn Nora were technically pinned out of their normal selves as they only managed 12 points each of the total 52 points by Eagle Wings. This becomes Eagle Wings’ second loss of the season as earlier in the month, they lost to arch rivals KPA. In other matches played on Saturday Strathmore University with 16 points from David Ogolla sank the hopes of a Warriors as the students had a 59-52 win in a closely contested match. Coop Bank ladies on the other hand had a good day out beating Western Delight 65-43 while KPA both men and women enjoyed a sweet outing posting a 22-89 win (women) and 79-86 (Men) over Mennonites.
Nigeria/Tunisia: We Are Underdogs Against Tunisia - D'Tigers Coach
Coach of the national basketball team Ayo Bakare has refused to acknowledge the fact that the Nigerian team at the London Games have more heroics than Tunisia. Nigeria will play Tunisia at 9am today in the first jump ball for the men's event and Bakare insists that D'Tigers are the underdogs.
Bakare who spoke after his team defeated an all-star selected side 69-66, said the Tunisians are seeded higher as African champions and that fact must be respected.
He said, "Even if we had beaten the whole world in Venezuela to qualify, the fact remains we got through after a second chance. Is that what you people call re-sit in exams? On Sunday (today), the Tunisians will be introduced as African champions and that is key. We are also from Africa and so if they are champions, what adjective will go for us that will be stronger than champions or gold medalists in any competition?
"That is why I insist that we are the underdogs when we are placed side by side because we were also in that competition that gave them the title."
At Madagascar 2011, where the African Championship held, Nigeria and Tunisia could not play directly against each other as Nigeria lost to Angola in the semi-finals while Tunisia defeated Cameroon to produce a final duel between Angola and Tunisia. The last time they met each other at Morocco 2003, Nigeria defeated them in the classification match to finish fifth.
But despite the status of the North Africans as African champions, the international basketball community rate Nigeria above them based on their overall records and the exposure of players both sides parade.
The National U-18 team has been reinforced with U.S based duo of Kevin Mbundu and Marvin Mugisha ahead of the African U-18 Basketball championship slated for August 16-25 in Maputo-Mozambique.
Rwanda U-18 men's team earned a ticket to compete at the continental tournament after dispatching Kenya in a two-legged Zone V junior tournament held in Kigali recently.
Rwanda beat Kenya 68-29 and 96-34 respectively to claim the zonal qualification slot.
The Hoops head coach Nenad Amanovic is optimistic the duo will add steel in the team which is ready to storm Africa with compact confidence.
"Both players have good defending skills when the team loses the ball and this is the aspect we hope to work on in the remaining days because we will be facing teams who are good n the ball".
The junior hoops returned back to residential camp at La Pallise Nyadungu this week to intensify their preparations which are held twice daily at Amahoro indoor stadium ahead of their debut in the African junior basketball championship.
KENYA : Silalei: We will extinguish the 'Hot Flames'
Michezoafrika file picture
Six KBF women premier league matches have been lined up this weekend at the Nyayo stadium gymnasium in Nairobi but the highlight of the weekend will be in the fixtures pitting defending champions Eagle Wings and current league leaders USIU Flames.
Eagle Wings will then take on Strathmore on Sunday at the same venue and Silalei Shani believes this weekend is crucial to her team’s quest towards retaining the title they won last season. “We really enjoy challenging experiences and this weekend is one of those. We just need to remain in the right frame of mind because both USIU and Strathmore are not easy opponents.” Silalei said. “But hey, we are the champions and we need to stay focused and strong. We will just go out there and do our thing in the best way possible but I am sure we have the quality to post wins in both matches. For us at this point we have a bigger picture of performing well ahead of the Zone 5 games in Kampala next month and positive results will boost our morale and mental preparedness.” She added. In the matches played this season, USIU powered by Hilda Indasi have a clean 8/8 winning record having gone unbeaten this season and Eagle Wings hold the strong belief that they will be the ones to pour water on their Flames on Saturday. “We don’t care about their unbeaten record, for us we want to win the match to keep our reputation back in shape. It was painful losing to KPA at home in the only match we have dropped this season. We lost not because KPA was better than us but simply because we played very poorly on that day. Good for us though, the loss gave us the reality that we need to work harder.” Silalei added. Silalei has been in burning form this season coming top as the best scorer for the reigning champions in most of their matches and her fluid combination with hardworking Samba Mjomba,never say die Angela Okoth and the bully effects of Sande Evelyn will be crucial for an Eagle’s soar above the Flames.
SAT.28.07.12 NYAYO GYMNASIUM Wp/1l/164 Mennonites Vs KPA 10:30 am Wp/1l/172 Co-op bank Vs Western delights 12:00 Noon Wp/1l/169 Eagle wings Vs USIU 1:30 pm
SUN.29.07.12 NYAYO GYMNASIUM Wp/1l/175 Usiu Vs Western delights 10:30 am Wp/1l/020 Strathmore Vs Eagle wings 12:00 noon Wp/1l/173 Storms Vs KPA 1:30 pm
UGANDA :Dress rehearsals for Power-Warriors clash and Zone V
The launch of the upcoming Fiba Africa Zone V Club Championships this week must have tweaked the focus for Uganda’s representatives. From now on, men’s sides DMark Power and Warriors plus women’s teams UCU Lady Canons and KCC Leopards will invest their energy in that competition.Preparations and plays will be called to enable those teams perform well when the region gathers here in just three weeks’ time. Power team manager Philip Kyomuhendo even did some calculations. “That’s 12 training sessions to prepare,” he said. All four would love go into the tournament on a roll in the Airtel National Basketball League.
Warriors face Victoria University Angels chasing seven wins on the bounce at the Lugogo MTN Arena today. This will be Warriors’ last game before facing arch-nemesis Power on Friday. Power face Giant Stormers at the same venue tomorrow. Thereafter, the two men’s rivals will play one game apiece before seeking a first Zone V title for Uganda.
“We are looking at Zone V but the league is very important too,” Warriors’ Ivan Enabu, perhaps aware that his first title is far from fruition, said. “The entire picture cannot be lost for just Zone V. Every game counts.” Enabu has played in two games since his return from injury.
This weekend’s Basketball premier league matches involving Shimba Hills have been shelved until further notice. This will therefore mean the Shimba Hills fixtures against Eagle Wings and Mennonites will not be played as planned this weekend. Eagle Wings will instead play league leaders USIU on Saturday and Strathmore on Sunday. The match against USIU Flames is guaranteed to be an exciting encounter since both teams have been enjoying top form so far this season. USIU Flames, the leading team on the KBF’s women’s log is the only team to be unbeaten with an 8/8 performance getting 16 points along the way while Eagle Wings has dropped a match against KPA on 6th July. The defending champions are third on the log with 3rd 6 wins and one loss. Storms are second with 14 points from 9 matches having won 5 of those. After a powerful start, Western Delight who were beaten by the champions last weekend in Kakamega find themselves at position 5 after 8 matches, they have won 4 and lost the same number of matches.
The second half of the table sees Safe Spaces with 10 points while the Mombasa based KPA follows with 9 points. KPA will be travelling to Nairobi this coming weekend and they will be facing Mennonites on Saturday. Sylvia Kamau’s Strathmore University shares the same number of points as KPA but has played a match more (6 matches) compared to the Porters. Strathmore will face Eagle Wings on Sunday at the Nyayo Gymnasium in another match that proves to be a cracker. NYTA-Shimba Hills and Mennonites share 7 points at position and 9 and 10 respectively. Gladiators close the table standings with 6 points. The side has played 6 matches losing all of them and forfeiting one match. The league resumes over the weekend.
Below is the full women’s weekend fixture;
SAT.28.07.12 NYAYO GYMNASIUM Wp/1l/164 Mennonites Vs KPA 10:30 am Wp/1l/172 Co-op bank Vs Western delights 12:00 Noon Wp/1l/169 Eagle wings Vs USIU 1:30 pm
SUN.29.07.12 NYAYO GYMNASIUM Wp/1l/175 Usiu Vs Western delights 10:30 am Wp/1l/020 Strathmore Vs Eagle wings 12:00 noon Wp/1l/173 Storms Vs KPA 1:30 pm
America's men basketball team, the Dream Team has laid down the marker for their Olympic group opponents, including Nigeria's D'Tigers that it is the team to beat in the London Games.
Gold medal at stake or nothing at all, the U.S. Olympic basketball team is too good for Spain.
Carmelo Anthony came off the bench to score 23 of his 27 points in the first half, and the Americans beat Spain 100-78 on Tuesday night in a rematch of the gold-medal game -- and possible preview of the next one.
LeBron James added 25 and Kevin Durant had 13, including 10 in the first 3 ÂÂ½ minutes of the third quarter to help the U.S. break open the teams' final exhibition game before heading to London.
The teams played a memorable gold-medal game four years ago, the Americans pulling away for a 118-107 victory after leading by only four points with under 2ÂÂ½ minutes left.
This one turned out much easier once the U.S. controlled the final three quarters.
Pau Gasol scored 19 points and Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka, a native of the Republic of Congo who became a Spanish national last year, had 16.
Both teams have been weakened by injuries, with the U.S. missing Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh, all key contributors in Beijing, along with Derrick Rose. The Spaniards are without point guard Ricky Rubio, and All-Star center Marc Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro and Rudy Fernandez have battled injuries this year.
They're still the best two teams in the world and favored to meet again in the Aug. 12 gold-medal game. Spain would have a different look, as Marc Gasol was held out of this one while recovering from a left shoulder injury and backup point guard Sergio Rodriguez also sat out.
It may not matter if the Americans play like this in the games that count.
The U.S. had a pair of quality tests in Barcelona, beating Argentina 86-80 on Sunday and going 5-0 overall in exhibition play. But the Americans were pushed by all three opponents with legitimate NBA size, the two here and Brazil in an 80-69 victory in Washington.
The U.S. and Spain were drawn into opposite Olympic pools, so they wouldn't play until the elimination round. And it's likely to be at the very end of it.
Falcons’ 75-71 victory over UCU Canons during the first round of the Airtel National Basketball League was a turning point to their season. Back in May, forward Peter Elungat scored 16 points to bury a 73-53 mauling at the hands of leaders Warriors (now 12-1) just days prior. It started a winning streak which has grown to five games. UCU will again attempt to replace the smile with a frown at the Lugogo MTN Arena.
This will be the first time the indoor facility hosts a basketball game in two years as it has been undergoing renovation. They will still use old hoops as new ones won’t be here till September. The floor has been a bother since the venue was first closed in 2009. Volleyball and kickboxing have been played there recently and the floor looks fine.
“I don’t think it changes much. Maybe the shooters will be happier since the wind won’t be a factor,” UCU coach Nicholas Natuhereza noted. His team is improving having won two successive games to herald the final stretch and is now 9-4 whereas Falcons are 10-2.
Former UCU players Geoff Omondi and Steven Mwesigye did the job in the first clash with 12 and 10 points respectively against the hand that once fed them.
Reading from UCU’s first second round game, a 59-44 win over KIU a fortnight ago, they are ticking the right boxes. “I think we can win the championship,” Natuhereza said. “I am not satisfied with where we are. During the break, we have worked a lot on our transition.”
The steel of the UCU front court trident of Desmond Owili, Robert Ogweno and Naftary Msogoti will be tested. Philip Ameny, Edwin Kateregga, Stephen Omony, Brian Ssentogo and Elungat will accumulate the minutes on the inside for Falcons.While Falcons may not have a shooter as good as Sudi Ulanga, in Julius Lutwama, they have one of the form players.
The Nairobi Basketball Association will this Saturday kick off the first youth basketball league that will have teams in age group categories of U-12, U-15 and U-18 for both genders with games set to played every third Saturday of the month. Four teams namely Kayole, Kibera and Langata will have teams participating in the under 12 category for boys. In the girls under 12, category, Kamukunji, Langata, Kayole and Mennonites will be active.
According to NBA chairman Ronnie Owino, the league will kick off with existing youth programmes with an agenda of expanding it further. “To kick off the league, we have attracted the participation of three teams for the girls under 12, and five teams for the boys under 12.” “Many successful basketball players attribute their success to solid basketball fundamentals and strong values - both of which are only well groomed in controlled environment. The league will serve as a foundation for growing a grassroots basketball programme where kids start playing the game early,” he noted. The chairman said it is sad most basketball players in Kenya interact with the game for the first time when they reach high school. Also most of high schools do not have trained coaches and thus basic basketball skills are missed. “In future, we would like to see children in Nairobi playing basketball from when they are 10 and below. The league will be combined with coaching drills from time to time so as to make sure that we are achieving good results in nurturing talent.”
The NBA has also announced that it encourages capable groups and institutions who feel they can comply with the regulations of the league and can be able to support youth teams to get in touch with the association so that the teams can be enrolled
NIGERIA : Basketball Fans Hail Security At Final Eight Tourney
Fans at the ongoing 2011/12 DStv Men's Basketball League Final Eight tournament in Lagos yesterday applauded the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the championship for providing adequate security at the match venue.
Some of the fans, interviewed, expressed satisfaction at the marked improvement in the security arrangements.
Olu Atafo, a basketball enthusiast and an advertising practitioner, said: "I have to confess that I love the level at which security men are deployed at this championship.
"It gives me the assurance that even criminals who usually lurk around the stadium will certainly be too scared to operate, even when the matches end late."
Atafo said he watched the opening match of the championship on the DStv channel and that he felt he could get good value for his time.
He added that he was happy that the competition was worth its while.
Nkechi Akashili, a female basketball player, also said she was impressed with the security arrangements of the championship's Local Organising Committee (LOC).
Akashili, however, noted that the security challenges in some parts of the country now called for increased security awareness from all Nigerians, especially at occasions where there were invited guests.
"With the presence of the security men at the match venue, anyone who wants to play smart will have to think twice," she said.
Fidelis Usiagwu, a businessman, commended the security arrangement at the Indoor Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos venue of the competition.
"I always think twice before I go to watch any championship, although Lagos State is relatively safe.
"That notwithstanding, life has no duplicate; so, everyone now needs to be security conscious," Usiagwu said.
He attributed the encouraging turnout of spectators at the tournament venue to the heavy presence of the law enforcement personnel.
Muhammed Bashir, a fan of the Kano Pillars Basketball Club, also applauded the security initiatives of the organisers of the competition.
NIGERIA : D'Tigers Is Battle Ready Against Tunisia'
D'Tigers head coach, Ayo Bakare said nothing will be taken for granted when Nigeria basketball team file out against their Tunisian counterpart in their opening match of the London 2012 Olympic basketball event two days after the opening ceremony.
Bakare in an interview with LEADERSHIP SPORTS before his departure at the Murtala International airport said it would be a great error for the Tunisian coach to compare the D'Tigers they played at the FIBA Africa championship in Madagascar with the present team that qualified Nigeria for the Olympics.
"Nothing will be taken for granted. By the time we meet our African sister, Tunisia in the opening match of the basketball Olympic event in London on the 29th of this month, two days after the opening ceremony. One thing I must let you know is that; it was only two among the players that went to the FIBA Africa tournament in Madagascar are in this present team.
This is an entire different team, this is a team that qualified us to the Olympic from Caracas, Venezuela but I must assure you that is going to be a different ball game," he said.
COOP Bank had an easy run over the weekend thrashing a worn
out Mennonites 54-20 in one sided dull game played at the Nyayo gymnasium last
over the weekend. The star-studded kingdom Queens, only in their second season in
the Premier League but already sending ripples against the league’s bigwigs control
the entire game from onset finding it easy with 14-4 and 13-3 wins in the first
and second quarters respectively. The second half was equally easier for the
bankers limiting Menno to only three points against their own sixteen.
Mennonites collected strength for the quarter to contest the game that they
already had lost at 11-10. COOP’s Irene Opilo bagged 22points while Menno’s
Belinda Akinyi donated 8 to her side’s
tally of 20.
In another ladies clash played over the weekend, Strathmore
swords cruised past helpless gladiators 49-27 with swords winning all but the
third quarter at 2-14, 4-13, 6-9 and 15-13 respectively. Gladiators would be
mistaken to be playing for fun mostly in the first half with Swords restricting
them to only 6 points two of which were from the free throw line. Overall, the
team had awful 10-32 shots within the perimeter and equivalent of 31.25% and
another worrying 8.33% of three point shots equivalent of 1-12. Swords’ Tanya
Ogwel had 110points while gladiators’ Dottie Owino nailed 5.
KCB has had easy wins all through the season and everyone
expected their game against USIU Tigers to be a hard won victory, it was
otherwise. The former champions led by guard Tobias Onyango and Ancette Wafula
whipped the varsity side 78-49 to maintain a flawless start of the season. The
closely contested quarter of the game was the second with Lions winning 16-12
after a previous 20-13 win in the first to take a 36-25 lead heading to
USIU then came back strongly for the second half but their
efforts were watered down by a series of fast breaks and perimeter shots that
saw lose the third at 18-9. KCB picked up from where they had stopped during the
third to rule the entire game with a 24-15 win to wrap up the game. KCB’s Tobias Onyango, shooting 1-3 off the perimeter
and 9-12 within the perimeter nailed 22 points while Ancette Wafula bagged 21
shooting 31.25% of three point shots an equivalent of 5-16. USIU’s James Omweno
donated 14 while Simon Mayen had 6 to his tally for Tigers
Bashana Baheso basketball club won the annual Lesotho Basketball Association’s Winter Tournament and walked away with M1550.00 in prize money. The victory marked the return of the Club to supremacy after beating the current NBL Champs KTA All Stars by 43-24. This is the first major tournament won by Bashana Bahesoin a long time since the club in recent times has been experiencing a slump after narrowly missing out on the NBL Top-4.
The winter tournament was initialed slated for 7th July but due to rain interference on that weekend the tournament could not conclude that’s why the men’s finals were played this past weekend (21st July) at Lehakoe grounds. The LUCT ladies won the tournament in the ladies category.
LBA’s President. Mr. Molupe Mothepu when awarding the money to the Champs congratulated them on their victory and for dethroning KTA and recreating a wave of competition in the league. Mothepu further thanked for the supporters for showing up in great numbers and urged them to come back and support all other forthcoming events, mainly; the inaugural Ladies Only Tournament and the high school’s Top8 and Top4 tournaments to be held in August and September respectively.
The final match was officiated by MaleboeaMolotsi, FakoMasupha and ThabisoMatete.
THE Kenyan U-18 men and women basketball teams showed a great deal of sportsmanship by extending their stay in the country to pay homage to victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi on Monday afternoon.
The teams were given a brief history of the Genocide that took part in the country and they later laid a wreath at the Gisozi memorial site.
Rwanda Basketball Federation Secretary General Richard Mutabazi, praised the teams for "exercising fair play by delaying their departure and visiting the memorial site."
Kenya won the women's category in the Zone five qualifiers after defeating Rwanda 71-58 while Rwanda won in the men's title 96-34.
Rwanda will represent the region in the African U-18 Men Basketball championships slated for Maputo-Mozambique from August 16-25.
The team starts residential training tomorrow at Amahoro indoor stadium.
RWANDA : Junior Hoops Coach Revels in Afrobasket Qualification
2012 Afrobasket U-18 qualifiers - Zone 5
Rwanda 68-29 Kenya
Rwanda 96-34 Kenya
Rwanda 54-50 Kenya
Rwanda 58-71 Kenya
Junior Hoops coach Nenad Amanovi? has paid homage to his team's resilience following their qualification for next month's Afrobasket U-18 boy's tournament in Mozambique.
After two weeks of intensive training, the national U-18 basketball team made light work of their Kenyan opponents over the weekend to secure a ticket to Maputo.
Playing in front of their home crowd, the junior wasps led by Point guard Olivier Shyaka thrashed Kenya in back to back games (68-29) and (96-34) to win the Afrobasket qualifiers which also doubled as the Zone V championships.
In a post tournament interview, Amanovi? said he was impressed with the way his team executed their task.
"The boys played with great determination and urgency. You could also see that the players are starting to gel as a team," he said.
"I think this is our best performance to date. Tactically and technically, this was a great game for us and I'm sure it's a touch of confidence to the team."
It's hard to argue with his assessment considering that two weeks ago; the team was struggling for confidence after mediocre performances in Burundi.
Other teams which have qualified for the continental event include Angola, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Gabon, Mali, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Senegal and Tunisia.
The tournament is slated to run from August 16-25.
Sunday resultsUCU 78-41 Nkumba Rez Life 55-101 Warriors W: Nabisunsa 43-71 KIU UCU 86-19 Nkumba Stormers 70-42 Crane Div.2: Kings 70-61 Shooters Div. 3: K’la Univ 55-61 Gulu Crane High 33-37 TLC Livingstone 91-86 St. Michael KAMPALA.
A fifth ton in the Airtel National Basketball League enabled Warriors grow their gap atop the men’s division one.
One week after Warriors got stuck on 99 against Vegetarian, they made three figures again in a 101-55 win over Rez Life on Sunday. Centre Sam Gombya top-scored with 22 points and 17 rebounds at YMCA court to lift the losing finalists from the past two years to 12-1. That record is way ahead of the pursuers DMark Power (10-3), Falcons (10-2), KIU Titans (9-4) and UCU Canons (9-4). UCU got their ninth victory on Sunday too, overcoming Nkumba Marines 78-41 courtesy of Sudi Ulanga’s 11 points. However, UCU coach Nicholas Natuhereza doesn’t have top spot in sight. Five years ago, the university side had the view from the top. It’s now looking like Warriors’ perch for a second successive year even if coach Many Juruni has now missed three straight games.
While he is away in the US learning more, Michael Kariuki and Steven Okias are finding their range following slow starts to the season. Kariuki chipped in with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Cyrus Kiviri scored 17 and Okias had 14.
KCB staged a powerful performance beating USIU Tigers 78 – 49 on Sunday afternoon at the Nyayo Gymnasium to reclaim their top spot on the table standings.
The loss to the bankers was USIU’s first this season while KCB edged closer to achieving their aim of going unbeaten in the 1st leg with only 2 matches remaining. By half time, KCB were at 36 points while Tigers trailed 11 points behind. The bankers started strongly winning the first 2 quarters at 20 -13 in the 1st and 16 – 12 in the 2nd. It was the same case in the 3rd quarter as KCB continued with their dominance pulling away with an 18 -9 drubbing of the students. They took the day in the last quarter and eventually bagged the 2 points with a 24 – 15 final quarter win. This takes KCB back to the top of the table after being pushed to second by USIU. The Bankers now have 18 points from 9 matches while USIU (2nd) has the same number of points but have played a match more than the bankers. Co-op bank, the 2011 Defending Champions, are 3rd after 5 wins and 4 losses. Their recent win was the 89 – 72 beating of Ulinzi on Saturday. Strathmore University are 4th with 13 points after 8 matches played losing 3 of those. University of Nairobi Terrorists follows at 5th having played 8 matches also winning 4 and losing the same number. They have 12 points. The second half of the table sees KPA, Blazers and Mennonites all sharing 11 points on position 6, 7 and 8 respectively. KPA has played 7 matches winning 4 while Blazers have played 9 matches with their win over Terrorists on Saturday making it their second. Masinde Muliro University is at position 9 with 10 points while Thunder who failed to travel to Mombasa to honor their fixture against KPA due to financial constraints lie 10th with 7 points. Thunder has played 7 matches winning 2, losing 4 and forfeiting 1. Ulinzi and Lakeside are the two teams closing the table in the men’s category with 5 points both. Ulinzi has played 3 matches and their only win came after they beat Mennonites 82 – 63 on Sunday. Lakeside is at the tail end of the log having played 6 matches forfeiting one of those, losing 4 and beating Strathmore University last month at the Kisumu Sports Ground.
KENYA : Kenya U-18 through to African championships
Updated on 22/07/12 | By DENNIS MACHIO
The Kenya ladies U-18 Basketball team on Sunday overturned results beating their hosts Rwanda to qualify for the African youth championships that will be held in Mozambique. The ladies lost the first match 54-50 but recovered to win the second match 71-58 on Sunday to qualify on better points. The men’s teams failed to shine past the hosts as they lost both matches 68-29 on Saturday and 94-38 on Sunday and will therefore wait for next year to get another chance. Only two teams -Kenya and Rwanda- took part in the Zone 5 championships played in Kigali and as such played each other twice.
Eagle Wings on Sunday morning got their claws back mauling their hosts Western Delight 65-25 in a match that was staged at the Kakamega Police Canteen. This was a rather poor performance by the Delights who at some point were enjoying supremacy at the helm of the KBF league table. Powered by a super double performance from Silalei Shani and Sande Evelyn who both posted 14 points, Wings were unstoppable as they fired past their hosts reigning supremacy and pinning their opponents to less than ten points in all the four quarters (13-07, 19-03,11-07 and 21-08.) “Our recent loss to KPA was a big wakeup call and we prepared well for this match because we knew the quality in the Western Delight team. However, it was not as heavy match because they also had a bad day. We are encouraged by the good win and we will keep the consistency.” Said team member Samba Mjomba who posted 12 points during the match. Agnes Oundo (08) and Victoria Ondiso (04) had the best scores for Western Delight.
KCA University were handed their second defeat in the KBF Division One league by fellow students Nairobi Aviation at the Nyayo Gymnasium.KCA went down 42 – 69 to a much more superior Aviation trailing 36 – 15 by half time. KCA had an attempted 3rd quarter comeback but slumped once more managing 10 points against their opponents 14 points despite a resilient performance. They also lost the final quarter but with a single point difference as Aviation edged them out 19 – 18 to take home all points.
In other Division One matches played on Saturday, Kenyatta University Pirates managed to shake off a bad start to the league as they humiliated 11th placed African Nazarene University 107-48 to give them their second win since they were promoted to the league. The defeat to KU Pirates further condemns ANU to an endless winless streak managing 11 points from the 11 matches. Pirates so far have 9 points having played 7 matches.
KAA went down narrowly 58 – 59 to Parklands having dominated the better part of the match.KAA will have themselves to blame for the loss having made a string of errors in the last 4 minutes to give away the victory.
University of Nairobi’s basketball team ‘The Terrorists’ on Saturday were handed a 46 – 34 defeat by Blazers in a KBF Premier League fixture at the Nyayo Gymnasium. The students had a bad day right from the start as they started off going down 6 - 12 in the first quarter. The students committed many fouls allowing an easy cruise by Blazers on free throws. The 2nd quarter was slow paced and witnessed a very low scoring rate from both ends but once again Blazers’ came on top with 8 points against Terrorists' 6 to put the half time scores at 34-18. In the 3rd quarter the students had a recharged approach with Brian Obimbo who has been outstanding for the students posting some good returns as Terrorists showed signs of a comeback with a 16 -8 win. In total Brian Obimbo had 10 points while Bill Oketch had 11 points in the match. But the form could not be replicated in the final quarter where Blazers overturned the tables and stamped authority with powerful offensive plays and resistant defense sealing the match with a comfortable 18 – 6 final quarter triumph to take home the maximum points. The win against Terror takes Blazers to 11 points from 9 matches. This was also their second win since the league kicked off in April. For the students they now have 12 points from 8 matches, losing 5 and winning 3.
There is definitely life for Victoria University Heaters after they lost Salim Ali and Michael Makiadi to KIU Titans. The controversy was temporarily settled on Saturday as Heaters edged KIU 51-48 in the Airtel National Basketball League at YMCA court. Former Warriors point guard Albert Aciko (12 points) and Derrick Mbusi (11 and five rebounds) delivered glory.
This was their biggest scalp to-date as they remain seventh with 6-7 record, behind Miracle Eagles. The latter are now 7-6 after beating Giant Stormers 71-63. However, Brian Wathum was the happiest man as Heaters won back to back games.
“We have been working on improving our defence and I think we are one of the best teams in that area,” Wathum said.
Makiadi had a game-high 15 points and seven rebounds but the telling stat came in the free throw column as KIU went 10 for 23.
KIU Nimrod Kaboha, now 9-4 after two successive losses, cannot wait for the university to be opened this Friday for the 2012/13 academic year. Kenyans Richard Osano Omondi and Brian Wati are away. When they return, the maths in the top five positions will have become more complicated.
UGANDA : DMark Power bury lean spell despite Soro class
DMark Power must think normal service has resumed. The champions decimated Ndejje University Angels 90-64 in the Airtel National Basketball League on Friday at YMCA court. Power came into the game on the back of two losses and just one victory in four. A 28-13 lead at the start of the first quarter put daylight between them and the mid-table side. Joseph Ikong scored 18 points and five rebounds on his return after missing four games and Isaac Luggudde contributed 16 points. Power is now 10-3, just behind leaders Warriors (11-1). They are also ahead of KIU Titans (9-3) and Falcons (9-2) having played more games. “This is a team sport so like everyone else, I put some pluses and minuses,” Ikong, refusing to take too much of the credit, told Sunday Monitor. The former league top scorer was spot-on. Point guard Ben Komakech contributed 14 and Isaac Afidra had 13 while Carol Bisereko (4) got his debut after mini-retirement. That was more than sufficient to upstage Geoffrey Soro’s solo effort worth a game-high 24 points and 18 rebounds.Michael Opolot scored 18 points but Ndejje committed 35 turnovers which gave away easy points on the transition. The playoffs hopefuls are now 6-7 following two defeats in two.
KENYA : Ulinzi banked by Co-op as KBF league heats up
Michezoafrika file picture
KBF Premier League champions Co-op bank continued with their impressive form on Saturday afternoon at the Nyayo Gymnasium when they crashed Defence forces side Ulinzi warriors 89 – 72 in the last game of the day. Co-op bank piled the pressure from the start of the 1st quarter crashing Ulinzi 21-7. The quarter witnessed impressive defensive play by Mark Mayen and Akol Bol the two Sudanese appearing for the bankers who kept the soldiers on check. In the second quarter Ulinzi worked extra hard and they managed to pip the bankers 23-12 and put the half times scores at a close charge of 33-30 with Co-op bank having a mild advantage. Ulinzi as usual were physical in their game approach but they could not stop Mark Mayen who was a constant thorn in their defence and it was no wonder he got an impressive 12 points in the high paced match. Co-op bank were not ready to lose the maximum points as they chase KCB the league leaders in the title race, this they ensured by winning the 3rd quarter with a ten points advantage 31- 21. They went on further to extend their lead in the 4th quarter and win the game sinking in 25 points while Ulinzi came close getting 22 points. Speaking to michezoafrika.com after the tight encounter, Ulinzi coach Eliud Nzioka was impressed by his side’s improvement despite the loss, “We have posted an improved performance despite losing today. I can see we are slowly recovering and soon we shall be in top form. The only problem today was following instructions but that is something that can be easily dealt with.” Titus Musembi gave the bankers 20 points the highest scorer of the match. The league resumes on Sunday at the same venue.
Thunder basketball team will not be travelling to Mombasa to honor their Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League match against KPA. According to Griffins Ligare the team captain, this is because the self supported team could not raise the required finances to facilitate the team travel, “We don’t have the money to travel to Mombasa. It is very obvious that we would not like to forfeit our match but there is nothing we can do.” “As per now we don’t know what the Federation will do, I just hope that we have an amicable solution that will be fair to both teams.” Thunder was to play Kenya Ports Authority on Saturday 4.00pm at the KPA Gymnasium, Mombasa.
KENYA : CO-OP face Ulinzi as Eagle Wings head to Western
Storms' Mercy Wanyama/ File picture
The Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League and Division One League will resume this weekend after taking a break last weekend for the Tom Munyama tournament. 2011 Defending champions Co-op Bank play bottom placed Ulinzi Warriors at the Nyayo Gymnasium on Saturday. There will also be action in Kakamega on Sunday as the women’s defending champions Eagle Wings travel to be hosted by Western Delight at the Kakamega Police Canteen. Delight has been enjoying top form this season and the match promises to light up the court at the Police canteen.
Below are the full fixtures for the weekend; SAT.21.07.12 Mp/1l/160 KPA Vs Thunder 4:00 pm KPA Gymnasium D1/1l/178 KU pirates Vs ANU 9:00 am NYAYO D1/1l/162 KAA Vs Parklands 10:30 am “ D1/1l/163 Trailblazers Vs Umoja 12:00 noon “ D1/1l/161 Nairobi aviation Vs KCA-U 1:30pm “ Mp/1l/099 Terror Vs Blazers 3:00 pm “ Mp/1l/179 Co-op bank Vs Ulinzi 4:30 pm “
SUN.22.07.12 Wp/1l/146 Western delights Vs Eagle wings 10:00 am Kakamega Police Canteen Mp/1l/140 MMUST Vs Lakeside `` 12:00 noon `` D1/1l/166 Upper hill Vs Emyba 9:00 am NYAYO D1/1l/180 KU pirates Vs World Hope 10:30 am “ Wp/1l/013 Co-op bank Vs Mennonites `` 12:00 “ Wp/1l/167 Gladiators Vs Strathmore 1:30 pm Mp/1l/181 ULINZI Vs Mennonites `` 3:00 pm Mp/1l/170 Kcb lions Vs USIU `` 4:30 pm
NIGERIA : Dagunduro: 'We'll have same approach in London"
Ade DAGUNDURO (Nigeria). Greece v Nigeria. 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men, Quarter-Finals. 6 July 2012
NGR - Dagunduro: 'We'll have same approach in London"
GUILFORD (Olympics) - Two weeks have passed since Ade Dagunduro calmly converted two free-throws with less than five seconds remaining to help his Nigeria team upset Greece 80-79 in the Quarter-Finals of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT). The result against the No. 4 team in the FIBA Rankings was a real shock, and praise from all over was showered on the Africans. Now Dagunduro is trying to get over one of the most famous moments in his country's sporting history and focus on the Olympics. The 26-year-old averaged 10 points per game in Caracas and provide many a thrill, with transition buckets, three-pointers and great defense The plan is for the Nigerians to carry on with the same approach and determination at the London Games, where they will face Argentina, France, Lithuania, USA and Tunisia in Group A. Nigeria will make their Olympic debut against Afrobasket champions Tunisia on 29 July while on Day 3, they will square off against the USA. After watching Team USA trounce Great Britain 118-78 from his hotel room in Guilford, near London, on Thursday night, he says of the Americans to FIBA.com: “It is an extreme honor to play against a well coached and talented team, and we will keep playing as we have been playing so far." Where Nigeria will finish at the Olympics is anybody's gue Dagunduro says he and his teammates will take it “step by step” and that right now, they just need to be focused and to put their “game together.” It was sure together in Caracas, Venezuela. Nigeria not only beat Greece but also stunned Lithuania. Dagunduro says it's time to move, but that's very difficult. He is about to play at the Olympics. "I can’t describe what I'm living right now," he says. “This is simply amazing. “That win against Greece was the biggest win in African basketball. This is a big thing for African basketball.”
California-born, Dagunduro is one of nine players in the 12-man Nigeria team who grew up in the United Sates. Tony Skinn, Ejike Ugboaja and Olumide Oyedeji were born in Nigeria, but played college basketball and professionally in the USA. Critics say Nigeria are playing with American players rather than Nigerians. “We are all of Nigeria descent and all of us have family in Nigeria," Dagunduro says. “It makes no sense to say we are not Nigerians. “We feel Nigerian, and we are proud to represent the country. “Of course we have a real sense of the reality in Nigeria. “When we are on court and think of our relatives back in Nigeria it gives us an extra boost to play for the country.”
Future of the national team Nigeria's national team is experiencing the highest moment in its basketball history. They were able to put a talented team together and then qualified for their first Olympics. Asked about his future with the national team, Dagunduro says he leaves it in “God’s hands.” The reason for some missing players, he says, “is because, sometimes we are stuck with contracts and family issues. That’s why it is difficult to put this team together regularly. “I am not sure whether I will make it to the team (at Afrobasket 2013), but I would love to. “There are more than 200 million people of Nigeria origin who could be picked for the team. “In African basketball we are now in a very strong position as coach Bakare did a good job.” As the Nigeria team arrived in London on Tuesday, 17 July for the remainder of their preparations on the outskirts of London, Ekene Ibekwe and Tony Skinn are expected to join the team over the weekend. Ibekwe, who just turned 27 on Thursday, 19 July, is showing his skills in the NBA Summer League with the Portland Trailblazers.
USA on Nigeria
Nigeria’s qualification to the Olympics has raised some eyebrows. While in Manchester, England, Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski said to FIBA.com: “African basketball has grown immensely. It has to do with how many young players have come to the United States. “For Nigeria to get an Olympic bid, through that qualifier, was one of the amazing things for FIBA basketball to have two African nations among 12 teams. “I haven’t seen Tunisia play. I saw Nigeria because we were watching the qualifier [Olympic Qualifying Tournament].”
Former Cooperative Bank Star player Abel Nson recently switched his allegiance to Mombasa based KPA following a disagreement with the Cooperative Bank’s team management where he played for the past two years. The player says at KPA, he has been received with respect and given maximum support from the team management and players promising to add his contribution towards uplifting the fortunes of the club. Nson joined KPA just a day after playing for Coop Bank in a league match against KPA in Mombasa. “KPA jumped at the opportunity once I told them I was free and available. I switched immediately and this was because I had a disagreement with the Coop Bank management.” Nson told michezoafrika.com. “I was at Coop bank for 2yrs. Those were arguably my best years in basketball in terms of team experience. I grew to become a key player in year 2. In my first year I fought with a lot of negative adversity from my team-mates but with time they all appreciated what I could bring in terms of leadership especially on and off the court. “ He said. “ I was very sad when I had to stop playing for the team. I had a great relationship with my coaches and team-mates, but as they say in French, " c'est la vie". Before moving to Mombasa, Nson was also involved in coaching the Coop Bank ladies Basketball team ‘Kingdom Queens’ but he has now shifted his services to Mombasa’s KPA ladies team. “I am not with the bank at any level including coaching the Queens. I assist KPA ladies every now and then for now. I am now an integral part of KPA so that's the only team I can work with at any level.
Nson believes KPA has a good chance of winning the KBF premier league this season if they keep the consistency and remain focused. “My strong belief is that if we gel at the right pace and everyone takes their roles, indeed we have the outfit to win it all this season. My motivation to join the Dock men was mostly because I felt it was the only other team with an outside chance to win.” He continued. He has however challenged the Kenya basketball Federation to work extra hard and inject some motivation in the league that can spur competition and add professionalism since the league has deteriorated compared to previous years. “The league has not improved according to me. Some teams are benefiting from having gelled already and thus having wins but that does not translate to a better level. When I came to Kenya in 2003 the league was much stronger. Now, we just have some names here and there but in essence the level is much lower. This I mean in both categories and that's why the finalists are basically predictable.” He concluded.
JUNIOR national basketball team captain Pascal Karekezi has challenged his colleagues to rise up to the occasion when they take on Kenya in the Zone Five qualifiers which kick off this weekend in Kigali.
Karekezi, who was a chubby youngster in the U-18 team that finished 6th in the 2010 qualifiers, wants to make amends this time round by winning the tournament which is being hosted by Kigali for the second consecutive time.
"The pressure on us in 2010 to perform well in the quarter-final got to our heads and we lost, but it is a different prospect now because I and a few colleagues have experience in such a competition and we know what we want," noted the center forward.
His coach Nenad Amanovic is however cautions of a physical Kenya side and has called on his players to be aggressive in the two games against Kenya.
The Kenyan team is expected to arrive in the country this afternoon by road, and will have only a day to prepare for action on the opening day of the tournament.
Claims in certain quarters that the hosts would have it easy against fatigued opponents have been rubbished by the Rwanda Basketball Federation president Desire Mugwiza.
"They'll have over 24 hours to recuperate, so it would be silly for us to bank on the notion that they will be tired. Our goal is to win the games fair and square," Mugwiza said. Zone Five Qualifies Saturday
Kenya (W) vs Rwanda (W) 2:00pm
Rwanda (M) vs Kenya (M) 16:30pm
Game on: Power’s Isaac Afidra (L) challenges a Miracle’s Caesar Kizito player during a league game
For the first time in three years, Fuba League defending champions Dmark Power have lost three regular season games.
This evening, the off-form side takes on an unpredictable Ndejje Angels and the outcome will determine a lot of what the future holds for the five-time champions, writes Felix Eupal.
Not a single Dmark Power saw this coming. Amid all the plaudits heaped upon the team after winning a second straight title last season, their coach Bernice Ankunda even joked that his players could be picked off a bar counter and come and run any team down.
But that wasn’t the case last Sunday against Miracle Eagles as Power looked nothing like a defending champion. It was just a complete mishandling of what on paper looked an easy match-up; from the inbounds to the poor shooting on the line to the constant turnovers, Ankunda was clueless throughout the eighty minutes.
For the first time in the season, Miracle looked like title contenders as they comfortably won 70-63. Based on this performance Power can kiss goodbye to their mission of emulating Falcons by winning three straight championships.
Ankunda brushed off the Sunday performance as a “bad day in office” but it was more than just that. For one, Isaac Afidra, an influential figure in all Power’s championships, struggled to make a single point the entire game.
On the other hand, Ndejje Angels are not faring any better. The currently sixth-placed university side lost to minnows Heaters 36-46 on the same evening and are about to lose their best player Geoffrey Soro.
Coupled with the animated antics of their coach Walker Obedi, who is always provoking referees into fights, Ndejje seems like a team without ambition. For a team that started the season hyping itself as title contenders, averaging a mere 40 points per game is a damning indictment.
Earlier in the first round, Ndejje came very close to outwitting Power before falling short 69-76 three months ago. Anything but a win could leave their playoff hopes hanging by a thread.
Meanwhile, Power are as desperate for the win as they bid to avoid facing the big guns in the playoff draw. Phillip Kyomuhendo, their manager, says: “We need this title more than any other title we have ever won, that’s why we need to win all the remaining games.”
To signal intent, they have signed two foreign players in 20-year-old shooting guard Tafadzwa Brendon Gonyora from Alcc Lions and George Run’anga, a 26-year-old 6’7 centre from Zimbabwean side Cameo. The pair has been training with the team for the past two weeks and is set to make their debut tonight.