26 May 2014
KENYA : Things falling apart for former basketball giants Lions
They lost their key sponsor,Kenya Commercial Bank,KCB last season which led to the mass walk out by virtually all but three of their experienced players .
Denis Opiyo, Victor Ochieng and Moses Wanjara are the only faces remaining in the team from the one that reached playoff semifinals last season. Furthermore, head coach Francis Ngunjiri and his assistant Maurice Shitsama have never shown up in the team’s training as well as matches.
Could this be marking the beginning of the end of the mighty Lions?
“No, I am sure we will bounce back soon,” said Opiyo. “We are engaging a few prospective sponsors and their feedback is positive.”
Unlike in the past, the players have to manage themselves in the absence of a substantive technical bench.
The team solely depended on contributions from individual players to run their campaign last season.
Most of them were employed but it is not business as usual since their departure.
Lions train at the KCB Sports Club in Ruaraka twice per week at a fees of Sh. 3, 000 every month which has kept away many players.
Lions fall heavy to Co-op
On Saturday, Lions lost 74-28 to longtime rivals and league champions Co-operative Bank in a league match. Co-op led 32-17 at the breather.
Only seven players showed up for the match and could not match the bankers who were a full-house.
Nicholas Anyang top scored for the bankers with 17 points while Moses Ochieng scored 9 for Lions.
United States International University- Africa, USIU-A, had a double win for the weekend. On Saturday, the students beat Blazers 62-18 as Abel Nson scored 12 points from the three-point line against his former side (Blazers).
Alvin Nyangweso added 16 points for USIU while Blazers’ top scorer was Jay Michoma with 7. A day later, USIU was up for their second win beating Equity Bank 55-45. Victor Bosire scored 10 points and Kevin Kigotho added 9 for the students.
The bankers’ highest scorer was George Omenda with 11 points. Varsity side Terrorist continued with their fine run this season with a 38-33 comeback win over Nairobi Aviation College.
Aviation led 22-16 at halftime after registering 6-2 and 16-14 wins in the first two quarters. The third quarter tied at 7-7 while Terror carried home the fourth with a 15-4 score.
Co-op beat KCA
Innocent Adagala scored 11 points for Terror and Alit Makuac had 16 for Aviation. Blades from Strathmore University was also on the winning side beating visiting Nakuru Club 71-58.
Valentine Nyakinda scored 18 points for Blades while Denis Makori top scored for Nakuru with 15. In the other match of men premier, Kenya Airports Authority beat Kenyatta University Pirates 79-50.
Shem Otieno had a game high 21 points for KAA while Benson Moibi scored 13 for Pirates. Co-op Bank won 65-38 against Kenya College of Accountancy- University, KCA-U, in their women premier match.
Grace Wanjiku scored 18 points for the bankers while Rebecca Nkatha had 10 for the students. USIU-A had two wins for the weekend; beating Sprite Storms 29-24 in a low scoring match and Mennonite 66-15.
Weekend Results: Co-op Bank 65 KCA-U 38 (Ladies), USIU-A 66 Mennonite 15 (Ladies), Blades 71 Nakuru Club 58, Parklands Baptist 32 Dankind Academy 69, Barclays Bank 44 ANU 31, Umoja 60 KCA-U 50, KU Pirates 50 KAA 79, Co-op Bank 74 Lions 28, Blazers 18 USIU-A 62, Terror 38 Nairobi Aviation College 33, Sprite Storms 24 USIU-A 29, USIU-A 55 Equity Bank 45