06 July 2014

KENYA : Eagle Wings, USIU lock horns

  • Eagle Wings coach Everlyn Kedogo.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
Eagle Wings could be without four key players when they play United States International University- Africa, USIU-A, in a national classic league match on Sunday at the Nyayo gymnasium.
Annerose Atieno, Linda Nyikuli, Lucy Machuma and Salma Akinyi are all nursing injuries that are likely to rule them out of the game.
Despite the setback, head coach Evelyne Kedogo believes the available players will be up to the task “We will approach the game like any other and the girls are prepared for it. We are taking everything serious and will play to win,” she said.
Eagle Wings has so far lost two matches and a win against USIU will be top on their options. USIUs only setback is Doreen Nyaga who is out for two weeks injured but the rest of the squad is fully fit.
“With one key player injured, we will have to be cautious considering we will be facing an experienced side,” said head coach George Mayienga.
“We respect them but will do our best because that is what every coach and player wants in such a game.”
Any game bringing the two teams together is always a crowd puller and comes with high stakes.
To some extent, there is usually something to settle between the teams. It was Eagle Wings who dashed USIU's hopes of a maiden league title in 2012 by beating them in the playoffs final.
Come 2013, USIU avenged by knocking out Wings in the playoffs semifinals but went on to lose the final to KPA. USIU-A has only lost Linda Mfuchi who decamped to Equity Bank and will parade a more familiar side on Sunday.
To the contrary, Eagle Wings was weakened after the departure of inspirational captain Silalei Shani who retired as well as point guards Samba Mjomba and Natalie Akinyi who joined other clubs.
They still have experienced hands in Everlyne Nora and Debra Obunga who will combine well with new recruits that Kedogo says have impressed thus far.
USIU-A is still unbeaten in the league on eight matches and will be on a mission to sustain their record. Hilda Indasi and Zipporah Adhiambo are the standout players for the varsity side.
Co-operative Bank will play host to Strathmore University in the other tough match of the women premier.
The bankers’ point guard Grace Wanjiku will come up against her former side while Melissa Akinyi will lead Strathmore’s fight.
League champions Kenya Ports Authority, KPA, will travel to Kakamega for a date with Western Delights on Saturday.
The dockers have failed to maintain their unbeaten run but the western tour might end up being an easy one.
Delights has lost all its home matches this season and KPA might be the next beneficiary of their losing consistency.
Brenda Angeshi and Helen Oketch for KPA and Celia Okumu for Delights will be the key players in the game.
Co-op face Nakuru
The men premier action has champions Co-operative Bank tackling Nakuru Club in a match of total contrast.
The bankers are yet to lose a match or forfeit points this season while Nakuru has had a tough outing thus far.
Co-op Bank is always at its best when playing at home while Nakuru’s away record is wanting which could be a key determinant in the match.
Thunder will host Blades from Strathmore University with the hope of getting their campaign back on track.
The Shauri Moyo side has failed to replicate the good performance of last season and has struggled in getting points. However, it can be a different Thunder with their star player Griffin Ligare on the court while Blades will rely on Emmanuel Soja.
Apart from upsetting their senior Strathmore side, it has not been sweet ride for Blades who lost 56-60 to Lions over the weekend.
USIU-A will play Mennonite on Sunday as Strathmore University entertain Kenya Airports Authority, KAA.
Weekend Fixtures: Saturday- World Hope vs Parklands Baptist (10:30am, Upper Hill School), Trailblazers vs ANU (12pm), Upper Hill vs KCA-U (2pm), Umoja vs Barclays Bank (4pm), JKUAT vs Zetech College (10am, Thika High School), Baraka Xtreme vs Dankind Academy (12pm), Western Delights vs KPA (10am, KPC); Sunday- Barclays Bank vs JKUAT (9am, Upper Hill School), KCA-U vs Zetech College (10:30am), Upper Hill vs Dankind Academy (12pm), Parklands Baptist vs Umoja (2pm), Strathmore University vs KAA (4pm), USIU Tigers vs Mennonite (9am, Nyayo gymnasium), Co-op Bank vs Strathmore University (10:30am), Thunder vs Blades (12pm), Co-op Bank vs Nakuru Club (2pm), USIU Flames vs Eagle Wings (4pm).

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