22 September 2014

KENYA : Relegation battle begins to take shape


  • Lions Kaudia Harrison in a past league match against Strathmore.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
The weekend matches of the Kenya Basketball Federation national classic league had a huge implication on the relegation battle in both men and women premier leagues.
Western Delight and Mennonite are rock bottom of the women premier with 11 and 12 points respectively but Delight has played fewer games.
The relegation fight in men premier has winless Blazers on 23 points, Kenyatta University Pirates who have so far won three games and stand at 25 points, Mennonite and Nakuru Club who have four wins apiece.
Nakuru is in its second season and escaped relegation last season after finishing eleventh in the then 12-team league.
A move to expand the league to 16 teams that was ratified at the annual general meeting saved them from the chop. Their performance this season has not been that good but are still keeping the hope of staying afloat. “We are going nowhere.
I am targeting at least seven wins in the remaining eleven games and we will be safe,” head coach Richard Kanda told sportsnewsarena.com. Out of the possible 30 games, Nakuru has played nineteen and won five with fourteen losses.
Kanda pegs his hopes on the fact that most of the pending games are against teams not considered serious title contenders.
“It is something we can achieve considering most of our opponents are on the middle and lower ends of the table. The homeground advantage also favours my side since we will play more at home than away.”
Having endured financial challenges for the past two seasons, he remains optimistic that fortunes will change come next season as they expect to remain in the league.
“We are a self-sponsored team thus we struggle a lot. Hopefully, we will have a sponsor next season because we have sent out many requests.”
Nakuru played away in Nairobi on Saturday denying Blazers their first win of the season with a 60-55 last-minute victory. Blazers was on the receiving end again Sunday narrowly losing 48-50 to KU Pirates in a game they trailed 20-26 at halftime.
Nakuru deny Blazers win
Jonathan Lando and Jacktone Agunda top scored for Pirates with 11 points each while Jay Michoma scored 10 for Blazers. United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) scored the second win of the weekend beating Equity Bank 59-51 on Sunday.
The students rallied from down 24-26 at the breather with Samuel Odera scoring 15 points and Abel Nson added 11. Brian Obimbo top scored for Equity with 19 points.
Lions was also on two wins for the weekend after beating Mennonite 76-54 helped by 19 points from Victor Ochieng and 12 from Richard Adega. Eric Makokha scored 15 points for Mennonite.
In the women premier, USIU-A neared the century score for the second day running with a 94-16 beating of Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U).
USIU-A led 42-11 at halftime with Magnifique Magnifique top scoring with 20 points and Zipporrah Odhiambo adding 14. Joyce Lynette scored 6 points for KCA-U as USIU-A remains the only unbeaten side in the league.
Weekend Results: Saturday- World Hope 55 ANU 51, Umoja 71 Baraka Xtreme 34, Dankind Academy 37 Parklands Baptist 36, Upper Hill 55 Lakeside 42, Mennonite 13 USIU Flames 94, Mennonite 57 KU Pirates 63, Lions 78 KAA 71, Blazers 55 Nakuru Club 60, Thunder 68 USIU Tigers 85; Sunday- JKUAT 36 Barclays Bank 61, ANU 50 Upper Hill 61, Baraka Xtreme 51 Lakeside 57, Trailblazers 57 Parklands Baptist 38, USIU Flames 94 KCA-U 16, Lions 76 Mennonite 54, KU Pirates 50 Blazers 48, Equity Bank 51 USIU Tigers 59

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