30 November 2007

LIBERIA : Broadway tournament kicks off

The long awaited annual Broadway Basketball Tournament kicked off last Friday at the Sports Commission on Broad Street in the Liberian capital, Monrovia. In the opening match, defending champions NPA Pythons whipped Flames 63-56 points. On day II LPRC Oilers packed Dream Team 87-65 points. NPA Pythons got her second win on Sunday November 25 when she buried Uhuru Kings 65-53 points in an exciting match that kept the many spectators streaming.

22nd Champions Cup for men: The draw to take place next Monday in Abidjan

Initially scheduled to be held in Luanda (Angola), the draw ceremony of the 22nd Champions Cup for men to be held from December 13 – 22 in Angola with 12 clubs will finally take place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

This draw ceremony will be held on Monday, December 03, 2007 at 18 O’clock at Hotel ivoire and is to be supervised by the president and Secretary General of FIBA Africa, respectively Pr Alain Ekra and Dr Alphonse Bilé. The clubs’ delegates will be represented by their diplomatic officials and many guests are also expected.

The draw will help to divide the 12 teams into two Groups A and B. Interclube (Angola, hosting club) will lead group A while Petro Atlético (Angola, 2006 Champion) will lead group B.

The Group A will play in Cabinda while the Group B will compete in Huambo.

The second round of this championship will be played in Luanda where the final berth will take place.

NIGERIA : Africa Champions Cup for Men: Potters role out 15-man list

Nigeria representative at the final round of the 22nd Africa Champions Cup for Men, Niger Potters basketball club Thursday release its provincial list of players.

Potters Head Coach, Adamu Kuta told www.fiba-afrique.org in a telephone chat that the coaching crew in conjunction with the club management decide to come out with this 15 players list out of the over twenty players jostling for a place in the 12-team roster.

Coach Kuta gave the names of the players as Captain Abubakar Usman, Abubakar Yusuf, Othniel Azolo, Victor Okoro, Sati Paul, Farouk Musa, Chigozie Nwoye and Abdulazeez Yusuf.

Others are Stanley Gumut, Dreams Emmanuel, Anthony, Moses Okafor, Shehu Mohammed, Aminu Jimoh and Isiaka Yusuf, the three coaches listed includes the head coach Kuta to be assisted by the duo of Isyaq Halidu and Danlami Ndatsu.

According to Coach Kuta, the final list of twelve players shall be made public by the weekend while the club have concluded plans to play at least three warm up matches before it depart Nigeria for Luanda on December 11.

RWANDA : Government Rescues APR With Air Tickets

Julius Mbaraga

Rwanda's representatives at this year's African Club Championship; APR basketball Club are in relaxed mood after landing financial support from the government.

APR's Kenyan coach Cliff Owuor disclosed to Times Sport that the government through the Sports Ministry has agreed in principle to foot the biggest part of the club's budget for the 10-day competition that unfolds on December 13 in Luanda, Angola.

According to Jean Pierre Karabaranga, the Secretary General in the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport, it's the government's commitment to facilitate transport costs for any local team engaging international competition.

"The norm is that the ministry meets transport costs for any team or club representing the country in a continental event. In the football discipline, we have done it for APR, Atraco, Rayon Sports, in volleyball, we have done it UNR, KVC so there is no reason why we can't do it for the APR basketball club," Karabaranga said.

While Owuor said, "I have learnt that the Sports Ministry has agreed to foot the team's travel expenses and we can't be more grateful to the government for this intervention."

"The support is timely because it has come when the club needs it most. This is a very big competition and it is very ideal for the team to spend much of its time focusing on the competition rather than soliciting for funds," Owuor pointed out.

APR has been preparing for the championship since early November despite failing to qualify for this year's national league play-offs. It is the first time that the 2005 and 2006 National league champions had failed to qualify for the play-offs since the system was introduced to local basketball back three years ago.

With barely two weeks before the competition gets underway, the local giants have intensified their preparations. The team is now having two practise sessions at Amahoro Indoor stadium.

On a further brighter note, Owuor has been boasted by the return Aboubacar Barame, Mputu Badibanga and Jean de Dieu Umutoni 'Mutombo.

The trio has been out with injuries but they started light training on Tuesday according to their Kenyan trainer.

UGANDA : Inexperience Cost Warriors Title - Tashobya

By Charles Mutebi

KYAMBOGO Warriors coach Ambrose Tashobya said yesterday that lack of experience denied the team the national basketball championship title.
The Warriors won the first two games in the best of five finals but failed to get the clincher as Mogas Falcons took the next three to take the title.

Tashobya recounted the team's troubles in an interview with The New Vision.
"We lost the third game because my boys relaxed thinking they had finished the job," Tashobya explained yesterday.

Tashobya added that the champions struggled in their first two defeats but had the players like Sam Obol and the Malinga brothers to do the job.

29 November 2007

Africa Champions Cup for Men: Two Nigerian players, Ebikoro & Nambam join ABC

FIBA Africa Zone-3 qualifier and 2005 FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Men champion, Abidjan Basketball Club (A.B.C) is not leaving anything to chance in her quest to do well at the final round of the 22nd edition of the continent's most glamorous club championship - The Africa Champions Cup for Men with two Nigerian imports.

According to an impeccable source close to the Abidjan-based side, the management of the Ivorian league champion rose from a crucial meeting after the zone-3 qualifiers where the club lost to Nigeria's Niger Potters basketball club and resolve to strengthened the side ahead the final phase of the championship billed for Angola cities of Luanda, Huambo and Cabinda.

The two Nigerian recruited by the side for the big task ahead both played in the forward line, Dennis Ebikoro of Ebun Comets basketball club and Kevin Ninmol Nambam of Plateau Peaks basketball club and are bring wealth of experience to the side.

Ebikoro, who plays in the small forward and power forward position, is not new to the Champions Cup terrain as he has been through it with his Nigeria side in 2004 in Cairo, Egypt and during the 2006 qualifiers held in Abidjan while Nambam a centre has seen lots of top flight basketball actions in the past.

With the addition, A.B.C is said to be ready to challenge for honours against defending champion, Petro Atletico of Luanda and other top clubs who will be on parade from December 13 though 22 when hostilities began.

Additional report by: Ozoemena Christopher

RWANDA : Streetball Underway

By Timothy Muvunyi

STREET Basketball tournament is underway and will take place December 26-27 at Amahoro courts, Time Sports has learnt.

According to the co-Organizer, Honore Twagirayezu, the event is mainly for promoting the youth thought Streetball and publizing basketball among the population.
"The game is quite different from the usual basketball because there are fewer rules in Streetball than there is in the normal," Twagirayezu said adding that apart from fighting there is no strict rule in Streetball.
Twagirayezu, however, said that the plan is to make the December event beautiful and more attractive.
The tournament is officially being organized by Contact FM and will replace the previous Sprite Ball event which ceased sponsorship from Sprite two years back.
Contact FM wants, according to Twagirayezu, to make the event an annual one.

The event will include AND1 matches, dancing contests, and Clash or rapping contests among others.
The tournament is usually for youths between 21-27 years but in developed countries but this one will host players from 18-27 years old.
The players will be given prizes in every discipline and an overall prize on the dominating team.
The co-organizer said that companies willing to promote their products are welcome at the event.

UGANDA : Tight race for MVP award

By Sande Bashaija

FALCONS' skipper Eric Malinga and Kyambogo Warriors maestro Ronnie Kasewu are favourites for this year's topflight Most Valuable Player's (MVP) accolade.

Malinga stood high, leading an out of sorts Falcons side to the play-offs when his brother Henry was out injured in the regular season and was equally outstanding during the final series.

Though Warriors lost 2-3 to Falcons in the best of five final series, Kasewu exhibited vividness and gave fans their money's worth throughout the season.

His dribbling skills and accurate shooting make him a top contender for the accolade that is currently held by Nkumba Marines star Boniface Okello.
Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (Fuba) is organizing an awards ceremony due this Saturday but officials are tightlipped on which candidate is favourite.

But Daily Monitor has seen a shortlist that also includes Warriors' duo of Stephen Okias and Brian Gumisiriza and Henry Malinga (Falcons).

Becky Akullo and Miriam Hamala, who led KCC Leopards to their maiden championship, are favourites for the women's award together with A-1 Challenge's Ali Mavita.

28 November 2007

ANGOLA : Country With Three Teams at African Clubs Cup

The 2007 edition of the African Clubs Cup in senior males basketball, set for December 13-22, in Angola, will gather twelve teams, three of them Angolans ones, ANGOP has learnt.

Petro de Luanda, 1º de Agosto and Interclube will represent the country again, just like in 2005, in Cote d'Ivoire.

Mozambique's Ferroviario da Beira are the fourth Portuguese speaking country team in this competition. Other teams are MBC of Guinea, Stade Malien (Mali), Niger Potters (Nigeria), ABC (Cote d'Ivoire), ASPAC (Benin), BC Kauka (DRC), ASB Onatra (DRC) and APR (Rwanda).

RWANDA : Another year goes begging for Espoir


Last Sunday summed up what is yet another difficult year for Espoir, one of Rwanda’s traditional basketball giants.

Similar to the difficulties of the last two years, 2007 would go down the club history books as yet another trophy-less years.
The 2004 national basketball league champions blew their title hopes away after crushing out of the play-offs to league debutants CSK A.

After their perennial rivals APR failed to qualify for the play-offs, the first time in their history, Espoir, with new Norman Blick, were tipped to have a real go to this year’s title but shockingly to their fans, that wasn’t to be.

Despite a superior play-offs record over their opponents, the Nyamirambo based club found themselves on the back foot as the league debutants registered back to back wins to halt their older rivals’ chances.

After a 62-56 win in the first game, CSK A led by their point guards Crispin Gishoma and Gerol Ndugu topped up that show with a yet another 84-76 win to send Espoir crushing out of the play-offs.

Since 2004, Espoir has been second best to APR who have taken absolute control of the game thanks in part to their Kenyan coach Cliff Owuor.
On top of having new clubs at this year’s play-offs final, 2007 has also gone down into Rwanda’s basketball history books as the first year where both Espoir and APR have not featured in the final.

Espoir’s captain and assistant coach Didier Mushumba has blamed the club’s recent poor run to shortage of players.
“We don’t have many local players at our disposal yet foreign players who can easily be accessed are costly.

They are expensive to sign because the club runs on a small budget.
“We don’t have the resources like APR to freely sign foreign players,” Mushumba stated.

UGANDA : Falcons Finish It On Top, Once Again

By Charles Mutebi

THE Mogas Falcons are in very familiar territory after finishing the year on top. The champions are still in the honeymoon of conquering an unprecedented sixth title, but in hindsight anything was possible once they got into the playoffs.

The champions had such a poor regular season that their qualification for the playoffs solely depended on the UCU Canons defeating KIU in the last league round. But if the Canons had known that the Falcons would turn on them in the semifinals, KIU would have probably received safe passage.
At the time however, the Canons could care less about whom they met in the playoffs. They were regular season winners and having just two curious defeats, the championship seemed theirs in waiting. The top-flight debutantes however discovered that it takes some experience to win the title.

But the Kyambogo Warriors, making their fourth playoffs appearance, had finally looked like turning their perennial promise into product. After rolling over Sadolin Power in the semifinals they continued unabated into the first two final games. but the Warriors again took their reputation as the 'nearly men' of Ugandan basketball to new depths, losing three straight to gift the title to the Falcons.

Power's 106-69 defeat to Warriors was one of the highlights of the year. It was the first of two defeats that evicted the former two-time champions at the semifinals.

The Nkumba Marines also exhibited disorganisation. They failed to turn up for a first round clash against the MUK Heaters due to internal disputes. That no show cost the defending champions four points and ultimately a place in the playoffs.

The Heaters and Knight Riders were relegated to the second division ahead of the Charging Rhinos. The 1997 champions looked like relegation candidates until the Falcons defeated the Riders - their immediate rivals.

But the Falcons had fielded an ineligible Louis Habineza against the Riders causing end of season appeals by the Riders.

2007 began like it would redefine the landscape at the top of the men's game. But the Falcons wound it up paying homage to the adage that 'the more things change, the more they remain the same'.

KENYA : Co-op, KCB clash in a final of bankers


Co-operative Bank of Kenya will meet Kenya Commercial Bank Lions in the 2007 men’s Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Premier League final.

The best-of-three final series starts at the Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium on Saturday.

Co-op Bank, who crushed 2-0 to Ulinzi Warriors in last year’s final, booked a date with their fellow bankers when they humiliated University of Nairobi’s Terrorists 111-56 in the decisive game three on Sunday winning by a staggering 55 points.

Terrorists had battled from down to tie the series 1-1 prompting the game three to determine who qualifies for the final. Co-op Bank, had won the semi-final opener 69-67 before the students got back into the series by winning game two 72-65. KCB Lions lost 2-1 to Ulinzi Warriors in last year’s semi-finals.

On Sunday, the students, who seem to have over celebrated their first qualification for the post-season play-offs, lost their fighting spirit leaving their fans disappointed.

Co-op Bank had an easy run to lead 24-14 and 26-16 in the first and second quarters. It was systems go for Horace Nyadera, Lewis Muya and Wycliffe Ochieng, who nailed easy points for the bankers.

Martin Okwako’s basket crossed the century mark for Co-op Bank at 100-47 with three minutes and eight seconds left.

The Genga brothers Eugene and Rodney showed little effort for the students and left their star Brian Busu an overworked man.

Muya hit game-high 26 points, Ochieng scored 18 and Okwako 14 for Co-op Bank while Busu connected 26 points and Rodney Genga 12 for the losers.

The women’s final, will pit last year’s losing finalists Kenya Ports Authority against debutants Flames of the United States International University of Africa.

KPA beat Eagle Wings 68-60 in game two match in Mombasa to qualify while Flames of the USIU knocked out Sprite Storms 42-41 in a low- scoring decisive game three match.

The dockwomen had beaten Eagle Wings 47-41 in game one in Nairobi and their home victory saw them advance on a 2-0 sweep.

Sprite Storms, on the other hand had forced a 1-1 tie after winning game two 82-61.

Telkom and KPA men’s teams had no opposition in their Division One category where they easily eliminated their opponents Mennonites and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology 2-0 to sail into the 2007 final.

27 November 2007

SEYCHELLES : HotShots sweep series to retain title

THEY did not bring the brooms with them to the Palais des Sports on Sunday but they swept Anse Etoile Stars to retain the Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) Cup. HotShots not only kept the trophy they won for the first time last year, but they did so in style.

HOTSHOTS … second SBF Cup title in two years

Coach Philip Arissol’s team did what probably no other local or foreign team have done before against the Stars, keeping them at bay for one whole quarter and forcing them to fire blanks when scoring 23 points of their own. This happened in the second quarter of Sunday’s game two which they won 71-44 after having edged the Stars 51-49 in game one played last Saturday.

Asked how it was possible to blank the experienced Stars and then score 23 points against them, coach Arissol replied:
“What, we scored 23 points? I knew they did not score but I did not take statistics of the number of points we scored in the second quarter. After not playing quite well in the game-one win, I asked my players to step up our defence and not to give Anse Etoile Stars’ good ball handlers time to dwell on the ball. The tactic worked. They turned the ball over and we scored.”

After being outscored 8-15 in the first quarter, HotShots took the shine off the Stars in the second 10-minute spell, scoring 23 points while coach Michel Malbrook’s team failed to score a single point.

Many expected the Stars to storm back like they’ve done before even when undermanned, but this time wasn’t to be the case. Probably it wasn’t their day! Coach Malbrook also conceded defeat with almost three minutes left on the clock as he just watched his players play.

With former Seychelles point guard Jenita Toussaint showing that she can still shoot from long range, scoring six treys for a game-high 26 points, Anse Boileau-based HotShots won the third and fourth quarters 13-17 and 16-23 for a series-clinching 71-44 win.

Centre and Seychelles international volleyballer Tina Agathine added 23 points, while Samia Asba was HotShots’ third player scoring in double figures with 12 points.

Veteran Simone Malbrook led the Stars in scoring with 13 points.
“Retaining the SBF Cup is a big achievement. We’ve been training hard and played consistent basketball over the past two years and we even challenged Anse Etoile Stars for the league crown. I thank all my players for their commitment to the game,” said coach Arissol to Sports Nation.

It is to note that Hot Shots are to leave the country on Saturday December 1 for Mauritius where they will play three friendly matches.

Omony (with ball) rises over the Premium Cobras defenceMeanwhile, the men’s SBF Cup title decider will be played on Sunday December 2 after Men’s division 1A champs PLS Hawks reached the century mark and tied the best-of-three series at 1-1 by pounding Premium Cobras 102-64 on Sunday.

After losing game one 68-72, PLS Hawks, whose coach Tony Juliette and centre Rodney Lozé were hit with two-match bans three hours before the start of Sunday’s match for fighting, got a game-high 36 points from Ugandan Stephen Omony in their big win.
Neddy ‘Oye’ Fanchette added 22 points, while Barry Baron made a 12-point contribution.

Premium Cobras were without Nigerian power forward Reuben Kolawole, who is serving a two-match suspension after receiving a technical foul for indecent gesture in the game-one win.

On Sunday, the Cobras also lost Tanzanian Abdallah ‘Dulla’ Ramadhan who was hit with two unsportsmanlike fouls while Francis ‘Toy’ Herminie and Biko Biong fouled out.


Spotlight on Tina Agathine

A tower of strength for HotShots and Arsu

SHE is tall and stands at 1.82 metres, making her a tower of strength for her teams. A Seychelles international volleyballer and a member of the Arsu volleyball team, Tina Agathine joined the HotShots basketball team in 2002, winning the League title in her first year. She’s now won the SBF Cup twice in 2006 and 2007.

With Arsu, whom she joined when aged 17 in 1999, Agathine has won almost everything - the Women’s Division One league title seven times, the SVF Cup, the SVF Shield and the Indian Ocean Club Championship on two occasions in 2002 and 2003. She missed a third title and the team’s fifth success in the competition played in Reunion in January this year.
How can she cope practicing these two sports and which one does she likes best?

“I like both volleyball and basketball. I’m a completely different individual when on the court performing the two sports which have almost nothing in relation. I play on two good teams. On the HotShots basketball team, there is a family atmosphere as we all come from Anse Boileau. This is different with the Arsu volleyball team based in Anse Royale. The Arsu volleyballers are more mature and I learn a lot from them. The good thing is that players on both teams are united as a group,” said Agathine, who has a three-year-old son named Darren.

Already a member of the Seychelles volleyball team, Agathine was called to the country’s basketball pre-selection. As she could not play for both selections, she chose to play with the country’s volleyball team and it has been a wise decision for she won the African Nations Cup gold medal in Port Harcourt, Nigeria in 2001, the Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) gold medal in 2003 in Mauritius, and the IOIG silver medal in 2007 in Madagascar.

What a nice collection of titles for a 25-year-old who has vowed to continue practicing both sports for as long as she can!
Surely Arsu aren’t ready to lose their middle blocker just like HotShots who know that Agathine brings a lot to their game, bringing down countless offensive and defensive rebounds and scoring in double figures in almost every match. In fact, Agathine has scored the most points – a career-high 52 points - by a female player this season and that was against Cadettes in a 101-7 league win.

G. G.

TANZANIA : JKT defeat Vijana in Kili RBA opener

By Faustine Feliciane

JKT hit Vijana 59-34 in a Kili RBA opening match played at Chang`ombe`s TCC Club in Dar es Salaam last Sunday.
The winners led 30-20 until the breather with Ashraf Harun scoring 20 points, Juma Kisocky (10 points) and Charles Makene eight points.
Top scorers for Vijana were Charles Dismas (9), Jacob Erick (7) and Mohamed Ally `Dibo` (6).
Savio defeated TP Stars 64-34 in another game played over the weekend.
The highest scorers for the winners were George Tarimo (13), Ally Mnyamani (12) and Yusuph Abdul (10).
Chui crashed Don Bosco 74-32 in another match played at the same ground.
The league will continue next weekend at Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club when Dar es Salaam Outsiders will take on Tanzania Prisons, JKT Mgulani vs ABC and Savio vs Jogoo.

EGYPT : Gezira beats Zamalek 74-67 in a friendly game

At 8 pm last night Gezira won by 7 points when they played with Zamalek in a friendly game. WAEL BADR,KHALD EL SAIED Zamalek national team players didn't play as they are having a rest after they finish Arab champion last week. SAMEER GHOUDA the big center didn't play last night because he is suffering from some muscle pain. RAMY GENEDY gezira point guard preferred to rest ,CHRSS GANETT also didn't play yesterday. Both coaches gave junior players a chance to get some time in the game.

RWANDA : CSK a Humbles Espoir

Espoir suffered their worst ever display in local basketball play-offs history after failing to qualify for this year's final.

The Nyamirambo based club crushed out of the race after suffering two straight game defeats against CSK A; one of this year's league debutants.

After a 62-56 defeat in the first game, CSK A wrapped up a fine display with an 84-76 score to rewrite history as the first club to make it to the play-off final in their debut season.

After two failed attempts in 2005 and 2006, Marine registered back to back wins over Rusizi, another one of the league debutants to set up a clash with CSK A in the final.

A 79-61 victory on Saturday and a 75-70 victory on Sunday was enough to sail the Gisenyi-based side through to their first final.

In the ladies' category, Rwanda National University (UNR) and APR made light work of ISAE and Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) respectively to set themselves up for a final's clash.

According to reports from the local basketball governing body, the final rolls off this Saturday at Amahoro Indoor Stadium and will be played on a best of three format.


CSK A 62-56 Espoir
Espoir 76-84 CSK A
Marine 79-61 Rusizi
Rusizi 70-75 Marine
KIST 42-73 APR
UNR 68- 59 ISAE

UGANDA : How Falcons got their groove back

Falcons 77-68 Warriors
Leopards 55-52 A-1

MOGAs Falcons were never in doubt that they would win their sixth league title.

“There is no way Warriors can beat us in two straight games. We are going to push them to the decisive Game 5 and win the series 3-2,” Falcons team manager John Ssimbwa predicted after his team had lost the opening two games of the series last week.

And his prediction came to pass as Falcons came from behind to take the best of five series 3-2 after a 77-68 Game Five victory on Friday and win their record sixth championship.

Offensive game
Warriors coach Ambrose Tashobya admitted Falcons have the best post players in Malinga brothers Eric and Henry, and it's the duo that did the damage.

In the opening two games, which Warriors won 77-71 and 68-57 respectively, the Malingas were kept at bay. Actually in Game One, Henry was limited to only six points.

But in the third fixture, Eric found space to roam in their paint at will. In the decisive game, Eric was again given too much space, and finished with a game high with 23 points.

Foul trouble
Diego Angemi played a very big role in Warriors' march to the ultimate stage. Foul trouble was their undoing in Game 3.
Angemi amassed four fouls in three quarters and had to sit on the bench for the bigger part. With three minutes left, Angemi came on, made two quick steals and brought Warriors within touch (60-63), but then fouled out seconds later.

Olumbo factor
Kenyan coach Thomas 'Smatts' Olumbo is a miraculous tactician. He is a kind of coach who makes players believe that they can overturn a 100-point deficit in one minute. It was not a surprise that Falcons came from behind to win Game Three and Four. It was only in the last game that the record champions led from start to finish.

“All I want from the players is to express themselves on court because it's just a game of basketball,” he told Daily Monitor.

26 November 2007

UGANDA : Falcons, Leopards are 2007 champions

KCC 55-52 A-1 Cha’ge
Falcons 77-68 Warriors

MOGAS Falcons have defied all odds to win this year’s MTN-Fuba Basketball League Championship after edging Kyambogo Warriors 3-2 in the best of five final play-off series.

Skipper Eric Malinga led by example, gunning a game high 22 points while his brother Henry contributed 18 and cleared the boards with precision for Falcons to win the decisive Game Five 77-68 and wrap up the series at Lugogo Indoor Stadium on Friday night.
Falcons, who struggled to qualify for play-offs, seemed out of sorts and few if any gave them chance to lift their sixth championship but a combination of experience and good tactics carried them all the way.

Playing in the finals for the first time, Warriors had won the opening two games of the series but failed to tame Thomas ‘Smatts’ Olumbo’s charges when it mattered most.

The Kenyan tactician came to Falcons’ rescue at the semi-final stage when they had lost Game One to UCU Canons and led them to a 2-1 victory in the best of three series. He did the same against Warriors and his efforts paid off in dividends.

“There is nothing much I did. I only gave the boys confidence by telling them to go out and enjoy themselves in the game,” Olumbo told Daily Monitor.

Ronnie Kasewu caused all sorts of trouble to the Falcons’ defence on Friday but his individual brilliance could not save Warriors from defeat. He grabbed 17 points while two-time league top scorer Stephen Okias scored equally the same number of points to retain his crown.

Earlier Kampala City Coucil (KCC) Leopards had downed A-1 Challenge 55-52 to win their first ever women’s title. The Mayor’s women made up for last season’s disappointing performance that saw them go through the regular season unbeaten only to lose to Lady Bucks in the final.

Spurred by Annet Nakiwu, Leopards held their nerves to win the determininat Game 5, taking the series 3-2. Nakiwu and Becky Akullo collected 14 points apiece for KCC.

Meanwhile, professional boxer Kassim Ouma, who is in the country on a short holiday has organised a party for all the teams that made the finals. Ouma announced on Friday at Lugogo that all players and team officials should turn up at Club Rouge tonight.

SEYCHELLES : HotShots, Premium Cobras win games one of final series

THEY swept the final series last year and were closer to repeating the feat yesterday in games two after winning games one of the Seychelles basketball Federation (SBF) Cup
last Saturday at the Palais des Sports.

HotShots (women) and Premium Cobras (men) held on for important wins against tough opponents – Anse Etoile Stars and PLS Hawks.

Women’s defending champions HotShots lost their lead to the Stars but once they went back into command, they held their nerves to edge coach Michel Malbrook’s team 51-49.
HotShots got a game-high 13 points from centre and Seychelles international volleyballer Tina Agathine who was helped in attack by Seychelles forward Mrya Solin with 10 points.

With three treys for nine of her 11 points, veteran Simone Asba was Stars’ best scorer, while Dynah Louis made a 10-point contribution.

HotShots, who swept Mont Fleuri in last year’s final, needed to win yesterday’s game two to be crowned champions for a second year running. In the event of Anse Etoile getting a win yesterday, the decisive match will be played this afternoon at 5 p.m. at the Palais des Sports.

In the men’s final, Amadou Sylla did a good job of keeping Ugandan Stephen Omony silent for most of the match as Premium Cobras, who achieved a League and Cup double success last year – their fourth in nine years after achieving the feat in 1998, 1999 and 2004 – beat 2007 League champions PLS Hawks 72-68.

Tanzanian Abdallah ‘Dulla’ Ramadhan top-scored with 19 points for Premium Cobras who had captain Tony ‘Siro’ Moustache, Sylla and Nigerian Reuben Kolawole fouling out.

In fact, coach Guy Hall was to be without the Nigerian power forward in yesterday’s game two after he received a technical foul for indecent gesture. He is now serving a two-match ban and could miss game three tomorrow, if PLS Hawks were to tie the series yesterday.

Omony scored four consecutive free-throws and banked a trey late in the match to try and bring the Hawks back into the frey but his game-high 21 points went up in flames in the loss.

At the end of Saturday’s game, there was a lot of commotion and a fight almost broke out as Premium Cobras’ Kolawole, PLS Hawks’ coach Tony Juliette and his players exchanged harsh words. A lady from the stands also threw a water bottle at Kolawole.

G. G.

25 November 2007

KENYA : Terrorists, Storms fight back to force the decisive third games


University of Nairobi’s Terrorists and Sprite Storms men and women’s teams on Saturday forced the decisive third games of their 2007 basketball play-offs semi-finals at the Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium.

In game two of the the men’s Division semi final play-off, Telkom became the first team to qualify for the 2007 finals when they eliminated Mennonites 2-0 on the best-of-three series. They rocked Mennonites 81-73 in after having started off well with a 87-76 run in the first game last weekend.

Terrorists, who enjoyed the full support from the crowd, did not disappoint their fans as they took the series to the decisive third game on Sunday.

Sprites Storms also battled from behind to tie the women’s semi final series 1-1 after with a 82-61 win over the Flames of the United States International Univerity-Africa (USIU-A) in the tight Game Two match. Flames had won Game One 62-51.

Co-op Bank, who had won the opener 69-67 went up narrowly 16-15 in the first quarter after Wycliffe Ochieng and Horace Nyadera utilised well their scoring chances.

It was Brian Busu and Arnold Mulili’s turn to disapprove the bankers as Terrorists recovered first to lead 16-9 in the second quarter.

Determined to go places in their first play-offs qualification since the format’s inception in 1999, the students raced a 31-25 half-time lead.

Genga brothers Eugene and Rodney teamed up well with Moses Kamau to do damage as Co-op Bank struggled to take lead without any lack.

Terrorists maintained a 45-39 advantage in the third quarter before Lewis Muya and Ochieng fired three-pointers at will to lock it 46-46.

Terrorists stole back into the lead on 49-46 at the begining of the last quarter but Ochieng shot well from the edge of the court to tie the game 58-58.

After Eugene Genga unlocked the tie, Rodney and Kamau scored 100 percent from the free-throw line to ensure that the students stayed in the hunt.

Eugene Genga scored 24 points, Brian Busu shot for Terrorists while Ochieng replied with 20 points which included six three-pointers, Richard Osano hit 10 and Nyadera 13 for Co-op Bank.

In the women’s tie,Hilda Luvandwa scored game-high 28 points, Caroline Achiend had 14 while Linda Alando added 10 as Sprite Storms worked extra hard in the win over USIU.

After going down 62-51 in their opener, Storms did their homework well to pin down the students from the word go to lead 39-25 at half-time. Flames were down 25-10 in the third quarter but regrouped in the last quarter to outscore Storms 26-18. Angela Akoth scored 16 points and Samba Mjomba 15 for Flames.

The two teams meet again on Sunday in their decisive Game Three to determine who qualifys for the 2007 final.

24 November 2007

KENYA : Lions and Flames go for victory


Six make-or-break Game Two matches of the 2007 men and women’s basketball play-offs semi-finals will be held in Nairobi and Mombasa on Saturday starting at 10am.

All the winners of last weekend’s Game One matches of the best-of-three series, Kenya Commercial Bank Lions,

Co-op Bank, Telkom, Flames of the USIU-A, Kenya Ports Authority men and women’s teams, will be seeking for a tight 2-0 sweep to qualify for the 2007 finals.

At the Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium, former four-time champions in a row, Co-op Bank have a tight tie against Terrorists of the University of Nairobi, KCB Lions, who are regular campaigners since 1999, will take on Tigers of the USIU-A in the two men’s top

Premier League fixtures. Co-op Bank struggled to beat Terrorists 69-67 while KCB Lions ambushed the unprepared Tigers 74-55 in their opening matches.

In the women’s crucial Game Two matches, Flames meet Sprite Storms in Nairobi while KPA will host Eagle Wings at their Mombasa KPA Makande gymnasium. At the same venue, KPA men’s team will also host Juja-based Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. The dockwomen, fought from behind to upset Eagle

Wings 47-41 in a low scoring Game One tie in Nairobi while KPA men’s side also trailed 39-38 at half-time before edging out unlucky JKUAT 73-70.

In another men’s Division One return leg match, Telkom start as favourites against Mennonites, after having won the opener 87-76. Sprite Storms went down 62-51 against Flames and pressure will be on them to avoid an early elimination on a 2-0 run.

It is predicated that the losers will return with a strategy to tie the best-of-three series 1-1 and force the decisive Game Three matches on Sunday. Co-op Bank, who crushed 2-0 to Ulinzi Warriors last year, will need Lewi Muya and Wyclife Ochieng’s shooting magic against the no nonesense Genga brothers Eugene and Rodney of Terrorists.

Lions, on the other hand, might have an easy job without Tigers’ dangerman Dan Okwiri whose absence last weekend weakened the students fighting power. KPA men and women’s teams have been favoured by the draws to play two critical matches before their home fans.

23 November 2007

UGANDA : Falcons level in MTN final series

Warriors 61-75 Falcons
Crane High 80-77 KCC Lions
A-1 Challenge 57-50 Leopards
Today at Lugogo
A-1 Challenge v KCC Leopards
Falcons v Warriors

YOUNGSTER Francis Tumusiime notched his first ever topflight league man-of -the-match accolade, spurring Mogas Falcons to a 75-61 victory over Kyambogo Warriors in Game Four of the MTN-Fuba finals at Lugogo Indoor Stadium on Wednesday night.

Like Falcons, 2005 women champions A-1 Challenge came from behind to beat KCC Leopards 57-50 and level the best of five series at 2-all.
The four teams will now clash this evening in the decisive Game Five at Lugogo but Crane High School are still celebrating their maiden Second Division championship having outlasted KCC Lions 80-77 on Wednesday to win the series 3-1.

Rookie Tumusiime, 19, exhibited mature game reading, made incisive passes and scored 13 points, nine of them outside the arc as the record champions overcame a 20-14 first quarter deficit.

Warriors, who won the first two games of the series, looked the better side on the night, with Stephen Okias scoring 13 of his team's 20 points in the opening session but the combination of brothers Henry (23) and Eric Malinga (24) gave Falcons a massive 25-12 advantage in the subsequent quarter.

Falcons then outscored their opponents in the second half 36-26 but Warriors were not ready to go down without a fight. With three minutes left, Diego Angemi (7) came off the bench, made two quick steals and brought back Warriors into the game at 60-63.

But Falcons reacted well with Henry making a coast to coast drive, before Eric and Tumusiime finished off the game with several points on the line. Okias finished with 18 points while Ronnie Kasewu and Brian Gumisiriza contributed 13 apiece for Warriors.

“We have played the last three games under pressure. Let's see how they handle the pressure in Game Five,” Falcons team manager John Ssimbwa taunted Warriors.

EGYPT : The gold for the red team

In the final of 11th ARAB games Egypt beat Jordan (76-73) in a fantastic and strange game.No one can believe that Egpyt beat Jordan in the last (0.28 seconds), Egypt play with red clothes and Jordan with white one.

First period:
Egypt begin the match man to man with Jordanian player but Jordon lead the game with 3-point and Ramy Guniedi reply by another 3-point to get equal and still in this matter as Jordan lead and Egypt get equal till Jordan began to increase the score and the result become (8-13).
Egyptian player make many faults as they afraid from Jordan player to waste of the chance to equal the result and the first period finished to Jordan (12-21)

Second period:
Tarek ElGahnnam and Ahmed Khaled play in the beginning of the second period and Jordan begin scoring as Rashim get 3-point shot in the beginning of the second period then dunk to increase the score for Jordan to 14 point and most of Jordan player depend on 3-point shot in this period and prevent Egyptian to get any basket for 6 minutes.
Jordan play man to man while Egypt depend on zone defense which give Jordanian player chance to get 3-point shot for everywhere in the hall.
Ibrahim ElGamal the only one in Egypt that penetrated Jordan defence and scored the most points to Egypt in this period.
Then Bridrage demanded time out for Egypt to fix the disadvantages of defense and attack then Moemen score 3-point shot and Mario (Jordan coach) demanded time out before 20 second of the end of the match and Jordan finished the second period (28-45) to get nearer of achieving gold medal.

Third period:
Ashraf Rabe'a play with Egypt but no new Rashim from Jordan no one can stopped him and still score 2 and 3-point shot and get basket from everywhere and Egyptian player are frustration and hopeless then they done many faults as the difference in score are 17 point in the same time the crowd still encourage Egyptian player which make Bridrage (Egyptian coach )demand time out after the difference become 20 point,then Egyptian player reduce the difference to 12 point only at the end of the third period for Jordan (48-60)

Forth period and the miracle:
Egypt begin with scoring in the Jordanian basket but Joran repy qickly and the difference became 11 point after Moemen score 2-point and his 1 free shot then Wessam Fouad score 3-ponit in the Egyptian basket and Egypt reply quickly with 3-point shot by Tarek ElGahnnam then 2-point shot and the difference become 9 point only which make the crowd increase in encouraging the Egyptian player and press on Jordanian team but Rashim as his usual score 3-point to increase the difference again but Egyptian player feel that they are near to get gold medal and after 5 minute Mario demanded time out to stop the score of Egpyt.
After that Moemen score 3-point and get closer to equal the result, also Ibrahim ElGamal still score his 2-point by penetrating Jordanian defense.
In the last 3 minutes Egypt play man to man and stop Rashim of scoring and because of press Jordanan player make many faults and Ibrahim ElGamal and Wael Badr scored their 4 ponits of their free shots to increase the score to (70-73) for Jordan which make the Jordanain coach demanded another time out and after that Wael Badr score his another 2 free shots to be (73-72).
One minute and 17 second for the end of the match and Jordan lead the match with one point only and from Egyptian attack Tarek waste the chance for leading the match in the last seconds then Jordan attack but Moemen (santaclaus Egyptian basketball) stell the ball and score 2points to make the lead for Egypt (74-73) which make Joradanian coach demanded time out before 25 second ended,after that they lose the ball which make Joranian player make fault with Ibrahim ElGamal (man of the match ) and the Egyptian celebrate in the last seconds but Ibrahim score one free shot and lose the other and still (0.28 seconds) which make Jordan score any basket and won but Wael Badr stell it and Jordan player make fault with him to take 2 free shots, waste the first shot while scored the other to finish the match (76-73) in a strange and fantastic match.

Ibrahim ElGamal scored 16 point and Moemen scored 18 point from Egypt.
Rashim scored 26 point from Jordan.


KENYA : KPA Teams Go for Title in Mombasa

Philip Onyango

The Kenya Ports Authority men and women's basketball teams resume their quest for national titles when the final play-offs move to Mombasa this weekend.

The men's team will be going for the national Division One league title while the women's team targets the national Classic league crown.

The KPA men's team faces Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology while the women face Eagles Wings in the National Classic league in second round matches programmed for Saturday at 4pm and 2pm respectively.

Should any of them lose the second game, then the teams will play on Sunday in game three to determine which team qualifies for the play-off finals.

KPA women start favourites against Eagles Wings, whom they have beaten three time this year. They lost to the same team Telkom in the final of the league last year.

KPA beat Eagles Wings in the first match of the play-offs semi finals in Nairobi last weekend 47-46.

Eagles Wings will have in their line-up Shimba Hills Secondary School girl Salma Akinyi Garang.

Other Eagles Wings players, coached by national team coach Smarts Olumbo, are captain Caroline Achieng Majeng, Eunice Ouma, Rebbeca Serange, Judy Juma, Pamela Asige,Pamela Ikonga, and Joyce Makhungu among others.

KPA women have shown great form in their recent matches and will not be prepared to let it go and should rely on on-form Miriam Awuor, Agnes Anyango, Mwajuma Suleiman, Caroline Mureji, Yvonne Akinyi, Evelyne Akoth , Fadaya Mohammed , Irene Murambi and Mercy Malemba among others.

KPA women on the other hand have beaten JKUAT twice and lost to the same team once making the match tricky.

They will however be cushioned by the four points win they registered in Nairobi in last weekend after beating the same team by six points in the return leg of the preliminary rounds in Mombasa.

22 November 2007

TANZANIA : Archrivals Savio,JKT at war next week

By Brown Msyani

Tanzania basketball giants,JKT and Savio are brandishing their weapons for a fierce encounter to be held early next week at the National Indoor Stadium,Dar es Salaam.

The team's play to vie for Charity Shield which takes place annually between the winners of the Kili RBA League and Kili Super Cup.

The two sides played in the similar event last year and JKT managed to floor their opponents.

Dar es Salaam regional basketball body Chairman,Simon Msofe said the match for the Charity Shield aims at marking the official opening of the regional premier basketball league which goes as Kili RBA League.

Main players in the teams' encounter will be George Tarimo,Jije Makani and Mohamed Yusuf. The players were instrumental in Savio's title regain campaign that saw them snatching two major titles from JKT in the last year season.

JKT,the team that lead in fighting spirit,will bank on their playmakers,Ashraf Haroun and Frank Kusiga to feed Charles,Makene,Frank Simkoko and Mkumbo Mgendi upfront.

Savio's veteran player,Michael Mwita said next week's encounter will be a start of this year's campaign to clinch five basketball titles in the 2007/2008 season.

"After the shield,there will be Super Cup,Kili RBA and National Basketball League and Union League. We have two titles and JKT hold the remaining," he said.

JKT's top marksman,Charles Makene told Sunday Citizen during his team's training session at Mgulani JKT that the plan to hold all four basketball titles are foolproof hence they are sure of an easy victory next week.

TANZANIA : Loyola, Mwinyi schools in SBL final today

By Brown Msyani

Loyola and Ali Hassan Mwinyi Elite Schools (AHMES) have qualified to play in the final match of the Dar es Salaam Secondary School Basketball League that takes place today at the National Indoor Stadium.

The teams romped into the final stage after recording massive wins in the semi final matches held at the same venue on Friday.

AHMES, the new force in the Dar es Salaam basketball circuit routed Azania Secondary School 43-26 while Loyola defeated Tegeta 28-28 in the second match.

Azania, one of the teams that made impressive show in the tournament relied heavily on William Muze, who failed to get effective support from his team mates and walked out of the court with 18 points on his account.

Until the end of the first half, AHMES were leading 21-15.

Other players who won people's appeal include Daniel Jones of AHMES, the tournament's youngest player who teamed well with Solomon Manase to score most of the points for the winners.

Leading 14- 6 until the breather, Loyola punished the former champions Tegeta 28-20 in the closely contested semi final. The Girls' discipline final match will pit AHMES A and AHMES B.

RWANDA : Championships’ delay excites Owuor


Cliff Owuor is excited after learning that APR has an extra two weeks before taking part in this year’s Africa Club Championships that will be staged in Angola’s capital Luanda.

According to latest reports from Fiba-Africa, the championships’ dates were altered from (November 23-December 2) to (December 13-23).

Owuor who has been with the indomitable lions since 2005 has been facing injury worries with five of his top players.
For the last three days, the club has been training without Aboubacar Barame, Jose-Edward Elongie, Jean de Dieu Mutombo, Mputu Badibanga and Louis Kazimoto.

According to the Kenyan coach, Barame and Elongie are down with knee injuries, Badibanga has an ankle injury, and Mutombo has a groin injury while the club’s latest signing Kazimoto is still down with a fever.

“It is definitely great news to know that the championships have been moved forward.

I’m now more certain that my players will return in time for the championships,” the 34-year-old noted.
“The delay also gives us more time to work on the team’s game flow and coordination which seemed to be our major concern during the this year’s Gisembe memorial tournament,” Owuor added.
APR made it to the championships after ousting Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in the finals of this year’s Zone V club championships which were staged in Kigali at Amahoro Indoor Stadium. On the road to the final, APR had seen off Ethiopia’s Mazi Mazi, Kenya’s Cooperate bank and Uganda’s Nkumba University.

The All Africa Club Championship is the biggest club competition on the Fiba-Africa Calendar and APR will go down in Fiba-Africa’s record books as the first Rwandan club to take part in the competition.
It will also be Owuor’s second time at the competitions after guiding Kenya’s Ulinzi to the same event back in 2001.

21 November 2007

BENIN : 22nd Champions Cup for Men 07 : ASPAC storm South Africa for Angola

Republic of Benin sole representative at the final round of the Africa Champions Cup for Men, ASPAC basketball club has concluded plans to perfect its strategy for the Angola battle in South Africa.
www.fiba-afrique.org exclusively gathered that the Benin champion commenced it final preparation Monday in Cotonou is billed to jet out to South Africa next week from where it hope to storm Angola for the final battle.
ASPAC who qualifies from FIBA Africa Zone-3 elimination is already building a strong team that is capable of campaigning for honours in Angola.
The final round of the 22nd edition of the Champions Cup for Men holds in Angola cities of Luanda, Huambo and Cabinda from December 13 through 22 with the twelve clubs from nine African countries playing the preliminaries games in two groups of six teams each.

MOZAMBIQUE : Mozambique league-Model for other Federations in Africa

The Mozambique Basketball Federation known as Federação Moçambicana de Basquetebol was affiliated to the world basketball governing body, FIBA in 1978 with its seat of power in Maputo holds one thing that should be a model to the growth of this lovely sport by other affiliate members of FIBA Africa and FIBA, and that is how best to run their local league.

The Mozambican national league (Men, Women) is fashioned in a way that brings out the best from its clubs and by extension the players, this novelty way of running its national leagues was the results which culminated in the three clubs (Desportivo, Ferroviario and I.S.P.U) that represented the FIBA Africa Zone-6 country reaching the semi-finals of the just concluded 13th FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women won by Despotivo basketball club of Maputo.

Mozambique is ranked number 46 in the world by FIBA showed that with little funds players and their clubs can be made to reach their potentials.

www.fiba-afrique.org crew of Olusegun Ikuesan, Julien Bassam Farran and Blaise Coulibaly caught up with the former president of Federação Moçambicana de Basquetebol (1997-2005) now FIBA Africa Zone-6 President, Anibal Manave who took the crew on a journey into how the association achieve its present success state for its league after many trials and errors:

“Mozambique is made up of ten Provinces with Maputo as its capital, it became a member of the Commonwealth of Nation in 1995 as the only none British Empire in that body of comity of nations.

“Our national men and women league runs from November to September with teams playing on a provincial basis amongst them in order to save cost, as most teams could not afford the luxury of traveling every now and then to honour league matches.

“The system was adopted after a careful study by the federation on how best we can optimize our lean resources and gives the best to our clubs and players.

“We then resort to what we have today, a national league is played on provincial basis with national finals to determine the country champion has paid off tremendously and our clubs, players and even the national teams are the better for it.

“In Maputo for example, which we can call the hob of our basketball, there eight clubs (male and female) and so some sort of priority is given to it, and the eight teams played among them three times each making a total of about twenty-one matches at the regular season.

“The same thing applied in other provinces where matches are played on weekly basis among teams within each of the provinces in order to create a level playing ground and give sense of belonging to all clubs in our country.

“At the end of the regular season which usually last between seven and eight months the other provinces produce eight teams while Maputo produces four to make a twelve clubs national finals that usually take place in Maputo.

“The federation at this point ensures that all the twelve clubs that made it to the national league final are well catered for as corporate sponsors are gotten to take care of the teams, players, match officials and other logistics.

“This system has paid off tremendously and the results are showing with the performance of our national teams at major championship in recent time and the clubs putting up a good showing unlike in the past where we have to struggle to put together one club for continental championship the reverse is the case today.

“I will say yes if other federation want to adopt this (model) system for the overall development of the game in our continental because we so much believe in Mozambique that the more the games at the local scene the better for our clubs, players, national teams and even the sponsors.

“Just to tell you guys that the team that finally emerged winner of the Champions Cup for Women, Desportivo finished fourth on the league table but got an opportunity to be part of the continental show piece when Ferroviario got the nod to host the final round and the third placed team in the league, Maxaquene basketball club pulled out of the continental campaign this prompted the federation to give the continental slot to the eventual winner, Desportivo.

“It goes to show that any of the three teams (Desportivo, Ferroviario and I.S.P.U) that represented us at the finals are capable of lifting the trophy a clear testimony to the arrangement of the league.

By Olusegun Ikuesan

UGANDA : Warriors on the brink

By Charles Mutebi

WILL the Kyambogo Warriors recover from their first play-off loss against the Mogas Falcons? After Sunday’s defeat, Game 4 today might have given them little time to recover, but, glory awaits if they stop the follow on from a rejuvenated Falcons.

The in-form Warriors had won four straight games going into Game 3 and were slated to land the ultimate prize with a fifth, but the Falcons had designs of their own, snatching a 81–78 win.

Record champions Falcons had however already shown in the semifinals that they can come back from the deepest lows. They will be hoping the win that left them trailing 2–1 in the best of five series, caused lasting tremors in their rival’s camp which they will exploit to complete the comeback.

Even then, Sunday’s victory may be a small interruption in their rival’s undeniable championship destiny.

The Warriors possess the larger offensive arsenal and their defeat might trigger a reaction of nuclear proportions led by Ronnie Kasewu and Steven Okias.

The Warriors will, however, have to clean their board better if Henry Malinga is to be stopped from employing his rebounding handiness that helped him score a game-high 21 points in Sunday’s loss.

The KCC Leopards and Crane could also seal it today.

UGANDA : Palpable pressure as Falcons face Warriors

sande bashaija


Tonight at Lugogo
KCC Lions v Crane High
A-1 Challenge v KCC Leopards
Falcons v Warriors

KYAMBOGO Warriors, KCC Leopards and Crane High School are just one win away from being crowned MTN-Fuba League champions in their respective divisions but what lies ahead is the most daunting task.

The trio lead the best of five final play-off series 2-1 and face Mogas Falcons, A-1 Challenge and KCC Lions in the trickiest Game Four at Lugogo Indoor Stadium tonight.

Warriors v Falcons
Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the series and seemed poised to lift the trophy last Sunday but Falcons gave it their all and pulled one back after an 81-78 hard fought victory.

Henry Malinga was at his best, pulled down 21 points and is not ready to let go of the trophy without a fight. “Experience will determine who wins the championship. And if you asked me I would say Falcons,” Malinga predicted.

In other games, trying to stop Miriam Hamala, Becky Akullo and Linda Tamale is what killed 2005 women champions A-1 Challenge in Game Three.
They concentrated so much on the trio and Julie Sabano came off the bench to do the damage with a game high 17 points including 4-three pointers.

“We shall make good use of our bench to finish them off,” Leopards official Denis Karuhanga vowed.

KENYA : KCB Lions Beat Tigers in Play-Offs

Caxton Apollo

Kenya Commercial Bank Lions got off to a bright start in the 2007 men's basketball Premier League play-offs when they rocked Tigers of the United States International University 74-55 at the Nairobi's Nyayo Stadium on Sunday.

In other Game One semi-final matches of the best-of-three series, Kenya Ports Authority fought from behind to beat Eagle Wings 47-41 while Sprite Storms crushed 62-51 to Flames of the USIU-A.

Lions, who won their first league title in 2001, started with Tobias Onyango setting the ball rolling with the opener at 2-0. Tigers fell into trouble when Paul Onyango, David Otiso and Yoni Wanambiro of Lions run riot. The trio's determination saw the bankers dismantle the students defense to break away at 19-0.

Three pointer

After going scoreless in the opening six minutes, Tigers clicked withlittle known Chris Mulumba fired Tigers' first three-pointer that was cheered by the huge crowd.

Lions used well their experienced bench to race a 22-9 first quarter lead. Tigers, who finished third to book a date with the runner-up Lions, used Aron Chan and Harrison Omondi to cancel the scores in the second quarter. The duo's hard work never scared the Lions, who escaped with a slim 14-13 second quarter advantage. Lions still had a 36-22 edge at half-time.

Tigers' Chan and Omondi shot well with their effort narrowing the scores by six points although the Lions remained up on 42-36. Tigers were not dead yet and their brave fight paid devidends as they outscored Lions 20-16 in the third quarter.

At the begining of the last quarter, the bankers were up 52-42 and despite forward Otiso being ejected, Lions carried the day.

20 November 2007

SEYCHELLES : Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) Cup - Finalists sweep semifinal series

AVOIDING a third match which could have been an additional pressure on them as the season nears its end and the players are growing tired, the women’s and men’s finalists of the Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) Cup swept their semifinal series over the weekend at Victoria Gymnasium.

While Anse Etoile Stars, HotShots (women) and Premium Cobras (men) qualified for the finals with wins on the court itself, PLS Hawks walked over MBU Rockers who decided not to play game two on Sunday after they were told that they could not field Timmy Adam who had been hit with a technical foul for swearing in game one the day before.

In fact, MBU Rockers’ head coach Alvin Alcindor was informed of the decision at the end of the game one which they lost 51-88 and he even received an explanation from referee James Joubert regarding the incident.

Before the start of game two on Sunday, head coach Alcindor was again told that Adam was not eligible to play. After much consultation with National Basketball Technical Committee (NBTC) chairperson Tracey Hétimier, head coach Alcindor and team manager Linda Sinon asked for an official letter to prove the decision.

Being a Sunday and game one having been played Saturday, it was not possible for Mrs Hétimier to hand them a typed letter regarding the matter.

But what MBU Rockers probably forgot is that it is clearly written under the Rules of Conduct section of the SBF bye-laws that:

Team member(s) who uses languages or gestures likely to offend or incite spectators, their opponents in any official match, he/she will be automatically suspended for two consecutive official matches.

Sports Nation has learned that MBU Rockers, who left the court before the start of the match, will appeal against the decision not to allow Adam to play, leading to the win by walkover for PLS Hawks.

Back to some serious business on the court, Baya, who had lost game one 84-54, needed to win game two to stay alive and they just did not have the kind of spirit to keep the momentum going.

Leading by three points – 39-36 - at the break, Baya found themselves trailing 60-67 against Premium Cobras with time not in their favour, but they still equalised at 67-67 on a Steve Denis lay-up with just over two minutes remaining.

Again some slack defending let Baya down as Premium Cobras’ Tanzanian international Abdallah ‘Dulla’ Ramadhan scored on a drive with a minute left on the clock.

It was probably not Baya’s day as playmaker Giovanni Laval’s and Jean-Paul Camille’s 3-point attempts did not find the target and Hendricks Denis missed two free-throws with three seconds left, thus missing on a possibility to tie the match and force extra-time. Baya lost 68-70 and will have to watch from the stands as Premium Cobras meet PLS Hawks in the best-of-three final.

In the women’s competition, HotShots had no trouble sweeping their semifinal series against RA Sisters, winning games one and two 72-32 and 61-32 respectively.

Defending champions HotShots will meet Anse Etoile Stars in the final after the latter weathered Mont Fleuri’s challenge on the way to claiming victories in two matches in as many days. They won game one 55-40 last Saturday and game two 57-44 on Sunday to make another appearance in the SBF Cup final after missing out last year.

G. G.

UGANDA : Momentum with Falcons


As team manager Ssimbwa predicts 3-2 triumph in final

Falcons 81-78 Warriors
KCC Lions 60-61 Crane High
A-1 Challenge 47-51 KCC
- KCC Lions v Crane High
- A-1 Challenge v KCC Leopards
- Mogas Falcons v Warriors

MOGAS Falcons team manager John Ssimbwa is convinced his team will go the distance and outlast Kyambogo Warriors 3-2 in the best of five final series to win this year’s championship.

The five-time champions saw off battle-hardened Warriors 81-78 in Game Three of the MTN-Fuba League finals at Lugogo Indoor Stadium on Sunday night, but still trail the series 2-1. “This is the real Falcons. I like being in such a situation.

Playing under such pressure is what we enjoy most because it brings the best out of the team,” an overjoyed Ssimbwa told Daily Monitor after the slim victory. The two sides meet again tomorrow night at Lugogo in Game Four and should Warriors nip victory it will be allover for Falcons.

But Ssimbwa believes they are going to push Warriors to the decisive Game Five on Friday. And his words cannot be taken lightly because Falcons have done it before.

In 2002, they lost the first two games of the series but edged holders Sky Jammers 3-2 to the championship.
But going by the proceedings in Game Three, the series now looks unpredictable.

The game couldn’t get any tighter from start until the final minute of the last session, when Falcons called on experience to hold on to their 24-20 first quarter lead that proved vital in deciding the final result.

The second session ended level 21-21 but Warriors took the third 16-15 while the last was 21-all. With 47 seconds left on the clock and Falcons up 75-74, Henry Malinga, who finished with a team high 21 points including three-point plays, got a foul basket but missed on the line to make it 77-74.

Warriors’ skipper Brian Gumisiriza (15) then fluffed an easy chance before Walter Alenyo broke clear and was fouled to add one more point for Falcons on the charity line.

Francis Tumusiime then added three more points on the line after fouls on Diego Angemi and Albert Aciku respectively. Ronnie Kasewu (21) and Stephen Okias (20) pulled back four points for the Warriors.

The last second was even more dramatic; Kasewu hit the rim from the Warriors half and nearly sent the game into overtime. It was too late though. Women title favourites KCC Leopards, spurred on by Juliet Sabano’s 17 poionts outclassed A-1 Challenge 50-47 while Phillip Wakimwero plundered a game high 36 points as Second Division giants Crane High edged KCC Lions 61-60.

Warriors, KCC Leopards and Crane now lead the series 2-1 and can wrap up things on Wednesday.

UGANDA : Leopards Favourites for Women's Title

By Charles Mutebi

KCC Leopards are on the brink of winning their maiden women's national basketball title. A win in Game 3 will help Leopards wrap up the series against A1 Challenge at Lugogo today.

Leopards stepped up their title race with a 57 - 40 win to go 2 - 1 ahead in the best of five series on Sunday.
The Leopards came back after A1 had thrown the series open with a close 54 - 50 victory in Game 2 to leave their opponents reeling in the wake of a seventeen point defeat.

"We played as team," Leopards' star point guard Becky Akullo explained.
"No single player outscored the other, everyone contributed a fair share," she added.

The Leopards who had gone the entire season unbeaten were brought down to earth by Lady Bucks defeated them in the finals last year.
But Leopards brilliant form this year suggests they are firm favourites to claim the top award.

19 November 2007

KENYA : Terrorists scare Co-op before losing match

By Dann O’Werre

University of Nairobi Terrorists gave Co-operative Bank of Kenya a big scare before going down 67-69 in Game One playoff tie at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.

Co-op’s Horace Nyadera hit the opening basket before Eugene Genga’s led the campus lads to control the proceedings. They scored 13 straight points to take a 15-2 lead and a 19-8 first quarter edge.

Terrorists were ahead at the break, leading 35-26 and 53-38 at the start of the last quarter. Then things went awry for the students as they committed mindless turn overs as Co-op charged back to lock the duel 62-62 on a Lewis Muya’s three-pointer.

Muya then hit a free shot and added two more as Terrorists collapsed. He scored 12 points, Nyadera nailed 13 and Cliff Ochieng bagged 12 for the bankers. Terrorists had 20 from man of the match Genga, Moses Kamau 14 and Eric Maosa 10.

KPA.....73 Jkuat....70

In a fiercely contested Division One tie, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat) played a game of their lives, but fell short as they tumbled 70-73 to Kenya Ports Authority. The porters, seeking a ticket to the Premier League next year, trailed most of the time and had 19 points from a former Ulinzi forward, John Apollo, 15 from Duke Masaki and 13 from Lucky Douglas.

Joseph Khaemba scored 17 points, Mike Opinya 13 and Roy Kahure added 11 for Jkuat who took a close 39-38 lead at the breather.

Telkom....87 Mennonites.....76

International Ancette of Telkom nailed 33 points, Ben Mufutu contributed 15 and Geoffrey Abuya posted another 13 as Telkom beat Mennonites 87-73 and also moved close to a top action return.

Games Two and Three will be played next weekend.

NIGERIA : Niger Potters Qualify for African Basketball Champions Cup Final

Abdulraheem Aodu

Nigerian representatives in the 2007 FIBA Men African Champions Cup basketball competition, the Niger Potters has picked one of the Zone 3 tickets to the final competition slated for Luanda, Angola.

Potters won five matches to win the concluded zone three preliminaries played in Cotonou, Benin Republic with 10 points. Ivorian champions Abidjan Basketball Club and host ASPAC of Benin Republic picked the two remaining slots to qualify for the 22nd FIBA Men African Champions Cup final.

The weeklong zone three preliminaries saw a tough battle among the six teams in the zone, as they fight for a place in the continental final for the continental title held by Petro Athético of Luanda.

After seven days of fierce battles among the six teams, Niger Potters from Nigeria emerged champions of the preliminaries with five victories to top the final ranking with 10 points followed by Abidjan Basketball Club of Côte d'Ivoire with nine points. ASPAC of Benin Republic recorded two defeats and three victories, placing third with eight points.

The host of the preliminaries, Renaissance Basketball Club of Benin Republic failed to make the cut placing fourth with seven points thereby missing the train to the finals. Oiler of Liberia was fifth with 6 points while Togolese side Swallows Basketball Club ended at the bottom of the group in sixth place.

Playing in the zone two preliminaries group of the Men Champions Cup earlier concluded in Conakry, Guinea hosts MBC Basketball Club and Malian side Stade Malien both booked their place in the finals.

MBC beat Stade Malien 59 - 48 in the final match of the group to crush the qualification hopes of USC Rail of Senegal for the final round of the 2007 Men Champions Cup billed for Angola in December.

In the first game of the final preliminaries day, USC Rail brightened its chances of booking a final round ticket of the 22nd FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Men with a 61 - 53 points pounding of AS Kaloum of Guinea and needed just a defeat of MBC to have a realistic chance of qualification.

Unfortunately, in the second game, MBC overcame Stade Malien 59 - 48 and book the first position followed by Stade Malien. Thus, the two sides MBC and Stade Malien won the two tickets available in the zone for the final round of the FIBA Africa Champions Cup in Angola.

MBC recorded three victories and one defeat in the preliminaries to book the first place with 7 points followed by Stade Malien with the same performance. The two representatives of Senegal AS BOPP and USC RAIL ended respectively at the third and fourth places with six points each, while AS Kaloun of Guinea takes the bottom place (fifth) with 4 points.

With the end of zone three preliminaries, the twelve clubs for the final round of the 22nd FIBA Africa Champions Cup for men 2007 have emerged.

UGANDA : Warriors One Game Away from Crow

By Charles Mutebi

KYAMBOGO Warriors are one game away from winning the basketball league crown after defeating Mogas Falcons yesterday. Warriors spurred by Ronnie Kasewu who scored 16 points, outwitted Falcons 65-57 to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series at Lugogo.
Kasewu's efforts were complimented by Steven Okias who had 15 points and Brian Gumisiriza at 14.
The result further undermined Falcons' title ambitions as they must now do the unthinkable and win the next three games.
Warriors are looking to step up gear, according to their inspirational coach Ambrose Tashobya.
"You do not give a chance to these guys because they can easily turn it around," Tashobya explained.
Warriors started the match with typical gusto, ending the first quarter 22 - 13 but their opponents levelled it 37-all by halftime.
However, the Warriors characteristically built another lead to finish the third quarter at 55 - 47 and they never looked back.
All the previous questions about Warriors' mental strength have been shut at the door of their wholeness.
It is their depth in offensive quality that is well documented but their defence, for instance, restricted Uganda's best post player to six points on the night.

Tashobya was not in similar doubt though.
"Today we won the game with our defence," Tashobya observed.

Falcons have one day to find a way of crawling back into the race.

Failure to do so would hand Warriors their second crown after the Abraham Lincoln success in 2006, their only other trophy.

Meanwhile, hard battling Liz Kizza capped a definitive defensive display with a team-high 15 points to help A1 Challenge level the women's final against the KCC Leopards 1 - 1.


Results: Men

Division 1

Warriors 65 Falcons 57
Warriors lead series 2 - 0
Today: Game 3

Division 2

Lions 65 Crane 55
Series tied 1 - 1

Women: A1 54 Leopards 51
Series tied 1 - 1
Today: Game 3

15 November 2007

SEYCHELLES : PLS Hawks stroll into semis with convincing win

CROWNED Men’s division 1A champions last Saturday with a blow-out 91-70 win against main rivals and outgoing champions Premium Cobras, PLS Hawks are on track for a League and Cup double provided they can make it to the best-of-three final of the Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) Cup.

PLS Hawks are in the semifinals of the SBF CupFirst they have to eliminate MBU Rockers in the best-of-three semifinal series and on Tuesday at Victoria Gymnasium, they made it to this stage of the competition with a 109-65 win over Angels.

On fire against the Cobras as he bagged a game-high 44 points, Ugandan all-rounder Stephen Omony again led the Hawks in scoring with 26 individual points, but coach Tony Juliette got balanced scoring with another four players – Rodney Lozé (18 points), Nigel Annette (14 points including three 3-pointers), Jim Domingue (11 points) and Bernard Bristol (10 points) – scoring in double digits.

Anse Boileau-based Angels got 22 points from Daniel Dodin, while Garry Duprès was their second-based scorer with 13 points.
PLS Hawks’ semifinal series against MBU Rockers starts on Saturday at Victoria Gymnasium. The second game is on Sunday and if there is a need for a third game, it will be played on Thursday November 22.

The Rockers booked their tickets to the semis with a come-from-behind win against Cascade Bullets last Saturday at the Palais des Sports. Trailing by four points - 23-27 at the break, the Rockers netted 42 second-half points compared to just 18 for the Bullets on the way to a 67-45 win.

Timmy Adam had the hot hands for the Rockers with 20 points and Brian Morel added 15.
As for the Bullets, playmaker Kenneth Sophie and Clive Allisop combined for 26 points.

In the other semifinal series, Premium Cobras await their opponents. They will be either Baya or SMB Razorbacks. The quarterfinal match between the two teams was scheduled for last Monday but was not played because there were no referees. It was rescheduled for yesterday.

As for the Cobras, they did not have to break a sweat as they did not have to play their quarterfinal win against Pointe Larue Falcons who are not eligible to play in any competition organised by the SBF after losing two Men’s division 1A league matches by walkover.

The first two games of the semifinal series is tomorrow at 5.15 p.m. and on Sunday at 3.30 p.m. Both matches will be played at Victoria Gymnasium.

If there is a need for a third match, it will be played on Wednesday November 21.
In the women’s edition of the SBF Cup, Anse Etoile Stars and HotShots are the favourites to make the final.

Defending champions HotShots can put an end to their semifinal series on Saturday at Victoria Gymnasium at 2 p.m. They only need to win game two after taking victory in game one last Saturday on a 72-32 score against RA Sisters.

Lanky centre Tina Agathine (15 points), Jenita Toussaint (13 points) Myra Solin and Samia Asba (10 points each) combined for 48 of HotShots’ 72 points.

In the event of RA Sisters winning game two, a third and decisive match will be played on Monday November 19.
Having retained their League title, Anse Etoile Stars will surely be out for a League and Cup double just like PLS Hawks.

To earn a final spot, they have to dispatch Mont Fleuri, captained by veteran Williana Dubois.

The Stars will meet Mont Fleuri in game one on Saturday at 3.30 p.m. and game two is scheduled for the following day (Sunday) at 2 p.m. Both matches will be played at Victoria Gymnasium. If no team manage to get two wins, a third match will be needed to decide the winners and it will be played on Tuesday November 20.

G. G.

RWANDA : All Africa B-Ball Countdown Starts

By Julius Mbaraga

APR basketball club has started its countdown to this year's All Africa Club Championship scheduled to run from November 23 to December 2 in the Angolan capital Luanda.

The 2006 national league champions will be Rwanda's flag bearers at what is believed to be the biggest club competition on the Fiba-Africa calendar.

The 'Indomitable Lions', as they are normally referred to, qualified for the event after ousting Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in the finals of this year's Zone V club championships which were staged in Kigali just under a month ago.

On the road to the final, APR had seen off Ethiopia's Mazi Mazi, Kenya's Cooperate bank and Uganda's Nkumba University.

However, head coach Cliff Owuor is still pessimistic about the club's preparations ahead of this competition.

"I don't think we have a lot of time to prepare for this competition. Even though we won last weekend's Gisembe Memorial tournament, I felt that the team was not at its best.
"The game flow was not up there.

The coordination was also shaky possibly because we have a couple of new players in the team the team," the ex-Kenyan international said.

Owuor who joined APR in 2005 admits that his team still has a lot to perfect before the competition in which they are only making their debut appearance.
APR has beefed up its squad with four new signing amongst which include Jose-Edward Elongie from Rwanda National University (UNR) and Foster Mugisha from Kenya.

The All Africa Club Championship is the biggest club

UGANDA : A1 Seeking to Revive Title Bid

By Charles Mutebi

A1 CHALLENGE will welcome back centre Betty Namukasa and forward Rosette Meya for their crunch basketball league play-off game against KCC Leopards tomorrow.

A1 face their rivals in Game 2 of the women's contest at Lugogo.
A1 believe their two stars will provide the side with the sparkle that was missing in the previous encounter.

"Their return is a huge boost," said A1 Point guard Mavita Ali.
"We missed their presence in the first game."
The two players will be tasked with stopping the Leopards' post from repeating their Game 1 riot.
The 2005 champions cannot afford to fall behind 2 - 0 in the series as they would have to win the next three games against a team they have failed to beat in as many games.

Still, A1 is cautiously optimistic.

"We failed to beat them in the league but all we have to do is rectify our mistakes and just do our best," Mavita stated.

But there is nothing to suggest the Leopards' desire is any less.

The Leopards have won the regular season two years running but last year's finals proved that league exploits count for little in the playoffs.

The Leopards had finished the season unbeaten and they were fancied to take a stroll to the championship but the Lady Bucks had other ideas.

The Leopards ousted A1 2 -1 in last year's semifinals and will be hoping they extend the winning record against their rivals.

Not that A1 can expect any favours.

"We know it's not over so we are not resting just yet", Leopards' Point guard Becky Akullo remarked.

The undefeated Boston Celtics matched their best start to a season for 20 years, notching a sixth straight win with a 101-86 road victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.

Paul Pierce led the way with 31 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, and was 14-for-14 from the foul line as the Celtics equalled the franchise's best start since 1987-88 in remaining the only team yet to lose this season.

Boston's best start is 14-0, set in 1957-58.
"I have a great cast around me," said Pierce, whose team acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in trades during the off-season.

"These guys are fun to be around on and off the court, I like them all."

14 November 2007

UGANDA : Falcons look for ‘fix it man’ in game 2

By Charles Mutebi

AFTER tumbling behind 1–0 in the best of five finals against the Kyambogo Warriors, it will be surprising if Mogas Falcons don’t turn to a familiar face for help - Smarts Olumbo coach of Kenyan champions Eagles.

Olumbo has maintained links with the Falcons for over five years and has always come to their relief in times of need. Because of full time home commitments, he can’t track the Falcons’ league challenge but he travels back and forth between fixtures when they need him in the play-offs.

And when he comes, his impact is microwave. On the ropes did the Falcons have their backs after losing game one of this year’s play-offs semi-finals against the UCU Canons and little hope as their rivals were the all conquering regular season champions.

Then Olumbo showed up. The Canons didn’t know what hit them as the Falcons, a team reborn, showed them the exit with two straight games.

The Warriors have pushed the Falcons’ towards the panic button after their Sunday finals’ game one victory, and history dictates that the former champions will turn to their ‘I’ll fix it man’.

“He has a busy schedule and won’t be here,” is the Falcons owner John Simbwa’s coy response.

But the past has shown that he and the rest of his team are not exactly renowned for telling all particularly as regards the Kenyan tactician. The first tactic is to guard the details of his rescue mission with a lovers’ jealousy.

Sources have it that the Kenyan will appear with typical impromptu come game two of the national men’s final but his impact might not be so discreet.

Meanwhile, all losing semi-finalists will have a chance to redeem their pride when they meet for the third place play-off. The UCU Canons will look to put some gloss on a season that went so well until they were surprisingly evicted by the Falcons, with an encounter against the free falling Power, who haven’t won in their last five games.

Lady Canons face KIU Rangers in a women’s tie as Vegetarians take on Gulu Hawks in the men’s second division game.

ANGOLA : Champions Clubs Cup Postponed

The African cup champions clubs in basketball, scheduled for November 23 and December 02 this year, in Luanda, has been postponed for mid December, due to organisational reasons, ANGOP has learnt.

This is due to the fact that some countries will only know their representatives to this competition today, on Tuesday said the Angolan Basketball Federation secretary-general, Antonio Sofrimento.

Thus, the championship will take place on December 13-22, this year, with the participation of Petro de Luanda (title holders) and 1º de Agosto, both of Angola.

TANZANIA : Kili RBA Deal Out Tomorrow

Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) is tomorrow expected to unveil its sponsorship of the 2007/8 Kili RBA basketball championships.

Basketball Dar es Salaam director Mbaga Mwamboma said yesterday the sponsorship package would be announced ahead of the start of the championships on November 17 at Dar es Salaam's National Indoor Stadium.

"Prizes and incentives to be offered will all be known on Wednesday. We hope that this year's package will be better that than previous one,"he said.

He added that the announcement of the sponsorship had been delayed because TBL's Kilimanjaro Premium Lager brand manager Oscar Shelukindo was out of the country.

TBL has been sponsoring the league through the brand for seven years.

Last year's men's winners JKT pocketed Sh3 million while Savio and Oilers took home Sh2 million and Sh1 million after finishing second and third, respectively.

The top three women's teams and their cash prizes were JKT (Sh2 million/-), Jeshi Stars (Sh1 million) and Cargo Ladies (Sh500,000).

The best men's player was Savio's George Tarimo, who received Sh2 million in addition to the Sh100,000 he got for pulling down the most rebounds.

The team with the best disciplinary record took home Sh300,000 while the top scorers in both the men's and women's competitions pocketed Sh100,000 each and the MVPs received Sh200,000 each.

Tubert Matiku of JKT was awarded Sh200,000 after he was named the best coach.

Mbaga said the 10 teams that would vie for the men's title were JKT, Savio, Oilers, Vijana 'City Bulls', Chui, ABC, UDSM Outsiders, Mgulani JKT, CTW and Chang'ombe Boys.

Women's teams lined up for action are JKT Stars, Jeshi Stars, Don Bosco Lady Lions, Cargo Ladies and PTW.

13 November 2007

RWANDA : APR Retains Gisembe Title

By Julius Mbaraga

APR basketball club recovered some confidence ahead of this year's All Africa Club Championship after ousting rivals Espoir in the final of the 2007 Gisembe Memorial tournament on Sunday.

Having seen off Burundi's Urunani 55-49 at the preliminary stage, the defending champions had a fascinating game against bitter rivals and tournament organizers Espoir by a three points' margin 74-71.

The defending champions initially found it hard to deal with Espoir's new signing Norman Blick from Uganda who easily manoeuvred his way through the APR defence with his amazing dribbling skills. However, Cliff Owuor was lifted by his own new signing Foster Mugisha who scored a game high 21 points.

APR's captain Chalichali Kimanuka contributed to his team's victory with his a massive 19 points, four rebounds and two assists. "It was very important for us to win this tournament. We needed this to boast our confidence ahead of the All Africa Club Championships," Owuor excitedly said. "We missed out on the national league title but this is a sign that we are back to our winning ways," the Kenyan continued.

Rwanda National University (UNR) toppled APR 70-62 to lift the ladies' trophy.

APR 55 Urunani 49
Espoir 54 Dynamo 51

APR 74-71 Espoir (Men)
UNR 70-62 APR (Women)

KENYA : Posta Wallop World Hope to Claim Glory

Posta beat rivals World Hope 105-64 in an all-Nairobi final to be declared the new inter-provincial basketball champions at the Nairobi's Railway Club on Sunday.

Posta, who had dismissed World Hope 3-0 in the Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) play-offs to win the league title, had another chance to prove wrong coach George Namake's boys.

It was Ken Ondiek who sent World Hope into early panic by nailing four three-pointers in the first quarter. Ondiek's shooting magic saw him contribute 18 points as Posta led 38-12 in the first quarter. World Hope remained on the receiving end as Posta, who paraded their top cream players including international Ben Oluoch and Ronnie Owino, had little opposition.

Posta exploded into a 50-31 half-time lead. World Hope could not contain pressure in the third quarter, in which Daniel Imbali found himself scoring a rare, own basket.

Oluoch crossed the century mark at 101-57 with five minutes 24 seconds left leaving Posta's coach Robert Mwangi a relaxed man as the game's fate had been decided.

Eliminated Vijana

Ondiek and Oluoch each scored 30 points, while Franklin Delano added 20 for Posta. Evans Orenge shot 14 points, Eric Kayere scored 11 and team-mate Imbali replied with 10 for the losers. Posta qualified for the final of the two-day event after eliminating Rift Valley's Vijana 76-23 in the semis, while World Hope knocked out Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) 94-80.

This year's tournament had a poor turn out with only nine teams taking part. Nairobi entered six teams; Posta, World Hope, Outsidaz, Kenya Polytechnic, Team Jam and KCA. Rift Valley had Vijana, while Central was represented by Baraka, Kenyatta University and Thika Institute.

Branches snubbed event

Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) branches; Coast, Nyanza, Eastern and North Eastern, did not send their teams for the annual tournament, which determines the two clubs to be promoted to the men's Division One League.

Kenya Ports Authority won last year's cup in Kisumu to qualify for this year's Division One league. They won the pre-season with 33 points to book a ticket for the pre-season play-offs to battle for a place in the 2008 Premier League.

Elsewhere, Kenya Ports Authority women's basketball team registered crucial wins in Mombasa to make sure of a place into the play-offs of this year's National Classic Basketball League.

Hitherto placed at position five behind Yana Milele who have completed their assignments, KPA posted one of their best performances at the Coast, beating United States International University (USIU) 63-29 on Saturday and Eagle Wings 48-46 on Sunday.

KPA, who got a walkover on Friday after Kisumu Cruisers failed to turn up, now tie on 28 points with Eagle Wings and Sprite Storms.

12 November 2007

KENYA : Nairobi to Host Provincial Tourney

Four teams will represent Nairobi in this year's inter-provincial basketball championship to be held on Saturday at Hope Centre in Nairobi from 9.30am

According to the Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) vice-chairman Dann 'Owerre, the provincial league champions Posta will lead the pack.

Other teams are: Outsidaz, World Hope and Kenya College of Accountancy. O'werre said the draws and the allocation of the courts will be done at 9am.

The two-day tournament will be used to select two teams to be promoted to the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) organised men's Division One league next year.

Coast province representatives, Kenya Ports Authority won last year's event in Kakamega to earn a ticket to the 2007 Division One league.

The dockmen, have already qualified for the post-season play-offs after having emerged winners in the pre-season with 33 points. They won 15 matches and lost only three.

Division One league

Other KBF branches expected to sent their teams into Saturday's tournament are: Rift Valley, Eastern, Coast, Central and Western. Nakuru Youth will represent Rift Valley while Central is likely to field Thika Technical.

The two finalists will qualify to take up the two slots in next year's Division One league. Two teams are expected to be dropped from this year's lower competition which attracted 10 clubs.

KPA, Mennonites, Telkom and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology have all qualified in that order for the play-offs to fight for the two positions in the 2008 Premier League. Pirates and Kisumu Lakeside face the relegation axe to the lower competition at the end of the season.

RWANDA : Gisembe Draws Foreign Clubs

By Julius Mbaraga

Two foreign clubs have been lined up for this year's Gisembe memorial tournament which unfolds today at Kimisagara Youth Centre, Kigali.

Dynamo and Urunani basketball clubs from Burundi together with APR and Espoir are set to contend for the tournament's top prize.

Espoir who are also the tournament organizers open the day's action with a tie against Dynamo before reigning champions APR clash with Urunani in the second game.

The 2006 season national league champions APR will be seeking redemption after failing to make this season's play-offs.

The league and Gisembe reigning champions failed to qualify for this year's play-offs after being edged by league debutants CSK A.

However, APR's Kenyan coach Cliff Owuor insists that his side is pumped up to prevail in the two-day tournament as a way of silencing critics for their play-off woes.

"Our exclusion from this year's play-offs has been hard on everybody. It has been hard on me, the players, the club administration but we have to move on and focus on the future.

"Gisembe tournament is here and we are the defending champions, so the pressure would on us as everyone wants to beat the champions," the former Kenyan international said.

Meanwhile, in the women category, Rwanda National University (UNR) takes on bitter rivals APR in the only game. The finals are scheduled for tomorrow at the same venue and would be preceded by with a three-pointer and dunk competitions.

Gisembe Memorial is an annual tournament organized and funded by Espoir basketball club in memory of their players, officials and fans but specifically their all-time great Gisembe Ntawugera a victim of the 1994 genocide.

Today's fixtures
Espoir (Rwa) v Dynamo (Bur)
APR (Rwa) v Urunani (Bur)

SEYCHELLES : PLS Hawks crowned with blow-out win

IT was a blow-out and the Men’s division 1A title went to PLS Hawks as they wrestled the coveted crown from Premium Cobras’ grasps.

Against the Cobras, PLS Hawks’ coach Tony Juliette put together a plan that befuddled the PLS Hawks’ go-to-guy Omony drives past Premium Cobras Reuben Kolawoleoutgoing champions all evening in last Saturday’s title decider which started more than two hours behind the scheduled time of 4.30 p.m. This is because handball and earlier basketball matches had overlapped into each others’ scheduled times and also the organisers had to wait for a second referee as there was just one present at the Palais des Sports for the title decider.

The up-tempo play suited the Hawks fine in the blowout victory and Ugandan Stephen Omony was just marvellous as he literally killed the Cobras, handling most of his team’s scoring with a game-high 44 points - almost half of their score in the 97-70 win. PLS Hawks won the match fair and square. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it.

“I had to come out and take control by playing hard. Our performance is a reflection of how hard we have been training lately after going down. We got maximum contribution from all the players on both the offensive and defensive ends,” said 27-year-old Omony who has won a third league crown since joining the Hawks in 2002. The other two triumphs came in 2002 and 2005.

Ironically, it was the Cobras who got off to a quick start with playmaker Tony ‘Siro’ Moustache netting the game’s first four points, but when Omony equalised at 6-6 with 7 minutes 07 seconds (7:07) left in the first quarter, the Uganda international just did not get out of the groove. On the back of Omony’s 19 individual points including three 3-pointers in the first quarter, the Hawks, who put on a show of aggressive and fast flowing basketball, used a 20-6 run to distance themselves from their opponents at the end of the first 10 minutes of play (26-12).

It was one-way traffic again in the second quarter for PLS Hawks and Omony was just amazing to watch as all he did looked right and 95% of his attempted shots just dropped and he even got some friendly rebound.

When coach Juliette decided to give Omony some rest late in the second quarter, the Hawks’ lead had extended to 17 points and they went for the intermission, leading 45-28.

Unable to find a way back into the match as they had run into a formidable PLS Hawks team last Saturday, Premium Cobras took some more punishment and Seychelles international power forward Dominic Pillay just could not believe his eyes when Omony buried a baseline jumper right from under his nose early in the third quarter.
When Premium Cobras thought they had only Omony to try and put under control, playmaker Thomas Collie made them pay for their slack defence on him with eight consecutive points including two treys.

Again the Hawks, who even led by 26 points at one time – 69-43 – on an Omony lay-up with 1:11 left to play in the third quarter, knotted the third 10-minute spell 25-21, bringing the score to 71-49.

There was absolutely no way back for the Cobras even if they would have hoped for another self-destruct attitude by the Hawks. But this time, it did not happen although coach Juliette’s players committed some silly fouls.

Even though they lost the fourth quarter 20-21, PLS Hawks, who had pulled away down the stretch, celebrated a deserved victory and although there was no man-of-the-match award to be distributed on the night, Omony knew he would have won it as he was Hawks’ go-to-guy and he delivered to dethrone the Cobras.

Other than Omony, PLS Hawks had two more players scoring in double digits – playmaker Collie (11 points) and centre Neddy ‘Oye’ Fanchette (15 points).

For the Cobras who misfired all night, especially on the free-throw line, Tanzanian Abdallah ‘Dulla’ Ramadhan was their best scorer with 16 points but like his teammates he had a poor game in relation to his usually high-scoring and energetic style of play.

What they said:

Tony Juliette, PLS Hawks’ coach: “Our playing strategy worked almost perfectly today (Saturday) and my players heeded my advice when I sent them out on the court. Our defence stifled the Cobras offence and we got some easy options in attack and even brought down a lot of offensive rebounds.
We now have our eyes set on winning the SBF Cup to achieve a double. I have to thank all my players, members of management, fans for their contribution. And all those who for a reason whatsoever has left the team, you have also played a part in making the PLS Hawks team champions.”

Roy Collie, Premium Cobras’ team president: “We wanted to win the match, but we made too many turnovers. It was just not our day. I have to congratulate PLS Hawks on their league win and a special mention must go to Omony (Stephen). He killed us tonight (Saturday night). Now, we must concentrate on winning the SBF Cup. Also, I would like to point out that it is frustrating for players to wait for more than two hours to play a match. Some even thought that the game was to be postponed.”

Results of two SBF Cup matches played on Saturday:
HotShots beat RA Sisters 72-32 in game one of the best-of-three women’s semifinals
MBU Rockers beat Cascade Bullets 67-45 in a men’s quarterfinal match

G. G.

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