30 April 2008

NIGERIA : Customs pick first win on the road

Customs team defeated Tapgun Rockets of Jos 64-57 in a game played Tuesday night in the city of Jos, Plateau State.

The result means that the Customs are now 1-1 on the road having lost the Monday game to Niger Potters in Minna.
They are on their Road Trip games through the Savannah Conference.
“It was a good game and officiating good this time. It was quite an open challenge but we got it alright,” Abba Mohammed, the assistant coach of the Customs told FIBA online from the highland city.
Experts expected the Customs to take the match against Tapgun made of mainly students of higher institutions around the city.
The Tapgun boys have campaigned consistently in the system for about the past eight years but they have never measured up to being a championship side.
The real test for the Customs in the mountain and rocks city will be the second match in that hall on Wednesday against the Plateau Peaks.
Tapgun Rockets used to serve as one of the feeder sides to the Peaks before they matured into the Premier League system.
From Jos Customs further up north of Nigeria playing Bauchi Nets on Thursday, Yelwa Hawks the following day in the same sports hall of Bauchi.
The trip ends by the weekend in Kano with matches against Kano Pillars and AHIP Giants.

By Pius Ayinor

CAPE VERDE : Cape Verde to have new coach in place for Athens

Cape Verde will have a transformed squad in July when they show up at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Athens.
The main absence will be that of Cape Verde’s Angolan-born coach Emannuel Trovoada, the man who was in charge last year when the country finished third at the FIBA Africa Championship to claim a spot in this summer’s qualifying event.
Currently at the helm of Angolan outfit Desportivo da Huila, Trovoada is unavailable.
Cape Verde Basketball Federation president Kitana Cabral confirmed to FIBA.com: “Unfortunately, he [Trovoada] will not be able to join us in Athens, due to family issues.
“No, this is not a permanent separation. Emannuel Trovoada will be welcome back whenever his family issues are resolved. We will be waiting for his answer.”
Cape Verde will face Germany and New Zealand in Group B, hoping to win a game in order to progress to the quarter-finals.
Trovoada will not be the only absence.
“Basically, our team is under renovation,” Cabral said. “Fifty per cent of the squad has never played for the country. Most of them are settled in United States, and agreed to play for us.
“Our main players will remain in the squad. Just have a look at our team that competed in the Africa Championship and you will notice that we used an average of seven or eight players per game.
“We want to give more options to the coach.”
“We will unveil a new coach soon. He is a local coach and will be joined by another national coach, who currently works in United States.”
The preparation campaign is supposed to begin on June 9, a month before the competition in Athens. That is not ideal, but Cabral said: “Last year we started our camp a month before the Africa Championship.
“It was tough for us due to the short period. We cannot compare both events, though.
“We reckon that we could start earlier, but we have to understand our players’ commitments with their clubs.”
One of the names linked to Cape Verde is the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ryan Gomes.
The 6ft 7in forward has Cape Verde roots but with each passing day, his inclusion looks less and less likely.
“There is nothing to say about Ryan Gomes,” Cabral said.
Last year, Cape Verde knocked powerhouse Nigeria and Egypt out of last year’s FIBA Africa Championship.
They will be looking for more scalps in June when they host an international tournament which includes Angola, Cameroon, Mali and Senegal.
Late in June, France host Cape Verde in the Africans preparation campaign.
Cape Verde left a very good impression at the FIBA Africa Championship, yet they have higher goals.
“Our aim is to improve on our international experience, and probably at the 2009 FIBA Africa championship fight to win the competition,” Cabral said.

TUNISIE : Super play-off — Demi-finale retour : CA-JSK

Jusqu’au dernier panier
Les deux protagonistes jouent le match décisif, le match le plus long

La salle Gorjani sera, ce soir, le théâtre d’un sommet entre le CA et la JSK pour le compte de la belle de la demi-finale du super play-off. Les deux équipes sont à égalité, une victoire chacune. La belle a lieu à Tunis, puisque les Clubistes sont mieux classés à l’issue du play-off. Un avantage ? Absolument, quand on suit le nombre de matches gagnés par le CA chez lui. Le mental et la maturité tactique, sans oublier le rôle que joue Ezzahi, Essayed, Amri et Lahmar, les joueurs cadres d’un CA qui réalise une saison fort intéressante malgré toutes les contraintes. En face, la JSK affiche des arguments solides : une forme splendide et un collectif retrouvé, bref tout d’une équipe qui veut gagner. On s’attend à un match équilibré qui pourrait se jouer à l’ultime seconde comme en 2004 et le fameux panier de Dhifallah qui a ramené le titre au CA. Rappelons que le vainqueur de ce sommet de ce soir rejoindra le SN en finale du championnat .

Le programme

Salle Gorjani
18h00 : CA-JSK, Ksontini-Beltaifa-Langar

SOUTH AFRICA : SASCOC convenes special meeting to discuss Basketball South Africa

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) convened a special meeting with all Basketball South Africa members and affiliates on Saturday, April 26th 2008 at Olympic House.

The purpose of the meeting was to look at the current impasse in the functioning of Basketball South Africa and explore practical solutions to aid in the administration of the federation.

All provinces and affiliate members were present. Issues were deliberated in a frank and open manner with the president of SASCOC, Mr. Moss Mashishi, chairing the meeting.

Having looked into the state of affairs of Basketball, all members present regretted the sad state that the sport found itself in. It was acknowledged by all present that Basketball has not had a well functioning administration for the past two years.

Against this background, all stakeholders present agreed to restore the proper administration of Basketball under the guidance and oversight of SASCOC.

To this end the meeting dissolved the current BSA Executive and constituted an Interim Committee composed of all Chairpersons of provinces and affiliates and a management committee as follows:

1. Malesela Maleka
2. Gezephi Mbatha
3. Cabby Cabanelas
4. Dr Malumbethe Ralethe
5. Dali Dzingwa
6. Dumisani Tuka
7. Representatives of SASCOC.

The following are the terms of reference of the Interim Committee

1. Assess the financial state of BSA and conclude a financial audit for the year 2006/7 and 2007/8.
2. Take measures to restore the functionality of the federation including a review of provinces and affiliates status with the federation.
3. Convene a proper AGM for Basketball within the next six months. This will be preceded by an extensive organizational renewal process, which will include a constitutional review, and the development of proper policies and guidelines for the federation.

Delegates expressed their gratitude to SASCOC and SRSA for the manner in which they provided leadership and accorded Basketball an opportunity to restore pride in the sport. We appeal to all stakeholders, including the business community to join in this partnership in our efforts to take Basketball to greater heights.

Issued by SASCOC

NIGERIA : Nigeria Basketball Stakeholders Troop to Jos

The entire Nigeria Basketball family practically moved to the city of Jos - a city north east of Abuja, when members of the Federation, coaches and former players joined the President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Elder Jacob Gyang Buba when he buried his late mother, Mrs Kaneng Buba on Monday. The mother of the Nigeria Customs CG died last week in Plateau State, aged 85years.

All through the weekend, the number one member of the Federation received sympathizers from far and near, including members of the Federation and club owners. And just as the sympathisers trooped to Jos, the league games continued across the Atlantic and Savannah Conferences. In Minna, the much advertised star match of the weekend ended 66-51 for Niger Potters over Plateau Peaks of Jos. Both teams entered the game with one hundred percent record.
"It all went well. We worked hard, played well and won the game," the Potters coach, Adamu told FIBA Africa, just after the game was played Saturday night.

Despite the 14 point difference, the game lived up to its billing, as Peaks proved they were real title contenders. Both teams have won the Nigerian league title in the past.
But as the game in the Savannah was a first class treat, those at the National Stadium, Lagos were treated to a game, difficult to define its class as Union Bank drilled Delta Force 83-33. That type of 50 points blow out was last seen in the Nigerian Premier League nearly seven years ago, when there were 16 teams campaigning in the system.

UGANDA : Lions Face Uphill Task in Tie Against the Warriors

by Charles Mutebi

IT is not about to get any easier for the KCC Lions as they continue the early stages of their debut season in the MTN men's Basketball Division 1 league. They have an uphill task against Kyambogo Warriors at Lugogo tonight, after losing their opener to Miracle by one point.
As is common with promoted sides, the Lions' only aim is to survive relegation. But they will have to get good results against top opposition to succeed and Lions' coach has hope.
"I know the Warriors are a good team but I believe we can beat them," Baker Sande told the New Vision. "We were very unlucky to lose against Miracle but we are going to give everything to win this match," he added.
The Warriors also lost convincingly to Miracle in their first match. They were far from looking like the 2007 play-offs finalists as Miracle tore them apart.
On the women's front, reigning champions KCC Leopards face an easy task against the Amazon Rhinos, while in the men's division two, Vegetarians take on Bush Courts.
Meanwhile, Aloysius Byamukama adds that St. Mary's Boarding School Kitende was the most affected boys' side after the National Schools Basketball Association launched a crackdown yesterday on ineligible players at the ongoing national schools championships at Mary Hill in Mbarara.
Kitende was left with only seven players after Michael Nsereko (Senior Six) and Felix Nizeye (Senior Five) failed to present the documents that identify them as legible players at the tournament.

LIBERIA : Basketball Playoffs Heat Up

A big clash was witnessed by basketball fans at the Sports Commission on Broad Street when bitter archrivals LPRC Oilers and NPA Pythons began their battle for a place in the grand final of the 2008 basketball championship.

NPA Pythons finished the second round of the regular season on fourth place after eliminating Mighty Barrolle in their final match recently. Pythons were therefore placed against second place LPRC Oilers as per the pairing rule created by the Liberia Basketball Federation (LBF).
LPRC Oilers, runners-up last year, and NPA Pythons, 2007 champions, are now involved in a best-out-of-three series.
However, the first match between the two clubs on Friday, April 25, 2008 was cancelled due to downpour of rain.
Prior to the match between LPRC Oilers and NPA Pythons, there were other playoff matches among teams from the lower divisions, also taking place the same day.
In game one, St. Paul Crushers lost to Barnersville Celtics 65-75 in a third division showdown, whereas K-Deltas whipped Survivors 60-53 in the female category.
On Saturday, April 26, 2008, second division side Wildcats went down to Sacbase 61-66 before female club Phoenix surrendered to Commissioners 36-54. The final match was a 88-83 victory for Uhuru Kings over Dream Team I. Uhuru Kings now awaits the grand final after winning two straight matches, with no need for a third encounter.
There were additional matches on Sunday, April 27, 2008. FUBBA was unfortunate with a 48-58 loss to Georgia Raptors in the third division. Thereafter, Dream Team II won Cardinals 70-56 in the second division. LPRC Oilers overcame NPA Anchors 64-63 in the last match of the day.
The LBF playoffs began in the various divisions on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at the Sports Commission.
The day one of the playoffs saw Georgia Raptors whipping FUBBA 57-46 in division three. Later, Cardinals outclassed Dream Team II 85-73 in the second division. The final match produced an 83-80 points victory for Uhuru Kings over Dream Team I in the first division.
Meanwhile, the 2008 Playoffs will continue on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 with two matches. Barnersville Celtics will play St. Paul Crushers and Sacbase versus Wildcats.

29 April 2008

NIGERIA : Customs lose first game on the road

Customs team lost their first game on the road when they fell 64-61 to Niger Potters Monday night in Minna. The Customs captain and an off guard with the national team Abdulrahman Mohammed attributed the loss to poor officiating.

"We lost to poor officiating and not to Potters. If we played on equal terms we would have won the game in Minna. I don't know the rules I applied over there; they are certainly not FIBA rules. There was so much bias on the court and on the table. It is very shameful and can't help develop this game. We were simply robbed," Abdulrahman said.

It was the first Road Trip game for the Customs and their fourth match for the regular season. With the Monday result, it means they have won just a game this season as the challenge for play off spots get firmer. Their record so far leaves them at the fifth spot on the Atlantic Conference table. Customs are the first on the road from the Atlantic region.

The Customs will continue their trip through the Savannah Conference in Jos with two matches on Tuesday and Wednesday. The players arrived in Jos city Monday night.

Pius Ayinor

ZAMBIA : FQM Nets take over Copperbelt league leadership

Ndola based First Quantum Mining Nets took over the leadership of the Northern Zone mens league after recording an emphatic 100 - 36 win over Copperbelt Energy Corporation Cavaliers in a week five fixture played at Copperbelt Energy courts in Kitwe.
At the same venue defending zone champions Hetro Bullets thrashed Chambeshi 64 - 42 while David Naamb's Ndola Clippers blew out Konkola Trotters 96 - 46.
Luanshya Eagles recorded their third straight loss going down 65 - 75 to Mufulira Original Magnets.
In Lusaka at the National Sports Development Centre Nkhosi Heroes maintained their bid to retain the men's southern zone league championship after a hard earned 71 - 67 win over fellow title chasers Lusaka City Council Looters.
New league entrants Lusaka Spartans were baptised 53 - 88 by University of Zambia Pacers while Barclays Magic gunned down Hawks 67 - 39.

In the women's division at the same venue, the Nets beat the Joseph Chowa tutored Rim Oilers 51 -47.
At Looters Abattoir it was a black Saturday for southern zone women's title holders Green Buffaloes who found themselves at the wrong end of the stick when LCC Lootresses beat them 69 - 41.

Mwembe Kaona

SEYCHELLES : High-scoring wins, big-three stay unbeaten

HIGH-SCORING wins were registered in Men’s Division One matches played over the weekend at the Palais des Sports as the big three – Premium Cobras, Baya and PLS Hawks – extended their winning streaks.

Premium Cobras 126 … Razors 48

SOLOMON … 42-point performance for Premium CobrasTHE 126-48 win was the biggest victory margin so far this year in the top flight as Alao Solomon had another 40+ match for former champions Premium Cobras.
On Sunday, the Nigerian shooting guard finished with 42 points, making him Premium Cobras’ and the league’s best scorer so far with 161 points in four matches.
Averaging 40 points per match, Solomon also scored 34 in the 96-57 win against Cascade Bullets, 46 in the 97-58 win over Praslin Warriors and 39 in the 88-68 victory against MBU Rockers.
The Cobras had another six players – Dominic Pillay (21), Steve Allisop (18), Abdel Sylla (12), skipper and playmaker Tony Moustache (11), Steve Servina (10) and Biko Biong (10) – scoring in double figures as they won all four quarters, 34-13, 31-10, 31-8 and 30-17.
A volleyballer with Premium Spikers, Ricky Vel finished with 17 points to lead the Razors who find themselves on a razor’s edge after losing for the third time in four games. Their only win was against fellow strugglers Cascade Bullets on an 85-76 score.
The previous highest win was registered by PLS Hawks against Beau Vallon Heat on a 115-50 score.

PLS Hawks 83 … Cascade Bullets 53

With a depleted squad, the Bullets wanted to surprise Indian Ocean Club Championship runners-up PLS Hawks, but they came up short after holding the defending champions for more than 25 minutes.
PLS Hawks’ coach Tony Juliette was not happy with what he saw on the court and had to bark instructions from the sidelines and he even regrouped his players during a time-out to rethink tactics as Cascade Bullets were playing on a par with them.
After trailing 31-34 at half-time and 41-43 midway through the third quarter, the Bullets were thinking of getting their first win in four outings but they probably forgot that the Hawks could move up a gear.
This is exactly what happened and the Hawks won the third and fourth quarters, 24-11 and 25-11, to close the game at 83-53.
Veteran power forward and captain Jim Domingue led the Hawks in scoring with 19 points, with Rodney Lozé (14), Neddy ‘Oye’ Fanchette (13) and Bernard Bristol (12, all from 3-point range) combining for 39 points.
Bullets skipper Kenneth Sophie led all scores with 21 points which went to waste in the defeat.

Beau Vallon Heat 41 … MBU Rockers 91

Like Cascade Bullets, Beau Vallon Heat are also without a win in four games and their latest loss was at the hands of MBU Rockers, who rediscovered the winning feeling after losing to Premium Cobras the weekend before.
The Rockers were always in control of the match, winning all four quarters, 22-8, 28-11, 19-14 and 22-8, as they won by a 50-point margin.
Coach Alvin Alcindor’s MBU Rockers were led in scoring by swingman Cyril Agrippine with 21 points, while playmaker Nigel Sinon (15) and Nigel Henriette (16) also scored in double digits.
Cliff Furneau and Tony ‘General’ Barbé had 10 points each for the Heat, who need to start winning if they are to survive in the top flight.

Praslin Warriors 65 … RC Dynamics 71

After getting a win in their second match on a 70-66 score against the Razors, Praslin Warriors went back to losing, this time against RC Dynamics, who got 20 points, including two 3-pointers from Kenneth Domingue.
Captain Tony Marday added 11 points in the win for RC Dynamics, who trailed 11-15 at the end of the first quarter but won the other three 18-16, 22-18 and 20-16. This was their first win in three games.
Ryan Volcère had the hot hands for the Warriors with 17 points, 12 of which came from 3-point range.

Baya 92 … Angels 64

Baya extended their winning streak to four games by steamrolling Angels 92-64 on the back of 19 points from both centre Robert Léon and shooting guard Jean-Paul ‘JP’ Camille.
Nigel Cafrine came off the substitutes’ bench to get 17 points, while playmaker Giovanni Laval added 13, including three treys.
Coach Michel Malbrook was back on the bench after missing two games while on regional mission with women’s team Anse Etoile Stars, and his Baya team entirely dominated the match, winning all four 10-minute spells, 26-13, 17-16, 23-19 and 26-16.
Collin Japhet and Barry Dubignon had 13 points apiece to lead Angels, whose usual high scorers Daniel Dodin and Darren Lesperance were kept silent.
Meanwhile, in a Men’s Division Two match, RA Herons beat LMS Youth 55-38.

G. G.

LIBERIA : Uhuru Kings qualifies for final

Uhuru Kings basketball team has qualified for the grand final of the Liberia Basketball Federation national league. Uhuru qualified on Saturday after defeating Dream Team twice in their best out of three l in the semi final stage of the competition. LPRC Oiler on Sunday April 27 pinned NPA Pythons 64-63 points in game one of their bes tout of three Semi final. The two teams put up a fine basketball display that kept the crow standing, stouting and singing. Game two is expected to take place on Wednesday April 30, 2008. Before that match, Commissioners will hustle former female champion Phoenix in a female semi final stage. Commissioners won game one 54-36 points. In another female Semi final on that day, champion K-Deltas will play Survivors. K-Deltas won game one 60-53 points.

from Africabasket.com

KENYA : Nairobi Terrorists Blow Up Christian Centre

by Caxton Apollo

University of Nairobi's Terrorists celebrated their first victory in this season's basketball Premier League when they beat International Christian Centre 67-50 at the Hope Centre, Nairobi, on Sunday.

After losing 79-54 to defending champions KCB Lions in their opener, Terrorists coach Fred Odhiambo approached the second assignment with a new strategy that saw his charges emerge victorious.

It was the impressive forward Rodney Genga, who teamed up well with Arnold Mulili to give the students an early 18-12 lead after the first quarter. Genga, backed by Timothy Omondi and Mike Opinya, continued terrorising the ICC brigade and steered the students to an 18-8 lead in the second quarter.

ICC, who were making their first appearance this season, temporarily hit back through David Kyalo, Vito Kote and veteran Adams Njoroge as they narrowed the gap, though they were still trailing 36-20 at the break.

Struggling to make break the students, ICC's Kote, Njoroge and Kyalo put up a magnificent display to claim the last quarter 19-14. Terrorists' Opinya scored 17 points, Genga added another 13, while Brian Kebwaro had 16 with Emmanuel Ekai contributing 11 for ICC.

In other matches, Posta beat Blazers 51-45, Eagle Wings edged Strathmore University 49-41, Lomboritz floored Nakuru Club 60-48, while Sprite Storms defused Dynamites 50-35. Elsewhere, Mennonites lost to Blazers 38-52, while Java Warriors went down 39-43 to Strathmore University.

In Kisumu, KCB Lions mauled Lakeside 75-56, while in Nakuru, Nakuru Club narrowly beat NPC 59-52.

In the women's league, Caroline Achieng shot 13 points, while Anastasia Njere added 11 to steer Eagle Wings to a hard-fought 49-41 win over newcomers Strathmore University.

Impressive Strathmore
Wings, coached by international referee Juma Kent, had a bulk of the former Telkom players led by Rebecca Sarange and Caroline "Majeng" Achieng. The duo saw Eagle Wings dribble to a 12-9 first quarter lead.
Strathmore, who had shocked Yana 44-35 on their debut match in the top competition, were 21-13 down at half-time. Linet Mukiri scooped 15 points, while Grace Wanjiru and Esther Nyakwaka each had 10 for the students.
In the men's Division One match, Posta had a superb start, beating fellow debutantes Blazers 51-45.
Posta, who enjoyed the services of former national team players led by Ken Ondiek and Ben Oluoch, took an early 12-6 lead in the first quarter. They then resisted pressure from the Blazers to lead 24-17 at the breather.
Blazers relied on Joseph Kosgey, Eric Walucho and Donald Ogolla, who were a constant threat to Posta in the last quarter.

NIGERIA : Masai's Big Man Camp Starts May 15

by Pius Ayinor

The annual Big Man Camp put together by Masai Ujiri and Godwin Owinje of RadarHoops will hold at the Lagos National Stadium from May 15th to 18th.

The programme for the especially big sized junior players has held in the country for the past for years in conjunction with the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).

Masai, a former Nigerian national team player and one of the current coaches for national junior teams programmes told THISDAYSports from his base in Toronto that his commitment to developing the Nigerian players at the right age remains unwavering.
"The kids are getting better and more kids continue to crossover to high school in the states and the track record of high major players continues to grow."Most importantly, they continue to strive in school, using this opportunity as a tool for higher education. And we are really touched by this.
"As you may know 11 out of the 12 kids we sent to BWB (Basketball without Borders) Africa 2007 made the All Star Game. Emmanuel Negedu represented us well at the Hoopsummit game and so did Raphael Akpejiori at the Jordan game. With players like these you are encouraged to do more.
"Our goal remains developing and growing the game of basketball in Nigeria with a lot of concentration on the youth. And that's why coaches taking their time to come and teach in our camp mean a lot to us and we hope to make their experience a great one," Masai said. Masai, who is Director of Global Scouting for Toronto Raptors, also run a separate for other positions other the Big Man Camp targeted at the power forwards and centres.
The foreign based coaches for the event are Joe Touomou (NBA), Myke Scholl (Pistons), Rob Jackson ( DC Bluedevils), Will Voight (Spurs), Adam Fillipi (Lakers), Simon Cote ( Nuggets), Willy Chapman (Veritas Sports Academy), Dustin Clark ( Texas A&M) Peter Gash (Lasale University), Patrick Engelbrecht and Todd Bozeman (Morgan St), Tim Conolley (Wizards).
The Nigerian coaches are Adeka Daudu (Nigeria), Scott Nnaji (Customs), Michael Akuboh (ABU), Alex Owochio (Warriors), Peter Ahmedu (Warriors Academy), Aderemi Adewumi (First Bank, Nigeria) and Emma Odah (Abuja)
The Camp Directors listed include Sam Ahmedu (Grizzles, Nike), Godwin Owinje (Radarhoops), Ugo Udezue (BDA), Isah Umar (Nigeria) and Oliver Johnson (Ahmadu Bello University)

UGANDA : KIU Men Overpower UCU Canons in Tense League Tie

by Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo & James Ssekandi

Star guard Ivan Enabu's game high 22points were inconsequential as his Uganda Christian University (UCU) Canons succumbed to a 71-81 defeat to Kampala International University (KIU) Men in a thrilling MTN-FUBA Basketball League game played at Lugogo Indoor Stadium on Sunday night.
UCU playing without Robert Mugabe and Adam Njoroge dominated the early exchanges, leading 23-19 and 16-13 in the first two quarters but were hit with a spectacular KIU resurgence that yielded double figures for four of KIU's players.
Alex Ohol (18), Orom Makmot (17), Mande Juruni (14) and Moses Olobo (formerly of Nkumba Marines, 12) hit back with KIU outscoring UCU Canons 49-32 in the last two quarters.

With a third straight victory under his belt, KIU Coach Nimrod Kaboha said he was not yet carried away. "We won today because we have a deep bench but we must take it one game at a time," Kaboha told Daily Monitor.

UCU Coach Jason Mehl credited KIU for the fight back. "When we fell eight behind in the third, the guys gave up and the opponents took full charge," he said.

Results - Men
KIU 81 UCU 71
Falcons 77 Gulu Hawks 71

Victoria 31 KCC 59
Crane High 67 Muk Cubs 71
A1 Ch'lenge 64 Muk Sparks 23

UGANDA : Pacesetters Kiu Up for Canon Fire in Basketball League

by Charles Mutebi

EARLY pace-setters KIU face a mammoth test from the UCU Canons today at Lugogo in the pick of the weekend's basketball action.

The current league leaders, who beat Crane High on Wednesday to take their record to two wins in two, will have to conquer their university rivals to preserve their perfect start.
While the Kansanga-based outfit has beaten the Canons in a few inter-university competitions, they lost to the Mukono University team in their previous two league meetings.
However, the Canons underlined their potency last week by convincingly defeating the defending national champions Mogas Falcons and will be fancied to end KIU's short pretty run.
Meanwhile, A1 Challenge's match with the MUK Sparks will see Olivia Mulwana and Barbara Okot face the side they left in the transfer season. The pair who helped A1 defeat the Makerere Cubs on Wednesday will turn their guns on the very side they led to national glory in 2003.
On Friday, Sadolin Power bounced back from a 22-18 deficit in the first quarter to take 37-30 lead into halftime before going on to secure a five point defeat of the Nkumba Marines at Lugogo. Isaac Afidra netted a team-high 20 points while Richard Balemwa added 15 off the bench before fouling out to help Power recover from their opening loss to KIU last week.

Miracle scored the winning basket with seven seconds left to avoid an embarrassing defeat to the KCC Lions, the kind of problem the KIU Rangers did not have as they humiliated the Lady Bucks to turn what had been a promising encounter into a mismatch.

UGANDA : Crane High, Nabisunsa in Contention

by A. Byamukama

They have never won the boys' national schools basketball crown although Crane High, Kitintale has been a formidable force for the last four years.
Once again, the Kampala-based side will be out to challenge for title when the 15th edition of the national schools championships tip-off today at Mary Hill High school in Mbarara.
Having seen their hope of winning for the first time last year dented by controversial officiating that disallowed a would-be buzzer winner, Crane High will be in no other need except fighting for honours this time round.
"We have all it takes to lift this year's title, although it might be a tough contest for us," said Justus Mugisha, the team coach. Crane High has been an indomitable side in the much contested Kampala region, having won the boys' trophy for the last four years.

TANZANIA : Spartans an Edge Above Basket Kings

by Victor Machota

The Spartans basketball sports club thumped Kings of Kaloleni 60-54 in a friendly meet at Soweto grounds on April 19.
The seemingly aggressive Spartans walked out of the pitch with 17 baskets against the King's 14 at the first breather.
At the second break the results stood at 34-31 in favour of Spartans.
hough at the start of the last round of the game the difference was only two baskets, the Spartans scored quick last baskets to make the final result reading at 60-54.
Spartans captain said the friendly match was meant to promote friendship and promote sportsmanship
Kings captain Bariki Joseph said his team was preparing for the coming Muungano cup championships in Zanzibar from 20 April 20.
Arusha youths now taking interest in basketball

28 April 2008

KENYA : UoN Terrorists pip ICC in duel

- University of Nairobi "Terrorists" beat International Christian Centre (ICC) 67-50 in a Premier Leaue match at World Hope Centre, Lavington.

The campous lads were on top from start taking a 36-20 lead at the break. John Opinya scored 17 points while Rondney Genga contributed 13 for UoN, who are now 1-1 after losing their opener to champions KCB Lions last week.

Strathmore University pipped Java Warriors 43-39 in another top match. Paul Nyakinda's opening basket saw Strathmore race off to a 13-2 first quarter advantage. Java clawed back and a rim roasting slam by Kenneth Wena had the scores 10-21.

Blades, were up 28-14 at the break but after resumption, Java sensing the game was getting out of reach early, exerted more pressure forceing Strathmore into commiting turn overs.

Richard Otunga ensured the students kept the pace by taking a 14-11 cushion. Java cut the advantage to nine points, before two baseline jumpers by Nakinda saw Strathmore jump away 37-29 as the teams broke for the last quarter.

This low scoring match, made drubbing by the absence of the 24 second shot clock, saw Strathmore's Nyakinda and Ken Maru struggled for a combined 18 points while Alex Lugari nailed 10 and Wera nine in that loss.

After the final whistle Blades coach Tony Ochieng said ," I am not amused by the way my boys played in this match. We played a bad game especially in the last half but a win is a win and I am happy with the two points though.

Eagles wings took a 21-13 lead at half time and went on to post their second win in a row with a 49-41 dismiss of Strathmore University Swords.Caroline Achieng scored 13 points and Anastasia Njeri had 11. For the losers, Linet Mukiri managed 15 and Grace Wanjiku 10.

In the lower division matches, Posta made a triumphant return with a 51-45 win over Blazers. Ken Ondiek and John Matiany scored 12 points each with Franklin Delano making 13.

Lomboritz trailed 28-30 at half time but recovered to down Mennonites 60-48 They had 11 points a piece from Mike Ogutu and Melvin Oketch.

Lakeside lost their seasons opener going down 57-72 to the national champions KCB Lions in a match played at Kenyatta Sports Ground, Kisumu. The home side were led by Joshua Charles who posted season high 30 points while new signing Victor Odendo pepped the bankers with 16 points.

The Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) matched played at Railways Club, saw Emyba beat Friends of Basketball (FOB) 49-35 behind Amos Wachira 19 points. Josephe Achega had 18 for FOB.

Stephen Okwako scored 21 points to lead Trail Blazers to a 49-35 win over satelite Mercenaries. The only ladies tie saw World Hope had 14 points from Beatrice Juam as they hit Kenya college of Accountancy (KCA) University 32-22.


NIGERIA : Nigerian basketball shifts to Jos, Potters cut Peaks

The entire Nigeria Basketball system has practically moved to the city of Jos – a city north east of Abuja - as members of the Federation, coaches and former players join the President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Elder Jacob Gyang Buba as he buries his late mother Mrs Kaneng Buba on Monday. The mother of the Nigeria Customs CG died last week in Plateau State aged 85years.
All through the weekend, the number one member of the Federation received sympathizes from far and near including members of the Federation and club owners.

And just as the sympathisers trooped to Jos, the league games continued across the Atlantic and Savannah Conferences. In Minna the much advertised star match of the weekend ended 66-51 for Niger Potters over Plateau Peaks of Jos. Both teams entered the game with one hundred percent record.

“It all went well. We worked hard, played well and won the game,” the Potters coach Adamu told FIBA just after the game played Saturday night.

Despite the 14 point difference, the game lived up to the billing as Peaks proved they were real title contenders. Both teams have won the Nigerian league title in the past.

But as the game in the Savannah was a first class treat those at the National Stadium, Lagos were treated to a game difficult to define its class as Union Bank team drilled Delta Force 83-33. That type of 50 points blow out was last seen in the Nigerian Premier League nearly seven years ago when there were 16 teams campaigning in the system.

“It clearly showed that Delta people are not just ready for this league. They are not just part of this system,” an analyst said at the courtside.

Union Bank, like Potters are keeping their one hundred percent record with the win. Delta Force on their part are suffering from cash and managerial challenges. The club which was owned and run by the state had a change of management just before the first shot was taken this season with the transfer of franchise to former basketballer.

Before the Saturday match began, fans were actually in doubt if the Delta team could make the long trip to Lagos but were not in doubt if they would lose the match and also lose widely. Delta opened their season campaign at home with an 87-81 loss to AHIP as they fans watched in disbelief. In the previous they had lost only one game at home in Asaba even though they could not make the play off eventually.

Customs are starting their Road Trip games Monday evening with the match against Potters in Minna.

Pius Ayinor

MOROCCO : Maghreb de Fes advances to the next round

Maghreb de Fes advanced to the next round of 21st Arab Clubs Championship. After the first loss of the tournament the team from Morocco could reinforce and win two other games. The win over Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (186-G-69, college: LSU)'s team was decisive in the group for the second place.
Maghreb de Fes defeated De La Salle Al Quds Jerusalem in the second game 98:65. The team from Palestine had a wonderful first quarter and had 20:12 after it. Moreover De La Salle Al Quds Jerusalem remained in front with 33:32 at the half. Maghreb de Fes used their power in the second half taking 58:51 after three quarters and leading the game to the happy end. Macktar M'Baye top-scored for the winners with 37 points, whilst Alpha Traore (188-G-83) had 16. Issa Kamel (192-F-83) ended up with 18 points in the losing effort.
Maghreb De Fes edged Al Ittihad Jeddah 91:72 after the even score in the first quarter. The team from Morocco used some runs to take a control later in the game and had 23 points advantage after three quarters played. Alpha Traore paced all the winners with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Macktar M'Baye (185-G-84) nailed 16 and Mohamed Hjira (202-C-80) posted 15. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf poured in 25 points in the losing effort.

27 April 2008

EGYPT : Tarek El Ghanam participates with Ahly in last 10 games

The Federation Accepted Tarek El Ghanam Appeal to reduce the penalty he got last week.Tarek will get a chance to participate with Ahly in the last 10 games after reducing the suspension from 19 games to 10 .Trark also will pay 15000 LE. The Egyptian federation is trying to fight violence in the basketball courts witch seems still uncontrolled yet. Last night after Itthad Vs sporting game there was a fight between the police and sporting players

26 April 2008

NIGERIA : Zenith Bank League date stands

The date for the second phase of the Zenith Bank League for Women in Nigeria remains as originally planned the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has announced. There were moves to draw the competition fixed for Enugu – a capital city 595km south east of Abuja - forward by four days but the NBBF and their sponsors have finally settled for the May 8th to 18th period as originally scheduled. It was gathered that the Federation could not secure the venue for the proposed date and had to revert back to the original schedule as a result.

“We could not get the hall for that period going by the report from those on ground in Enugu,” the Federation representative said.

It was explained that the original intention of taking a four-day early move was to take care of the young students in the teams who are ready to take the Secondary School Certificate examinations. It was to give them some time to get back to their bases. But even at that, a team like Dolphins had also drawn attention of the Federation to the fact that the new date would not be favourable to them as some of their players are also involved with the NIPOGA (Nigeria Polytechnics Games) which is ending on the 5th of May in Ado Ekiti.

The first phase of the league was ended April 5th in Abuja while the third and final phase will hold by June in Lagos.

By Pius Ayinor

NIGERIA : We’ve put squabbles behind us, says Nets manager

Bauchi Nets started the current season on a good note beating Tapgun Rockets of Jos 67-52 April 5th but then slumped at home the following weekend 67-36 to another Jos based team, Plateau Peaks.

It was a result most followers of the Premier League in Nigeria could hardly believe. It may not have been extra-ordinary for former national champions to defeat Nets in Bauchi but the 31points blow out could not be imagined. Last weekend they lost by two points (71-69) to defending conference champions Niger Potters in what their fans may consider a mark of improvement.

Those close to the team told our reporter that the Nets were facing serious in-house squabbles that translated into very poor displays on the court. And when we took on the official in charge of the team’s administration Lawan Garba on the allegation of problems within the team he owned up but emphasised that the matter had been put behind them.

“Yes, there was problem with the team but we’ve sorted it out and put everything behind us. We are now looking at the season afresh.

“It was indeed a question of communication breakdown and the players felt that the best way to make their case heard was to put up that kind of performance on the court,” Lawan who was an outstanding national team off guard in the late ‘80s said.

It was learnt that the palaver all revolved around cash and payment of players’ allowances. The management, it was explained, had agreed with the players on their entitlements for the season but there was delay stemming from bureaucracy and banking procedures which was then interpreted as “management not living up their own part of the bargain.”

A meeting after the match against Peaks April 12th resolved the issues. This weekend they will be guests of AHIP Giants in Kano and the players and management of Nets will need to produce a convincing result for their fans. Bauchi nets, even though a long standing team is yet to establish their force within the Savannah Conference like the Niger Potters, Peaks and Kano Pillars.

By Pius Ayinor

NIGERIA : Yelwa Hawks playing for every title

Yelwa Hawks have played two matches so far this season and lost both but the results have not changed the decision of the club owner Alhaji Tanko Dutse Yusuf to thrown in all he has into the system this term. The man simply known as Tanko had told FIBA ahead of the season’s start off that he was throwing in any resources available to him in determination to finish the season on a very good note. Two games down and valuable points lost, the man who is also the Bauchi State Commissioner for Water Resources reaffirmed his stance on the Nigerian league in a talk with FIBA.

“My position on the league remains unchanged – we are throwing in everything to do well. We started that way due to circumstances beyond our control but now we are working towards a proper run of the system which will empower us for the ultimate challenge.

“We all met and agreed to go on with the league and as far as I am part of that decision I’ll give the league full attention for the benefit of all. We have set our goals and they are achievable,” Tanko said.

Yelwa Hawks opened the season at home against AHIP Giants and lost surprisingly 60-41. Even though they also lost the following week against Niger Potters in Minna, the 78-63 performance proved a better outing for the Hawks.

“We had serious challenges with those games. Neither the coach nor I could be available for the games and so not much could have been expected. But it will no longer be so.”

The Hawks whose coach was relocating to another city could not quickly get a replacement for the managerial position. There are signs, however, that a new manager could be resuming on the job before they host Kano Pillars in a top of the bill clash May 10th. Checks revealed that Hawks are offering the coach what is hardly available elsewhere in the system.

The first step for the Yelwa team is to pick a play off spot from the Savannah Conference where there are very thin margins amongst five teams. They will have to contend with Peaks, Pillars, Niger Potters and AHIP Giants for play off ticket. Yelwa Hawks made their greatest impact in the national league nearly five seasons ago when they finished second on the overall table, losing their first position on technical grounds.

By Pius Ayinor

NIGERIA : Potters, Peaks in league star game

There are five games in both the Atlantic and Savannah Conferences this weekend in Nigeria but the one in Minna – located 117km north west of the Federal Capital City of Abuja - between the Potters and Peaks surely stands out as the game of the weekend even though the managers of the teams are not sticking out their necks to make direct predictions. The Potters coach Adamu told FIBA that he can only expertly predict is a very good match.

“Scores is a difficult one to count in games and a particular one like this. I usually leave such until after the game. I don’t know what the final result will look like but I can say we have prepared very well for this match and this season indeed. As a matter of fact I am just leaving the court if that will underline our work rate. “I know both teams are doing well so it will surely be a good game to watch by any standard. We’ll play well and hope to get the result,” Adamu said yesterday.

Both teams go into the Saturday game with clean sheets. Peaks have won all three matches at home and away while Potters have taken the two games played so far in Minna and Bauchi. So one of the two teams must then lose today while the other continues with the one hundred percent stats. Both teams have been consistent in the past seasons with Peaks playing the FIBA Africa Champions League play offs in 2006 played in Lagos, Nigeria and Potters finishing fifth in Angola last year. The two teams also parade some players who have featured for the national sides at different levels which add up to the class of this match up.

By Pius Ayinor

KENYA : Lions and Co-op hunt in different directions

By Dann O’werre

National champions KCB Lions and Co-operative Bank of Kenya return to Premier League action with tough away matches in Kisumu and Mombasa this weekend.

The top guns last week won their opening fixtures 79-54 and 84-42 over varsity sides University of Nairobi Terrorists and Strathmore Blades. They are expected to keep the fire burning as they go in opposite directions.

Lions take on Lakeside in a homecoming match for new signing Victor Odendo. Tobias Onyango, who set the tempo with 19 points should continue with his scoring exploits at Kenyatta Spoprts Grounds.High flying Bobby Okwako, who posted season’s high 24 points against UoN, will be the man to watch again as are former champions KPA who host Co-op at Makande Welfare Gymnasium. KPA will bank on Samuel Ocholla.

Defending women’s champions KPA are also at home against the visiting Yana Milele who fired coach John Chasimba after a 35-44 loss to Strathmore Swords replacing him with George Namake. The veteran tactician face a bad afternoon in his first match.Strathmore Blades seek to win at least six ties in the first leg, bur got a rude jolt in the opening tie against Co-op. They should bounce back against Java Warriors and the player to help that cause is forward Ken Maru.

National team captain Angela Luchivya will lead Sprite Storms from the front in an easy fixture against UoN Dynamites who succumbed 18-45 to Eagles Wings.

In the lower division, Posta mark their return against Blazers while Nakuru Club host Nairobi Pentecostal Church and Mennonites tackle Blazers. After that home tie, Nakuru must travel to play Lomboritz in Nairobi.

Tomorrow, International Christian Centre will come for revenge against UoN Terrorists who locked them out of last year’s playoff semi-finals. At the Railways Club, Nairiobi Basketball Association league continues with five matches on card.

25 April 2008

NIGERIA : "We are good for the cup" - boast Nigeria coach

The 2008 edition of the Durban High School Invitational tournament dunks off Tursday with seven high school from the Africa continent.
The tournament according to the organiser, Myles Delport is to create competitive environment among kids of high school age.
Delport says the tournament is in two phases with over twenty schools taking part in the first phase while seven schools are slugging it out in the second and final phase with Nigeria Luminary School, Warri, South South Nigeria carrying the West Africa giant flag.
The Luminary school made up of twelve players and its coach, Gbubeni Fregene a man with nose for raw and budding talent as head coach departed the shore of Nigeria last Sunday aboard South African Airways for the week-long tournamnet.
The tournament format according to Col. Sam Ahmedu (Rtd) would see the seven school playing in different basketball court in the Durban province of South South with each schools accumulating points as they move round the Kwazulu province to determine the eventual winner.
Beaming with great confidence Luminary coach, Fregene told www.fiba-africa.com that his ward will emerged champion come April 30 when the final leg of the tournament would be decided.
'I am confident that no team will stop us out there, I know the stuff my players are made up of and I understand the age-grade terrain very well.
'This was my words when I took a bunch of rookies out in 2005 for the World Secondary School tournament in Argentina and at the end my words came to pass as my boys did not only win the tournament but were unbeaten.
'We are going to do Delta State and Nigeria proud in this tournament because the country is the continent defending champion in the U18 FIBA Africa Championship for men especially when the last set of Nigeria U18 team won the last edition of the Africa Championship in Durban.

LIBYA : Al Nasr defeats Maghreb de Fes in the opener

Al Nasr won the opener of the 21st Arab Clubs Championship that is held in Jordan. In the first game the team from Libya overcame Maghreb de Fes from Morocco 76:70. The latter started the campaign better taking 14:23 lead after the opening quarter. Moreover they controlled the game for three quarters, but Al Nasr had a fabulous last period to win the opener. Ellia Zolic led the winners with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Kowan collected 12 points and 5 assists, while Khaled Mohamad scored 12. Alpha Traore (188-G-83) had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists in the losing effort.

NIGERIA : NBBF Mourns With Gyang Buba

by Pius Ayinor

the Board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has announced that it mourns with the Federation's President Elder Jacob Gyang Buba on the passing away of his mother Mrs Hanatu Kaneng Buba. The late Mrs Buba died on Wednesday in Jos aged 85yrs.
"We the members of the Board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), the staff of the Federation and the entire Nigerian basketball family mourn with the President of the Federation Elder Jacob G. Buba at the death of his mother who passed on Wednesday. We pray that God grants the entire family the fortitude to bear the loss," the press release from the NBBF office in Abuja read.
Details of the burial programme will be made available later to the public by the family it was said.
Buba is also the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service.
Meanwhile the Premier League will continue this afternoon with Lagos Islanders as hosts to the Comets today at the National Stadium, Lagos. It will be their first meet in the regular season.
Tomorrow Union Bank will be at home to Delta Force of Asaba at the same venue. The match will be the first away match and the second of the season for the Asaba-based team. They lost their first match at home to AHIP Giants of Kano 87-81.

UGANDA : Marines, Power Collide

by Sande Bashaija

Two-time champions Nkumba University Marines return to the MTN-Fuba Basketball League action tonight at Lugogo Indoor Stadium with hope of recording a second straight victory against Sadolin Power.

Marines, who lost their most influential players Norman and Donald Blick, won their season-opening game 65-50 against Crane High School last weekend but the clash against Power won't be as easy.
Power, champions in 2000, bitterly lost 51-54 to Kampala International University (KIU) in their first game last Friday, and can't afford to go down easily again.
Power are still without star players Mark Enabu and Allan Tawoda, who are serving a four-match suspension because of indiscipline but Isaac Afidra is confident his team can deliver.
"Guys were not that focused against KIU. Good thing is, team discipline has improved and I am sure we are going to get our groove on against Marines," Afidra said.
Though Marines look an average team without the Blick brothers, coach Timothy Odeke still has the belief they are capable of beating any team. "Boys are working together as a team and that's the most important thing," Odeke said.

In the games played Wednesday night, KIU drubbed Crane High School 95-51 while 2005 women champions A-1 Challenge opened their season with an 87-34 victory over Makerere Cubs.
KIU dominated from start to finish with their post players Michael Karuiki and Markmot Orom turning the game into a dunking contest. Second Division outfit Vegetarian registered a hard fought 79-75 win over MBC Rocks.

Vegetarian 79-75 MBC Rocks
MAK Cubs 34-87 A-1 Challenge
KIU men 95-51 Crane High

Miracle v KCC Lions.
KIU Rangers v Lady Bucks
Marines v Power

UGANDA : Sky is the Start for Local Basketball

by John Vianney Nsimbe

UCU Canons' coach Jason Mehl may have celebrated avenging his side's loss to Falcons in last season's playoff semifinals and KCC Leopards may have sneaked past KIU Rangers without their influential pair of Mariam Hamala and Betty Akullo, but they weren't the only winners as the basketball league tipped off last week.
Local basketball governing body FUBA was also a winner. Judging by the people that thronged Lugogo Indoor Stadium to watch the matches, FUBA must have also smiled all the way to the bank.
It's a usual occurrence now for FUBA to bag handsome collections from the gates on big matchdays. Last season, during the play-offs that ran from October 12 to November 30, FUBA collected no less than Shs 3m. Fans were so gripped by the basketball that was on display that they were even willing to part with Shs 5,000 for an entrance ticket.
FUBA deputy general secretary Joseph Manano says that the federation won't be letting go of the initiative. He says basketball fans expect a cocktail of niceties at this season's Friday basketball games. "We want it to be a special time for the fans to come and have a good evening courtesy of good games," Manano said.
This of course is music to the ears of fans such as Lameck Ssonko. With a bar and barbecue setting right at the Lugogo stadium, the likes of Ssonko - a banker by profession - aren't complaining. Ssonko beamed: "I now don't need to look for where to hang out on a Friday after a busy day in the bank. I know there is basketball and with my girlfriend we feel the same like going to the bar."
With the likes of Ssonko ever-so willing to pay to access a basketball game, FUBA's gate collections have been increasing significantly in the past couple of years. While FUBA used to collect a little over Shs 4m all season the past two years or so, that figure was raked up at the gates during last season's play-offs.
The affordability of matches that sees fans pay even as low as Shs 1,000 to watch a match during the regular season has also augured well for FUBA.
With money now slowly trickling into FUBA's coffers, the sky could well be the start for local basketball.

24 April 2008

KENYA : Champion School Coaches to Train Junior National Teams

by Sammy Kitula

Mombasa High School girls' basketball team coach Philip Onyango and the St Austin's Academy coach David Maina will guide the under-18 boys' and girls' teams for the Zone Five qualifiers to be held in Uganda.
The two coaches were selected on Tuesday by the Kenya Basketball Federation. Onyango will handle the girls' team while Maina will coach the boys' team.
In a letter to the two coaches, KBF secretary general Vitalis Gode said a provisional team would be constituted in a week ahead of the games in August.
"Your immediate assignment will be to name a provisional team in preparation for the Zone Five under-18 Nations Championship scheduled for Kampala, Uganda," said part of the statement.
"You will also be required to liaise with respective handlers of the players at their respective stations pending formal camp training."

Although KBF scouts used the recent first term one games at Mangu High School to select some of the players, they will coordinate with respective district and provincial officials to have more players added to the provisional squad.
The federation's first vice-chairman, Henry Shihemi, said the scouts would recommend names of players and their coaches to be forwarded to the newly appointed coaches.
"We have already identified several players during the school games, but we still are scouting for more, after which we will release the programs for their training. We are expecting more players before we announce the final team," said Shihemi.
About 25 players are expected to be named in the initial team.
The regional under-18 tournament, earlier scheduled for July, will be held in Kampala in August and will feature junior teams from Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Kenya.
After finishing second to Egypt during the last edition in 2006, Shihemi said they were determined to reclaim the title this time round.
"In 2006, we lost in the finals to Egypt, but this time round, we will have proper preparations and hope to perform better," said the vice-chairman.
Although this will be his first time to coach coach a national junior team, Maina is up to the challenge.
"This is a very big challenge for me, but with my experience, I'm sure that we won't let the country down," said Maina.

Maina guided KPA to the Premier League finals for two years running during his stint as their coach between 1997 and 2000. He has also guided St Austin's to four national finals.
His Mombasa High School counterpart Onyango is equally of wealthy experience, having guided his school side to 17 national finals, winning eight times.
According to Onyango, having the country take part in the championship after a two-year absence was the way to go.
"Kenya needs to get its bearing right for the game to grow. We should concentrate on rebuilding junior teams for the posterity of the national team, failure to which, our future is on the brink of collapse," he said.
"For us to surge forward, we should, as a matter of necessity, retrace where we went wrong with the junior teams," he added.

23 April 2008

UGANDA : KIU wants play-offs position, says Alule

Vegetarian v MBC Rocks
MAK Cubs v A-1 Challenge
KIU men v Crane High

Kampala International University (KIU) are capable of making the MTN-Fuba Basketball League play-offs for the first time, according to senior player Pascal Alule.

KIU had a perfect start last season, winning their first four games but unbelievably crumbled to finish sixth in the 10-team topflight league.
But following the acquisition of the towering Michael Karuiki from relegated Youth Heaters and Mande Juruni (Rhino), confidence is high in the KIU camp that they can compete for the top prize this term.
“If other players have the desire to reach the post season like I do, then nothing will stop us. We have a big squad and the work ethic is just enough,” Alule, who crossed from Livingstone last year said.

KIU showed they are the team to beat when they defeated 2000 champions Sadolin Power 54-51 in the season-opening encounter at Lugogo last Friday.
The Kasanga-based team takes on newly promoted Crane High School at Lugogo Indoor Stadium tonight and victory will see them move top of the table.
Crane High lost to Marines in the first game. In today’s early games (5:30 pm), Second Division giants Vegetarian face Rubaga-based MBC Rocks while 2005 women champions A-1 Challenge open their season against lowly Makerere Cubs.

NIGERIA : Warriors, Potters in away wins

Dodan Warriors basketball club of Lagos Sunday posted a 78-56 points away victory over Nigeria Customs basketball club in a local derby at the sports hall of the Lagos National Stadium.

The Adeka Dauda and Peter Ahmedu coached Dodan Warriors side played like true warriors as they run rind-round the border boys as the Customs team is also known to record their first conference win after bowing to Union Bank 61-52 in their conference opening game.

The Edwin Jerry captain-Warriors won three of the four quarters (Q1: 21-13, Q2: 23-15 and Q4: 21-13) leaving the Customs with the third quarter 15-13.

And in far away Bauchi the fortune of home side Bauchi Net continue to dwindle as they succumbed a second time at home to Niger Potters basketball club of Minna 71-69.

NIGERIA : I Use Players for Exposure - Okolo

UNILAG Basketball Team Chief Coach, Emmanuel Okolo has said that he deliberately allowed some of his players to play in the Premier League to garner exposure.

Okolo also said that the strategy was aimed at not only marketing them, but to also help prepare them for the World Universities Games.
"With such exposures in the league, the boys are bound to become better players and that makes my job easier. It is an avenue to gain more knowledge which, they would bring into the school's training programmes.
We also want to use the medium to sell the UNILAG team to the World". Okolo, an ex-UNILAG player explained: "the strategy is paying off as some international clubs have indicated interest in some of the boys.
"Scouts follow our premier league and notice these boys, we in UNILAG will eventually become part of the negotiating team to ensure favourable deals for them," he said.
Some of the players in the league include: William Nboumbe (small forward), Christopher Okoh (power forward), and Oluwaseyi Ayodele (shooting guard) and Michael Ohiero (a point guard). (NAN)

UGANDA : A1 Challenge Begin Hunt Campaign

by Charles Mutebi

A1 Challenge will be out to make a big statement in their MTN national basketball league opening game against the lowly ranked Muk Cubs at Lugogo today.
Olivia Mulwana, the A1 Challenge new signing, revealed that the 2007 playoffs finalists will seek to annihilate their rivals.
"We decided that we will aim to score a century," Mulwana stated.

The Cubs lost the opener against Nabisunsa 54 - 35 over the weekend and, given their opponents, look set to wait even longer for the first win of the season.
Cubs and A1 have extremely divergent ambitions for the season, the former unable to achieve more than the occasional win in the course of the season with the latter eyeing nothing less than the championship.
To put it differently, the Cubs finished second from down while A1 were runners up last season.
On top of that, when A1's acquisition of new skillful players like Mulwana is factored in, talk of a century is not empty bravado after all.
In the men's top division encounter, KIU have a chance to make it two consecutive wins when they face promoted Crane high.

KIU, who battled to an impressive 54 -51 win over Sadolin Power in their opener, face Crane high.

RWANDA : Basketball League Registration Starts

by Timothy Muvunyi

Registration for this year's Basketball national league started yesterday at the federation offices at Amahoro indoor stadium.
The registration exercise is scheduled to end on Saturday, the day on which the league is expected to start.
Already three new clubs; School of Finance and Baking (SFB), Byimana, and Kabgayi have expressed interest in participating in the 2008 league season.
The reigning male category champions Marines and female category champions APR have also confirmed their participation.
Others clubs expected to beat the deadline include APR (boys), Cercle Sportif (CSK A), Marines, Espoir, Rwanda National University (UNR), Rusizi, UGB.

Meanwhile, the national juniors' team has continued its preparations for the Zone V championship due in Kampala, Uganda.
The event has been postponed from April to July however; the new dates are yet to be confirmed.

22 April 2008

ZAMBIA : Coach training camp in Lusaka

20 Zambian Basketball Coaches graduated after undergoing ten days of training under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee and the International Basketball Federation.

The programme was a FIBA/IOC Advanced basketball coaches course held at the National Sports Development Centre in Lusaka conducted by Kenyan instructor Ronnie Owino.

Prominent among the participants were Aggrey Kabalata, head coach of the 2007 Sprite Challenge Champions Green Eagles, Assistant men's national team trainer Johnny Zimba and Kenneth Nkandu of Lusaka City Council Basketball Club.

Owino who left Lusaka for his home country this morning described the participants as a very enthisiatic group but was also quick to point out that a few were not up to the standard of the course level.

And speaking at the closing ceremony, Zambia Basketball Association president Sam Mukando thanked the National Olympic Committee of Zambia for facilitating the course.

ANGOLA : ASA and 1º De Agosto Play Final Today

The teams of Athletic Sport Aviation (ASA) and of 1º de Agosto play this Tuesday here for the final of the Angola Cup in senior males basketball.
In the semi-finals, ASA surprisingly beat Interclube by 80-70 and 89-73 in the first and second leg, respectively, whilst 1º de Agosto thrashed Promade de Cabinda by 91-57 and 120-77.
Although they have eliminated Interclube, the chances of ASA winning the title are vague, bearing in mind the difference between both teams.
Apart from winning most competition, in the past years, 1º de Agosto are the African titleholders, whilst their opponents have not won any competition for over 10 years.

KENYA : Champs KCB Get Title Defence Off to Fine Start

by Caxton Apollo

Defending champions Kenya Commecial Bank Lions started their basketball Premier League title defence with a resounding 79-54 win over University of Nairobi's Terrorists at the Hope Centre, Nairobi, on Sunday.

In other matches, Eagle Wings collected two points on day one when they rocked Dynamites 45-18, while newcomers World Hope made a false start when experienced Lomboritz defeated them 69-60.

KCB, who beat Co-op Bank 2-0 in the best-of-three series play-offs final to win last year's title, paraded their new signings during their season opener.
Their new boys are: Eric Mbori, Anthony Were formerly with Java Warriors and Victor Odendo, former Ulinzi Warriors aggressive strong forward.
Forward John Njuguna set the ball rolling with seven quick points while Tobias Onyango did his magic as the Lions roared 14-10 in the first quarter.
Terrorists, who finished fourth overall last year after going down 68-65 to Tigers of the USIU-A, could not stop Onyango in the second quarter.
Onyango's eight points saw Lions lead 19-8. The students had new players in Mika Opinya, Richard Sinda and Joseph Ayemba but still found the going tough especially without star Eugene Genga.
After trailing 18-11 in the third quarter, Terrorists rose from the dead to scare the bankers in the fourth. Ayemba and Humphrey Mbande fired four three-pointers in a row narrowing the gap 28-25 in the closely contested final quarter.
Onyango led with 18 points, Anthony Were had 10 for KCB Lions while Rodney Genga connected 10 and team-mate Eric Maosa eight for the students.

In the women's Premier League tie, Rebecca Sarange scored 10 points as Eagle Wings humiliated Dynamites 45-18.

Showed seriousness

The Wings took charge from the word go leading 14-2 and 10-4 in the opening two quarters respectively.
Although Eagle Wings failed to impress in their shooting, they led 24-4 at half-time. Redempta Achieng was the only player from Dynamites, who showed seriousness, scoring six points.

In the men's Division One section, World Hope failed to utilise their home court advantage going down 69-60 to the much experienced Lomboritz.
Playing their first match after their promotion from the Nairobi Basketball Association league, World Hope were down 31-29 at half-time.
Melvin Oketch hit 15 points and Dennis Chutte had 14 for Lomboritz. It was Moses Msebe who did the donkey work, replying with 13 points for the losers.

UGANDA : Hoops Miracles At Ymca

by Sande Bashaija

Miracle registered a rare victory over Kyambogo Warriors, beating last season's losing finalists, 44-38 in an MTN-Fuba Basketball League game played Sunday evening at YMCA courts Wandegeya.

The Rubaga-based side lost their matchmaker Ben Komakech to Sadolin Power in the pre-season and many a pundit expect them to struggle against the giants. But Miracle disproved the pundits, registering one of the biggest upsets in the league on a night that depleted Makerere Sparks also shocked Ugandan Christian University (UCU) Mukono women 46-32.

Raymond Bukenya was the architect of the Miracle win, sinking in early triple three-pointers as they cruised to an 18-12 first quarter lead. Miracle then went ahead to outscore Warriors 10-6 in the second session but the second half couldn't get underway for about 10 minutes due to a power black out.

With officials discussing a new date for the game and most fans on their way out, power came back and Warriors must have cursed their gods. Miracle's new acquisition Robert Mubiru (Youth Heaters) troubled Warriors and his eight points told half the story. Without their playmaker Ronnie Kasewu (sickness), Warriors failed to score enough points to cover the gap in third quarter (9-6) and a resilient Miracle defence managed to hold them off in the last session.

Stephen Okias registered 11 points and seemed to bring Warriors into touching distance of the game with four minutes left when he scored to make it 34-36 but Edward Bongomin (11) fired in a three-pointer to recover Miracle's advantage. The Warriors were though unlucky, losing new recruit Denis Oporia (Falcons) to injury in first quarter after he had scored four points.
Despite losing most of their stars to several top clubs, 2003 women champions Makerere Sparks comfortably defeated UCU 46-32. Sandra Munduru and Rebecca Ndibalekara collected 10 points apiece as Sparks gained revenge on the team that denied them a play-offs slot last season. Former Lady Bucks star Frances Nabulobi led UCU with 13 points albeit on a losing debut while Brenda Mbone and Loraine Akinyi added 8 apiece.
It was the team display of Sparks that nonetheless left fans convinced that the Makerere side means business.

MTN-Fuba League results

Warriors 38-44 Miracle
Riders 63-38 Ndejje
Berkley 75-74 Heaters
Rhino 55-57 Vegetarian
UCU JV 61-51 Sharing

Crane High 52-43 Lakers
UCU 32-46 Mak Sparks

Tomorrow at Lugogo
Vegetarian v MBC Rocks
Cubs v A-1 Challenge
KIU v Crane High

21 April 2008

NIGERIA : AHIP Lose to Union Bank, Set for Islanders

AHIP Giants of Kano were on Friday beaten 81-59 by the Union Bank team at the National Stadium, Lagos in continuation of their Road Trip games in the Atlantic Conference. It was the third loss for the Savannah Conference team out of the five games played so far on the road.

The Union Bankers were tipped by bookmakers to win and did play according leading through the four quarters. The Bankers team had struggled in their first game of the season when they faced Dodan Warriors but showed a lot of improvement in the Friday night game despite the spirited fight of the visitors. Some of the key players who could not feature in the game were on court last night. Poor defence was the bane of AHIP who had started well on the trip taking two of the first three matches played in the zone.

“We started off slowly because we had a lot reshuffling and blending to do but be sure that as the season continues things will get faster and better and then we’ll play like a team that really wants to win the title,” Ayinla Johnson of Union Bank said.

The road games for AHIP will continue this afternoon in Lagos as they step out against erstwhile national champions Lagos Islanders. It will be the first game of the season for the Islanders whose assets and liabilities have been taken over by a new management. The match will be the last for AHIP on the road through the Atlantic. Customs of the Atlantic Conference are the next team for the road games and will start with the match against Niger Potters on the 28th of this month. But before they embark on the road, Customs will tomorrow battled Dodan Warriors in Lagos in a game billed for 4pm.

By Pius Ayinor

NIGERIA : Warriors, Potters in away wins

Dodan Warriors basketball club of Lagos Sunday posted a 78-56 point’s away victory over Nigeria Customs basketball club in a local derby at the sports hall of the Lagos National Stadium. The Adeka Dauda and Peter Ahmedu coached Dodan Warriors side played like true warriors as they run rind-round the border boys as the Customs team is also known to record their first conference win after bowing to Union Bank 61-52 in their conference opening game. The Edwin Jerry captain-Warriors won three of the four quarters (Q1: 21-13, Q2: 23-15 and Q4: 21-13) leaving the Customs with the third quarter 15-13. And in far away Bauchi the fortune of home side Bauchi Net continue to dwindle as they succumbed a second time at home to Niger Potters basketball club of Minna 71-69.

CAPE VERDE : Cape Verdean Basketball Federation establishes deadline to decide if the National Team will participate in the pre Olympic tournament

The Cape Verdean Basketball Federation has established a deadline of 15 days to decide if the National team (NT) will participate or not in the pre Olympic tournament, which will be disputed in Athens from 14 to the 29 of June.

It is that, with only two months before the start of the tournament, the members of the Federation still have not received any guarantees for the financing of the operation, which budgeted around 40 million Cape Verdean Escudos.

The NT which qualified for the pre Olympic tournament in Athens thanks to the third place finish in the AFROBASKET tournament Angola 2007, received, at the time, promises from supporters from various quadrants of the Cape Verdean society. But in the hour of truth, with only two months left before the start of the competition the Federation continues to struggle to see if it can represent the Country in this prestigious international competition of Basketball.
The Government had promised, when the team returned from Angola, all the necessary support for the participation in the pre Olympic tournament, but until this moment, the NT has only the guarantee of 2.500.000 Cape Verdean escudos which will be made available by the General Secretariat of Sports, in the contract of programs signed with the Federation.

The president of the Federation, Kitana Cabral said that they will try to convince the government to provide more substantial amount of money for the co-financing of the NT participation in the tournament.
Kitana Cabral continues on, and says that if the NT does not represent the country in the tournament, it will be a great shame for Cape Verde.

The president of the Basketball Federation guarantees, despite, that almost everything has been prepared for the participation of the NT in the tournament.

Meanwhile, the countrys national radio, RCV, reports that Ric and Cula will assume the command of the team, which was left abandoned by Emanuel Trovoada , who now coaches Desportivo de Huila in the Angolan championship.

UGANGA : Women's Champions KCC Leopards Lose Star Players Akullo, Hamala to Kiu Rangers

by Sande Bashaija

Super National women basketball champions Kampala City Council (KCC)
Leopards have lost two of their best players Becky Akullo and Miriam Hamala.
The duo, who inspired KCC's Leopards to their maiden title and Zone 5 Club Championships bronze medal last year, have joined rivals
Kampala International University (KIU) Rangers. "We have been awarded scholarships and couldn't turn the offers down,"
Hamala, who has been Leopards caption revealed to Daily Monitor yesterday. Hamala, a Makerere University graduate is hoping to do a Masters or add another bachelor's degree in procurement while Akullo is yet to decide on which course to do.

KENYA : Co-Op Beat Strathmore in League Opener

by Caxton Apollo

Co-operative Bank of Kenya Sunday registered a 83-42 win over Strathmore University in the opening match of the 2008 basketball Premier League at HopeCentre, Lavington in Nairobi.
In other matches, Mennonites beat Nairobi Pentecostal Church 57- 54, Yana went down 35-44 to Strathmore (women) while Blazers got a 20-0 walkover over Nakuru.
Co-op Bank, beaten 2-0 by KCB Lions in last years play off finals, got the season off toflying start when they rocked Strathmore 83-42.
It was a sweet avenge for the bankers who had crashed 49-44 to the students in the pre-season KBF OpenCup final in Ruaraka. Bernard Ogolla, who fell into early foul trouble, started by giving the students hopewhen he completed a three-point play to lead 3-0.
Co-op Bank, coach Carey Oketch gambled with his players from start allowing Strathmore to tie scores7-7 and 9-9.
The students settled down early to outscore Co-op Bank 16-13 in the first quarter. Bobby Okwako, who limped off with an injury in the last quarter, teamed up with Abel Kimondo to tie the game 20-20. After Kimondo had made it 22-20, Allan Ouma and Lewis Muya started punishing the overworked students. Co-op took command of the game to race a huge 45-25 half-timelead.
Strathmore were outplayed in the third quarter in which Co-op Bank scored at will to lead 32-9. The bankers remained consistent in scoring leading 27-9 in the third quarter and went up 18-8 in the physical last quarter.
Bobby Okwako scored game-high 24 points while Wycliffe Ochieng and George Kamau each added 10 for Co-op Bank. Ogolla shot 11 while Emmanuel Odhisihit 10 for the losers.
Newcomers Strathmore started their women's premier league campaign on a sound note when they beat experienced Yana 44-35.
Playing without their star Caroline Achieng, Yana trailed 18-14 at half-time. Veteran Stella Opondo of Yana made a strong comeback scoring nine points while team-mate Rachel Makena provided 10. Linet Mukiri, was the man-of the- match scoring 19 points for the students while Faith Owich managed 10.

Carry the day

In the Division One category, Allan Omondi shot 15 points while Abdulaziz Ali added 11 to steer Mennonites to a hard fought 57-54 win over the stubborn NPC. NPC had pinned down Mennonites from start leading 30-20 at the breather. The winners overturned the game in the third quarter in which they led 19-8 to carry the day.

Radhi Ndalu scored 23 points, Victor Sewe and Sultan Kiogora each shot 12 for NPC. In another lower competition tie, Blazers were awarded a 20-0 walk-over after their opponents Nakuru Club failed to show up.

KBF fixtures secretary Joseph Amoko said the Nakuru side failed to communicate in good time their problem of assembling a team.

20 April 2008

KENYA : The National Premier League Starts this week end

NATIONAL champions KCB Lions face off against University of Nairobi "Terrorists" as the 2008 Premier League season throws off Saturday.

Missing in action in an eight match fixtures released yesterday by Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) fixtures are women champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). The games will be played at the World Hope Center, Lavington.

Lions did not feature in the Pre Season open tournament over a week ago but the champions have said they are going for nothing but another back to back title. They will release their close season signings against the campus lads who finished in a respectful fourth place.

Last years runners up Co-operative Bank of Kenya, felled 44-49 by an upbeat Strathmore University side during the Pre Season tournament over a week ago, meet again in what should be a mouth watering clash.The bankers must watch forward Ken Maru, who posed all sorts of problems.

In the ladies fixtures, Yana Milele, who did not fair well either in that tournament play Strathmore University whose coach Sylvia Kamau will be making a debut as the only lady tactician. Eagles Wings meet University of Nairobi "Dynamites" in another match.

Mennonites will hope to move a step further this year as they open their campaign against Nairobi Pentecostal Church (NPC) while reinstated Nakuru Club start their climb to the top with a tie against Blazers.

International Christian Center (ICC) who missed the play off spot by a whisker and have lost nationalteam center Moses hida to pro oted Posta havea date with Java Warriors in what should be a closely pitted fight.

Host World Hope entertain Lomboritz in front of their own fans as George Namake, who handled Central bank of Kenya (CBK) in the inaugural league in 1987 hope to make a mark again with his youthful side he guided from the Provincial league..

Fixtures Saturday: (from 10 am) Mennonites v NPC, Blazers v Nakuru Club, Yana v Strathmore Swords, Co-o v Strathmore Blades.
Sunday: (from 2 pm)World Hope v Lomboritz, Eagle Wings v UoN Dynamites, Java v ICC and Lions v UoN Terrorists.

Dann Owerre

KENYA : Laiser Hill dethrone Maseno


Laiser Hill Academy are this year’s boys’ basketball champions. The Rift Valley side humbled pre-match favourites Maseno School 72-70 in a nail-biting final at Mangu High School, Saturday.

Laiser’s head coach, Anthony Kirimi, was over the moon with the victory, saying: “We talked about it in training and our goal was to win the championship. It’s been a great turnaround. We feel very good about it and we’re very proud of each other.”
Bruce Ndilumanga, who scored 10 of his match’s-high 24 points in overtime, said: “I’m glad to have helped my team defeat the champions.”

Sudi Ulanga added 11 points and 10 rebounds as they led their team to reclaim the national title they last won in 2006.

Maseno head coach, Paul Otula, watched in disbelief as his side squandered a 65-63 lead with only 30 seconds of play in the last quarter.

“It stings. It is a negative exclamation point on a final. It would have been nice to walk out of here with a smile, but such is life,” said Otula.

For the former champions, Edwin Otula scored 25 points to go with 14 assists, while Moses Wanjala had 21 points and 15 rebounds.

Lots of confidence

The younger Otula was guarding a backing-down Sudi in the post when Ndilumanga, suddenly sprinted down the lane past Wanjala for an easy lay-up off the feed from Sudi. That gave Laiser Hill the lead, 67-65, with only two minutes left in the extra time. “Ndilumanga has done a good job for us,” Kirimi said. “Certainly, going down the stretch it has given him a lot of confidence and should propel him into a better situation in future championships,” he added.

After taking a 12-0 lead within the first three minutes, there was no turning back for Laiser as they held on that lead up to the ninth minute when the Otula’s boys caught up with them at 16-16.

In a game that saw both teams share the lead at different times, had Michael Otula and Tiberius Menya fouled out in the last quarter.
“We knew that Maseno would be defending a lot and they have a fouling problem, especially in this championship. So my boys kept on forcing those fouls and it paid, with two of their players being fouled out,” said Kirimi.

Had a good chance

Playing a very relaxed but coordinated game, Laiser took advantage of the many technical errors and turnovers their experienced opponents were committing. Guard Sudi was the main catalyst for the winners, terrorising his opponents with his ball artistry, as he hit baskets after baskets.

So court pressed were Maseno, that it took them a whole three minutes before they scored their first basket through Otula.

The second half was Maseno’s turning point as they rallied from 37-33 to and tie at 44-44.
“We had a good chance of retaining the trophy but they (Laiser) were the superior side. They played well and have very quality players,” said the senior Otula. Maseno had one last chance, but lost the ball in traffic. Ndilumanga, who also starred in the match, grabbed the ball and was fouled. He made one free throw.

After a Laiser Hill timeout after the normal time of play, the new champions worked the ball to Sudi who was fouled on a drive to hoop.

UGANDA : Canons demolish woeful Falcons

by Sande Bashaija

Falcons 72 -83 UCU Canons
Power 51-54 KIU
KCC Leopards 61-59 KIU

UGANDA Christian University (UCU) Mukono rallied in the second half to beat MTN champions Mogas Falcons 83-72 on day one of the MTN Basketball League Friday night at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.

Canons, regular season champions last year, gained ‘revenge’ on the team that ousted them 2-1 in the best of three semifinal play-offs and sent a signal they can compete for the top prize this season.

Ivan Enabu grabbed a game high 22 points and Geoffrey Omondi added 18 to help the Mukono-based side dominate the second half of the game that had kept fans on their toes in the opening session.

Falcons had a 24-23 advantage at the end of first half but were hit for 24-16 in the second and their efforts to recover were futile. Canons sunk in 27 points compared to Falcons’ 15 in the third session and the champions’ 16-9 fourth quarter victory counted for little.

The Malinga brothers Henry and Eric combined for 41 points but simply couldn’t hold off UCU, who shot 12 three-pointers.
The bruising encounter was though full of physical contests and referees were on many occasions caught napping.

In the other men’s game, Isaac Afridra’s return to Sadolin Power couldn’t inspire the 2000 champions to victory over Kampala International University (KIU). Afidra, who ironically, crossed from KIU after last season, scored 17 points and Ken Balyejusa added 10 but went on to lose 54-51 to KIU.

Michael Karuiki, recruited from Youth Heaters collected a game high 22 points for KIU. Elsewhere, women defending champions KCC Leopards, registered a narrow 61-59 victory over KIU Rangers. Reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) Linda Tamale had 13 points to her name while Marion Nakaziba, snatched from Makerere Sparks added 9 for KCC Leopards.

EGYPT : Ahly - Gezira game was canceled for Ahlys fans aggression

The referees was forced to cancel the game last night between Ahly -Gezira. The game score was 56-48 for Gezira with 8 min remaining to the end. The referees called a technical foul on Sherif El dayasty Ahly player for throwing the ball after the call. Ahly bench didn't accept the call so they ran into the court and got another technical foul .Ahly fans couldn't accept the situation so they started shouting and throwing everything they have in the court .The referees warned ahly coach more than one time before canceling the game but no one could stop Ahly fans aggression. Everyone is expecting that the Egyptian Federation should take some actions to stop violence in basketball courts.

from africabasket.com

19 April 2008

RWANDA : B-ball championship set for April 26


The long awaited National Basketball championship is scheduled to unfold on April 26, after being postponed thrice.

The local championship is set to be preceded by today’s technical committee meeting aimed at drawing up this year’s event fixtures.

Three new teams have expressed interest to participate in this year’s championship and they include, School of Finance and Baking (SFB), Ecole Byimana and St.Joseph’s Kabgayi School.

This year’s event will be a challenge for new reigning champions, Marines, to defend the league’s title in the male category, while all time dominants, APR will be defending the female’s title.

The national championship was put on hold for give way to Heroes tournament, Nizeyimana memorial tournament in February, theVeteran tourney in March and the just concluded national mourning week for the 1994 Genocide victims.

Meanwhile, Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba) president, Fidel Rutagarama, has urged all players and their respective clubs to step up physical training ahead of the event.

"Our players are physically below par compared other regional players,"

"Am urging coaches to try means of improve the players’ physical ability and search for young players too," said Rutagarama.

Rutagarama also recommended the current standards of the national junior team ahead of their participation in the Zone V games set for July.

KENYA : Maseno stay on track to keep crown


Moses Wanjala scored 26 points, Tiberius Menya matched his season high with 17 and boys’ basketball defending champions, Maseno School stayed on track for Saturday’s final with a hard-fought 59-55 victory over St Austin’s.

Maseno will face Laiser Hill Academy in the final after the latter crushed Friends’ School Kamusinga 108-59 in the other semi.

In the Maseno game, Menya hit three 3-pointers and grabbed six rebounds after a pleading pre-game pep talk from coach Paul Otula, while Innocent Odhiambo added 13 points and nine rebounds as Maseno won their fourth straight game.

The defending champions’ victory over an exhausted opponent wasn’t a walk in the park though, as they had Michael Otula, Innocent Odhiambo and Wanjala fouled out in the third quarter.

“It was a very tight and tensionpacked contest. Each player of either teams was trying to get the advantage lead, but it wasn’t getting easy,” said Otula.

Charles Omondi sat out in the fourth quarter with a strained left wrist, yet Simon Oyamo seamlessly filled his minutes with good rebounding and acumen for tough shots - including last-second scores at the end of the first and third quarters.

Dependable forward

“We’ve been looking for some consistency,” St Austin’s coach, David Mania, said of his enigmatic guard. “We need him to play well, and we want to have some idea of what’s going to happen, and whether we can depend on him,” he added.

So closely contested the match was, that saw both teams tie seven times, five in the last half. “We tied up seven times in the game, which shows how closely fought the match was,” said Otula.

Edwin Otula had 16 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists as Maseno extended their win against their long-time rivals at the nationals, to three. St Austin’s, who last won the national title in 2004, will have themselves to blame after missing 24 free-throw shots.

Last year’s national games’ MVP, Kevin Samora couldn’t get the shots, converting only four out of 12 that came his way.

“I just can’t tell what went wrong with our shots. We weren’t getting them right. I guess we were tensed up during the match,” said Samora.

Maseno weren’t the only ones with foul trouble, as their dependable forward guard, David Ogolla was sent off in the third quarter after committing five personal fouls.

Spirited combination

“Immediately Ogolla was sent off, our game changed drastically. It was a big blow to us, owing to the fact that he is a very dependable player.

Both teams played under immense pressure, with possession being surrendered with ease.

A spirited combination of Otula junior, Menya and Wanjala, ensured that they won most of their balls in their court; made successful drives into the opponent’s territory and provided entertaining dummies in the process and take a 57-55 lead with only 1:03 left in the last quarter.

In the other semi-final, Kamusinga suffered at the hands of Laiser Hill Academy. Surprisingly, Kamusinga took an early lead of 19-5 within the first eight minutes of the first quarter, but surrendered it in ways the head coach, Joseph Were, couldn’t understand.

“I just don’t know how we gave in, but I must commend my young team for their mode of play. For us, we are very much contended with that result, as this was our first time at the nationals,” said Were.

Determined to spoil their opponents’ short-lived victory party, Laiser came out strongly in the second quarter, taking full control of the game, to lead 43-29. Taila Okari scored 18 points for Kamusinga, who simply seemed exhausted after their Thursday loss to Maseno.

“We ran out of gas,” Were said. “They came in here with some rested legs. We played a hard-fought game on Thursday with only seven or eight players. You can’t always say that’s an excuse, but you can just tell we ran out of gas,” he added.

UGANDA : Marines Begin Life Minus Blick Basketball

by Sande Bashaija

NATIONAL Basketball League two-time champions Nkumba Marines face newly-promoted Crane High School at YMCA Wandegeya today without their title winning star players Norman and Donald Blick.
The duo led Marines to championships in 2005 and 2006, but have left the country for Qatar to play semi-professional basketball.
Marines have also lost Carrol Bisereko, so coach Timothy Odeke will assemble a new-look team today. Fortunately for Odeke, former Most Valuable Player (MVP) Boniface Okello, Salim Ali and Danson Ngati are still around to help Marines compete favourably in the MTN-sponsored league.
But Crane High will be fancying their chances against a Marines side without the Blicks. Record women league champions Lady Bucks will also be without three-time top scorer Frances Nabulobi as they take on Amazon Rhino.

The Bucks have however recruited Maggie Nalubega from Makerere Sparks and will be hoping her experience gives them a cutting edge today.

Nabisunsa v Cubs 12:30 p.m.
Bucks v Amazon 3:30 p.m.
Nkumba v Crane 5:30 p.m.

18 April 2008

UGANDA : Falcons Face UCU Today At Lugogo

by Sande Bashaija

NATIONAL Basketball League champions Mogas Falcons are fired up to defend their title beginning with a season-opening encounter against Uganda Christian University (UCU) Mukono Canons at Lugogo Indoor Stadium this evening.
Falcons ejected Canons 2-1 in the best of three semifinal play-off series enroute to winning their sixth title last year and skipper Eric Malinga is hoping for a good start this term. "Last season we were a bit shaky at the beginning of the season.
We want a better start this time round," Malinga, who won his maiden Most Valuable (MVP) award last season said yesterday.
Canons looked indispensable last year, winning all their regular season games but surprisingly fell to a hitherto struggling Falcons side.
Falcons have recruited Rogers Sserunyigo and Ronnie Kalule from Rhino and Edwin Kateregga (Sky Jammers). And Malinga is confident the trio can make an immediate impact.

In the other men's game, Isaac Afidra returns to lead Sadolin Power against Kampala International University (KIU). Power have added Ben Komakech (Miracle) and Joseph Ikong (Heaters) to their ranks but have a tough task ahead. KIU have also recruited Michael Karuiki (Heaters) and Mande Juruni (Rhino) and could give Power a stern test.

Women champions KCC Leopards begin their defense against KIU Rangers.

KIU v Power 5 p.m.
KCC v KIU 7 p.m.
Falcons v UCU 8:30 p.m.

Nabisunsa v Cubs 12:30 p.m.
Bucks v Amazon 3:30 p.m.
Nkumba v Crane 5:30 p.m.

UGANDA : Basketball Fever Back

John Vianney Nsimbe

The basketball league tips off tomorrow with Falcons (men) and KCC Leopards (ladies) looking to defend their titles. Falcons managed to snap Roger Sserunyigo from relegated Charging Rhinos. The small forward brings energy to a team already known for its little flair but machine-like approach. Sserunyigo moves the ball well and defends. But he'll find the competition tight against Sam Obol and Peter Elungat who score more than he does. Sunday Okot, an exciting guard, is another recruit who will bring flair to Falcons.

Falcons owner John Ssimbwa says his club's plan is to build a new team to cushion the long-serving Henry and Eric Malinga plus Obol.

Falcon's main rivals naturally will be UCU Canons. UCU lost to Falcons in last year's playoff semifinals mainly because their big men Eric Nyamai and Herbert Akite were ineffective. Coach Jason Mehl has got Steven Mwesige from Sadolin Power. He's not big but has the knack to collect rebounds and is also crisp in boxing out.

Boxing out is Michael Kariuki's brief. It's a brief that the former Makerere University Heaters big man hopes will work wonders for his new club Kampala International University (KIU). With Mandy Juruni also recruited to fuse his guile with Henry Mwinuka and Pascal Alule, KIU should be quite a treat.
But there will be no Isaac Afidra for KIU. The big man is off to Power to fill the void left by injured Wilbrod Oketcho. Ben Komakech (Miracles) and Joseph Ikong (Heaters) are also good acquisitions for a Power side which should be quite focused this season.

Focus is what Nkumba Marines lacked last season and that's unlikely to change soon because some players like Norman and Donald Blick wanted to move to KCC Lions but team manager Patrick Sebuliba blocked them unless he's apparently given a benz in part exchange. But debutants, KCC Lions will benefit from Nkumba's centre, Carroll Bisereko.

As for the ladies, KCC Leopards should make good use of the gangly frame of former MUK Sparks ace Marion Kaziba. A-1 Challenge will look to push KCC all the way though. With the gifted guard Olivia Mulwana in their stead, A-1 can also like KCC pride in having depth in squad.

17 April 2008

CAPE VERDE : Is Ryan Gomes going to join the national team?

That's the big question. The Portuguese-speaking group of islands located on the west coast of Africa has a population of under 500.000 but most Cape Verdians do live abroad including the US with estimated 500.000 (mostly in Massachusetts and Rhode Island) and Portugal with another 80.000 people. Ryan, who is proud of his Cape Verdean family background, is the second player from the islands to make the NBA after retired guard Dana Barros who played in 14 seasons and 850 games in the league but never for the national team.
If the Minnesota Timberwolf (Averages currently 12,5 points and 5,7 rebounds per game as a starter) decides to accept the invitation to join the national team, the chances for a good outing at the Olympic qualifying tournament (July 14-20 in Athens, Greece) of the small country from the African continent would definitely increase.

The big surprise of the African Championships in 2007 (Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt lost to the undersized and mostly unknown Cape Verdeans) faces a tough task against Germany (including Dirk Nowitzki and possibly Chris Kaman) and New Zealand (features several former-college players like Craig Bradshaw and Kirk Penney, the last one who hade even two short stints in the NBA) and could need help at the forward positions.

"Gomes has been asked a number of times but has not played at any time", tells me Dan Klotz, the US representative of the national team.
He adds further: "Despite star Center Rodrigo Mascarenhas (Plays professionally in Angola and played in Portugal before), Cape Verde has at time struggled against teams with greater height and more physical inside play, and Gomes would be an instantaneous antidote to that."

Other players from the Boston-area like Marques Houtman (UMass-Dartmouth) and Tony Barros (UMass-Boston) already represented the country of their ancestors successfully in international play.
Houtman, a 1,90m guard, was even voted to the All-Star Team of the African Championships altogether with Mascarenhas and stayed in the host country of Angola to play for Primeiro Agosto Luanda.

And more could even follow: "Jeff Xavier would be most likely to join the team in the very near future, possibly in time for the Olympic Qualifying tournament. After two highly successful years at Manhattan College, Jeff transferred to Providence College, where he led the team in scoring, and led or was at the top in 4 categories, including rebounding, highly unusual for a guard.
Jeff was invited to join the national team in 2007, and personally expressed an interest in doing so, but the Providence College coaching staff led by Tim Welsh would not allow him to play. Welsh is no longer the coach at Providence College, and we hope very soon to have Jeff join the national team", states Klotz, who resides in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, an area with a large Cape Verean population.

With Loyola-Maryland University guard Brian Rudolph, who finished the season as the MEAAC-Freshman of the year, and center Aldevino Lima of Northeastern University, the future of the national certainly looks bright,
but adding Ryan Gomes would help the underdogs immediately to battle the highly touted national teams for a spot in the 2008 Olympics.
Now it's up to Gomes to decide if he wants to join the preparations and play a major role in the national team or to rest during the summer and prepare for the next season in the NBA.

Personally, I'm hoping that Cape Verde will manage to pull an upset win over New Zealand in the first round to advance.
With or without Ryan, the team will be proud to represent the country in such a prestigious event, and make Cape Verde and its players known to a wider public (There is going to extensive television coverage around the globe) then before.

It's a win-win situation for Cape Verdean basketball and also gives hope to smaller "basketball-countries" for the future, and I am sure a lot of basketball fans will root for the underdog when it's about time.

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