23 September 2009

KENYA : 12 basketball league teams proposed

The Eight team playoffs set to begin in 2009 are there to stay but the Kenya national classic basketball league will have to be expanded to twelve teams to give room for competitiveness.

These are the sentiments of international basketball instructor Ronnie Owino who is the brainchild of the change of the basketball play off system from four to eight teams.

According to Owino who was speaking immediately after arriving from Malawi where he had gone to conduct a module two coaching course, the eight team playoff was the best since it gives all the teams an opportunity to compete for the coveted trophy at the end of the year.

Owino says very good teams which can do the country pride at the international level have in the past missed out of the four team playoffs for one reason of the other allowing weak teams to battle for top honours.

Owino said this year’s league is particularly very competitive without any clear favourites for the title and allowing eight teams for the playoff would be the best way forward.

“All the top teams in the league have lost a match or the other and the team’s forms keep changing therefore giving all of them a chance to advance would be the best thing to do”, he said.

Owino said he was in the meeting which discussed the change of the system of playoff and that a majority of the clubs voted for the eight team playoff when it was put to ballot.

“We have the results of the ballot which saw 22 teams vote for the eight team play off while five abstained”, Owino said adding that simple mathematics favours eight team play offs.

Owino who is also the KBF Nairobi branch chairman and long time national men and women basketball head coach has asked teams to concentrate their efforts on finding ways to stabilize the already good basketball standards in the country instead of engaging in petty talks.

KPA started the debate when they complained of teams skipping the Mombasa fixtures but KCB team manager George Omondi Nyundo attributed this to the eight team play off which he said gave the teams the confidence of featuring in the play offs even without travelling to Mombasa.

But Owino said it was wrong for teams to skip the Mombasa fixtures and asked the KBF to find of ways of punishing such teams apart from the mandatory rule of forfeiture. He said his team Posta will lead by example and honour their fixtures against KPA men on October 24 in Mombasa .

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