30 November 2010

BOTSWANA : Troopers, Police win basketball titles

NELSON DIRENG africabasket.com

Men's basketball powerhouse, Troopers beat Police 70-52 on Sunday to win the National Championship at the University of Botswana. But in the women's final, Police defeated BVF V 47-45 to lift the title.In the men's competition, Troopers walloped an unsettled Police 63-42 in the first leg of the final on Friday.

However, Police came back strongly on Saturday to beat Troopers 50-47, forcing the final into a decider. It was Police's first-ever win over Troopers. On Sunday, Police were a shadow of the team that beat Troopers the previous day. Police were seemingly still caught in the excitement of winning their first game against Troopers, when the two met in the decider.

Troopers were off the blocks fast, as they raced to a 10-point lead in the first quarter. Police gained momentum in the second quarter but failed to maintain the tempo in the third and last quarter. Police's women side was dominant against BDF V, winning both the first and second legs on Friday and Saturday.

The Police' experience carried them through as BDF V fielded mostly youngsters, fresh from senior secondary schools. Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) league committee chairperson, Kabo Khama believes that the BDF V side will mature with time. 'BDF V players will be up to standard because they were able to hold up against Police losing with close margins,' he said.

Meanwhile, Khama said compared to last year, the National Championships were well organised. He said there were more spectators, perhaps because the games were held at night. 'Last year, we could not attract large crowds because we played during the day when it was hot. But this year, a lot of people showed up (for the night games,' he said.

He stated that playing at night is suitable for players as the temperatures are lower. 'We even want to change the structure of the league next year by having more night games,' he added. He said they are going to introduce the short clocks used in international games to enhance the level of competition next year. He said short clocks will prevent players from holding on to the ball for long without shooting.

'This will ensure that games are much quicker and more goals are scored,' he explained. This year, the National Championships got a P15, 000 sponsorship from Broadhurst Inn, triple the figure of P5, 000 which Beemark had availed in the previous edition. Khama said they have started soliciting sponsorship ahead of next year's events.

'We are also going to organise several fundraising events to help the sport grow,' he said.

UGANDA : Power, Lady Canons cement lead in finals

Sunday results
Warriors 65-71 Power
Women: A1 55-65 UCU
(Power, UCU lead series 2-0)
Rhino 85-61 Heaters
Stormers 70-71 UCU JV
(Rhinos, UCU JV lead series 1-0)
Third place play-off
Falcons 67-87 UCU
Women: KIU 71-85 KCC
Div II: MBC w/o Gulu
Div III: Kings w/o Crane

Joseph Ikong has had such a quiet post-season in the MTN-Fuba League that his contributions in the past for DMark Power were easily fading fast.

He desperately needed to pick himself from a ditch. He did that perfectly with a game-high 20 points as Power erased a 17-point third quarter deficit to defeat Kyambogo Warriors 71-65 on Sunday night. The importance of his contribution is underlined in the fact that his resurrection gave Power a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven final series. “Everyone has accused me of not playing defence so I agreed with my coach (Bernice Nkunda) to work on that part yet fans want me to score,” Ikong told Daily Monitor following a post-match meeting and prayer.
That prayer ended in screams of Power Power Power! In stark contrast, Warriors, who are two games away from relinquishing their crown, had a lengthy near-crisis summit in the cold. The defending champions led the first two quarters 20-10 and 14-17 respectively. At this point, Abdullahi Ramadhan was almost showboating on his way to 14 points, five rebounds and seven assists.

Nkunda responded by introducing guard Richard Balemwa to restrict the Tanzanian. He not only neutralised Dulah but also made figures of 4-4-3. Reigning MVP Ronnie Kasewu made 16 points but his Warriors were overwhelmed by Power’s late full court press.

Earlier, UCU Lady Canons booked a 65-55 victory over A1 Challenge in the women’s final. The latter had confined the 2008 champions to one point in the first quarter which ended 14-1. They stretched this to a 22-point lead at the start of the third before tables turned drastically. Lorraine Akinyi came up big to score 14 points. Anastasia Njeri (14) and Maureen Amoding (13) produced support to contain a charged Liz Baziira (14-9).

29 November 2010

UGANDA : UCU thumps Falcons to setle for third place

Men: UCU 87 Falcons 67
MBC Rocks 20 Gulu 0 (w/0)
Kings 20 Gulu 0 (walkover)
Women: KCC 85 KIU 71

IVAN Enabu inspired the UCU Canons to clinch the third place position in the top division of the basketball league after they outwitted Falcons 87-67 at Lugogo Indoor stadium on Saturday.

The sensational point guard dropped 20 points with eight assists as his team outscored the five-time champions in all the four quarters (23-18, 21-16, 22-18 and 21-15).

“It is good we won this game. The boys played well today and they wanted to win,” said Canons coach Nick Natuhereza.

Robert Ogweno and Stephen Mwesigye added 12 and 11 points for UCU while Richard Osano scored a game high 27 points for the Falcons.“It was a good season because we have tried our best to reach where we are today,” said the 2009 Zone V MVP, Osano. The Canons who have never made it to the final despite their many appearances in the semi-final play-offs, had their best performance this season after they pushed the series to game five which they lost to the defending champions, Kyambogo Warriors.

In the ladies category, KCC Leopards also settled for third after defeating KIU Rangers 85-71 with reigning MVP Miriam Hamala scoring 15 points.

Hamala’s team mates Sara Nassuna, Becky Akullo and Carol Nantalo added 11, 11 and 10 points apiece for the Leopards.KIU’s Suzan Amito scored a game high 20 points as Mercy Etyang added 16 but could not help their team to victory.

The second and third division games were walkovers with Rocks and Kings tok third place after their oponents failed to turn up.

LIBYA : Al-Halal and Al-Naser winning on the Yarmouk and Madena

(by Wasim Baruni) africabasket.com

Met in the first group and Yarmouk and Al-halal guest of the new competition first-class trio led by international arbitration Hamri and Hamid Ahmed and Khalid Alberasy Ohanic,
The Al-Halal team was able to defeat a team from the Yarmouk score 85 versus 61 were as follows:
19/14 the first quarter of the Al-Hala
The second quarter of the Yarmouk 19/21
22/11 for the third quarter Al-Halal
The fourth quarter 25/15 Al-Halal

In the second game corresponds to a team Al-Naser, and Madena conducted by the tripartite International Buraiki Mohammed and Abdul Aziz Almakory and Fadhil Aghannay The teams split the two halves of the match which ended Sak team to victory at 86 to 79, which came as follows:
The first quarter of the Al-Naser 25/18
The second quarter to Al-Naser23/16
The third quarter of the Madena 20/21
The fourth quarter of the Madena24/20

28 November 2010

UGANDA : Warriors hit by Power, UCU win

Friday results
Power 93-77 Warriors
UCU 64-46 A1 Challenge
(Power, UCU lead series 1-0)
Today at Lugogo
Warriors v Power (8pm)
A1 v UCU (6pm)
Div II & 111
Rhinos v Heaters (4pm)
Stormers v UCU JV (2pm)

It was too easy on the eye that it’s easy to think DMark Power and UCU Lady Canons might well have their cake and eat it following their commanding victories in Game One of the best-of-seven MTN-Fuba League finals, Friday.

Power decimated Kyambogo Warriors 93-77 moments after UCU’s 64-46 annihilation of A1 Challenge to take a 1-0 lead ahead of Game Two at Lugogo today. To stand any chance of instigating a recovery, Warriors need a quick answer to Isaac Afidra and the Power machine if they are to repeat their 4-1 victory over the same opposition in last year’s final.

Fueled by revenge, Afidra had 23 points, five rebounds and three assists as his more complete team took charge against the champions early. Power were quick to assume the lead in the first two periods 29-17 and 22-17 respectively for a 17-point lead at the break. Old tricks die hard but Warriors need new ones. “Our shots didn’t drop even though we had many open chances,” reigning MVP Ronnie Kasewu (11 points) told Sunday Monitor in reference to Warriors’ 16 futile downtown attempts.

In clinching a 3-2 semifinal win over UCU Canons, Warriors coach Gad Eteu conducted his halftime team talk outside the venue with his team trailing by nine points at the time. This time, though, Warriors needed a lot more than just fresh air in addition to negating the quick transition.

Power kept them at arm’s length despite Abdullahi Ramadhan and Stephen Okias coming to the party with 15 points apiece for Warriors to snatch the final two quarters 21-20 and 22-22.
There were too many weapons to silence. Norman Blick (17), Ben Komakech (13) Joseph Ikong (10) compounded Warriors’ misery. The frustration spilled over to Joshua Etalu and Kenyan Martin Okwako being ejected. “Warriors are defending champions and we respect that. It was one of those days when it worked for us and not them,” Komakech, who recorded 10 assists, said.

In the early game, Anastasia Njeri (15), Maureen Amoding (14), Brenda Mbone (10) and Lorraine Akinyi (10) made double figures in UCU’s victory over A1 Challenge.

27 November 2010

ZIMBABWE : All set for Kings basketball tournament

THE fifth edition of the Kings basketball tournament is set to start this Friday with 16 men's teams and 11 women's to participate.The tournament will also have a bit of international flair with Troopers of Botswana expected to take part in the tournament.

Kings spokesperson Joe Mujuru said they were expecting eight Bulawayo teams and five from Harare. 'The tournament will be held on Friday up to Sunday and we are expecting 16 men's teams and 11 women's teams.'We also expect the national Under-21 basketball team and a Botswana team to participate at the tournament,' said Mujuru.

Other teams that are expected to take part in the tournament will be from Mutare and Gweru.Last year the tournament was won by Giants in the men's category and Highlanders took the women's championship. Harare basketball giants Jewels are also set to take part. Last year they were defeated in the final by Bulawayo's Giants.

Mujuru said registration closed last night and the draw would be done this evening at BCD courts. 'Registration was open until this evening (yesterday) and we will be conducting the draw tomorrow night (today) at BCD. 'The teams will be pooled and they will play a round robin in those pools. The finals will be held on Sunday,' he said.

Mujuru said the tournament had no sponsor but they have shields and medals to present to the winners and outstanding players. 'We do not have a sponsor but we are going to present shields and medals to the winning teams and outstanding players. There are no monetary prizes,' he said.

Bulawayo will probably be represented by teams in the basketball league which include Stars, Sentinels, Oilers, ALCC, ZB Titans, Lords, Giants and Kings. In the women's category defending champions Highlanders, Giants and Lakers will probably be part of the tournament.

Troopers, who are coming in from Botswana, have former Zimbabwe players who include Michael 'Hooper' Banda and Philani Ncube, both of whom played for Highlanders, and Raymond Mudzudzo formerly of Cavaliers. The Harare teams, who have in the past dominated the sport, will have a tough time against Bulawayo teams this year as the locals seem to be training hard for the tournament.

BOTSWANA : Troopers, BDF V stalk Police

NELSON DIRENG africabasket.com

BDF V and Troopers stand between Police and ultimate glory in the national basketball championships after the semi-finals were concluded on Wednesday. The Police are hoping for a clean sweep after its two sides reached the men and women finals to be played this weekend. In the men's final, Police will meet Troopers while in the women competition, they will pit their wits against BDF V.

In the semis on Wednesday night, Troopers dismissed bitter rivals, Spartans 77-65 at the University of Botswana (UB) basketball courts. The game was a tie-breaker after the teams were deadlocked following weekend matches. As expected, the game between the long-time rivals was closely contested and could have gone either way.

In the first quarter, Troopers seemed unsettled as Spartans dominated proceedings. Both sides committed many mistakes and fouls but Spartans emerged tops with Troopers missing several free throws throughout the quarter. Spartans exploited opportunities that came their way to finish the first quarter with a significant lead of 24-16. Spartans, however, celebrated victory a bit too early going into the second round.

The more experienced Troopers knew the game was far from over as they were focused in the second quarter. They regrouped and dominated the quarter, which had fewer goals.They launched an attack that helped them close in on Spartans and take a 38-35 lead.The third quarter was another close affair with Troopers taking it 55-53.

The fourth quarter was an intense test of character as some players started cracking under pressure.The youthful Spartans, eager for a win became disorganised and selfish and Troopers' experience again came into play as they were a more focused side. Although they missed several chances, they were able to capitalise on mistakes by Spartans.

Towards the end of the game, Spartans' players, Moelwa Sikwila and Mothusi Thipe, collided in what later proved to be a serious acccident. Both players were forced to leave the field and a few seconds later, the referee blew the whistle to signal the end of the game.Spartans' captain, Sylvester Noke, said they lost to an experienced side. He said Troopers have remained national champions over the years due to their experience. He said that unlike Troopers, their team is made up of youthful players, who are being nurtured.

'Out of 12 Troopers' players, nine play for the national team while half of our team consists of youthful players who are either at school or fresh from school,' he said. He said that Troopers realised this weakness and exploited it. Noke, however, said they expect to perform better next season. He said the young players now have another year of experience and this will work to their advantage next year.

He said that this season was not their best as they lost easy games and points due to failure to honour some games in the north. 'It is a pity we had a bad season because rightfully, it should have been us meeting Troopers in the finals,' he said. Troopers' coach, Thomas Raglin said he was impressed with his team's performance despite the frequent mistakes and missed chances.

He said that the most important thing is that they followed the game plan. 'The fundamentals of winning in any basketball game are to defend and stay focused on protecting the ball,' he said. He said it is also essential to make a lot of free throws and rebounds. Raglin said Troopers have good offensive players and Spartans were tough opposition although their poor defence cost them the game. 'The other thing I have taught my players is not to worry about calls from referees because this sometimes distracts them,' he said.

Wednesday Line Up
Coach - Roy Sikwila
Starters - Robert Mosalakatane (Point Guard), Sylvester Noke (Captain-Shooting Guard), Mothusi Thipe (Small Guard), Peter Ubakar (Centre), Clive Phiri (Forward).
Substitutes - Keone Pheto, Moelwa Sikwila, Kgalemang Fisher, Churchhill Barrows, Sammy Bareka, Ben Mwaagabbwe and Thabang Ncube.

Coach - Thomas Raglin
Starters - Mothusi Phokoje (Captain-Forward), Ratanang Tsayang ( Shooting Guard), Michael Banda (Point Guard), Pilane Ncube (Centre), Mmoloki Moilwa (Forward).Substitutes - Mufaro Moyo, Sechaba Sechaba, Percy Letsholo, Basimane Tau, Sebebe Gobela, Billy Modisang and Thebe Selato.

UGANDA : Consolation prizes at stake in Fuba League

One-off play-offs
Today at Lugogo
Falconsv UCU (6pm)
KIU v KCC (4pm)
Div II:
MBC v Gulu (2pm)

Eight teams that are still reeling from the disappointment and despair of missing out on the MTN-Fuba League play-offs final have an opening to right a few wrongs today. The usually inconsequential one-off third and fourth place play-offs are set for the MTN Arena Lugogo with the biggest attraction being Mountain Dew Falcons and UCU Canons in the men’s division one.

It’s a common among fans and pundits that the absent Falcons duo of Richard Osano Omondi and Sudi Ulanga are sorely missed in the best-of-seven finals that started last evening but this is part of a long healing process.

The duo were the light in shining armour as their side lost 3-1 in the semis to DMark Power and this is no means sufficient consolation. However, playing without any nerves could make this a repeat of the All –Star weekend with the UCU’s Enabu brothers, Ivan and Jimmy, too in the spotlight.
UCU formidable
On the other hand, the university team are no longer underdogs having taken the second round contest when the two sides met earlier this season. “At the start of the season, our target was to get to the play-offs (for the first time since 2007) which we achieved. We are satisfied with what came our way but can do more,” Nick Natuhereza, the UCU coach, said after losing to Kyambogo Warriors 3-2 in the semis.

It’s hard to gauge the amount of interest six-time Falcons have in this game having lost to Warriors in the semis last season and barely looking competitive against KIU Titans in the superseding third place game.

Meanwhile, KIU Rangers cannot be lacking in motivation when they face dethroned women’s champions KCC Leopards. The former made the play-offs as fourth seed and in the process won their first post-season ever against UCU Lady Canons despite losing the semifinal series 3-1. MBC Rocks clash with Gulu Hawks in division two whereas Crane High and Kings set the hoops alight in division three. Yesterday evening, Power were due to face Warriors.

26 November 2010

NIGERIA : NBBF Urge Pillars, Hoopers to double preparation, ahead Africa Champions Cup

(by Olusegun Ikuesan) africabasket.com
With less than three weeks to the dunk-off of the final round of the 2010 FIBA Africa Champions Club for Men slated for Benin Republic the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF has called on the country representatives, Kano Pillars basketball club and Royal Hoopers basketball club to double their final preparation for the continent biggest club competition.

Pillars and Hoopers won the right to play in the final round of the Champions Cup after finishing first and second in the FIBA Africa Zone-3 qualifying round held in Monrovia, Liberia in early November.

The two Nigeria DStv Premier League Champion and runner-up are in the race to do well at the continent flagship club competition with Pillars going in as the continent fifth best team while Royal Hoopers is a debutant.

Royal Hoopers basketball club who is starting a two weeks close camp in Kaduna from Monday (November 22, 2010) are determined to do well in it first outing in final round of the Africa Champions Cup after finishing second in the Zone-3 Elimination.

Hoopers team manager, Ifie Ozaka says the club is determined to contiue its good performance after qualifying from the FIBA Africa Zone-3 alongside Kano Pillars in Liberia.

Ozaka is optimistic the club will make Rivers State, Nigeria and FIBA Africa Zone-3 proud in the Benin Republic show-down with Despotivo de Agosto as defending champion.
'We are going to Benin Republic to be counted among the top contender for the trophy, our experience from the FIBA Africa Zone-3 qualifiers has enrich us to a large extent and we are determined to take our rightful place in Africa basketball.

Head Coach of Kano Pillars, Sani Ahmed on his part says the team is targetting a good finishing in this years final round after finishing fifth in its last two outings in 2008 (Tunisia) and 2009 (Rwanda).
'Our goal is to do well this time and the players have a responsibility to carry out the technical bench instruction to achieve that.
'Right now we are back to training after the Sallah break and everybody in the team knows what is at stake when hostility began next month.

The final round of the Champions Club Cup is schedule to hold from December 10 through 19.

EGYPT : Superleague Round 7: Al-Intaj beats Gezira by 1 after a very close game

Superleague round 7 closest game was a home victory of Al-Intaj (#4) over 3rd placed Gezira. Al-Intaj managed to escape with 1-point win 71-70. Gezira (3-4) added fourth loss to their record. Al-Intaj (3-4) jumped to the third spot. They share that position with defeated Gezira and Geish Army. Al-Intaj are looking forward to the next round to face league's new leader Ahly and it will be quite challenging to get another victory. Gezira will play against Ahly hoping to win this game.
Another exciting game for Al Dhan (1-6) which played on the court of 4th placed Shorta-Police (3-5). Sixth ranked Al Dhan upset home team edging them after exciting game by two points 73-71. Al Dhan (1-6) celebrated their first victory after six consecutive losses. They did not change their sixth position in the standings. Shorta-Police dropped to the fourth place. Al Dhan's next round game will be against higher ranked Sporting (#5) and it will be quite challenging to get another victory. Shorta-Police will play against league's new leader Al Ittihad to get back on winning track.
An interesting game was also a 19-point home loss of their biggest opponent Gasco in. Al Ittihad (7-0) has a solid series of three victories in a row. They of course still keep top position in the standings. Gasco dropped to the second place with 4-3 record. They have the same record like Somouha. Al Ittihad will meet next round Shorta-Police (#4). Gasco will play against league's second-placed Zamalek hoping for a come back to a winning shape.
We should not miss road victory of first ranked Ahly (6-1) who rolled over their biggest opponent Somouha (4-3) by 33 points 94-61. Ahly of course still keep top position in the standings. Somouha dropped to the second place. Ahly's next round opponent will be Al-Intaj (#5). Somouha will play against Shams.

In the last two games of round 7 Zamalek beat Sporting on the road 90-99. Geish Army destroyed Shams at it's own court 80-59.

Group A
Gasco - Al Ittihad 64-83

An interesting game was also a 19-point home loss of their biggest opponent Gasco in. Al Ittihad (7-0) has a solid series of three victories in a row. They of course still keep top position in the standings. Gasco dropped to the second place with 4-3 record. They have the same record like Somouha. Al Ittihad will meet next round Shorta-Police (#4). Gasco will play against league's second-placed Zamalek hoping for a come back to a winning shape.

Sporting - Zamalek 90-99

No shocking result in a game when third ranked Zamalek (5-2) beat 5th ranked Sporting (1-5) 99-90. Zamalek (5-2) has a solid series of three victories in a row comparing to three consecutive losses by Sporting. They jumped to the second spot. Sporting dropped to the fifth place. Zamalek are looking forward to the next round to face Gasco (#3). Sporting will play against Al Dhan hoping to prove their supporters that they can break losing series.

Shorta-Police - Al Dhan 71-73

Another exciting game for Al Dhan (1-6) which played on the court of 4th placed Shorta-Police (3-5). Sixth ranked Al Dhan upset home team edging them after exciting game by two points 73-71. Al Dhan (1-6) celebrated their first victory after six consecutive losses. They did not change their sixth position in the standings. Shorta-Police dropped to the fourth place. Al Dhan's next round game will be against higher ranked Sporting (#5) and it will be quite challenging to get another victory. Shorta-Police will play against league's new leader Al Ittihad to get back on winning track.
gschID: 116265

Group B
Geish Army - Shams 80-59

The game between closely ranked teams ended with 6th ranked Shams' (2-5) road loss to fifth ranked Geish Army (3-4) 80-59. Geish Army jumped to the third spot. They share that position with Gezira and Al-Intaj. Shams dropped to the sixth place. Geish Army will have a break next round, and it should allow them to practice more before next game. Shams will play against league's second-placed Somouha (#2) hoping to prove their supporters that it was just an accident.
gschID: 116267

Al-Intaj - Gezira 71-70

Superleague round 7 closest game was a home victory of Al-Intaj (#4) over 3rd placed Gezira. Al-Intaj managed to escape with 1-point win 71-70. Gezira (3-4) added fourth loss to their record. Al-Intaj (3-4) jumped to the third spot. They share that position with defeated Gezira and Geish Army. Al-Intaj are looking forward to the next round to face league's new leader Ahly and it will be quite challenging to get another victory. Gezira will play against Ahly hoping to win this game.
gschID: 116268

Somouha - Ahly 61-94

We should not miss road victory of first ranked Ahly (6-1) who rolled over their biggest opponent Somouha (4-3) by 33 points 94-61. Ahly (6-1) has a solid series of three victories in a row. Ahly of course still keep top position in the standings. Somouha dropped to the second place. Ahly's next round opponent will be Al-Intaj (#5). Somouha will play against Shams.


UGANDA : Power and Warriors face off in playoffs

By Charles Mutebi and Usher Komugisha

FUBA Playoff finals
Today at Lugogo
Women: UCU v A1 (6pm)
Men: Power v Warriors (8pm)

THE Kyambogo Warriors were weaker than Power during the regular season. But when the reigning men’s champions meet the 2010 regular-season champions in Game 1 of the best-of-seven playoff finals, many will feel there is no clear favourite.

Power have been in form all year but the Warriors have showed great firmness in surviving a challenging season. Power have shown the skills but the Warriors have shown the steel.

But whatever the two relied upon to get to the finals, the most important fact is they are there. Yet there is no guarantee that what worked before and in the lead to the finals will still work.

“You have to approach the finals differently,” said Warriors coach Gad Eteu. “The desire is different because it is where you wanted to be all season. It is about how much you want it because you don’t have much room for error at this level.”

Power star Isaac Afidra agrees.

“There is no game that is the same as a regular-season game but considering you are playing a series you have to wait for Game 1 and see what your opponents got for you.”

On the issue of favourites, Eteu and Afidra had slightly contrasting takes. Eteu said: “I don’t know if there is a favourite in this series although Power have been more consistent playing better than us.”

Afidra is more exact. “They are the favourites,” he said. “You can’t say you are the favourites against the defending champions.”

In the women’s finals, both the UCU Canons and A1 Challenge will be searching for their second championship. A1 have been in the finals for the last five years but haven’t won it since 2005. The Canons won it on their maiden final appearance two seasons ago.

25 November 2010

UGANDA : A1 Challenge seek better luck in final

Tomorrow at Lugogo
Power v Warriors (8pm)
KCC v A1 (6pm)

No team in the MTN-Fuba League would want to be in a situation where you have to be compared to A1 Challenge. The women’s team holds the unenviable statistic of being losing finalists in each of the last three finals.

Perhaps, the best part is that their consistency is unmatched following their 3-2 series victory over champions KCC Leopards last Friday to earn a shot at setting the record straight.

And knowing the task awaiting them tomorrow at the MTN Arena Lugogo, Hamza Nyambogo, A1’s coach hardly spared anytime in issuing a rallying cry for the best-of-seven final series clash with UCU Lady Canons.

New strategy
“The hard work starts now,” Nyambogo told his players. The message quickly sunk in quite fast and Carol Mugasha picked it wholesomely as they eye revenge for the finals’ loss to UCU two years ago.

“In the past, fatigue affected us whenever we got this far. It’s important we listen to the coach, work hard and act strong,” Mugasha, who also acts as A1’s publicist, told Daily Monitor yesterday.

The two finalists shared the regular season games but the return to fitness of Liz Bazira and Olivia Mulwana following lengthy maternity leaves has helped spread A1 Challenge’s options.

“Players need to believe in each other and execute their roles which everyone has understood. People will be talking about revenge but I think there is a lot more,” Mugasha added in making reference to the 2008 defeat.

A1’s chances could greatly hinge on how well they manage to slow coach Mandy Juruni’s team down in addition to keeping sensational utility player Lorraine Akinyi quiet.
UCU needed only four games to dispatch KIU Rangers in the semis 3-1 unlike A1 who went the entire distance.

“For many, there is an advantage in coming through a tougher semifinal only that at this stage, such things don’t matter,” she quipped. In the late game, DMark Power, just like A1, will seek revenge against Kyambogo Warriors for the loss in last year’s final. Power eliminated Falcons in the semis.

KENYA : Co-op complete basketball semi-final line-up

Twelve teams qualified for the 2010 best-of-three series play-offs semi-finals.
Nine of the 24 teams which participated in the two-week quarter-finals knocked out their opponents on a 2-0 basis.

Only the winners in three matches had to be determined on better goal aggregate after they had tied 1-1 home and away.

Co-operative Bank were the last to join champions KCB Lions, Posta and Kenya Ports Authority in the top men’s semi-finals which start this weekend.

Students eliminated

Co-op Bank had to struggle to edge out Tigers of the USIU-A 64-60 in Sunday’s highly charged Game Two.

Although the bankers eliminated the students 2-0, it was not an easy task for them. Co-op Bank trailed in the two opening quarters 21-16 and 18-16 as Tigers went a head to overpower them 39-32 at half-time.

Tigers, who again threw away victory in their opener in the last 40 seconds going down 70-65, had built a 10 points margin (46-36) before falling down 64-60.

Aggressive forward Peter Kiganya pumped in 20 points, Eugene Genga added 12 and Brian Busu connected 15 for Co-op Bank.

Stiff challenge

Men’s teams champions KCB Lions, Posta, KPA, Co-op Bank, Ulinzi Warriors and Mennonites knocked out their weak opponents 2-0 on home away basis to qualify for the semi-finals.

Subsequently, women’s champions Eagle Wings, Yana and KPA also lacked opposition to book their tickets with a comfortable 2-0 win.

Most of the play-off quarter-finals duels were one-sided with only Strathmore University women’s team, Trail Blazers and Nakuru Club surviving stiff challenge to advance.

Strathmore University, who had lost 42-36 in the first leg, rose to the occasion to eliminate Sprite Storms beating them hands down 56-25 in the return leg.

Coach Sylvia Njeri said: “The girls were focused in the return leg in which they needed to win by seven points margin to qualify.”

24 November 2010

KENYA : Champs KCB Lions, Co-op, Posta and KPA through to semi finals

National champions KCB Lions, Co-operative Bank of Kenya, Posta and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) made it to the play off semi fianals following matches played over the weekend in Nairobi and Mombasa.

Lions mauled Strathmore University 72-48 after taking a 31-22 half time lead. Tobias Onyango scored 20 points, Juma Ikapian made 14 as did Roy Kahure. The Blades had 1 game high 19 from Paul Nyakinda.

Posta crushed Masinde Muliro University of Agricluture and Technology (MMUST) 90-52 in a one sided show stamped their authority with a quick first quarter points and never looked back.

They were up 48-21 at half time and maintained the tempo after the break while connecting with ease.
Ben Oluoch made a three point play and swished two foul shots to propel the advantage to 48-21 and it was all too easy.

With coach Ronny Owino making easy substitutions Posta were on a roll in the last two quarters. Ancette Wafula shot 22 points, Desmond Owili made 17 and Samuel Mogeshi added 12.

The students free shooting in the last quarter saw them cut the huge lead to 27 but Posta's game plan was too much for the. Leading their scoring chart was Martin Gitonga who had 19 and Alex Mugasi 16.

Strathmore University humiliated Sprite Storms 56-25 with Faith Owich doing the damage. Blades needed to win by over seven points and the got more than what coach Sylvia "Sly" Njeri had prayed for.

They took the first quarter 16-8, and the second 12-7, Playing a tight defense that restricted their rivals to under 10 10 pints in all quarter, Swords were staggering. Owich had 20 and Grace Wanjiku 13.

At the Makande Welfare Hall in Mombasa, Kenya Ports Authority hit International Christian Center (ICC) 69-57. KPA took the first three quarters 13-5, 17-8 and 21-16 before ICC ran away with the last 28-18.

Dan Okwirri led the KPA charge with 26 points and Javan Odhiambo shot another 13. For the visiting Nairobi team, James Omune managed 26 with James Rapori making another 12.

Game Two was abandoned with KPA leading 66-53. ICC walked out of this tie with 6:41 minutes already played. Efforts to restore sanity was fruitless.

Hilda Indasi collected a play off high of 43 points to lift KPA ladies to a 100-25 whipping of Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University. KPA were up 55-15 at the break. Lucy Machuma hit 10 for the loser.

KPA had clobbered KCA 111-22 in lopsided show. The porters had won the first match 100-25. Indasi scored 27 points, Hellen Oketch 19, Makungu 18 and Agnes Anyango 13.


UGANDA : Akinyi stands tall in A1‘s path

By Usher Komugisha

SHE dropped 88 points and picked 67 rebounds in four play-off semi-final games this post season.

Lorraine Akinyi, a two-time league top scorer is the one player that A-1 Challenge has to deal with in the best-of-seven final series starting this Friday at Lugogo if they are to end their four year trophy drought.

Her partnership with the current Zone V Club Championship MVP, Anastacia Njeri has brought much fortune to the Mukono based UCU Lady Canons.

Thanks to their experience, A-1 Challenge are in the finals again. Coach Hamza Nyambogo’s side is looking at doing whatever it takes to win the championship this year.

It has been four years since they won a championship title, nevertheless no one doubts A-1’s prowess after edging KCC Leopards 3-2 in the semifinals.

They finished third at the East and Central Africa club championships in 2006, a year after they won their maiden league title. They boast of almost half of the national team players.

But why have they finished just as finalists in the last four years with the same crop of players that won the 2005 championship?

In a repeat of last year’s play-off series that A-1 won 2-0 to make it to the final, skipper Gloria Kyomugisha, Betty Namukasa, Mavita Ali and Josephine Namayega will be key as they try to regain their lost glory.

In an interview, Nyambogo emphasized that he would retire from basketball action if he does not win the title this year.

Can his side defeat the Lady Canons four times in the best-of-seven series to win the title? That will depend on A-1’s defence, on Akinyi and whether the Canons can stop reigning regular season MVP, Hatima Kassim who is also enjoying good form.

A-1 handed the Mukono side their first league defeat (54-52) this season in the first round but were severely hurt when the Lady Canons thumped them 78-49 in the second round.

On the other hand, the Lady Canons will have to replicate the form that saw them lift their maiden title in 2008.

22 November 2010

LIBYA : The start of the 2010/2011 season

important game was a victory of Nasr over bottom-ranked Shabab 87-78. Nasr are looking forward to the next round to face Madina (#4). Shabab will play against league's second-placed Ahli Tripoli hoping to prove their supporters that it was just an accident.
Another interesting game was between Ittihad which hosted on the court of Hilal (0-1). Ittihad's next round game will be against Morog. Hilal will play against Yarmook to get more than just one victory in their record.

Other games in round 1 were not that significant. Yarmook lost to Madina on the road 77-91. Ahli Benghazi won against Morog at it's own court 76-60. Jazeera lost to Ahli Tripoli in a road game 56-70.

Nasr - Shabab 87-78

Round 1 most important game was a victory of Nasr over Shabab 87-78. Nasr are looking forward to the next round to face Madina. Shabab will play against Ahli Tripoli hoping to prove their supporters that it was just an accident.
gschID: 116364

Madina - Yarmook 91-77

No shocking result in a game when sixth ranked Madina (1-0) beat bottom-ranked Yarmook (0-1) 91-77. Madina are looking forward to the next round to face Nasr. Yarmook will play against Hilal hoping to prove their supporters that it was just an accident.
gschID: 116365

Ahli Benghazi - Morog 76-60

Very expected game when Morog (0-1) lost to Ahli Benghazi (1-0) 76-60. Ahli Benghazi (1-0) of course still keep top position in the standings. Ahli Benghazi are looking forward to the next round to face Jazeera which should be theoretically an easy game. Morog will play against Ittihad hoping to prove their supporters that it was just an accident.
gschID: 116361

Ittihad - Hilal 95-77

Another interesting game was between Ittihad (1-0) which hosted on the court of Hilal (0-1). Ittihad had an easy defeat 95-77. Ittihad's next round game will be against Morog which should be an easy walk for them. Hilal will play against Yarmook to get more than just one victory in their record.
gschID: 116362

Ahli Tripoli - Jazeera 70-56

Rather predictable result when second ranked Ahli Tripoli (1-0) won against Jazeera (0-1) 70-56. Ahli Tripoli are looking forward to the next round to face Shabab. Jazeera will play against league's new leader Ahli Benghazi hoping to prove their supporters that it was just an accident.


NIGERIA : Nigeria DStv Premier League gets December dunk-off date

(by Olusegun Ikuesan)

The 2010/ 2011 DStv Premier Basketball Season is to dunk-off in December this year according to the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF.

The choice of the season jump-starting in December 2010 was approved by the Executive Board of the NBBF after a proposal by the outgone League Board.

Chairman Technical Committee of the federation, Muktar Khaleh says the decision to start early was informed by the several international programmes of the federation in 2011 and to allow the league run smoothly without any hitch.

Yes the 2010/ 2011 season will start this December and clubs have been rightly informed about the development and we are going ahead with the plan.

The decision was taken in the best interest of our basketball and that of the sponsor who are full support of this season starting early so as to confrom with the rest of the world as you will agree with me that almost all the countries of the world have commenced their season.

Nigeria will be participating in at least four international competitions come 2011, the African cup of Nations for Men and Women in Cote dIvoire and Mali, these are 2012 Olympic Games qualifiers, the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women and the All Africa Games.

The NBBF has concluded arrangement to inaugurate a new league board so as to get started.

BOTSWANA : Basketball teams battle in national championships


Four teams will do battle in the National Basketball Championship which starts at the University of Botswana (UB) courts this weekend. The line-up of the championship is not yet complete and tonight, Spartans and Flames play their outstanding league fixture to determine who joins Troopers, Police and Splinters in the last four.

Troopers finished tops in the league with Police second while Splinters are third. Troopers are expected to play their first game tomorrow against the winner of the Spartans and Flames' duel. A Spartans' win will see the revival of a bitter rivalry with Troopers.

Spartans who are last year's runners-up suffered shock defeats in the league and were eclipsed by surprise packages, Splinters and Flames. BBA league committee chairman, Kabo Khama said any team that finishes in the top four has an equal chance of winning the championship although Troopers are the favourites.

This year's league has been full of surprises as unfancied teams shocked the big guns. While Troopers maintained pole position, the chasing pack has been reconfigured with the likes of Splinters occupying third spot while Spartans are on the verge of missing a top-four finish.

BDF V who finished fourth last year have ended a disappointing ninth this season. Meanwhile, there are three outstanding fixtures in the women's league. Police V which have already secured a place in the championship will wait for the league to conclude to know their opponents.

'Most players are students and they have pulled out of the games to concentrate on their exams. We are still facing problems of recruiting match officials at games and getting sponsorship,' said Khama.

21 November 2010

LIBYA : Ahli Benghazi win on Almoroj

Dominated Ahly Benghazi on the game since its inception and has expanded their lead to fourteen points to end the first quarter in favor of twenty-four points for twenty. The second quarter saw the rivalry and excitement, a preference which the group Almoroj who managed to score fourteen points, while record-Ahli Benghazi ten points is famous for the second quarter the progress of Ahli Benghazi four and thirty points for the twenty-eight. In the third quarter, returned preference to Al Ahli Benghazi, which managed to score 20 points in Register promoter 16 points to accommodate the difference to twelve points and the result was 56/44. In the fourth and out of Ahli offer to end the game in favor and the outcome of 76/60.

source : africabasket.com

UGANDA : Imperious Dulah disarms Canons

Results (Friday)
UCU 77-82 Warriors
A1 49-47 KCC
(Warriors, A1 win series 3-2)

Sometimes teams fail to get the whole package since players rarely function like machines. On such occasions, an individual is supposed to take the bull by the horn as Kyambogo Warriors can manifest to this following their 82-77 win over UCU Canons in the MTN-Fuba League semifinals on Friday night.

Abdullahi Ramadhan’s magic gave the champions a 3-2 series victory to book a final date with DMark Power in what should be a thrilling best-of-seven series repeat from last year. Game one of the finals is on Friday.

It was so easy to miss the fact that the Tanzanian guard fouled out.
Dulah as he is fondly known, scored 23 points and 12 rebounds to ensure that UCU’s dream of reaching a maiden final must wait for at least another season. “I always play well,” Dulah responded when Daily Monitor asked him whether he played arguably his best game in the post-season so far. “This was a big challenge and we needed all our experience,” he added.

UCU Canons had run Warriors rugged to take the first two periods 17-21 and 26-13 respectively with the capacity crowd screaming their voices hoarse. The university side had Robert Mugabe (17), Jimmy Enabu (15) and Adams Njoroge (13) fully in charge in the first half.

Malinga influence
Trailing by nine points at the breather, Warriors left the MTN Arena Lugogo, to have their halftime team talk in the open. Maybe they needed some fresh air.

It was up to Dulah to slow the game down when coach Gad Eteu’s side re-emerged to blow away UCU 21-7 in the third quarter.
The Malinga brothers, Eric and Henry, brutally exposed UCU in the paint to nail 18 and 12 points respectively.

The latter eventually joined Dulah in the dugout but his influence was clearly felt by everyone inside the arena.
UCU never gave up the fight to level the final period 27-27 but the clock wasn’t in their favour. It just wasn’t their night once again. Ronnie Kasewu towed a tight rope with four fouls as early as the second period to finish with 10 points and eight rebounds.

His schoolboy turnovers in the third quarter aside, Martin Okwako put up a spirited show for Warriors while Stephen Okias delivered to acceptable standards.

“It’s been a good but not great season. At the start, we wanted to make the play-offs and we did and next time, preparation must take us a step further,” a relatively disillusioned Nick Natuhereza, the UCU coach, said.
In the women’s category, A1 Challenge eliminated KCC.

19 November 2010

LIBYA : Le triplé du Ahly Benghazi

Le Ahly Benghazi a réalisé une véritable OPA sur le basket-ball libyen cette saison ; Le club phare de la seconde ville du pays a en effet remporté le championnat, la Coupe nationale et la Super coupe.

Un triplé historique et une sacrée revanche sur l’autre géant du basket local, Al-Ittihad de Tripoli.

MADAGASCAR : Tunisie 2010 : BBCM joue la prudence

Pour la première fois, l'équipe malgache BBCM représentera la Zone VII à la coupe d'Afrique des clubs champions en basket-ball qui se déroulera du 19 au 27 novembre à Bizerte, en Tunisie.

Après avoir remporté la Coupe des clubs champions de l'océan Indien, les joueuses de BBCM mettent le cap sur la Tunisie.

Pour sa part, le coach préfère la prudence. «Tous les pays ont participé à l'Afrobasket dames. On ne peut en négliger, aucun, surtout le club St-Louis Basket du Sénégal qui a obtenu le titre. Mais nous avons pris au sérieux la préparation et avec trois entraînements par jour, nous espérons gagner», souligne avec méfiance Eric Rakotondravao, coach de BBCM.

TANZANIA : Three basketball players off to US for training tour

By Brown Msyani
The Citizen Correspondent
Dar es Salaam. Three young stars leave for US tomorrow to join Africa basketball combine team in a training course organised by Coca Cola under Sprite banner.

The young players are Sunday Edward, Alphaeus Kisusi and Elvan Davids.
The trio will join other players from Kenya, Uganda, Angola and Mozambique who also performed well in similar clinic held in their respective countries.
Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) vice president Phares Magesa said the young players were announced during the second clinic conducted by former NBA star Steve Smith.

Speaking Vijana with the Citizen yesterday, one of the players, Alphaeus Kisusi promised to use a training tour in US to spearhead basketball development campaign nationwide.
He said both NBA-backed clinics conducted by a Tanzanian Hasheem Thabeet and American Steve Smith would help them perform well in the training.

The young Tanzanians will join others from Angola, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique.
The players, who qualified to attend the training were those excelled in the inaugural clinic conducted by Hasheem Thabeet, the Tanzanian who trade his skills with Memphis Grizzlies.

Kisusi and mates are featuring for Vijana City Bulls, one of the basketball giants in Tanzania.
It will be the second time for Kisusi to attend international clinic . Last year he attended similar a clinic held in Senegal.

UGANDA : Warriors’ final call


Today at Lugogo
UCU v Warriors (8pm)
Women: A1 v KCC (6pm)
(Both series tied 2-2)

Months of toil and hard work in the MTN-Fuba League will come down to just 40 minutes, or rather two hours, of mental toughness to decide two finalists. A1 Challenge face champions KCC Leopards with a women’s final berth against UCU Lady Canons waiting.
Thereafter, UCU Canons and men’s reigning champions Kyambogo Warriors clash to earn the chance to aim a shot at DMark Power. Both best-of-five semifinal series set for Lugogo Indoor stadium are tied at 2-2.

There has been little to choose between the four sides with the exception of Warriors’ 96-49 blowout of UCU in game three. “This comes from deep down. It’s important that we work very hard in defence. We really want to make the final,” the UCU shooting guard Jimmy Enabu said after game four last Sunday. Since joining the university side from Knight Riders, Jimmy, a younger brother to UCU skipper Ivan Enabu, has been by far their most consistent player in the play-offs. His assertions about defence were evident as UCU returned from the brink of exit to win game four 74-68.

Just like him, another new signing in centre Michael Kariuki, who joined the champions from KIU Titans, has carried Warriors’ cross. Kariuki is expected to play despite injuring his leg in the last defeat. This has forced Warriors’ coach Gad Eteu to demand more from his other stars as UCU lead the head-to-head this season 4-2.

Fingers will definitely be pointed at MVP Ronnie Kasewu, Martin Okwako and veteran guard Abdullahi Ramadhan as the championship winning trio have blown hot and cold. “It’s taken long to have the same attitude (like last year). We must also use our experience at this stage. It’s crucial that we take it from the start and play with our hearts,” Kasewu told Daily Monitor.

In the women’s division, it’s very hard to notice who of either A1 or KCC holds the momentum even though the former have been in so many comfortable positions only to succumb in the penultimate period. Hatima Kassim and Betty Namukasa should be A1’s go-to players. Coach Timothy Odeke’s KCC have struggled in the paint with Miriam Hamala and Annet Nakiwu lacking consistency.

18 November 2010

UGANDA : Down to the wire

Written by John Vianney Nsimbe & Felix Eupal

Warriors (men) and KCC Leopards (women) left the Lugogo Indoor stadium last Sunday wondering what might have been.

Just one win away from making the playoff finals, Warriors and KCC were beaten 74-68 by UCU Canons and 61-55 by A1-Challenge respectively. So, with the best of five series deadlocked at 2-2, the lingering question is who will win game five to meet DMark Power and UCU Ladies?

Game five is set for tomorrow and Sam Bahwayo, the former coach of ladies team Victoria Lakers, reckons matches between KCC and A1 are always unpredictable. He adds that A1 managed to get one over KCC last Sunday because they played a full court press. “I think KCC’s players just under-performed. But once they reflect on their mistakes, like bad shooting and defensive holes, they’re poised to win game five.”

KCC’s centre, Annet Nakiwu, who normally leads the scoring with close to 15 points only scored four points and that has had a lot to do with persistent late coming since game two. Such indiscipline showed in the poor display from Timothy Odeke’s team especially when called upon to shoot. Only four three-pointers were converted from 19 attempts. But that statistic wasn’t entirely decisive since A1 also converted four three-pointers of their sixteen attempts.

What was decisive was the no-show of KCC’s star players, Becky Akullo and Miriam Hamala. Akullo and Hamala only scored nine and five points respectively despite playing a whole 32 minutes of a possible 40. By keeping the likes of Akullo at bay, all indications are that A1 has improved defensively, and this should bode well for them. A non-committal Akullo, however, believes things will go KCC’s way if they manage to unlock A1’s defence.

Other observers like Joe Burua believe KCC are slight favourites because they historically handle pressure better than A1. On occasions when A1 had to win game five, they always lost. In 2007, after tying the series in the finals against KCC, they lost game five. In 2008, they lost game five to UCU Ladies with two minutes left on the clock when they had a six point lead. “We will end that bad streak this time,” A1’s coach, Hamza Nyambogo confidently said.

Over the years, KCC has intimidated A1. In last year’s final, despite A1 carrying the favourites tag, KCC ran out comfortable 4-1 winners. Last Sunday, Hatima Kassim made amends by scoring a game high 19 points. But this A1 side is over dependent on Kassim; once Kassim is out, Mavita Ali, Betty Namukasa and Victoria Nassolo usually struggle to come to the party.

Elsewhere, Warriors let complacency get to their heads after their 96-49 game three win over UCU. They were duly brought back down to earth by the university side last Sunday. A confident Eric Malinga attributed Warriors’ poor performance not on complacency but rather a bad day at the office.

To have a better day at the office, Warriors coach, Gad Eteu, says they’re concentrating on the rebounds because that’s what killed them last Sunday. UCU won 45 rebounds against Warriors’ 36. Of these, 29 were offensive UCU’s while Warriors had 23.

All this has set the stage for what should be keenly contested encounters.

UGANDA : Kassim key for A1 in playoffs game 5

By Charles Mutebi

FUBA Playoffs
Women: KCC v A1
(Series tied 2-2)
Men: UCU v Warriors
(Series tied 2-2)

A1 Challenge coach Hamza Nyambogo knows what must happen if his team are to defeat the KCC Leopards in Game 5 of their best-of-five FUBA playoff semi-finals on Friday and advance to the finals.

First, A1 have to replicate the strong defensive display from Game 4, which they won 61-55 to level the series 2-2. “That is the only way we will win,” said Nyambogo.

The second thing that will lead A1 past the Leopards is keeping the mistakes to a bare minimum, revealed the coach.

But just as important for the 2005 champions will be the individual performance of Hatima Kassim. The guard has dominated this series, being the only player to reach double figures in each game. Her total 74 points is the highest in the series.

In fact, Kassim has scored 39 points more than A1’s next highest-scorer, Betty Namukasa. That is how vital the 2009 regular season MVP has been for A1.

Nyambogo knows Kassim must simply show up on Friday for A1 to have a chance of ejecting the reigning FUBA ladies champions.

“I hope that she maintains that form on Friday and that she gets support from her team-mates,” explained the coach. “Hatima is focused and she really wants to win this championship.”

For KCC, the onus will fall on Becky Akullo to deliver the offensive goods. She is the second lead scorer in this series with 45 points.

17 November 2010

KENYA : Eagle Wings will not be flying in Tunisia show after all

NAIROBI (2010 FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women) - Kenya national champions Eagle Wings will not be playing for honours in the FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women which starts in Tunisia later this week.

Assistant team manager Agina Wesonga explained that FIBA Africa, the continent’s basketball body, had informed the club it was now too late to make the trip for the tournament that gets underway in Bizerte on Friday.

Wesonga said efforts to get financial help from the government did not bear fruits and even money that the team raised was not enough to see them make it to the event which takes place from 19th to 28th November. Wings has been replaced by a team from Madagascar.

Teams already confirmed for the FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women are the host club Sports Club of Bizerte (CSFB) of Tunisia, Saint Louis from Senegal, Arc en Ciel of DR Congo, Interclube of Angola, INJS of Camoeroun, Desportivo of Mozambique, APR of Rwanda and BBCM of Madagascar.

Participants from Zone III are yet to be confirmed but the clubs were expected from either Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria.

Agina said that the team had trained well for the championships and was sure of becoming the first Kenyan side to make it to the medal bracket. They had even facilitated the return of guard Rose Ouma from the US last week.

“With the kind of training we have undergone in the last two months, we were sure of at least making it a podium finish,” he offered.

The hiccup, Agina said, has not demoralised the girls who are now looking forward to retaining their national league crown and the same the regional title in Dar es Salaam Tanzania next year.

“Despite this new development, the team is intact and will now focus all their efforts in retaining the two titles. We will still be a force both here and in the region,” he added.

The Eagle Wings assistant manager found it unfortunate that Zone Five would not be represented in this festival. Wings crushed APR of Rwanda in the finals of the eight team qualifiers in Bujumbura, Burundi last August.

Wings played in their first ever Africa Championships held in Nairobi in 2008 where they finished 10th in a 12-team tournament won by Desportivo of Maputo.

Agina, who has just qualified as a FIBA commissar after attending a clinic in Togo, said the only way the regional teams would play in this prestigious club event in future is for its officials to look for corporate sponsorship.

“They should look into this as a matter of urgency as this is the only way of ensuring that the teams will take part in the Africa championships after they qualify,” he warned.

Last weekend, Wings became the first team to make it to the KBF playoffs semi-finals after thrashing Mennonites 91-22 and 80-31 in the two-game series.

Agina thanked all those who came to the team’s aid and asked them not to shy away as the team still needs more financial help. He promised that he will account for all monies raised during the drive.

“Whatever little money we raised during the fundraising will now help us to travel to Mombasa and play Kenya Ports Authority in the playoffs finals should we win our semi-final against either Yana or United States International University (USIU).”

FIBA Africa

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LIBÉRIA : Four basketball executives to appear in court today

Written by Anthony A. Stephens

Four Liberian Basketball executives will appear at the Monrovia City Court today to answer questions linking to corruption.

They are LBF Secretary General Fred Pratt, Executive Committee member Solomon George, Curtis Jackson and Samuel Lynch.

The men are accused of misappropriating over thirty seven thousand United States Dollars intended for the accommodation of foreign teams that participated in the recent FIBA Africa men club championship held in the country.

They were released on bail last week after spending three days in cell.We will keep you posted with developments surrounding the case as they unfold.

16 November 2010

KENYA : Champs KCB Lions and Wings in dream start as Co-op struggle against USIU

Kenya champions KCB Lions and Eagle Wings started the defense of their national titles on a winning note when they cruised to comfortable victories in their playoffs quarter-final clashes played at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium over the weekend.

Lions used the hot shooting of Juma Ikapian to dismiss Strathmore University 65-50.

It was Ikapian who set the tie alight when he connected on four three-pointers in the opening quarter to put his team up 22-10.

However, the students recovered in the second to get within 28-21 in a low-scoring first half. The reigning champions though blew the game wide open after the break and took a commanding 47-30 lead heading into the final frame.

Blades were dealt a heavy blow when their playmaker and top scorer David Ogolla – who led them with 18 points – was ejected, causing Strathmore to lose their rhythm. He will miss Game 2.

Ipakian led all scorers with 21.

Meanwhile, Co-operative Bank of Kenya snatched a dramatic 70-65 victory over United States International University (USIU) in a tough quarter-final clash.

USIU had done almost everything right after an Evans Letting opening basket got off them off to a bright start. They were ahead 18-14 in the first quarter. In the second, the students went up a gear to take a 36-26 advantage into the break.

Co-op threatened to take over the proceedings after tying the score 42-42 on Peter Kiganya’s banked three-pointer.

USIU thought pulled in front thanks to the fine play of Arou Chan, Harrison Omondi, Papillon Odhiambo and Chris Mulumba to start the final quarter with a 49-44 cushion.

Chan swished two free-throws and hit a basket as the Tigers pulled away 55-46. However, USIU soon collapsed as Odhiambo, Omondi and then Mulumba all fouled out.

Co-op went for the kill with Kiganya as ther main man. He tied the game at 65-65 and it was all over thereafter. He finished with a game-high 30 points and Mike Makiadi added 13. For USIU, Chan nailed 25.

Meanwhile, in the women’s playoffs, national champions Eagle Wings flew all over Mennonites and became the first team to reach the semi-finals with a 80-31 win to complete a 2-0 sweep of the series.

Silalei Agalo scored 19 points, Eva Kedogo chipped in with 15 and Angela Okoth added 13 for the regional champions, who were ahead 38-16 at the intermission.

Wings, playing at US base Rose Ouma, had beaten Mennonites 91-22 in the series opener.

Millicent Akinyi scored after two earlier misses to set Wings away but Sarah Anyango’s three-pointer gave Mennonites their only lead, 3-2. After Samba Mjomba made a basket, it was all systems go. Angela Okoth paced the winners with 17 points, Rebecca Sarange finished with 13 while Shilalei Shani had 10. Everlyn Itaabu had a game-high 18 in the losing cause.

Yana also had it too easy beating USIU 64-29 after a 30-13 first-half lead. Sylvia Koech and Mitchelle Otinda had 13 points each for the tire makers while Debra Chan paced the Flames with 18 and Linda Mfuchi added 11.

Strathmore University controlled their game against Sprite Storms, leading for long spells, but were undone 42-36 after overtime. Emma Nyakweba scored 12 points and Maureen Andalia 11. Faith Owich led the students with 13 but was no factor in the last two quarters.

In the lower division, Mennonites made it to the semi-finals with a well-deserved 75-61 win over Nairobi Aviation College (NAC). David Burnet bagged 20 points and Collins Ouko 16. Edgar Kisiali had 12 for the losers.

The other tie saw Trailblazers stun Parklands Baptists 80-75 in overtime behind 19 points from Ishmael Nyamache and 10 from Shem Otieno. Joseph Situma contributed 230 and Dan Imbali made 18.

Former national champions Ulinzi Warriors took a bold step towards returning to the top league with a convincing 71-44 thrashing of World Hope. Towering Moses Shida was good for 19 points while Dieter Okoth had 12. Hope got 11 from Daniel Omondi.

With David Burnet in superb play making form, Mennonites had 22 points from Collins Ouko and 15 from Mark Ouko as they torched Nairobi Aviation College (NAC) 70-52. NAC payed better in the second half with Maurice Obilo managing 14 for Egdar Kisiali sinking 13.


LIBERIA : LBF slaps Pratt and George with suspension

Written by Anthony A. Stephens

The Liberia Basketball Federation has with immediate effect suspended two of its executives linked to the alleged misappropriation of funds intended for foreign teams that participated in the just held FIBA Africa men club championship.

LBF vice president named the men as Secretary General Fred Pratt and Executive Committee member Solomon George.

The duo along with two others are accused of misappropriating over thirty seven thousand United States Dollars given to them by the visiting that recently participated in the FIBA Africa men club championship held in the country.

The two other alleged suspects are Curtis Jackson and Samuel Lynch.

Mr. Rufus Anderson told Star Sports the suspension of Mr. Fred Pratt and Mr.Solomon George followed an emergency Executive Committee meeting.

He said the alleged action by the two men was embarrassing for the LBF and the nation at large.

“We can all realized the fact that this was a serious embarrassment not only to the Liberia Basketball Federation but also to the Republic of Liberia,”.

“Because nations became involved and it has become a state issue so it’s a very serious one,” added Mr. Anderson.

The LBF vice president said the men have been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation into the matter.

“We took a decision to have them suspended until after the investigation can be finalized,”.“I don’t’ know when it will be finalized because I think as we speak there should be some court proceeding and until that is finalized, they are suspended,”.

Local mobile company Lone Star Cell has promised to shoulder the responsibility by paying the money to the hotels the basketball executives are indebted to but Mr. Rufus Anderson said the issue was beyond the company payment.

“It’s not the matter of Lone Star Cell like I told you earlier, it has become a national issue. It was the vice president of the Republic of Liberia that intervened to ask Lone Star Celle to come up with what they have come up with,”.

“So it is beyond our own jurisdiction now because it has reached a national state level,” said the LBF vice president.

KENYA : Coop Bank, Safe Spaces join basketball league

Co-operative Bank of Kenya and Safe Spaces have been promoted to the women's basketball national league after toping in the provincial playoffs at the weekend.

Men’s teams to join Division One are Kenya Airports Authority and Mombasa-based Kenya Navy. National basketball playoffs were conducted at the weekend at Nyayo Gymnasium in Nairobi.

League runners up Co-op Bank rallied from behind to edge determined United States International University-Africa (Usiu-A) 70-65 in a thrilling encounter on Sunday. Usiu-A led in almost all the quarters till the last minute when Abel Nson broke the jinx with a three pointer for Co-op Bank just 50 seconds to the end.

Co-op Bank won 14-18,12-18,18-13,26-16 with Peter Kiganya and Michael Makiadi scoring 31 and 10 points.

Usiu-A had Aaron Chan and Evans Letting with 26 and 14 points.

Sprite Storms beat Strathmore 42-36 in the women’s Premier League as champions Eagle Wings beat Mennonites 80-31 in game two.

Eagle Wings relied on the services of Senegalese import Silalei Agalo. They are supposed to leave tomorrow for the women’s continental championship in Tunisia, but lack of funds may hinder their plans.

"We were supposed to confirm our participation to Fiba last Friday but we haven’t done so since we are not sure whether we will travel due to lack of funds," said Eagle Wings coach Smatts Olumbo.

In other ties, Yana overcame Usiu-A 64-29 in the women’s premiership as Mennonites men beat Nairobi Aviation College 75-61.

Ulinzi beat World Hope 71- 44 as KCB hit Strathmore University 65-50. Baptist overcame Trailblazers 80-75.

UGANDA :UCU stay alive


Sunday results
Warriors 68-74 UCU
KCC 55-61 A1
(Both series tied 2-2)
Division 2
Gulu 64-78 Heaters
(Heaters win series 2-1)

Even in their more dominant times, UCU Canons have been at fault for lacking fighting spirit that has barred the university side from a maiden appearance in the MTN-Fuba League final.

On Sunday night, UCU found a timely answer to erase two successive losses to Kyambogo Warriors thereby forcing a decisive game five in the semifinal series with a gritty 74-68 victory.

Unlike on many occasions where entertainment defined them, they needed to sacrifice skill for the ultimate goal in a game that hardly had anything to separate the two sides. This translated into centre Robert Ogweno leading the way with 13 points and 12 rebounds. “Our performance came from deep down in our hearts,” shooting guard Jimmy Enabu (12) told Daily Monitor.

His consistency has kept UCU alive even as his elder brother Ivan Enabu laboured to five points and eight turnovers. Forward Robert Mugabe returned from his one-match ban to add 13 to the fruitful cause. UCU made 27 of 52 from the field whereas Warriors, for whom Abdullahi Ramadhan (3) lost the ball cheaply on nine occasions, only converted 13 from 27.

The Tanzanian arguably had his worst game this season but Warriors succeeded in making the contest very close. They trailed 15-16 at the end of the first period and took the second 20-19 for a 35-all halftime score.

UCU edged the final two 20-18 and 19-15 respectively when Michael Kariuki succumbed to a muscle strain in his leg. The Kenyan’s departure brought an end to his forays that yielded 11 points and seven rebounds. Warriors’ chance waned from then onwards.

MVP Ronnie Kasewu walked a tight rope on four fouls throughout the final two quarters which restricted him to 14 points and six boards. Steven Okias overcame troublesome injuries to his knee and ankle to add 10.

In the women’s division, A1 Challenge leveled their series 2-2 with a 61-55 win over KCC Leopards. Hatima Kassim (19) and her sister Mavita Ali (13) forced a decisive game five due this Friday.

KENYA : Co-op Bank go one up over USIU Tigers

Co-operative Bank had to struggle from behind to edge out hard-fighting Tigers of the USIU-A 70-65 in a tight Game One of the play-off quarter final at the Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium at the weekend.

Tigers had to throw away victory in the last 40 seconds after they had enjoyed lead from the word go. Co-op Bank were left struggling with most of their key players failing the click at the hour of need.

However, the lucky bankers rose from the dead to lock the scores 65-65 throwing the charged tie wide open.

Big setback

Having enjoyed a huge 36-26 half-time lead, the students suffered a big setback when their four top players were ejected by top Fiba referees Juma Kent and Joseph Amoko.

Tigers’ foul trouble was to coach Carey Oketch’s advantage as Co-op Bank used the physical forward Peter Kiganya to force himself into the ‘D’ area to score. Hell broke lose for Tigers as Co-op Bank’s man-of-the match Kiganya shot them up at 67-65.

Guard Abel Nson, who was not effective from start turned out a hero,when he sunk a killer basket as the bankers fans celebrated their first 67-65 lead.

Tigers trouble started when Neville Odhiambo, Harrison Omondi and Pappillion Odhiambo were ejected after Aron Chan had worked so hard to keep the fire burning. Tigers had built a nine points margin (55-44) in the last quarter be fore the banker’s super star Eugene Genga started causing havoc.

Tall order

Tigers have a tall order to beat Co-op Bank with a six point margin to realise their dream of qualifying for the best-of-three series semi-final.

The students, who meet Co-op Bank in the return leg this weekend, were rated seventh in the regular season with 32 points. Kiganya sunk game-high 30 points while Michael Makiadi shot 11 for the winners with Chan replying with 25 and Evans Leting 15.

Sprite Storms are a game up after a narrow 42-36 win over Strathmore University in women’s play-off tie. Strathmore, who had beaten Storms 47-31 in the first leg, were still determined to cause havoc locking the duel 33-33 in regulation time.

15 November 2010

NIGERIA : We Have Great Plan For Zone 3

Muktar A. Khaleh is the President of FIBA-Africa Zone-3. Malone, as he is popularly called, is also the first Vice President of Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF. He spoke with WALE JOSEPH about the just concluded FIBA-Africa Zone 3 Club Women Champions’ Cup qualifiers.

The FIBA-Africa Zone 3 Club Women Champions’ Cup qualifiers have just ended, what is your impression about the qualifiers?
Kano State has proven they are a good host, they have made their country (Nigeria) proud. We are determined to succeed in zone 3. We played only two games, the first game on Friday and the other one yesterday, with First Bank Basketball club winning both games against Sunshine Angels of Akure. They will, alongside CAS 2 Basketball club that also won both games in Cote d’Ivoire against ABC Basketball club, will represent the zone in the forthcoming FIBA-Africa Champions club championship for women.

Why was it that only two teams competed in Kano State?
We could not find a sponsor for the qualifiers in time and five clubs had registered for the zonal elimination. There were three from Nigeria and two from Cote d’Ivoire, but none of them was ready to sponsor the qualifiers. We got a letter from FIBA-Africa which stated that if we did not hold the qualifiers, the zone will not be represented in the finals of the Women’s Club this year. Don’t forget that First Bank Basketball club of Lagos are the defending champions, which means they would not be able to defend their title. Therefore, we decided to go all out to look for sponsorship from individuals and corporate organisations. Luckily for us, some individuals and First Bank PLC came to our rescue. Knowing that the finals of the main FIB-Africa Championship will kick off on 19 of this month in Tunisia, there was no time for us to bring all the teams to one venue for the qualifiers due to logistics.
If we decided to stage the qualifiers in Cote d’Ivoire, Nigerian clubs will have to go there, come back to the country after the qualifiers, before going to Tunisia again for the main championship.
To avoid that we decided, with the backing of FIBA-Africa, to host the qualifiers in both countries for the clubs in each country to slug it out and come out with one team each. Everything was done according to the rules and regulations of FIBA. One of the clubs in Nigeria, First Deepwater Basketball Club, who are the Nigerian league champions had to withdraw at the last minute due to some unforeseen circumstances and short notice for the qualifiers.

Is it true that the loser in Kano will get a wild card ?
There is only one wild card and we have been lobbying FIBA-Africa for it. They have promised to give it to us but I don’t know whether Ivorian teams are also interested. I just had a meeting with the two teams from Nigeria and they have given their words that if they are given the chance, they will participate. If you recall, First Bank got a wild card last year and they were the eventual winner of the tournament. We are going to push harder for a Nigerian team to get it. I am not promising them, but I have been on FIBA-Africa’s neck to give us the nod.

Did First Bank PLC sponsor the qualifiers?
First Bank PLC told us that they don’t want to be regarded as the sponsor, but were only assisting us. Oba Ikhide, the chairman of the First Bank team, told us that it’s their company’s corporate social responsibility. We are very grateful to the bank and other individuals that assisted us. But for their support, the zone would have lost out. There wouldn’t have been an opportunity for them to participate in the main finals. This would have affected their chances of playing among the best clubs in the continent.

TANZANIA : Tanzania rally to beat Comoros 57-51 in rematch

By Brown Msyani

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania woke up from Saturday’s slumber to edge out Comoros 57-51 in a friendly match at the National Indoor Stadium yesterday.

The two sides clashed on Saturday and the visitors outdid Tanzania with a 65-55 victory.
Cheered by a scanty crowd, the home team got the game underway with a clear intent of revenging the defeat.

Led by Vijana City Bulls guard, Alphonce Kasekwa, dominated the first quarter and managed to take a 14-6 lead.
The Comoros stepped up a gear, but Tanzania stood firm and until the interval, they were leading by 30-20 points.
Comoros changed their tactics in the third quarter and the changes paid off as they overturned the lead with great accuracy.
Maamoumme Daniel led the visitors’ to take a 40-34 lead until the end of the quarter.
Tanzania responded strongly in the final quarter to post 22 more points while restricting their opponents to 11 points.
Mohamed Ally Dibo, who buried 14 points and Comorian Daniel who also notched 14 points were the match’s top scorers.
Mohamed Yusuf scored 12 points for Tanzania while playmaker Youssouf Abdullah also bagged 12 points for the visitors.
Tanzania head coach Bahati Mgunda lauded players of both sides for playing a tactical game.

UGANDA : Falcons pay price for ‘mercenaries’

Written by Felix Eupal http://www.observer.ug

Early this year when former MVP Stephen Omony parted ways with Mountain Dew Falcons citing failure to pay his wages, several pundits labeled him a “traitor” for walking out on the club that made him.

His departure was followed by a mass exodus of players like the Malinga brothers (Henry and Eric), Isaac Lugudde, Edwin Kateregga, Sande Okot and Geoffrey Soro.

However, Falcons filled that void by looking beyond the borders. They recruited Mike Buzangu, Richard Omondi, Suudi Ulanga, Karim Nkusi, Cedric Sinarinzi, Bieuenvue Ngandu and Albert Lukunja.

The cosmopolitan look ensured that the six-time champions lived up to their billing and not only took the league by storm, winning all but one in the first round, they did it in dominant fashion with big margins not to mention the eye-catching slums and blocks.

That was the case before hell broke loose in the second round. Several players started complaining of late arrival of wages and along the way, a few sat out key matches.

Falcons ended the second round with four losses but Mike Buzangu and Ngandu walked out before the playoffs citing wage arrears while Nkusi and Cedric Sinarinzi followed suit after Game 3 of the 5-match series.

That’s when Falcons switched attention to the local players like 2003 MVP Sam Obol (though he lacked fitness), Peter Elungat, Ronnie Kalule, and Rogers Sserunyigo.

However, it was too little too late since the quartet had little playing time in the regular season as their rustiness on the court suggested.

The climax came last Friday when Falcons bowed out of the playoffs 1-3 to Dmark Power in the best of five series. Omony, who watched from the stands, looked as if he was vindicated.

Already, Uganda Christian University, which bankrolls UCU Canons, is enticing with Ulanga with a scholarship offer, while Warriors have their eyes on star man Richard Omondi.

Given that the pair has been Falcons’ best players, they now have to get back to the drawing board to find a way of rejuvenating the team. For now, it’s back to square one.


14 November 2010

UGANDA : Power, UCU reach final

Falcons’ Omondi (down) is consoled by Power assistant coach Brian Wathum. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA


Today at Lugogo
Warriorsv UCU (8pm)
KCCv A1 (6pm)
Today at YMCA
Div. II:
Heatersv Gulu (4pm)
(Gulu, Heaters tied 1-1)
Falcons68-86 Power
KIU 53-71 UCU
(Power, UCU clinch series 3-1)
Div II:
MBC 58-71 Rhinos
(Rhino clinch series 2-0)
Div III:
Kings61-55 UCU JV
(UCU, Kings tied 1-1)

One half of the men’s and women’s MTN-Fuba League finals was completed on Friday night as DMark Power and UCU Lady Canons made huge statements about their title credentials.

Just like when they won their last titles in 2008, Power and UCU were in total demolition mode to rout Mountain Dew Falcons 86-68 and KIU Rangers 71-53 to take their respective best-of-five semifinal series 3-1.

The only difference between the two finalists was the weapons they required in returning to the final at the MTN-NCS Arena Lugogo with UCU virtually riding on Lorraine Akinyi whereas it was another dominant performance for Power to defeat Falcons for the fifth time in six games this season.

Power’s depth triumphed over a thin opponent. Isaac Afidra had 19 points and 11 rebounds to start the annihilation before Joseph Ikong (15), Richard Balemwa (12) and Emmanuel Enabu (10) ran riot in making 29 of 56 from the field in comparison to 15 from 39 for Falcons. “I got greedy because I was hungry for this win,” Afidra said. But perhaps the most telling stat was Power picking 47 rebounds as opposed to Falcons’ 37. “Rebounding has always been our main focus this year.

In the past, many teams scored against us on second chances,” the forward added. The six-time champions are known for rising in adversity but their story came to a forgettable end even after they led 20-15 in the first period before succumbing 22-15, 24-19 and 25-19 in the subsequent three.

No one can forget the absence of Bienvenue Ngandu and Mike Buzangu. The duo’s exit over unpaid wages prior to the play-offs left Falcons very thin on quality.

Hard as Richard Osano Omondi fought for his 22 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, definitive support only came in from Sudi Ulanga (17). Emmanuel Ateng’s (11) powerful slam following a drive into the Power defence in the fourth was good enough consolation with the entire crowd applauding him.

Earlier, Akinyi had 31 points and 14 rebounds to lift UCU beyond the hurdle that evaded them last year.

In today’s crunch game, UCU Canons must dig into their reserves to erase Wednesday’s morale-sapping 96-49 loss to Kyambogo Warriors. The latter lead the series 2-1. Similarly, KCC Leopards and A1 Challenge clash in the women’s division with the former leading ahead of game four.

KENYA : Champions Eagle Wings in flying start

National women’s basketball league champions Eagle Wings on Saturday made a good start in the quarter-final play-offs, whitewashing Mennonites 91-22 in a dull Game One tie of the best-of-three series at the Nyayo National Stadium.

In the men’s Division One play-off opening matches, Ulinzi Warriors kept clean sheets as they humiliated World Hope 71-44 in Game One while Mennonites also made a bright start, defeating Nairobi Aviation 70-56.

Provincial league champions

At Railways Club, Kenya Airports Authority were crowned provincial league champions. They beat Mombasa-based Kenya Navy 66-44 in an entertaining final.

Wings, shaping up to represent Kenya in the Africa Club Championship in Tunis, Tunisia, next week despite facing financial hiccups, had no opposition from Mennonites, whom they had punished twice in the regular season.

After finishing second on 33 points to qualify for the eight-team play-offs, Wings needed early baskets from Mildred Akinyi, Samba Mjomba and Silalei Agalo to lead 20-8 in the first quarter.

Playing in a poorly attended tie, Wings, who last year became the only self-supporting team to have won the league title,rocked the weak Mennonites 12-1 in the second quarter.

They led 32-9 athalf-time after Mennonites had only managed a mere disappointing free throw scored by Leila Hussein in the entire 10-minute-long second quarter.

Unbeaten record

On resumption, Wings, who had Juma Kent taking charge as coach with veteran Thomas “Smarts” Olumbo concentrating on the team statistics, improved scoring through US-based Rose Ouma, Rebecca Sarange and Angela Okoth.

Wings ran roughshod over over Mennonites 21-4 and finished them off with a huge 38-9 beating in the last quarter.

Akoth hit game-high 17 points and Sarange had 15 while Ouma and Agalo each fired 10 for Wings, who completed the regular-season unbeaten.

13 November 2010

TANZANIA : City Bulls rally to hold ABC 50-50

Dar es Salaam. Vijana City Bulls rallied to hold ABC to a 50-50 draw in pre-season friendly match at the Twalipo courts in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.

The match served as a build-up ahead of the Regional Basketball League (RBA) opening next month at the National Indoor Stadium in the city.
ABC looked destined for an easy victory after they put Vijana at bay for most part of the third quarter.
The army team posted a convincing 18-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, and kept on scoring almost at will for a 30-18 half time lead.
Looking unperturbed, City Bulls moved up a gear and managed to reduce the deficit to 40- 35 at the end of the third quarter.
Vijana were down by a half basketball eight seconds to the final whistle. Mohammed Ally “Dibo” leveled maters in the last second to force the game to 50-all at the end.
Ephraim Mwaipungu posted 15 points for ABC while his teammate Gilbert Batungi added 10.
Dibo, who returned to his former team after a professional career in Uganda, penned 12 points for City Bulls.
Later, Jeshi Stars defeated Vijana Queens 56-17 in the women series at the same venue yesterday. .Jeshi Stars are national basketball champions

(By Brown Msyani)

12 November 2010

UGANDA : Omondi key for Falcons against Power

FUBA League
Warriors 96 Canons 49
(Warriors lead series 2-1)
Women: KCC 64 A1 62
(KCC lead series 2-1)

Today, Men:
Falcons v Power
(Power lead series 2-1)
Women: KIU v UCU
(UCU lead series 2-1)

RICHARD Omondi will have to shake off a fever if he is to help the Falcons avoid elimination when they take on Power in Game 4 of the FUBA playoffs semi-finals today at Lugogo.

Power lead the best-of-five series 2-1 and victory will take them to the finals for the third straight year. Bernice Nkunda’s charges have the momentum after winning Game 3 78-69 and the Falcons must put on a forceful display to level the series.

However, Omondi must be in perfect condition for that to happen. The talisman has been the best player in the playoffs, averaging a double-double every game. He sunk a game-high 26 points when the Falcons defeated Power in Game 2.

But he doesn’t see his battle with malaria as a serious challenge.

“I have been struggling with sickness but it can’t stop me from playing,” he said late Wednesday night. “I’ll be fine.”

Without him Power would almost have an easy time as they did when Omondi missed much of the two teams’ second leg regular-season match due to injury. Power won 80-61.

Meanwhile, the UCU Lady Canons are favourites to knock the KIU Rangers out in the women playoffs when the two meet for Game 4 of their semi-finals. UCU lead the series 2-1.

Mismatch at Lugogo
The Kyambogo Warriors completely embarrassed the UCU Canons with a 96-49 rout in Game 3 of their semi-finals. After the Canons scored the first basket of the match, they collapsed and the Warriors showed no mercy.

Eric Malinga and Steven Okias scored 20 apiece for Kyambogo while Ronnie Kasewu and Martin Okwako added 15 and 10 respectively.

Meanwhile, Becky Akullo sunk two points in the last 10 seconds for KCC Leopards 64-62 win over A1 Challenge in Game 3. Hatima Kassim had a game-high 20 but could not help A1 from going 2-1 behind in the series.

KENYA : ICC basketball team may pull out of play-offs

By CAXTON APOLLO aayienga@yahoo.co.uk

The International Christian Centre men’s basketball team has threatened to pull out of the national league play-offs which start on Friday unless they secure sponsorship to travel to Mombasa.

South Africa-trained coach Faustin Mgendi has appealed to the ICC church congregation to come to their rescue by contributing towards their trip to the Coastal city to meet hosts Kenya Ports Authority on November 20.

Mgendi said ICC, who qualified for the eight-team play-off quarter-finals after finishing fifth with 33 points, will need Sh100,000 for transport and accommodation the two opening matches against KPA at the Makande gymnasium.

He said ICC team will have no option but to withdraw from the play-offs should they fail to get financial assistance in good time.

“We have been experiencing financial problems after the church stopped its support when we had geared up to win the championship. We therefore appeal for the well wishers to salvage the situation,” said Mgendi.

Skipped match, lost points to cut costs

The coach further disclosed that ICC had deliberately skipped their return leg match against KPA at KCB sports club to avoid the cost of the trip to Mombasa but still the strategy failed to solve their financial problems.

Despite forfeiting the two points, ICC still finished the regular season in fifth position, which meant that they were to face fourth-placed KPA.

Mgendi said ICC, who were fourth last year after losing 77-68 to Co-operative Bank, had their good performance interrupted following the unavailability of their Shauri Moyo training venue which is being used as a centre for the national schools examinations.

Champions Kenya Commercial Bank Lions will open their title campaign against Strathmore University in Game One at the Nyayo National Stadium at 4pm on Friday.

The bankers emerged winners in the regular season with 41 points while coach Tony Ochieng’s varsity students survived by a whisker, scooping the eighth spot with 31 points.

Women’s reigning champions Eagle Wings, who topped the 10-team table with 35 points, will start as hot favourites in their opener against a weak Mennonites side.

Unstoppable in their bid to return

Ulinzi Warriors, who look unstoppable in their bid to return to the Premier League next year, will entertain World Hope in the lower competition’s play-offs opener while runner-up Mennonites, who have 43 points, face sixth-ranked Nairobi Aviation.

Full fixtures

Friday: Ulinzi Warriors v World Hope (10am), Mennonites v Nairobi Aviation (12pm), Eagle Wings v Mennonites (2pm), KCB Lions v Strathmore University (4pm);

Sunday: Parklands Baptist v Trail Blazers (9am), Nairobi Aviation v Mennonites (10.30am), Yana v Flames of the USIU-A (12pm), Strathnore v Sprite Storms (2pm) Co-op Bank v Tigers (4pm)

11 November 2010

KENYA : It's the crunch as KBF releases 12-team playoffs schedule

KCB Lions and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) top the table ahead of the start of the 2010 playoffs, which get under way this weekend with 10 matches to be played at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.

Following the completion of the regular season in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kakamega over the weekend, the stage is now set for the post-season that will determine who among the 24 participating teams takes home the national crown.

National champions KCB top the men’s standings with 41 points and were drawn to meet eighth seed Strathmore University who have vowed to upset the form book. KPA will host Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University in Mombasa.

Second place Co-operative Bank – who finished the regular season with 40 points – will take on United States International University (USIU), a team they beat most recently beat 67-61.

Posta’s last tie was an away fixture aganst KPA in Mombasa that they lost 57-75. Despite the result, they finished with 39 points and their opponents will be the uncompromising Masinde Muliro University of Agriculture and Technology (MMUST).

KPA, who finished fourth with 38 points, will take on International Christian Centre (ICC) whose ill-advised move to skip their tie against Lomboritz so as not to draw the porters has turned out to be just what they did not want – a trip to the coastal city.

Meanwhile in the women’s games, after bagging 35 points in the regular season, leaders KPA will host Kenya College of Acountancy (KCA) University, who barely survived with 20 points.

Reigning champions Eagle Wings finished on 33 points and didn’t lose once aside from forfeiting against KPA. They next have a date with seventh place Mennonites.

Yana are third on 31 points and will take on USIU Flames.

The most intriguing game of the women’s playoffs pits two teams that at times even train together – Strathmore University and Sprite Storms, who were separated by just one point in the regular season (29 and 28 respectively).

In the lower division, Ulnzii Warriors who pounded every team on sight and ended their 24 games with a clean run posting maximum 48 points play World Hope. Mennonites square off against Nairobi Aviation College (NAC) who finished with 36 points.

Third placed Parklands Baptists on 42 points meet Trailblazers who are on 39 while Nakuru Club ( 40) complete the fixtures with a match against fifth seed Kisumu Lakeside with 39 in Nakuru.

FIBA Africa

BOTSWANA : Troopers crowned basketball champions

Correspondent - Mmegi 10/11/2010

FRANCISTOWN: Troopers have successfully defended the men's league title and are now top seeds for the national championship to be held next weekend. Troopers clinched the title with two games left after collecting 30 points from 16 outings. The Gaborone side lost twice to army boys BDF V and Cadets but sealed the title with a 92-80 win over Eagles over the weekend.Francistown side, Splinters are second with their outstanding fixture being a match against city rivals, Flames.

Splinters have 28 points and have lost six times during the season. Although Splinters can finish on 30 points, they have an inferior goal difference and the head-to-head meetings favour Troopers. The remaining teams will now shift their focus on securing a spot in the national championships. Competition is expected to be stiff this weekend as Splinters, Cadets, Eagles, Flames, Police and Spartans battle out for the national championship slots. Spartans face Troopers in a tough encounter seeking to avoid defeat for the first time in four meetings.

Flames will lock horns with Police knowing that a win can take them to the national championship. Splinters will need to win to avoid meeting Troopers in the semi-finals. The top four teams qualify for the national championships to be held at the UB Courts. In the women's league, three teams are fighting for top spot. BDF V, NIIT and Relics will battle it out for the right to play Police in the women's national championship final. Relics appear to be favourites to progress to the final.

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