31 January 2012

UGANDA : Afidra finally wins MVP award

Twelve years after he was first nominated for the Most Valuable Player (MVP), Isaac Afidra finally won the most prestigious award in local basketball.

Afidra beat two-time winner and DMark Power teammate Ben Komakech to the 2011 MTN-Fuba League playoffs MVP diadem during the annual dinner at Imperial Royale Hotel on Saturday night.
“I dedicate this to Tyler,” he said. “He has something new to play with.” Baby Tyler was born last month, just 48 hours after Afidra led Power to a first successful defence of the national title and fifth in total.
The two nominees walked together to pick the award. Afidra first joined Power in December 1999 and was first nominated for MVP in 2000 losing out to Wilbrod Oketcho (RIP).
Four years ago, he again lost out to Komakech and the same happened last year.
The go-ahead three-pointer to give Power a 97-96 lead in the decisive Game Seven must have helped to tilt the balance in his favour. It was from that moment that Warriors crumbled and Power gained the impetus to claim one of the most thrilling finals in the history of Ugandan basketball.

The former KIU Titan star scored 29 points and 15 rebounds with Komakech putting the finishing touch to the 99-97 victory over Warriors for a series 4-3 win.
Through the series, the forward scored 66 points and 76 rebounds including four double-doubles in the final four games of the thrilling series. Komakech, a guard, had 121 points and 32 assists.
 Despite previously not awarding foreigners with individual accolades, UCU Lady Canons’ Kenyan centre Purity Adhiambo took the women’s gong. She helped her side sweep KCC Leopards 4-0.
Warrior’s Eric Malinga was named regular season MVP ahead of Stephen Omony (Miracle Eagles) but Ivan Enabu, also a Warrior, was controversially not nominated at all.
KCC’s Martha Soigi took the women’s equivalent. Malinga and Soigi also clinched the respective top scorers’ awards. The emcee Carol Mugasha didn’t nail this as the announcement of Afidra before the other 31 honours killed the mood entirely. The entertainment hardly left any smiles.

30 January 2012

NIGERIA : First Bank Coach Ready for Nigerian Open

Chief Coach of First Bank Basketball Club of Lagos, Adewunmi Aderemi has expressed readiness ahead of next month's Nigeria Open Basketball championship for Women billed for Abuja .

Last year, First Bank came second at the 17th Inter-club Basketball Club Championship for women, having been defeated by Inter-clube of Angola by 81-55 points at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National stadium Lagos.
According to the veteran coach, this year's competitions will be taken with all seriousness especially the forthcoming basketball competition holding in February.
According to him: "The programme for this year's competition is out, but we are going to start training on Monday ahead of next month competition and we hope to do our best by winning the competition while the Women's League kicks-off by March.
"Already, we have put behind us our loss at the Fiba competition last year, and we are also determined to do our best , as we aim at winning the forthcoming competition in February .
Most especially, our target is to win the continental championship this year and also to do well in the Women's League. My girls will be using the league as one of the preparations towards the Championship," Aderemi said.

UGANDA : Malinga, Afidra Match Up

ERIC Malinga and Isaac Afidra have matched up in many battles over the years.
On Saturday night, the two men shared the highest individual honours in Ugandan basketball at the FUBA Awards Gala at Imperial Royale Hotel.
Malinga was named the 2011 men's regular season most valuable (MVP) while Afidra claimed MVP men's top division Finals.
Kyambogo Warriors Malinga edged out surprise nominee Steven Omony of the Miracle Eagles while Afidra pipped Power team-mate Ben Komakech, who could have easily claimed the award after top-scoring in the finals, which his team won 4-3.
KCC Leopards' Martha Soigi claimed the women's regular season MVP award ahead of UCU Canons Maureen Amoding, who also lost the Finals accolade to team-mate Purity Odhiambo.
There was similar recognition for players in the men's division two and division three categories as well as others for teams and individuals. KIU's Nimrod Kaboha was named coach of the year even if none of his the two sides did anything spectacular.
The Titans didn't make the men's top division playoffs while the Rangers made it to the women's postseason but Kaboha, no doubt one of the best coaches around, could not prevent his team from being swept by UCU. Power players and fans felt their coach Bernice Nkunda, who defended the men's championship for the first time in the club's history, should have taken this prize.
The coaches' award was not the only major controversy, though. Many were perplexed that there was no tribute John Simbwa, the late Falcons founder who arguably did as much for local basketball.
The event lacked a climax. For instance, the MVP honours come first rather than last.

26 January 2012

ZIMBABWE : H'landers' fine run continues

By Mbonisi Mabhena

Highlanders (M) continued their trailblazing run in weekend basketball matches as they brushed aside Steelers to win 97-59 to stay at the top of the log standings. The in-form Michael Zvoushe was the match's top scorer as he bagged 19 points in a match played at Bulawayo Club for the Disabled (BCD) Courts. Lakers recorded a 20-0 win courtesy of a walkover victory over Hawks who failed to pitch up.
Unicorns (M) from the Midlands beat Oilers 99-52 with the Midlands side's duo of Tatenda Tswatswa and Blessing Chidimu being tied on 20 points as the highest scorers for the winners. Kings (M) triumphed over Stars 77-57 in a tightly contested match in which at some stage Kings' Garth Hussey played a starring role with 24 points. Highlanders (W) also recorded a massive win when they easily trounced Stars 95-9 with Bosso's Jackie Phenduka top scoring for the weekend with 29.
In the Giants (W) versus Steelers match, the Bulawayo girls won 45-31. 'The matches are tough as can be seen by the tight log standings at the moment and slip-ups are a luxury teams cannot afford, at the moment things are not too bright for us but we are still there in the league race and we did not lose too badly this weekend,' said ZB Titans team manager and Bulawayo Basketball Association spokesperson Charles Ndlovu after the Oilers-Unicorns match which was the last of the day on Saturday.

Giants (M) 68, ZB Titans 53; ALCC (M) 20, Sixers 0; Kings (M) 77, Stars 57, Highlanders (M) 97, Steelers 52, Oilers (M) 52, Unicorns 99; Giants (W) 45, Steelers 31; Lakers (W) 20, Hawks 0; Highlanders (W) 95, Stars 9

24 January 2012

SENEGAL : So many talents, very few titles

Let’s have a look at what makes Senegal international Mouhammad Faye a unique player.

Standing 2.08m tall, he is the kind of forward that head coaches really dream of having in ambitious teams.
The 26-year-old is hardworking, humble, exceptionally versatile for a player his size, is a good three-point shooter and, above all, is seriously committed to the game.
Faye is well placed to become one of the greatest players in his country's basketball history.
And he does not refuse a challenge, whether with his so-often criticised Senegal Basketball Federation, or at club level, for whom he shows no sign of stopping.
Unsurprisingly, last summer, Alain Weisz - the former France coach at EuroBasket 2001 and 2003 and coach of Senegal at the AfroBasket 2011 - did not hesitate in offering him a contract to play for his French Ligue Nationale de Basket (LNB) team, Hyeres-Toulon.
Faye said yes and is now living his first European professional experience in Mediterranean town of Toulon, where he wants more than to just be a leading scorer.
Hyeres-Toulon is struggling and Faye hopes for better days to come.
After a collegial career in the United States at the universities of Georgia Tech and Southern Methodist, followed by a stint in the NBA's D-League with Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Faye accepted Weisz’s offer and is now the second leading scorer of Hyeres-Toulon, averaging 14.6 points per game, just two points behind teammate Paccelis Morlende.
In his first year playing in Europe, the attention has also been on Faye’s future with Senegal. Will he turn his back to his national team?
No, he told me when I spoke to him a couple of days ago.
Actually he is pleased with his role in the national team: “It is great being the leader of my team as I have been able to help them out; I just want to carry on helping my country,” he said to fiba.com.

No trophies since 1997
As with Nigeria, Senegal is a country often regarded as having a large number of talented players, some of whom play in the main leagues around the world.
For various reasons, some tend to represent the country on only one or two occasions, disrupting the talented and blessed accolade.
There are exceptions, of course. In the last seven years, 36 players have represented Senegal in four AfroBasket editions and one FIBA World Championship. Faye has appeared in three tournaments since he first played for Senegal at AfroBasket 2007.
No players have been more regulars for Senegal than Maleye Ndoye and Malick Badiane, the leading rebounder at last year's AfroBasket with 11 rebounds per game.
Both players have represented the country in four AfroBasket (2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011) and the FIBA World Championship 2006.
In the last four AfroBasket editions, Senegal finished runner-up (2005), ninth (2007), seventh (2009) and fifth last year.
As host nation, Senegal won the continent's most desired basketball trophy on three occasions (1972, 1978 and 1997) and, twice as visitors to Morocco (1968 and 1980).
Historically, Egypt and Senegal are the second most titled African countries with five apiece, after 10-time winners Angola.
I asked Faye why Senegal is not winning titles.
“Because we have not been able to put all our best players together; some of our players just give up on the national team,” he replied.
Over the last five years, Faye has become highly influential for Senegal. He went from averaging 12 points per contest for the national team to becoming the top scorer at AfroBasket 2011 with 21.7 points per game.
Two years ago in Libya, he averaged 17 points per game, just two less than Senegal top-scorer Boniface Ndong, who played two games less.
With or without management issues, Faye just wants to see his country being successful.
“If we have in the squad players like Boniface [Ndong], things could have been different,” he said.
Senegal went to Madagascar with a well renewed team featuring eight players who had never played at an AfroBasket.
On Day 2 of the tournament, they did the unexpected by defeating reigning champions Angola 85-78.
Everything seemed to be on the right track for the Senegalese until they collapsed in the Quarter-Finals following a 75-59 defeat against the Ivory Coast that ended their chances of fighting for a place at the London Olympics.

What happened?
“I don’t know, maybe because of that win [against Angola] we were just so happy to get focus,” Faye said.
Learning the European game
At the time of writing this column, Toulon were bottom of LNB table with just two wins in 14 games.
Still, Faye thinks it is a question of time.
He described to me his European experience: “it is tough to play in Europe; I am still learning how to play here.
“You have got to be smart."
With Nigeria and Angola hoping to make it to London through the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Venezuela, Faye recognises it will not be an easy task.
“It is a different level of game. Perhaps Angola can do something as they are used to play these kind of tournaments, but I think it will be tough for both teams,” he offered.
Expecting to lift the African title one day, Faye paid tribute to the new champions: “Tunisia played really well and deserved it.”
Julio Chitunda

RWANDA : Tournoi MEMORIAL GISEMBE: CSK remporte la 15e édition

Avec un bon début en 2012, le CSK a réalisé son rêve de battre APR BBC lors de la finale de la 15ème édition du tournoi Mémorial GISEMBE, 66 - 49.

Chez les dames, APR a battu NUR BBC 65-49.
Au niveau des vétérans, l'équipe d’ESPOIR BBC a battu BRALIRWA 42-19.
Notez que le tournoi a enregistré la participation de 6 équipes masculines: ESPOIR BBC, APR BBC, Kigali BC, CSK BBC, MUZINGA Bc (Burundi) et les Bulls Goma (RD Congo).
Chez les dames 3 équipes ont participé: APR, Université nationale du Rwanda et du PJB Elite (RD Congo).

23 January 2012

TANZANIA : Relief as ABC hold nerve to to avenge City Bulls defeat

By Brown Msyani, The Citizen Correspondent
Dar es Salaam. ABC did what they failed to do in last season’s RBA League final– beating their arch nemesis, Vijana.
The army team recorded a sweet revenge over the reigning champions when they won a tense game 68-52 at the National Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
Emotions were expected to flare with the memory of last seasons final between these two giants in Tanzanian basketball.
They were Vijana who had everything to prove and also state their title intentions for this season and this showed throughout the game, only that luck was not on their side.
Vijana, affectionately known as City Bulls by their fans, took the first quarter 15-10, leaving ABC with a lot to think about.
ABC returned to the second quarter a stronger side and outscored the City Bulls 14-10, and by half time the scoreboard was reading 25-24 still in favour of Vijana.
Vijana will curse themselves having lost 15 penalty balls in the first two quarters, which gave ABC a lifeline.
After the recess, ABC picked from where they left off stretching Vijana to score quick points, but the latter swooped at the end of the third quarter with the scoreboard reading 15-15.
ABC came back through the inspiration of Adam Jegame and Juma Kisocky outscoring the City Bulls 19-12 in the fourth quarter.
Speaking after the match, ABC coach Leonard Kwale showered praise on his players for holding off hard-fighting Vijana.
“It is a fantastic result for us," said Kwale. " The win may have been slightly fortunate in the end, but by no means undeserved.
"At the beginning Vijana were the better team. It was clear to see that the opponents' self-confidence was high having gone into the game on the back of two wins.
"Eventually, we worked our way back into the game and we gave more than our opponents."
Meanwhile Vijana coach Bahati Mgunda conceded the defeat saying ABC executed their chances well while his lads fluffed a host of them.
“We deserved to win this match, but my players wasted many scoring chances unlike their opponents,” Mgunda said.

22 January 2012

TANZANIA : City Bulls, ABC renew rivalry

By Brown Msyani

The Citizen Correspondent
Dar es Salaam. A partisan crowd is expected at the National Indoor Stadium today when basketball giants Vijana and ABC lock horns in the RBA League match.Matches involving the two teams usually attract tens of basketball fans, mainly the youth, and today’s showdown is expected to follow that tradition. Both teams were yesterday busy, perfecting their tactics for what promises to be an exciting match.
The two teams last met in the RBA League last year at the same venue where Vijana, better known in the basketball circles as City Bulls, hit their rivals 65-58.
But Vijana should not expect an easy ride today because ABC have been very impressive this year.
Filbert Mwaipungu, one of the country’s best basketball players at the moment, is among the players Vijana must mark tightly if they want to grab the two points at stake in today’s encounter.
The other key players for ABC are Gilbert Batungi, Adamu Jegame and Juma Kisocky while Vijana will likely bank on Jacob Malenga, Mohamed Dibo and Mohamed Heri to score points.ABC will be fighting for their first victory in the league, while Vijana, who beat Pazi 61-56 in their opening match, will be seeking their second win.
Vijana coach Bahati Mgunda predicted a tough match yesterday, but remained optimistic that it would produce positive results for his team.
“ABC are a hard nut to crack when at their best as those who have seen them in action can attest,” said Mgunda.
“But our fans should expect positive results, we’re well prepared for the match,” he added.
His ABC counterpart, Leonard Kwale said his team would not afford another defeat to Vijana today.“They should expect the worst this time around. We’ll be all out for a win,” Kwale said confidently.

19 January 2012

NAMIBIA : German and Nation Basketball Federations Strengthen Bond

The Namibian Basketball Federation (NBF) and their German counterparts signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Windhoek on Monday.

This agreement is meant to formalize and extend the already existing cooperation between the two national federations and Namibia wants to continue and intensify their partnership.
Long-serving Director of Sport, Dr Vetumbuavi Veii, welcomed the strengthening of the bond between the DBB and NBF through the MoU, in addition to a bilateral agreement between the Namibian and German governments, that led to German basketball expert Frank Albin sbeing econded to Namibia since October 2009, focusing on mini basketball development.
André Scholz, Chargé d'Affaires of the German Embassy in Namibia, was pleased to see the official bilateral cooperation being extended to national federations. He further confirmed that the German Federal Foreign Office, via the German Olympic Sports
Federation (DOSB), has decided to extend the duration of the long-term project with Albin for a further two years.
The secondment of Albin as a long-term basketball expert is done within the framework of its global sports promotion programme, which supports the development of sports by, among others, dispatching sport experts, donating sport equipment and offering training courses for coaches at various sport schools and universities in Germany.
The DBB delegation is headed by Spaegele, accompanied by Regina and Gerhard Haegele, supporters and private sponsors of the Basketball Artists School (BAS) in Katutura.
During a visit to the township the German delegation met their godchildren Reuney and Helena and Basketball Artists where they handed over donations.
The Haegele couple was very touched by the performance and commitment of the Basketball Artists.
As a result of the progress and achievements made so far, 50 pairs of brand-new basketball shoes were handed over in the name of DBB President Ingo Weiss to BAS, by Joachim Spaegele.
Since February 2010, the children play every day on an outdoor court and thus the shoe wear is essential and hence very crucial for the development of the skills of the kids.

TANZANIA : Vijana forward off to Canada

By Majuto Omary

The Citizen Reporter
Dar es Salaam. Alphaeus Kisusi of Vijana will be smiling all the way to Canada after winning a glorious chance to play and study at the Newfound Memorial University.The City Bulls forward departed for Toronto yesterday having secured a three-year scholarship after passing a special basketball test.
The clinic was organised by Mambo Basketball and Tanzania Student Achievement Organisation, and conducted by a prominent trainer, Peter Benoite, from the Newfound Memorial University. Kisusi, who has cemented his national team place, eclipsed other competitors during the exercise, which also required one to possess excellent academic results. Mambo head coach Bahati Mgunda expressed his delight for Kisusi’s success and wished him to scale more heights in the energy-draining sport.
“He is such a brilliant and hard working guy. I believe he will fight his way to the most valuable league in the world, NBA. “Tanzania has a lot of gifted players who I think will follow in the footsteps of Kisusi,” he said.
The up-and-coming player won the 2011 Most Valuable Player (MVP) award after shining at the National Basketball League.Kisusi was also among the players who attended a series of clinics conducted by Hasheem Thabeet (Houston Rockets player) and Steve Smith (retired NBA star)
Besides, he was among the three boys who went to the US for further training as part of the Tanzania Basketball Federation and Coca-Cola- Sprite clinics. According to Mgunda, the programme will continue this year and more youngsters will get opportunities to study and play in Canada. “
Kisusi is a good example of how basketball can change our youth’s lives, so I call upon all parents and teachers to keep on encouraging them,” he said.Speaking before flying to Canada, Kisusi expressed his gratitude to Mambo Basketball and Newfound Memorial University for making his dream come true.

18 January 2012

KENYA : Buru Buru to open NSSA title defense against Riara

Buru Buru girls kick start the defense of the Nairobi secondary schools sports association(NSSA) girl’s basketball championshipon 25th January against Riara springs. Buru Buru the 2011 champions have been drawn in Pool A alongside Kayole, Ngara, State House Girls, LCVR and St’Georges.

This year’s league has been divided into three pools of seven teams each an indication that the players will have more games thereby an increase in competition. New entrants St Mary’s are in Pool B alongside Langata, Kianda, Moi Nairobi, Kenya High and St Austins.
There are no rule changes for the tournament and the preliminary games at the pool stage shall be played in four quarters of 12 minutes running time with the clock being stopped during free throws.
The first leg ends on February 10 and the second starts on February 15. The top two teams in each pool will automatically qualify for the quarter finals with the best third-placed teams also proceeding to the knock-out stage.

The first matches will be played on Wednesday January 25th.
POOL A :Buruburu, Kayole , Ngara, State House , L.C.V.R. ,St. Georges, Riara Springs
POOL B :Langata, Pangani, Kianda, Moi Nairobi,Kenya High, St.Mary’s, St Austins.
POOL C :Arya Parklands ,P.B., St.Elizabeth, Malezi, Makini, Mt.Laverna, Hospital Hill

17 January 2012

KENYA : KBF scheduled to go to polls on April 14 .

KENYA Basketball Federation (KBF) will go to the polls on April 14, a top official revealed yesterday. In view of the polls, KBF secretary Vitalis Gode has directed the branches to conduct their elections by March 31. He said exercise in the branches will be supervised by the provincial sports officers or any appointed federation official. In a circular to all the branches after an executive meeting held in Nairobi over the weekend, Gode said the referees commission and the coaches commission will also elect new office bearers.

He said, “Sitting branch/commissions officials takes responsibility of Informing all the stakeholders the date, venue and time of the meeting, issuance of nomination forms and collection of nomination fees, plus travel and subsistence expenses of the returning officers.” It was not clear from the meeting who among the executive members will seek re-election but an inside source said none of them has any plans of opting out. Only the position of second vice chairman Chris Kinyua remains unclear.

TANZANIA : Chui scalp Police, Magone edge out Oilers in thriller

Dar es Salaam. Chui put up a spirited fight yesterday to hit Police 55-32 in an exciting RBA League match at the National Indoor Stadium.

It was the second win for Chui in three matches. In their opening match, they beat Oilers 57-47 before going down 57-51 to Pazi in their second game at the same venue.
In yesterday’s match, Chui, led by Doto Charles and Joseph Mbozi, enjoyed the lion’s share of the game, but had trouble in breaking down the law-enforcers’ defence built around Issa Kwise and Furaha Peter.
Earlier, Oilers tumbled 76-71 to Magone in a thrilling match at the same venue. (By Imani Makongoro)

15 January 2012

RWANDA : Malinga is still considering options-Owour

By Bonnie Mugabe

Giants APR basketball club are still waiting on Ugandan born and Kampala’s Warriors playmaker Eric Malinga to wieigh his options of featuring for the military side this year.
APR basketball coach Cliff Owour told Sunday Sport yesterday, “We are waiting on Malinga to make a choice on joining APR. We have set our intentions known so we are waiting for feedback,”
“We believe to get a conclusive response on Malinga’s transfer before the end of next week,” added Owour.
Malinga is one of the top basketball players needed by the military side to beef up their side ahead of their busy schedule this season.
Malinga was a four-time champion with Falcons before moving to Warriors at the start of last season.
Though the local basketball league was marred with complications last season, the military side has currently finished the league unbeaten with 28 points.
Complications rose after rivals CSK featured an ineligible player in one of their fixtures.
APR who finished second last year behind KCB has great ambitions this year. According to Owour, they want to lift the regional title which will qualify them to compete in the Africa club championship were they will be gunning for top honours.

13 January 2012

TANZANIA : Airwing out to prove a point as basketball league gathers pace

The RBA League returns to centre court today with Prisons taking on Airwing at the National Indoor Stadium.Last year was a trying season for Airwing having struggled for form and lost most of their games. But after going to the drawing board for a long time, fans do not expect the same weak team.

And today Airwing would be looking to upstage their favourite rivals in a match that would give a clue of how they would fare this year.For Prisons, Airwing do not seem to be a threatening side having terrorised them last season.
Other matches today are Magone versus Police while Chui will clash with Pazi at the same venue.Oilers versus Savio will be another exhilarating match considering the rivalry of the teams.
However, Savio go to the court with a psychological advantage having recorded a resounding 86-43 win over Police in their opening game on Saturday. (Brown Msyani)

UGANDA : Amoding salutes teammate Adhiambo

Maureen Amoding is a teammate to Purity Adhiambo but finds no problems in being part of her ‘fan club’. The latter is celebrating winning the Nile Special-Uspa Female Basketball Player of the Year award and Amoding, a shooting guard with UCU Lady Canons wants to join in.
“I am very happy for Adhiambo. She played a key role in the success of our championship battle,” Amoding said. If Adhiambo needed someone to hold her dress when she strides the Golf Course Hotel red carpet on January 27 when the sports scribes hold the annual gala, Amoding would do.

The coach, too, Dale Sculy wouldn’t mind the job. “I am very surprised to win this prestigious award because it’s my first time to feature in the Ugandan league,” Adhiambo, a Kenyan, noted.
“I am thankful to the Almighty, my coach, team mates and all the people who supported and voted for me.” The former Rwandan APR and Strathmore University player led UCU to a 4-0 sweep of KCC Leopards to defend their title.
Instrumental during the MTN-Fuba league second round and the play-offs game series, the 19-year-old led by example. Adhiambo beat Amoding and KCC’s Flavia Oketcho to the prestigious vote.
She won’t be alone in the lights as the oldest sports scribes’ body will also reward 25 other winners on the glamorous night.

12 January 2012

UGANDA : Blick brothers cross to Falcons

Blick brothers Norman and Donald will feature for record national basketball league champions Falcons in the upcoming season. The duo signed two-year contracts with Falcons on Tuesday, ending their relationship with Miracle Eagles.

In their one season at Miracle, the brothers led the side to a maiden appearance in the MTN-Fuba League playoffs, losing 3-1 to eventual champions Power in the semifinals.
Before moving to Miracle, they had been with Power for the previous two years, winning the title in the final year. “They have signed,” a delighted Dennis Mbidde, the Falcons chairman, said.

Despite winning four titles over the past decade with Sky Jammers, Nkumba Marines (2) and Power, this could be the biggest challenge for the Blicks. “I have joined a big club in Falcons and know what is expected of me,” Norman said. Falcons, six-time league champions, are coming off their worst season in living memory where they lost founder John Ssimbwa and failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in their history.
“It was a hard year because of the death of Ssimbwa. I had to learn on the job,” Mbidde, more familiar with football giants SC Villa, noted.
Ssimbwa handed club chairmanship to Mbidde a few months before his death in June last year. “The main thing is I still think my team was good enough to get to the playoffs. I plan to sign six players.”
Mbidde reaffirmed club fans that none of Abdullahi Ramadhan, Richard Omondi and Peter Elungat is leaving. “I have heard rumours that some clubs want Richie (Omondi) but he has a four-year contract with us which has two years to run,” Mbidde noted.
He was, however, non-committal on whether Kenyan Philip Ameny will return after missing the latter part of last season and reiterated the need to extend Hamza Nyambogo’s stay as coach. Nyambogo signed a short term deal which has expired. “We will try to keep both of them here,” he said.

LESOTHO : Shines remain top of basketball log

Shines Basketball Club remain top of the National Men’s Basketball League despite losing 28-21 to Lerotholi Polytechnic last Sunday.

Shines went into the weekend round of matches, one point ahead of title-rivals, KTA All Stars, but the two sides are now on 15 points apiece, after the latter won all their two fixtures—60-20 against Roma Boys and 40-33 versus Bashana Baeso. Meanwhile, in their other weekend clash, Shines were awarded maximum points after their opponents, Mafokotsane Slammers, failed to turn-up.
And just like KTA All Stars, LP—as the Lerotholi Polytechnic are famously known—were also the team to beat on the weekend, following-up on their surprise victory over the log-leaders with an emphatic 51-18 win over Lesedi.
Speaking to Public Eye on Monday this week, the Lesotho Basketball Association competitions manager, Bokang Sehlabaka, said the weekend results had shown how competitive the league had become.
“The high level of competition continues to surprises us. No one expected LP to beat Shines, but they did just that,” Sehlabaka said, noting how KTA All Stars were top of the log from the beginning until November 5, when Shines overtook them.
“KTA All Stars must now beat Shines in the second round, if they are to be crowned 2011 champions. But Shines beat All Stars in the first round, which makes the clash even more exciting.”
Meanwhile, last weekend’s matches marked the end of the league programme’s first round. The second round, Sehlabaka said, starts in January next year.

11 January 2012

UGANDA : KCC, Marines to recruit nine star players

KCC Leopards and Nkumba Marines head coach Timothy Odeke will recruit nine players to join his squads as they prepare for this year’s MTN-Fuba League.

Odeke has decided to strengthen the roster by adding four new players in the ladies team, KCC, and five players in the Mens’ squad, Nkumba Marines.
KCC reached the women’s final last season but were swept 4-0 by UCU Lady Canons, whereas Nkumba flirted with relegation mid-way only to hold on for a slot in the men’s division one.
Both teams, with two titles to their name apiece, have begun their training sessions and will be joined by the new members late next month.
“We are planning to officially announce their names around late February since we are still in talks with some of them,” Odeke said.
Nkumba lost forward Philip Wakimwero (work) and guard Ladislas Ikungura was in and out of the team, often spending time back home in Tanzania.

RWANDA : Hoops league set for February

By Ostine Arinaitwe

KIGALI Basketball club will begin their title defense next month when the hoops league throws off.
According to the Secretary General of the Basketball Federation Jean Lucien Mugabo, the body’s General Assembly will meet this morning to set dates for the start of the league, playoff games and elections for the vacant posts of President, Vice President and Legal Advisor.
“The executive committee will meet tomorrow (today) to decide on a number of things like setting up dates for the league start, playoff games and elections for the vacant positions,” Mugabo said, adding that the federation’s attempts to secure a sponsor for the league have been futile.
The play-off games are a traditional curtain raiser for the league and will involve clubs that finished in the top four slots; Kigali Basketball Club, APR, Espoir and KIE (Kigali Institute of Education).

10 January 2012

TANZANIA : Vijana Hang On to Edge Out Pazi

Dar es Salaam — Vijana underlined their quest for the 2012 RBA League title after edging out their eternal rivals Pazi 61-56 in an exciting match yesterday.

Basketball fans at the National Indoor Stadium were on their feet throughout the game as both teams played their hearts out, and it was difficult to predict the winner.
Vijana, fondly referred to as Red Bulls, made a bright start, commanding the proceedings with swift but accurate passes to take a 13-8 first quarter lead.
The second half was even more thrilling. Pazi, looking unperturbed, pressed upfront relentlessly in search of points. After a tight battle, they managed to take the quarter 9-7. In the third Pazi, led by Ladi Ikunguru, started where they had left off and they seemed destined for a win when they took the quarter 26-16. Ikunguru, one of the best basketball players in the country at the moment, was in his best form and Vijana had trouble in containing him, especially in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, both teams fought desperately for points, pressing upfront in turn throughout the quarter to the delight of a partisan crowd at the venue.After a nail-biting battle early in the last quarter, Pazi slightly lost steam later allowing the well-drilled 'Red Bulls' to take the end-to-end quarter 26-13.
Vijana had to thank Jacob Malenga for the hard-earned victory as the evergreen player's pace and accurate passes briefly put Pazi at bay towards the end of the game.Mwalimu Heri of Vijana, whose combination with Ikunguru worked impressively upfront, scored 15 points for his team, and his compatriot Sud Abdulrazak had 12.
"I am very humbled to help my team beat Pazi and I must be thankful to my team mates. It was a tough match," said Heri shortly after the match."This is a clear indication that we are steadily restoring our dented glory," he added. Ikunguru was a notable player for Pazi. He netted 13 for the falling giants.

UGANDA : Blick Brothers On Verge of Joining Falcons

The Blick brothers - Norman and Donald - could be playing for a third different side in as many years if negotiations with record national basketball league champions Falcons bear fruit.

They spent last season with Miracle Eagles, helping the team reach the playoffs for the first time having signed from the then champions DMark Power. The latter defended their title without the duo.
Daily Monitor has reliably learnt that the Blicks, along with their agent Joshua Ssentongo, met Falcons chairman Dennis Mbidde on Friday.
Despite competition from other clubs, Falcons are favourites to sign them though Mbidde is yet to give his official stand. "I will give you an update on Monday (today)," Mbidde said in a text message.
But the players' agent Ssentongo is confident deals will soon be sealed. "The contracts are ready and all that remains is for one of the Falcons directors to sign. According to me, it's a good deal," Ssentongo said.
Former MVP Norman confirmed he has held talks with Falcons. "I have spoken to so many clubs including Falcons, Warriors and Power," Norman said. "I have not signed with anyone yet."
The two brothers who have won titles with Sky Jammers (2001), Nkumba Marines (2005 and 2006) and Power (2009) are still Miracle players, according to the team. "Norman is still with Eagles and even trained with us today (Saturday). I also had a chat with him," Miracle team manager Chris Kyebambe said.
The duo signed a one-year deal with Miracle last year to join former Falcons' ace Stephen Omony and led the Rubaga-based club to the semifinals, losing 3-1 to Power.
Now, things could be falling apart for Miracle as guard Francis Kasekende, a key figure in their impressive run, is also in the frame for a return to former side Warriors. "We met the players and they want to stay. Wait for an official communication," Kyembabe said, defiantly.
At the start of last season, Miracle thought they had acquired Kenyan Richard Omondi from Falcons only for their agreement to be declared null and void.

NIGERIA : Hope for Girls Through Basketball

The quest for the next generation of female Basketball stars gets under way in Lagos with a three day camp at the Rowe Park complex under the auspices of Hope4girlsAfrica, the non-profit organization of former Nigeria Basketball International, Mobolaji Akiode.

This is third year and will include 60 girls drawn from three countries, Ghana, Benin Republic and Nigeria all aged under 17.
Mobolaji tells SuperSport.com that "Our goal has always been to support young girls through basketball and also spread the benefits of participating in sports in addition to education".
"Hope4girlsAfrica is not just about basketball we also engage our girls in social programmes targeted towards young girls during the year and at every camp, we have a life seminar sessions every day to add to the depth of the programme. "
The camp will not just be about basketball alone, but also an opportunity to address life skills.
Mobolaji represented Nigeria at the Athens 2004 Olympics and also won the 2005 African Women's Basketball Championship besides a decent career in the USA inter-collegiate circuit with Fordham University in the NCAA championship.
Her decision to quit her full-time job as an Accountant at ESPN to move back to Nigeria to launch this programme has received international acclaim with documentaries from US sports Networks.
She's also attracting good corporate and social interest and this has fueled her commitment over the last three years to give back to Africa in more ways than sports.
"Our topics of focus will be dental and oral hygiene, gender violence and rape, nutrition, HIV and aids awareness and prevention. These are issues we at Hope4girlsAfrica feel are important to the overall development of the girl child but is being neglected in school".
"We want to thank our sponsors Nike and Victoria secret that have been with

TANZANIA : JKT start title defence with win

By Brown Msyani, The Citizen Correspondent

Dar es Salaam. JKT began their title defence on a winning note after seeing off a hard fighting ABC 65-55 in the opening match of the RBA League at the National Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
Difficult to beat when in tandem, Francis Mlewa and Frank Kusiga scored 15 and 12 points respectively to guide the defending champions into a bright start.
The match was a repeat of last year’s final when JKT trounced their fierce opponents 59-37 in a tension-packed game to lift the trophy.
ABC went to the court hoping to avenge the defeat and started on a strong footing scoring droves of points in quick succession with Adam Jegame and Juma Kisocky running the show.
ABC took a deserved 19-12 lead in the first quarter, leaving the defending champions with a lot to ponder about.
JKT, however, came back fighting in the second quarter and notched four quick points that forced ABC to change their approach.
The champions managed to score 18-12, thus heading for the halftime break trailing by a point.
It proved to be a seesaw game in the third quarter with both sides outdoing opposite guards to add points, but they were ABC who won 16-15 making the scoreboard read 47-45.
JKT showed the character of the champions in the last quarter when they ran ABC ragged to score 15-8 and seal the 10-point margin win.
Kisocky grabbed 15 rebounds followed by JKT’s Frank Simkoko with seven.
“We were very poor in service and blocking in the final quarter. It is a big blow to start on a losing front, but we shall bounce back in our next game,” said ABC head coach Leonard Kwale.
His jovial counterpart Turbet Matiku said he was satisfied with his team’s general performance and hoped that they will maintain the rhythm.
“I'm happy with our victory even though we struggled in the first and third quarters.
“What was important was to make a winning start and I am confident that we’ll keep the rhythm going,” he said.
The day also saw Savio wallop Police 91-39 at the same venue while in the women’s event, Lady Lioness were too hot for Vijana Queens to handle after winning 80-56.

09 January 2012

KENYA : Nairobi Provincial League Set to Feature Two Zones

The 2012 Nairobi Provincial League will be divided into two zones to accommodate the new teams expected to join the fray, a top Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) official has said. NBA chairman Ronnie Owino said the zoning will help cut down on the number of matches in a season and ensure the league does not run beyond October of every year.

The league had 22 teams in both categories last year. He said the new season will tip off on April 14 at the Nairobi Railways Club although a number of teams yet to be determined. "We will start our programme in April with about 20 men and eight women teams. With Upper Hill School and Kenya Airways moving up to the national league, we have new teams coming in to join the show.
Other than the promoted ones, we will retain the teams we had and also include some more.We would not like to leave any team out," he said. Meanwhile, Owino confirmed Kenya will send the men and women's teams to Kampala, Uganda for the 14th edition of the East and Central Africa Inter Cities championships despite financial hardships.
The event will bring together cities from Tanzania, Southern Sudan, Somaila, Burundi, Rwanda and Host Uganda. The week long event throws off April 24. "As the defending champions in both the men and women category, we will ensure our teams go to Kampala for this championships," he said.

TANZANIA : ABC, JKT meet in RBA League opener

Brown Msyani

The Citizen Correspondent

Dar es Salaam. For basketball fans, the National Indoor Stadium is the place to be as the 2012 RBA League starts with enticing games.Defending champions JKT open their title defence campaign against ABC in a repeat of last year’s tense final.
Temeke MP Abas Mtemvu will grace the opening ceremony before the eagerly awaited tip-off.JKT, who trounced ABC 59-37 in a tension packed final, head to the courts with a psychological advantage.The reigning champions would be expecting Himidi Choka, Frank Kusiga and Francis Mlewa to do the damage once again.
However, ABC remain to be the team to beat considering the quality of their players.ABC bank on the likes of Filbert Mwaipungu, Adamu Jegame and Gilbert Batungi to avenge the defeat.
ABC head coach Leonard Kwale believes that his side can tame JKT, insisting that their intense preparations will reflect in this encounter.“We went back to the drawing board after an embarrassing loss last year, we are well prepared for the challenge and hopefully we’ll beat them,” he said. However, JKT’s coach Turbet Matiku said his charges will do the basics of the game to win.
“We have worked hard to get where we are right now and I believe the lads will execute when they face ABC,” he said.The day will also see Savio face Police while in the women’s league, Lady Lioness will be hunting victory when they play Vijana Queens.
The men’s teams taking part in this year’s league are; Savio, ABC, Hoop Life, Vijana, JKT, Magone, Oilers, Chui and Pazi.

05 January 2012

KENYA : Lakeside Basketball team back to the premier league

After three years out in the cold, Kisumu will this year be represented in the top Kenya Basketball premier league –The KBF- after emerging tops in Division one play offs played in December 2011.

Lakeside last participated in the KBF premier league in 2008 but the team was forced to withdraw following financial constraints. Composed mostly of young g youths from Kisumu, Lakeside is a self sponsored side and is appealing for stakeholders to come on board and support their 2012 campaign in the top league.
“We were forced to withdraw from the premiership in the year 2008 due to lack of funds even though we finished in the top 10.” Said the assistant
Coach Jeff Omwandho.
Omwadho attributed the success of the team to self determination by the players and the vocal support from their fans in Kisumu promising to give top teams a hard time at their backyard.
“This year Lakeside has triumphed in flair and we are set to meet with the big boys although we still have financial problems. Sponsorship has been hard to come by and I would like to appeal to well-to support our 2012 campaign. ”
Lakeside piped University of Nairobi’s “Terror” 65-58 to emerge Victors in the Division one knock out play offs Finals that were staged at the Kisumu’s Kenyatta Sports Ground in December.
The team is coached by Mathews Ochieng will be pegging their hopes on talented youthful including Chris Abuto, Denis Oduor , Andre Zaddock, Ben Blastus & Romanov O’Connor amongst others.
“The team has young players who are really resolute but with little support on finance at times they have to dig from their own pockets to finance their own trips.” Added head coach Mathews Ochieng.
“I really want to thank the home fans personally; we qualified because they supported us throughout the season making the boys enjoy more on the court.” Added head coach Ochieng.

2012 list of clubs




04 January 2012

Top African point guard to retire in 2012

Let me share with you what one of the most celebrated African point guards has decided to do in this year of the Olympic Games.

Miguel Lutonda will retire from both the Angolan national team and from his club Primeiro de Agosto in mid 2012, raising serious concern to the country's aspirations of returning to the top position of Africa.
This time his decision seems to be definite after more than a decade of orchestrating the 10-time African champions.
Lutonda had retired from the national team in 2007 at the age of 36, but returned in 2010.
Now, after turning 40 on Christmas eve, he tells me he is proud with his achievements, but it´s time to go.
Back in 2007, when I interviewed him for fiba.com, I asked him what he was going to do after his retirement from the national team, and what future to expect from Angola. He answered he was going to do things that his international commitment did not allow him to do. He said then it was the right time for younger players to step up; he was convinced that the national team´s future was bright and that he was going to focus on his club career.
Lutonda was right that he was going to enjoy more time with friends, family and travelling around his native Angola, but he was wrong that the country´s future was bright.
Indeed, younger players took over, and the likes of Felizardo Ambrosio, Leonel Paulo and Valdelicio Joaquim have been doing really well.
However, Angola's main problem lies with the point guard position, where Armando Costa and Domingos Bonifácio have struggled to make an impact.
Both players have turned the ball over more often than Lutonda did when he retired after AfroBasket 2007. At the time, Lutonda averaged one turnover per game. At AfroBasket 2011, Costa turned the ball over at a rate of 3.1 times per game and Bonifacio 1.2.
To put things in context, I should say Lutonda´s contribution are unquestionable. He was left out of AfroBasket 2011 after playing at three FIBA World Championships (2002, 2006 and 2010), two Olympic Games (2000 and 2004) and had lifted the AfroBasket title on five occasions since 1997 when he first played for the Angolan national team. He was named MVP of the AfroBasket on two occasionSome may point to the fact that Angola won AfroBasket 2009 and two Stankovic Cups (2008 and 2011) without Lutonda as an indication that the young players were ready to keep Angola on the right track after qualifying for the 2010 FIBA World Championship. Then Lutonda came back.
“The General” as he is known in Angolan basketball circles, did not think much when the national team coach at the time, Luis Magalhães, invited him to join the squad to play in Turkey replacing his injured successor Costa. Lutonda went on to average nine points per game, showing how well he felt playing for his country, at 39 years of age.
If his previous retirement from the national team - as a gold medal winner following Angola's 86-72 defeat of Cameroon in the Final of AfroBasket 2007 - was the way any player would want to close out his international career, Lutonda's last game for Angola in September 2010 proved less memorable, as his team went down 121-66 to the USA team at the Eighth-Final stage in Istanbul.
With or without Lutonda, the latest performances by Angola show they require much-needed improvement at the point guard position. This will be put to the test at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) to be staged in Venezuela in early July.
While Angolans struggle, a new powerhouse emerge from the Maghreb. Tunisia is the new dominant force in Africa, after winning AfroBasket 2011. At club level, Tunisian side Etoile Sportive du Sahel claimed gold at the African Club Championships in December following an 82-60 victory over Angola's most succesfull club, Primeiro de Agosto.
In early 2011, the Angolan Basketball Federation (FAB) thought it was time to refresh the national team and decided to sign French coach Michel Gomez in place of Luis Magalhães, a decision that FAB concluded was wrong when they sacked Gomez midway through the AfroBasket 2011.
To find out more about Lutonda's expectations and resolutions for 2012, I gave him a phone call and he shared his thoughts on Tunisia, as the new African giants. This is what he told me: “I believe that the national team should have worked harder than it did, credit to Tunisia.”
Olimpio Cipriano, perhaps the best Angolan player currently, missed out AfroBasket 2011, and Lutonda gave me his view: “No disrespect to others, but experienced players like Carlos Almeida and Olimpio Cipriano must be selected given the time and hard work they gave to the national team in the past.
“Regardless of a player's behaviour outside the court, a good player should be picked as long as he fulfills his duties within the team.”
On the new African Club champions, Etoile Du Sahel, Lutonda told me his Primeiro de Agosto “started overconfident” as they had beaten them “by as many as 20 points in the group stage. We lacked focus.”
Rumours in Angola link African player of the moment, Tunisian Makrem Ben Romdhane, to Primeiro de Agosto. If it depended on Lutonda´s view, the 22-year-old player should have been in Luanda a long ago.
“He is a good player, able to play in three different positions, and he is a team player. If signed, I think Primeiro de Agosto will benefit a lot from him.
Looking ahead to the OQT, this is what Lutonda had to say: “We have already won the Stankovic Cup, which means we are able to beat teams from Europe, Amerca, Ásia and Oceania. It is cleary possible to make it to London.”
As a great basketball fan and enthusiast, I was not surprised to see Angola´s dominance start cracking, if we consider the latest performances by Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria and Tunisia, teams that have shown how hard Angola will have to work to restore its continental status.

03 January 2012

UGANDA : Power, UCU Share Podium

UCU Lady Canons and DMark Power won the national basketball league in contrasting fashion. UCU cruised to a second successive title whereas Power needed grit to complete a first defence of their crown this season..

With the exception of the loss to KCC Leopards in the regular season, UCU were absolutely magnificent. The improvement in centre Peace Proscovia was the most remarkable by any player across the four divisions.
Proscovia, a member of the Netball team that won Gold at All Africa Games in Mozambique, was too physical for any opposing player to handle.
This gave Purity Odhiambo and Lorraine Akinyi the freedom to dominate the inside as UCU swept KCC 4-0 in the finals. The attention on Maureen Amoding was lessened as she did the damage. KCC had expected to very competitive against coach Dale Sculy's side especially with the return of point guard Flavia Oketcho from a maternity sabbatical.
Oketcho's lack of influence on the game this season epitomised how poor KCC were. A maiden appearance for Magic Stormers into the playoffs was perhaps the best thing to happen to women's basketball. Not the same can be said of the men's division where Power and Warriors appeared in the finals for a third straight season. With them were UCU Canons and Miracle Eagles.
The acquisition of the Blick brothers - Norman and Donald - lifted Miracle this far even though the former really laboured through the season to support Stephen Omony. Miracle lost 3-1 to Power in the semis.
For UCU, they must be imagining what they need to do to get the finals - just one. They led 2-1 against Warriors only lose in a marquee Game Four.
The contest which kept Warriors alive went to double overtime as UCU finished with only three players, all guards, as everyone got ejected. Everyone must have YMCA court that day saying; "I have never seen anything like this before." Warriors reserve centre Sam Gombya decided that game with 16 points.
That was not an appetizer good enough to prepare fans for the seven-game final series. Warriors took a 2-0 lead only to lose three in a row. Game Six mirrored Game Four of the semifinals in terms of the situation Warriors dug themselves from. In the end, the final game had Isaac Afidra written all over it as the forward scored the go-ahead three-pointer (97-96) with nine seconds to go.
The thrill in that shot dwarfed the 27 points and 15 rebounds he managed to effectively rival teammate Ben Komakech for the MVP title. With that, Power had erased a 12-point deficit (89-77) with 5.12 minutes to go. A title sealed and the legacy of this Power team intact as they defended the league for the very first time. A hurting Ivan Enabu sat there motionless and inconsolable.
By far the most entertaining player in the country, he still hasn't won a national basketball title. His move from UCU to Warriors must have felt like the right step but there is work to do for him and coach Mandy Juruni who came in at the start from UCU Lady Canons.
Nonetheless, Ugandan basketball is a cage where no one is allowed entry, for now. The national team performed dismally at the Zone V Nations Championship in Kigali, Rwanda. The biggest pain was the way they squandered a 30-point advantage to lose to Burundi. In there, Omony, Komakech and Norman did well.
Questions in the aftermath of the dismal failure of the under-funded and ill-prepared team were about what former coach Gad Eteu did wrong. Someone has got find a solution as to why the league here is growing but Uganda still fails when taken out of its pond. The same cannot be said about KCC.
As the lone rangers, KCC carried Uganda's flag well at the Zone V club Championships in Tanzania. They reached the semifinals there. Besides them, all the other sides - Power, UCU ladies, Warriors and Miracle Eagles - didn't travel due to financial constraints. The sport, despite attracting thousands, still struggles to find funding.
In the words of Ankunda, this season could have gone any better. "We had grand opening by beating the Blick brothers and finished with the Malingas," he said, rather satirically.
Power beat Miracle on the opening day 96-91 and finished it by defeating the insurmountable Malinga brothers - Henry and Eric- who play for Warriors.

KENYA : KBF to hold polls in March this year .

KENYA Basketball Federation (KBF) will hold their polls in March this year. According to the calendar of events released yesterday, all the branches affiliated to the federation will have their polls this month. KBF fixtures secretary Joseph Amoko said that national league will throw off in March 24 with matches in Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu and Mombasa. A total of 36 teams will feature in both the men’s and women’s Premier League and Division One. Each category will feature 12 teams.

Fixtures: January 6th: Branch elections; March 18: National AGM/elections, Provincial/referees coaches clinics; March 17-18: Pre-season tournaments in Nairobi; March 24th: National league starts in Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru and Mombasa; April: National secondary school games in Kisumu, U-18 boys and girls qualifiers, Inter cities tournament in Kampala; May 5-6: Labour day tournament in Nakuru: June 2-3: Madaraka Day tournament in Kakamega; July: National league second leg starts; Zone Five Club Championships Ethiopia/Uganda; September: Inter Banks, October 20: Kenyatta Day Open in Kisumu; Nov 10-11:Provincial play-offs (Nairobi), National league play-offs start; December 8-9: Jamhuri Day open (Mombasa).

02 January 2012

UGANDA : FUBA League 2011 : The awards

UCU Canons player, Ivan Enabu (1.82 m, 90 kg) was elected MVP of the FUBA league 2011 regular season.

The other awards
Best Rookie of the year : Joy Chemutai (18 years old)
Best defender : Jeff Omondi (UCU Canons).
Best coach : Bernice Ankunda (Powers).
Best sixth man : Richard Balemwa (Power).
MVP Playoff : Ben Komakech (Powers).

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