29 February 2012

NIGERIA : DSTV Basketball League - Union Bank, Others Win Opening Matches

Runner-up of 2010/2011 DStv Premier Basketball League Union Bank has started the season in a bright note. At the new season weekend, it opened its campaign in the 2011/2012 season with a 77-70 points win over rejuvenated Chariot at the Sports Hall of the National stadium Lagos.
The 'Stallion' Boys won the first, second and fought quarters by 23-22, 21-15 and 20-18 but lost the third quarter by 13-15 points in the season opener.
Union Bank small forward John Paul Okojie lead his team to victory with a double of 21 points and 12 rebounds and gave 2 assists while youngster Tope Arikawe poured in 12 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals to a valuable victory.

28 February 2012

NIGERIA : Power Failure Stops Basketball League Encounter

The match between hosts, Civil Defence and visiting Tapgun Rockets was abandoned midway due to power failure at the Abuja National Stadium on Sunday.
It was the second match of the day as Kano Pillars had earlier trumped Niger potters in the first game of the 2011/2012 season.
The match was, however, awarded to Tapgun Rockets because the hosts, Civil Defence, failed to provide an alternative power supply source.
Civil Defence was not only blamed for its failure to provide alternative power supply but it also lost three points at home to the visitors.
Pillars too much for the Potters
Kano Pillars kick started its 2011/2012 Basketball League season with a 75-50 thrashing of Niger Potters.
Kano Pillars' victory came after dropping the third set to the young and hard-fighting Niger Potters players.
The team from the ancient Northern city successfully took the first two quarters of the match at 18-8 and 24-9 respectively but dropped the third set at 8-17.
They, however, rallied to beat the Potters 25-16 in the fourth and last quarter to win the match.
Not good enough
Kano Pillars coach, Sani Ahmed, was not impressed by the performance of his players.
He said his players lost the third quarter of the match because of complacency.
"We were leading with 32 points until the third quarter when my players relaxed and were reduced to 25 points behind the Potters.
"I am sure they have learnt their lessons now and will not take things for granted in their next match," Ahmed said after the match.
Pride intact
Niger Potters coach, Isiaku Yahya, said that in spite of the loss, he was still proud of his players.
Yahya said that his players were able to challenge the experienced Kano Pillars in spite of the fact that they were beginners.
"We in Potters believe in using young players to enable them enhance their skill".
"In spite of the fact that Kano Pillars featured more experienced players, my upcoming players still challenged them at the third quarter, which is a good trial," Yahya said.

27 February 2012

UGANDA : Friday Night Light Charms Fans

YOU know an African function is really important if it can attract three political hotshots. And it's not even the campaign season.
That, at least, is one way of interpreting the high-profile appearances at day three of Friday Night Lights (FNL) of Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, Kampala Mayor Erias Lukwago and Kampala MP Mohammed Nsereko.
Technically, Lukwago and Nsereko were at the popular preseason basketball event for the serious business of playing -- the two were part of Team LK4 -- and their appearance had been announced in advance.
It is the Prime Minister's arrival, at around 8.40pm, which caught everyone off guard. In an instant, FNL had gone from being an exhibition tournament popular in basketball circles to something nearing national importance.
After all, the Prime Minister is leader of government business. Inevitably, the matches were overshadowed by the honourable guests and as such one of the highlights was the Prime Minister draining a free basket from just under the hoop. It showed determination; Mbabazi had missed his first attempt.
"I have enjoyed every moment here," the Prime Minister confessed in a short speech later. "Thank you for welcoming me."
The mayor and Kampala MP did not get the luxury of a free basket but Nsereko didn't really need it. He can play and it was very visible when he was on court, even though his team lost 24-16 to Team Kasewu.
As for the Mayor, we will never know. His teammates inexplicably failed to pass him the ball in his brief time on court although his movement was hardly suggestive.
The big night was rounded off with Jackie Basemera winning the KCB sh1m blindfold challenge.
Mayor Elias Lukwago in action after greeting Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi on Friday.

NIGERIA : First Deep Water Ready to Retain Title - Adeeyo

First Deep Water Female basketball Club of Lagos Team Manager, Abayomi Adeeyo has said the club is set to retain the Zenith Bank Female basketball League title third straight time.
The official, spoke in Lagos with glee as the club revealed that it had snatched new players from other clubs following the conclusion of screening by the handlers.
Head coach, Lati Erinfolami and his assistant Shola Ogunade have assured the club's followers that the team will make a good defense of the title they won in 2010 and 2011 as they are now putting final touches in readiness for action proper.
"The club will retain the title based on our new strength. We are better and stronger than previous years ," he said, adding that the team have been boosted by the return of former players like Magdalene Ukato, lured back from First Bank of Lagos in addition to having the services of new ones like Rashidat Ahmed from Sunshine Angels of Akure, Chinwe Okorie from FCT Queens, Abuja and Emmanuella Awobajo from Nigeria Immigration Service club of Kano.
Coach Erifolami was optimistic that the "new additions have given us hope and confidence to face the challenges this season and play to win the title once more and I think we can."

TANZANIA : Savio Edge Out Champs JKT to Go Top of RBA League

Savio beat defending champions JKT 59-55 in a closely fought RBA League game at the National Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
The victory means Savio go two points clear at the top of the league table with 16 points. After eight outings, they remain to be the only unbeaten side in this campaign.
The army team, which lost to the same opponents in the 2010 National Basketball League (NBL) final, sits in the second place with 14 points.
They were JKT who started the game on a high tempo, bidding to avenge their painful 2010 defeat, which cost them silverware and their pressure paid off after taking a 14-10 lead in the first quarter.
Sensing the danger of a loss, Savio brought in forward Ally Mnyamani in the second quarter and his impact was immediate as he scored six points in quick succession to lead his side to a 16-13 win.
After the recess, Savio picked from where they had left off winning the third quarter 15-12 before wrapping up the score with 19-16. George Tarimo of Savio was the top scorer with 14 points followed by his teammate Mnyamani with 12.

RWANDA : KBC off to a flier in Playoffs

Yesterday’s resultsKBC 66-57 KIE

Tuesday’s fixture
APR vs Espoir

KIGALI Basketball club (KBC) continued from where they left off last season after defeating Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) 66-57 in the first game of the 2012 playoffs held yesterday in Nyanza district.
KBC dominated all four quarters (20-18, 16-12, 13-10, 18-17) to send out a warning to rivals APR, who get their campaign rolling tomorrow against traditional nemesis Espoir at Petit Stade.
Last year, KBC retained their national league title after edging APR but the latter’s head coach Cliff Owour believes that his side is on the verge of rediscovering its form.
In the women’s fray, APR thumped the National University of Rwanda (NUR) 52-35.
This year’s playoffs are sponsored by Imbuto foundation.

25 February 2012

NIGERIA : DStv Basketball League - We Are Ready - Kada Stars

Kaduna State owned basketball club, KADA Stars have revealed they are prepared for the commencement of the new season which is expected to dunk-off this weekend in both the Atlantic and Savannah Conferences.

Coach of KADA Stars, Sani Turi said his team was set for the new basketball league season. Speaking ahead the dunk-off, Turi said his team has since commenced training at the Murtala Square training ground in preparation for the new season. He said the boys are adapting well in order to make sure they emerge as one of the teams to represent the country in continental championship.
Turi also revealed that he has discovered some talented players from the grassroots who are hungry for success and ready to win honours. He said he will introduce them in the new season. "Our main target is to make ensure that we represent the country next year on the continental.
You saw how far we got last season; this term we want to improve on last season's performance and possibly win the league. We have discovered some new talented players which we are going to introduce into the league. To us, technically, we are set for the league," Turi stated.
On the effort of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) towards the league, Turi commended it for what he called "good work" in promoting the game in the country. He said the game is growing fast in Nigeria.
Speaking on what to expect from his players during the season, he said he has harped on discipline, dedication and determination both on and off the pitch in order to achieve the set goal.

TANZANIA : JKT confront Savio in RBA League

Brown Msyani

The Citizen Correspondent

Dar es Salaam. Defending champions JKT take on Savio in the ongoing RBA League at the National Indoor Stadium today.The big match set for 3pm is expected to evoke memories of the 2011 National Basketball League final when Savio triumphed 65-52 to clinch the trophy.JKT, who are enjoying a good run of form after winning seven straight games, would go to the court with one mission – avenging the painful 2010 defeat.
However, they will not win unless they put up a spirited fight for Savio have also not lost a match in this year’s campaign.Considering their longstanding rivalry and current forms, the game promises to produce some fireworks.
JKT and Savio tie on 14 points at the summit of the table, eclipsing the likes of Vijana “City Bulls” and ABC, and today’s match will surely decide who the real bosses of the league are.
Savio head coach Dassy Makula expects his array of stars in George Tarimo, Mohamed Yusuph, Ally Myamani, Jije Mkani and Silvian Yunzu to do the damage.
For JKT, big stars such as Frank Simkoko, Frank Kusiga, Mkumbo Mgendi and Himidi Choka are expected to be at their best forms if they are to avenge the loss that cost them silverware.
Makula expressed his respect for their rivals, saying they were a hard nut to crack, but still harboured hopes of stretching Savio’s impressive record against JKT.
“We respect JKT because they are a great side with a lot of talented players, if you want to beat them you really have to flex your muscles.“But Savio are fired up for this encounter and I am positive that we will claim the bragging rights on Saturday (today),” he said.
Not to be outdone, JKT head coach Tibert Matiku said his side was unfazed by Savio’s threat, promising a “big margin” win.“Yes, they have a good record against us, but records don’t play, we have trained as a team for a long time, therefore I am looking forward for nothing less than a win,” he said.

Matiku added: “This is like the RBA League final, we can’t afford to be complacent following seventh consecutive wins, we’ll take every game seriously and Savio will be our victims tomorrow (today).”
Other games today include the Outsiders against resurgent Pazi while struggling Airwing will take on Prisons

RWANDA : Ferwaba to launch Hoops competition

THIS year’s basketball playoffs will be spiced up with a new free style competition, according to Innocent Karuhije, the technical director of the national basketball federation (Ferwaba).

The competition will involve two teams of three players with each team allowed one player on the bench.
“This competition was inaugurated in the Youth Olympics Games in Singapore and was incorporated into the FIBA statute last year,” he said, before adding, “It has become popular in many parts of the world and we feel it’s time to give it ago.”

24 February 2012

RWANDA : APR to play Espoir in Playoffs opener


APR vs Espoir

APR begin their playoffs title defense this Saturday against Espoir.
After failing to reclaim the national basketball league title from Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) last season, the military side is eager to return to winning ways with Coach Cliff Owuor promising to sweep all trophies this year.
“Last year, we didn’t have a good season and we want to check that this time round,” the former Kenyan international said.
KBC will take on KIE while APR will play National University of Rwanda (NUR) in the women’s category.
This year’s edition has been bankrolled by Imbuto foundation as part of their national campaign to fight against Malaria.
The winner will pocket Rwf0.3m while the first and second runners-up will settle for Rwf0.25m and Rwf0.2m respectively.

23 February 2012

NIGERIA : Pillars Sign Five New Players

Kano Pillars Basketball Club has signed-up five new players in preparation for the 2011/2012 DSTV Basketball League scheduled to dunk-off on Feb. 25.

Abdullahi Nasiru, the State Director of Sports, said yesterday in Kano that the players were recruited to strengthen the team.
Nasiru said that the recruitment was one of the measures taken by the club to defend their position as leaders of the Savannah Conference and also excel in the Final Eight.
Kano Pillars placed fifth in the Final Eight of the 2010/2011 DSTV Men's League.
The list of new players include: John Samson from Union Bank; Abubakar Yusuf from Kada Stars; John Idu from Yelwa Hawks; and a foreign player from Togo Hawks of Republic of Togo.
"All of them are training regularly with the rest of the players in camp and they are in good shape for the new season," he said.
Nasiru said that the club had dispensed with the services of Mohammed Idris and Dauda Dauda as part of the restructuring process in the team.
He commended Gov. Rabiu Kwankwaso for releasing funds for the club to prosecute its campaign this season and urged the players not to waiver in winning the league.
Eight teams each will feature in the Atlantic and Savannah Conferences of the DSTV Basketball League which dunks-off simultaneously on February 25.

LESOTHO : KTA clinch basketball league

Khubetsoana All Stars clinched the National Basketball League after winning two matches and losing one this past weekend. The day began with both KTA and Shines tied at 24 points, with Shines leading the table because of superior head-to-head advantage. The game between Shines and KTA would be the decider of which team finishes top of the league, and the game lived up to the expectations and produced fireworks and went down to the last 0.20 seconds. KTA walks away victors 27 -26.

Shines Basketball Club lost two games on the day going down 31 – 27 to Lerotholi Polytechnic and 27 -26 to KTA. A determined and energetic Rovers team beat KTA in the last match of the day, the students led from the jump ball till the last dead ball managed a 29 – 17 victory.
Teams that make up the Top4 Finals that will be played in March are; KTA, Rovers, Shines and LP. The trophies and prizes will be handed to the league winners on the day of the Top4 Finals. Meanwhile local NBL teams will be taking part in a tournament to be held at the University of Free State on the 25th February 2012.

Results - 18th February 2012
LP 31 vs Shines 27
Rovers 60 vs Mafokotsane 17
Mafokotsane 20 vs Leseli 00 (forfeit)
Rovers 10 vs LUCT 17 (Ladies)
Rovers 20 vs Leseli 00 (forfeit)
KTA 55 vs Mafokotsane 16
B-Baeso 20 vs Roma Boys 00 (forfeit)
Rovers 20 vs Roma Boys 00 (forfeit)
Shines 55 vs Leseli 26
LP 04 vs Rovers 28 (Ladies)
Rovers 58 vs Leseli 11
KTA 27 vs Shines 26
LP 33 vs Leseli 23
Rovers 29 vs KTA 17

LESOTHO : Crunch time for Basketball League

Lesotho Basketball Association, National Basketball League is reaching its climax with only two weeks of games left before the Top4 Finals. At the top of the log is Shines Basketball Club tied with second place Khubetsoana All Stars Basketball Club at 24 points apiece.

Last Saturday league games were played at the National University of Lesotho and lot of surprise upsets occurred. Shines could have opened the lead on KTA, after Khubetsoana side lost 43-40 to fifth place Bashana Baeso Basketball Club but fell victim to a determined Rovers with its supporters fully behind the team and lost 29 -20. At the end of the day despite the losses to the leaders, the standings still remained unchanged. The matter of which team will be the outright leader and League winner will be decided this weekend on the 18th February at the Lerotholi Polytechnic courts when KTA and Shines lock horns in a match guaranteed to produce fireworks. After the Lerotholi games the following week is scheduled to play remaining games that could not be played due to unforeseen circumstances.
When all games have been played there will be the outright winner of the league been the number 1 team on points. Then the top4 teams will go into playoffs, were number1 plays number4 and number2 plays number3 and the winners of both these matches will play against each other to decide the Top4 Winner. So basically at the end of the National Basketball League there will be a League winner and Top4 winner.
Speaking to KTA’s vice captain Ts’epo Ntsoele, he reiterated that they intend by all means to win both the League and the Top4. He mentioned the issue of the league will be settled this weekend when they thrash Shines and in preparation for the Top4 Finals to be played in March the team will be attending a tournament in Bloemfontein and hopes to come back from Bloemfontein ready to conquer local teams. KTA participated in the same tournament last year and reached the finals were they lost to Bloem Alumni.
Rovers 29 vs Shines 20


1. Shines P(13) W(11) L(02) GF(441) GA(314) AV(1.40) PTS(24)
2. KTA P(13) W(11) L(02) GF(543) GA(317) AV(1.71) PTS(24)
3. LP P(14) W(08) L(06) GF(532) GA(401) AV(1.32) PTS(22)
4. ROVERS P(12) W(09) L(03) GF(419) GA(328) AV(1.27) PTS(20)
5. BASHANA BAESO P(15) W(08) L(07) GF(483) GA(458) AV(1.05) PTS(20)
6. LUCT P(16) W(04) L(12) GF(432) GA(464) AV(0.93) PTS(19)
7. ROMA BOYS P(14) W(04) L(10) GF(371) GA(502) AV(0.73) PTS(17)
8. LESELI P(13) W(02) L(11) GF(256) GA(333) AV(0.70) PTS(10)
9. MAFOKOTSANE SLAMMERS P(13) W(01) L(12) GF(133) GA(418) AV(0.31) PTS(07)

LESOTHO : Explosive basketball fixtures

By Nthako Majoro

MASERU- Fireworks are expected tomorrow when the National Basketball League log-leaders Shines, face second and third-placed KTA All Stars and Lerotholi Polytechnic respectively at the Lerotholi Polytechnic Grounds.
Shines lead the nine-team league with 23 points from12 matches, while All Stars and Lerotholi both have 22 points from 12 and 14 games, respectively.
According to the Lesotho Basketball Association spokesperson, Modupe Ratšolo, Saturday’s fixtures could decide the 2011/12 champions, albeit still with four matches to go for most teams.
“The weekend games are probably going to decide this season’s champion. The difference between these three teams is just one point, and surely each one of them is bracing for war,” said Ratšolo.
In addition to the two big games, there would be other matches involving Lerotholi Polytechnic and KTA All Stars at the same venue, on the same day.
“LP will also play Lesedi, while All Stars lock horns with Mafokotsane Slammers. Rovers also play Lesedi, whilst Roma Boys face Bashana Baheso, all at the same venue on the same day,” Rantšo said.
Rantšo added: “The competition is very tight for this year’s title and a Top 4 finish. And you can see it is going to be a grand finale.”

22 February 2012

GAMBIA : Late Pa Modou Sarr Basketball Tourney Gets Underway

The late Pa Modou Sarr Memorial Basketball Tournament got underway last Friday at the Serrekunda West mini-stadium. In the opening game Lamin put in an impressive performance to edge out Serrekunda East 37- 28.

The game was supposed to be played on Saturday but was shifted to Friday as a result of Porcupine SC not turning up to face Serrekunda West who were eventually awarded a walkover. Meanwhile play resumes on Friday as Sport House take on powerhouse YMCA while on Saturday another powerhouse Wallidan will play Bakau United.

21 February 2012

NIGERIA : Basketball Federation - Set for Season After Three-Day Seminar

The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has concluded a 3-day seminar ahead the commencement of the new seasons for DStv Premier League for men and the NBBF/Zenith Bank women league. The seminar was for technical officials, match commissioners, referees statisticians and coaches.

At the end of it, the federation boss, Tijjani Umar tasked the technical officials to put into good use what tThe Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has concluded a 3-day seminar ahead the commencement of the new seasons for DStv Premier League for men and the NBBF/Zenith Bank women league. The seminar was for technical officials, match commissioners, referees statisticians and coaches. At the end of it, the federation boss, Tijjani Umar tasked the technical officials to put into good use what they learnt during the seminar.

UGANDA : Nabisunsa, Ssaku dominate schools All-Star basketball

Results (Finals)
Ssaku SS 28 SMACK 22(Boys)
Nabisunsa 31 Buddo SS 27(Girls)

By Vision Reporter
NABISUNSA Girls basketball team, who previously captured the schools’ basketball title in the 2011 schools’ tournament, doubled their pleasure by hoisting the All-Star basketball weekend trophy.
Shining brightest again among the stars was Nabisunsa’s Rachel Achieng who brought Showtime back to the girls’ All-Star game, scoring 12 points and claiming the MVP award in Nabisunsa’s 31-27 victory over Buddo SS on Sunday evening.
Returning to the game they once dominated, Ssaku SS emerged winners in the boys category after a spectacular performance in front of the student-filled crowd that turned out to experience the first event on the schools’ basketball calendar.
Bruno Tumusiime nailed 10 points for Ssaku, who used a late run in the second half to post a 28-22 win over St Mary’s College, Kisubi(SMACK) on the Nabisunsa Center Court.
The welcome All-Star break for the students attracted a total of 16 schools inclusive of hosts Nabisunsa Girls, Gayaza Girls, Lubiri, Mukono Parents, Ndejje SS, St Micheal, Buddo SS and Crane High as they warm up for the competitive calendar of events expected soon on the schools’ basketball schedule.

TANZANIA : Oilers labour to down Chang’ombe

By Burton Msyani
The Citizen Correspondent

Dar es Salaam. Oilers laboured to beat Chang’ombe United 58-44 in an exciting RBA League match at the National Indoor Stadium.
The match started at a cracking pace with both teams pressing up front in turn to the delight of basketball fans, who were on their toes throughout the game.
After a tight battle in the opening exchanges, Chang’ombe slightly lost steam towards the end of the first quarter, allowing Oilers to take a 13-12 lead.
Chang’ombe came out a more aggressive side in the second quarter, commanding the proceedings with swift but accurate passes to take the quarter 16-9.
The third quarter was even more exciting with both teams playing their hearts out, and the end-to-end match seemed destined to end in a draw.
Sensing the danger of losing the quarter, Chang’ombe resorted to long passes. But this could not stop the fast-moving Oilers from taking the quarter 19-8.
Inspired by the hard-earned lead, Oilers enjoyed the lion’s share of the fourth quarter and it came as no surprise when they took it 17-8.
Oilers, one of the teams tipped to snatch the title, had Gerald Baru and Lusajo Samueli to thank for the hard-earned victory.
Baru, one of the best basketball players in the country at the moment, scored 18 points and Samueli had 14.
Mohamed Mkani was a notable player for Chang’ombe United. He netted 15 points.
In yesterday’s other match, Savio had little mercy on Hopelife as they thumped them 133-49 in a one-sided game at the same venue.
Savio, led by Ally Mnyamani, stamped their authority in the game right from the start. They took a 67-28 half time lead.
Mnyamani scored 20 points for Savio, while Hopelife’s Deogratus Haule had 12.In the women’s series, JKT Queens put up a spirited fight down Lady Lioness 65-37.

20 February 2012

NIGERIA : Umar Tasks Technical Officials On League

President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Tijjani Umar has urge Nigeria technical officials to put into good use what they have learnt in the 3-Day seminar put together by the federation ahead of the coming seasons of the DStv Premier Basketball League and the NBBF/Zenith Bank Women league and other competitions.

In a brief remark during the closing ceremony of the seminar at the Press Centre of the Hockey Pitch Package-B of the Abuja National Stadium the NBBF president told the over 100 participants that the progress of the game in Nigeria depend on their officiating capability as the umpires of the game.
Umar assure the technical officials of the federation readiness to bring international clinics close to them as they strive to be among the best in Africa in particular and the world in general in their various field of officiating.
"I am happy for the large turn-out of participants at this year's seminar put together to educate us about changes in the rules that govern the game world-wide.
"I want to plead with you (technical officials) that you are the eye of the game in Nigeria and must always be at your best when called upon to officiate in any competition in Nigeria.
"The federation will do everything within its power to bring clinics that will qualify our people to be international referees, match commissioners, statisticians and coaches to the country so that it will be easy for our officials to attend and qualify to be among the best in Africa and the world, the NBBF President concluded.
The referees, match commissioners, statisticians, coaches and table officials were taken through new rules of the game in Day-1 of the seminar last Friday by Nigeria foremost FIBA graded referee, Babatunde Popoola and the importance of statistics by Obande Ogbole before the participants were divided into different their field Day-2 of the seminar.
Popoola in conjunction with the president of the Nigeria Basketball Referee Association, Halidu Mohammed took charge of the referees affairs as they were taken through physical exercise to ascertain their level of fitness ahead the season, Steve Onisola was the resource person for the match commissioners, the coaches section anchored by Coach Lateef Erinfolami compare notes as it relate the practical nature of the game

UGANDA : Fan sinks blind shot, wins

Wearing a blindfold, Alex Wasajja stunned a huge crowd at YMCA Wandegeya when he nailed a blind shot during the Friday Night Lights tournament.
Usually a very difficult task for even seasoned basketball players, the blind shot challenge turned out to be one of the most exciting events on the fun-filled night that saw Team Joseph Ikong outclass Team Eric Malinga 33-25.
Many tried in vain to hit the ring from the free throw line and little was expected from the 21-year-old Wasajja, a Kyambogo University student. But he bagged the Shs2m cash prize from KCB Bank. “I was here last year for the push-up challenge but I did not make it. I will use this money to pay tuition and house rent,” Wasajja said.

16 February 2012

KENYA : Upper Hill Claim Buru Buru Title

PROVINCIAL League champions Upper Hill School "B" team beat Malezi 39-31 to claim the Buru Buru Open tournament over the weekend.

Host Buru Buru carried the girls' trophy after wining the round robin show featuring five sides. Friends of Basketball (FOB) and Safe Spaces played in the event as guest teams. In the boys semis, Malezi drowned Aquinas High 42-29 while Upper Hill "B" walloped their "A" side 48-30.

Results: Malezi 30 Hospital Hill 16; Upper Hill 'A' 15 FOB 32; St. Teresa's 18 Malezi 28; Upper Hill 'A' 43 FoB 6; Hospital Hill 'A' 3 Hospital Hill 'B' 48; Malezi 27 FoB 23; Hospial Hill 'A' 12 St. Tersas 13; Upper Hill 'A' 30 St Teresa's 7; Malezi 25 Upper Hill 'A' 14; Moi Forces Academy 9 Pumwani 13. Pool B: Upper Hill 'B' 21 Aquinas 14; Pumwani 13 Upper Hill 'B' 18; Pumwani 18 Aquinas 21; MFA 8 Upper Hill 'A' 32. Girls: Buru Buru 'A' 16 Safe Spaces 17; Buru Buru 'B' 16 Hospital Hill 2; Buru Buru 'A' 20 Buru Buru 'B' 13; Buru Buru 'A' 48 Hospital Hill 1; Buru Buru "B" 2 Safe Spaces 20; Safe Spaces 31 Buru Buru 'B' 11 and Buru Buru 28 Spaces 38.

15 February 2012

RWANDA : Hoops Players Get Expert Training From U.S. Coach

IN the next six weeks, basketball players and coaches in the country have a rare opportunity to get expert tips from Ryan Turcott, a professional basketball coach.

The clinic, which is being held at Cercle Sportif sports complex, involves over 50 players spread in two age brackets; 11-14 and 15-17.
Turcott, 27, is an experienced basketball coach who has participated in many International basketball camps like: FIBA Children of the World as Camp Director during the FIBA World Championship in Turkey 2010.
Last year, Ryan did an international basketball sabbatical where he travelled the world in seven months, visiting six countries in the process; New Zealand, Australia Institute of Sports, Turkey, Palestine/Israel and Romania in pursuing the impact of Basketball on different cultures. He organized, led and directed numerous coaching and skills clinics/camps with Basketball governing body of those countries.
He also worked with Sports for Life, a nonprofit peace sports program that uses athletics to bring peace among conflicting countries and cultures.

13 February 2012

TANZANIA : ABC stretch winning run with Oilers triumph

Dar es Salaam. ABC stretched their winning run in the RBA League with a deserved 64-53 victory over Oilers on Saturday.

The big match played at the National Indoor Stadium, saw Oilers start brightly, but paid the price for missing a host of scoring chances in the first two quarters. ABC, led by the likes of Juma Kisocky and Filbert Mwaipungu took a 15-10 lead in the first quarter, leaving their dominant rivals frustrated.
Oilers returned to the second quarter stronger, stretching ABC stars to record a deserved 17-10 win.The losers walked off the court for the breather smiling with a 27-23 lead.Sensing the danger of a humbling defeat, ABC heeded pieces of advice from coach Leonard Kwale and dominated the third quarter (20-15).
Shocked by ABC’s comeback, Oilers started the fourth quarter pressing forward, but the former were too good to contain them.
The army team won the fourth quarter 19-14 to stake their claim in the title race. Kisocky emerged the best scorer with 18 points followed by Mwaipungu with 15 while Oilers’ Lusajo Samuel notched 14.
Speaking after the game, a visibly overjoyed Kwale showered praise on his players, but also expressed his respect for Oilers. “My players performed well once again against spirited opponents. Oilers have experienced and talented players and are the team to beat in the ongoing league,” he said.
Oilers coach Henry Mwinuka conceded the defeat, but pointed out that they deserved to win had it not been for his players to squander chances.
“We lost to a better team, but we had our chances which we fluffed. Had my forwards been precise up front, we could have bagged the two points at stake,” he said. (By Brown Msyani)

12 February 2012

RWANDA : Rwandan dreams of playing in NBA

Gatete Djuma may have left for the U.S two years ago but he is now dreaming of playing basketball in the ultimate league-The National Basketball Association (NBA).

The 19-year old who plays for Long Beach State high school in California, has already received reviews from his coach Dan Monson and Basketball columnists.
The center forward is an integral part of his team and has already been nominated for the McDonald’s All America teams.
The McDonald’s All-American Game refers to each of the all-star basketball games played each year for boys’ and girls’ high-school basketball graduates.
Consisting of the top American and Canadian players, each team plays a single exhibition game after the conclusion of the high-school basketball season, in an East vs. West format.
As part of the annual event, boys also compete in a slam-dunk contest, a three-point shooting competition, and an overall timed-skills competition. The girls compete in the three-point shooting competition and the overall-skills competition.
The boys’ game has been contested annually since 1978, and the girls game has been played each year since it was added in 2002.
Gatete told Desert news, a newspaper in salt lake that “his ultimate dream is to play in lucrative NBA”.
According to Shema Maboko,a FIBA licensed referee who knows Gatete before he left for the USA, said the 6-10 player always had the indigents for having a successful career in the game.
“He was a very hardworking boy who loved the game with a lot of passion. He is also incredibly tall which will propel him to greater heights,” Maboko said.

10 February 2012

RWANDA : Owour Challenges Indomitable Lions

APR coach Cliff Owour has challenged his indomitable lions to go all the way in next month's basketball playoffs.

Owour, who is APR's most successful coach, has not won the national basketball league in the last two seasons and is desperate to end the trophy drought starting with the playoffs which recently received a cash boost of Rwf16m from Imbuto foundation under the theme 'fighting further spread of Malaria'.
"We need to return back to winning ways," a concerned Owour said.
The playoffs, which serve as a curtain raiser for the league, will be played in Huye, Nyanza and Kigali City.

UGANDA : Basketball returns with Friday Night Lights

New divides will emerge while some long standing rivalries will be bridged when season two of the Castle Lite Friday Night Lights gets underway tomorrow at YMCA court. The fun basketball tournament will pit usual teammates against one another and customary opponents will feature on the same sides.

Warriors’ duo of Eric Malinga and Ronnie Kasewu will each lead different teams. But at the fore of the new divides is the D-Mark Power quartet of Isaac Afridra, Joseph Ikong, Isaac Lugude and Ben Komakech who will all be on different teams just a couple of months after guiding Power to back-to-back league titles, the first in the club’s history.
But Ikong, who will be seeking to lead his team to successive tournament victories, is quick to dismiss any suggestion of “serious” rivalry.
“This is just a fun outing. Nothing serious,” said Ikong. “We are not even preparing. We shall just on court and ensure we put on a great show and have fun,” he added before revealing that he will again feature in the dunking competition.
To feature on a team of their choice, fans will be required to type FNL-Name-Team and send the SMS to 8198. Other fans, not fortunate enough to feature on any team, will take part in numerous challenges including free throw and the blind-folded throw challenges where they stand chances of winning numerous prizes including electronics and cash.

09 February 2012

GAMBIA : Late Pa Modou Sarr Memorial Tourney to Begin Soon

The 8th edition of the Late Pa Modou Sarr Memorial Basketball Tournament will start soon, reports reaching Observer Sports revealed.It would be recalled that the Late Pa Modou Sarr died on 9th February 2004 in a car accident just after playing a basketball game in Texas in the USA.

Meanwhile, as part of events marking the 8th edition of the memorial tourney, there will be a recitation of the Holy Quran today, Thursday 9 February 2012 at his Family House in Kotu. There will be a Memorial Tournament as usual at the Serrekunda West Basketball Lawn along Kairaba Avenue. It would also be recalled that Wallidan and YMCA Basketball teams were the finalists during the last (7th edition) of the memorial tournament with Wallidan emerging victorious. As usual, interested teams are invited to register and participate in the tournament.

Those who wish to register their teams can contact Andrew Piken Jatta on 3100902.

TANZANIA : Basketball Needs Serious Supervision

By Japheth Kazenga, 9 February 2012

 It goes without question that Tanzania basketball stakeholders wish to see their beloved country emerge as a force to reckon with in the sport in the East African region and beyond. And, the trek to the expected success will definitely not be realized overnight, which means plenty of efforts should be put into developing the sport at the domestic level.

Promotion and development of basketball at the domestic level has been the most challenging assignment to the sport's stakeholders considering that they have been encountering plenty of difficulties in securing funds to meet expenses of the programmes.
Despite facing financial crisis, domestic basketball stakeholders, led by the Tanzania Basketball Federation(TBF) have shown an encouraging determination to push for their sport's prosperity, and the aspect of determination could be seen in TBF's efforts to organize various training programmes and competitions.
And, domestic basketball competitions, as a matter of fact, do not come much bigger than the national basketball tournament dubbed Taifa Cup, which has, for the past four to five years, been taking place in Dar es Salaam. Taifa Cup, which involves regional combined basketball outfits from across the country, offers yet another learning curve to TBF and the rest of domestic basketball stakeholders in terms of both event organization and team performance.
Domestic basketball stakeholders, first and foremost, have a duty to secure reliable sponsorship for the annual tournament with a view to realizing participation of all regional teams, a move that will effectively bolster the level of competitiveness. The absence of reliable sponsorship has greatly contributed to the decline of the level of competitiveness in the event brought about by presence of few teams, a situation that leads to poor turnout of fans in games.
TBF has, for the past few years, been opting to host the event in Dar es Salaam to probably counter massive organization costs, which could otherwise have been incurred had the body decided to organize the tournament elsewhere but the move has largely done little to lessen the setbacks to successful organization of the event.
The last year's Taifa Cup offers a good example of challenges facing TBF and the rest of basketball stakeholders in both organization and performance of participating teams in the event given that there were numerous weaknesses that came up in the tournament to somewhat overshadow the expected successes.
Taifa Cup, for one, witnessed what was probably one of the most frustrating scenes in the history of basketball development in the country as the hosts' three districts of Kinondoni, Ilala and Temeke, which were expected to feature in the tournament as independent regional combined teams, pulled out of the event citing failure by the sport's governing body in the city, Basketball Dar es Salaam (BD) to give the teams sufficient allowance.
Although TBF, and BD, claimed that the failure to present sufficient allowance to the Dar es Salaam trio and the rest of the participating regional combined teams was caused by little cash that TBF received from sponsors, Kinondoni, Ilala and Temeke stood their ground on shunning the event. That definitely meant Dar es Salaam players that were still keen on competing in the event had to opt for featuring in other regional combined outfits so that they could realize their dreams.
Taifa Cup, eventually, remained as an event featuring teams from outside Dar es Salaam and, had it not been the desire to maintain the spirit of effective basketball promotion in the country, the rest of the teams could certainly have opted out as well taking into consideration the expenses incurred on transport and accommodation. The absence of Dar es Salaam outfits in the tournament meant the event was robbed of the expected enthusiasm and a high level of competitiveness, which had almost been a permanent feature in the tournament in the past.
A controversy that occurred in the men's final at the Leaders Club venue, in which three outfits of Mwanza, Singida and Unguja entered the venue with all claiming the right to play the final, was a vivid example of TBF's weakness when it came to decision making. It all started when Mwanza disqualified from the tournament, despite having cruised to the final, after the other competitors, Unguja, won the protest they filed against the Lake Zone outfit.
According to the protest, Mwanza had entered two more players in the 12-man list, which had previously already been submitted to TBF and that meant the Lake Zone side had contravened the tournament regulations. The players in question are Enock Charles and Ahmed Said, whose presence in the latter stages were deemed as a plan by Mwanza to illegally strengthen their squad and boost the chances to win the trophy, which had eluded them in recent years.
Mwanza had defeated Unguja 74-62 in the semi-final to qualify for the final and were expected to face Singida, who had grabbed a win over Lindi in another semifinal. Mwanza, however, strongly opposed the claims saying the two players were already in the list that was submitted to TBF shortly before the start of the tournament and, thus, the team felt TBF acted unfairly in the decision to disqualify the side.
And the Lake Zone side decided to defy the TBF order and entered the venue when Unguja, which had then been allowed to play the final in Mwanza's place, was warming up on one side of the court ready to face Singida, which was also warming up on the other side of the court. With all three teams warming up on the court, a sense of confusion arose among the fans, before Mwanza, ultimately decided to leave the court on the request of some of the TBF officials and the final's guest of honour, the Deputy Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Fenella Mukangara.
Mwanza, who were seemingly closing in on the silverware based on unrivaled quality they had in their squad, were so frustrated by their disqualification that they went on record as threatening to boycott all events organized by TBF for what the team claimed as the federation's weakness in decision making. A visibly frustrated Mwanza skipper, Kizito Bahati, said the region's basketball stakeholders, led by the Mwanza Regional Basketball Association (MRBA), would rather be willing to chiefly focus on supervising various development programmes in their region, apart from strengthening the region's competitions, than participating in the TBF-sanctioned events.
The statement definitely reflected the amount of frustrations the Mwanza squad had endured following its disqualification, as the team had met a host of difficulties in securing funds to travel to Dar es Salaam. In his clarification on the matter, Mziya told the 'Daily News' that according to the tournament's regulations, only players that were registered by the teams should participate in the event, meaning no addition of players during the event was allowed. "Mwanza had previously entered nine players out of the required 12 players but the team then omitted the name of one of the players, Charles, after he sustained an injury in the opening match against Tanga," he said.
"Mwanza, however, did not present any information on their decision to omit Charles' name in the then 12-man list and, when the team entered the player's name for the second time, the move was deemed as an illegal addition of a player to the required total number of players and Unguja, therefore, used Mwanza's weakness to file the protest, which the Isles side won," added Mziya. The Mwanza controversy, all in all, points to the need for TBF to set up clearly defined regulations for the tournament and stick to them with a view to avoid any possible ambiguity later on.
Despite the obvious setbacks that TBF encountered in both the Africa Zone Five Championship and the Taifa Cup, Mziya maintained that his federation did its best in accomplishing most of the programs it had lined up for the past season. And TBF, he said, did so with extremely little or no financial support, a situation that has unveiled a contrasting level of progress that basketball experiences in Tanzania in comparison to the sport's progress in neighbouring countries.
"The government of our neighbouring country Rwanda, for instance, has invested substantially in basketball development, in which it has been hiring instructors from Canada and the USA to impart their expertise to the locals, among other programmes,something that has hardly been done by our government," said Mziya. Rwanda's increasing dominance in basketball in the East Africa region, thus, is a good indication of tremendous success the country has attained in promotion of the sport at its backyard.
TBF now has the duty to win the trust of prospective sponsors and well wishers, who could, in turn, dish out funds for the federation's programmes and that depends on the commitment of the TBF officials in accomplishing their objectives. Mziya was adamant that TBF did its best in carrying out several activities that were lined up in its sports calendar for the last season, despite lacking the much needed financial support.
The TBF boss revealed his body will continue striving to solicit funds for different development programmes, albeit the increasing difficulties in acquisition of reliable financial support that could help in realizing the plans. That, definitely, is the spirit that should never wane, if domestic basketball stakeholders wish to propel their beloved sport to success in the country.

08 February 2012

UGANDA : Fuba Divides Women's League Into Two

By Usher Komugisha,

THE national basketball governing body Federation of Uganda Basketball Association has divided the national women's league into two in a bid to increase the level of competition.

In a league where the same four teams have made it to the semi-finals for four consecutive years, nothing else can explain the absence of rivalry and opposition with not much contest from the lowly teams.
Reigning league champions UCU Lady Canons, KCC Leopards, A-1 Challenge and KIU Rangers were semi-finalists from 2007-2010. It was only last season that the Magic Stormers ousted a struggling A-1 Challenge to go on and make their maiden appearance in the post season.
Speaking to journalists at a press conference at Oasis restaurant, Lugogo on Tuesday morning, FUBA president Ambrose Tashobya explained that, "We want to have a league where the winner is not pre-decided, a league where number one can lose to number eight."
UCU, KCC, A-1, KIU, Magic Stormers, Nabisunsa, Makerere Sparks and Gladiators (former Lady Bucks) are the teams that will feature in the top league while sides like Makerere Cubs and Amazon Rhino will play in the second division.
This will avoid instances where the 'big' sides like KCC practically whitewash the ordinary teams like Amazon Rhino. An outright example was in the 2009 season when the Leopards set a national record by thrashing Rhino 163-19 in a first round encounter.
Meanwhile, four universities have shown interest in introducing teams to the women's league. Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU)-Kampala campus, Gulu, Nkumba and Ndejje are yet to be admitted by the FUBA executive committee.

NIGERIA : First Deepwater Begins Camp Ahead New Season

By Ishaku Kigbu,

Defending champion of the Zenith Bank sponsored Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) organised women league First Deepwater basketball club has commence preparation ahead of the first phase of the league slated for March.

The club recently completed a three-day screening exercise which saw the return of some of her former players, such as Magdalene Ukato who crossed back to the Oil & Gas ladies from First Bank basketball club. The team according to the club's team manager Abayomi Adeeyo is set to retain the league it has dominated in the last two seasons.
The team manager also informed that the club's parent body First Deepwater Discovery Limited is open to new innovation that will propel the club to greater heights in Nigeria and Africa basketball. The club trains daily under the watchful eyes of coaches Lateef Erinfolami and Shola Ogunade.
Among the new players snapped up by the Nigerian champions include Rashidat Ahmed from Sunshine Angels basketball club of Akure, Chinwe Okorie formerly of FCT Queens basketball club of Abuja and Emmanuella Awobajo from Nigeria Immigration basketball club of Kano among others.

06 February 2012

LIBERIA : Basketball Comes Alive At Sport Commission

The Liberia Basketball National league commenced last Saturday (Feb. 4th, 2012) with three matches at the Monrovia Sports Commission on Broad Street, Monrovia.

In the first match, Heats defeated D. Rocka 57- 52 ball deposits to ensure their first win of the season. The second game of the day afforded fans an opportunity to see Harbel Pointers falling to Ducor Magic 64-47points.
Monrovia Sky Force suffered their first lost on Saturday despite netting in 54 points. The Sky boys bowed to Flames 56-54 points, giving Flames their first celebration of the season.
More matches light up the Commission today in Monrovia as Don Bosco Legends face SAC Base in the opening match, while Uhuru Prince takes on FUBA, and Cardinals and SOS Trotters will close the day's attractions.

04 February 2012

RWANDA : Playoffs get cash boost

THE competitiveness of this year’s basketball playoffs is expected to go a notch higher after a Rwf16m cash boost from Imbuto foundation. The playoffs, which serve as a curtain raiser for the national basketball league, will run from February 10-12.

Reigning league champions Kigali Basketball Club, APR, Espoir and KIE will battle it out in the men’s category while APR and National University of Rwanda (NUR) will contest for the ladies’ crown.
According to Jean Lucien Mugabo, the Secretary General of the basketball federation (Ferwaba), Rwf0.5m is at stake for the winner while the second and third teams will pocket Rwf0.4m and Rwf0.3m respectively.
The federation is also expected to meet next week to elect a new president, vice president and legal Advisor.

03 February 2012

KENYA : Pre - season basketball tournament set for March

Kenya Basketball Federation will hold a pre season tournament between 17th and 18th of March 2012 at the Railways club in Nairobi. This will come a month before the Federation holds its national elections on 14th of April 2012 with the nation al league expected to kick off thereafter as per the Federation constitution.

Clubs and schools from all over Nairobi have been invited to the two day event that will light the 2012 basketball action. Registration will cost each team 3,500/= and teams have been advised to ensure they register before 13th March 2012.
At the same time the Inter Cities Basketball tournament will be held in Kampala in the last week of April 2012.The tournament that brings together several teams from across East Africa was last held in Nairobi Kenya and has been growing strong each year.
The organizing committee of the tournament is expected to meet in Kampala on 9th and 10th February to finalize on plans of hosting the tournament.


The Chairman Technical Committee and Vice President Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF, Muktar Kaleh has revealed that the federation will be organising a national Under-16 championship across the country.

"The NBBF is organising a national Under-16 championship which will be in all the states of the federation," Kaleh told Complete Sports. "We will also be organising a national division two championship which is expected to also be in all the states. So there are lots of development programmes coming up.
"The federation is looking at another championship after the Zenith Bank-sponsored championship that will also be run nationally, so that at least there will be more than one championship. We are also looking at possible sponsors, we are talking with them and once we get any we will start immediately.”

UGANDA : Friday Night Lights Basketball to Thrill Fans

Season Two of the annual Friday Night Lights basketball event was launched during a media availability session at Mosa Courts Hall on Feb 2nd 2012.

Friday Night Lights, a FAN-TER-TAIN-MENT event which premiered last year, was launched to bring ardent fans closer to their stars in a relaxed and exciting atmosphere.
And this year's edition of the event commences on February 10 at the YMCA courts in Wandegeya with four games being played, whence the winner of each game walks away with a cash prize.
The eight-week long event will feature the basketball league's favorite players, celebrities, Trampoline dunking, artist performances, mascots and break dance teams as they hit Center Court in a variety of basketball competitions.
Dubbed the funfest of the year, Friday Night Lights 2012 sponsored by Castle Lite is the only place to experience all of Fan appreciation where the chance to meet and collect FREE autographs from current league Players and Legends/Wazee is just the beginning.
Enthusiastic fans can also hang out in the entertaining Castle Lite GREEN ROOM - with lots of chilled Castle Lites and interactive celebrity-related activities that are the perfect thriller for fans that love the sport of basketball, but only from a distance.
The Castle Lite brand manager Samuel Hooper revealed that the fans challenges will come with opportunities to win many prizes such as a flat screen TV, instant cash and lots more.
"Our involvement in Friday Night Lights basketball is to give basketball fans a treat together with their stars. It is not every day that fans gets an opportunity to play with the league stars. As Castle Lite we want to make this a memorable eight weeks through the various challenges and prizes at stake," said Hooper.
Friday Night Lights 2012 is sponsored by Castle Lite and proudly supported by Kinetic Management Group, Rwenzori Water, Sprite, SMS Media, Hot Loaf Bakery and Victoria University.

NIGERIA : First Bank Ready To Displace Deepwater

Coach Adewunmi Aderemi of First Bank Club of Lagos said his team are battle ready to challenge current champions,First Deepwater, for the league’s title when hostilities in the domestic league begin by March.

Aderemi, popularly called Owolo by pundits of the sports, said this year’s competitions will be taken with all seriousness , especially the forthcoming basketball competition holding in February.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF, as part of its efforts to move the slamming and dunking game forward in the country, have concluded arrangements to hold an Open Championship for Women in Abuja this month .
Aderemi said: “The programme for this year’s competition is out, but we have started training on Monday ahead of the competition. We hope to do our best by winning the competition while the Women’s League kicks-off in March.
“Already, we have put behind us our loss at the FIBA competition and for coming second behind First Deepwater in the league last year.
“I can assure you that we are ready for the league and our target is to win the forthcoming competition in February.
“My girls will use the league to prepare for our continental engagement later in the year,” Aderemi said.
First Bank came second at the 17th Inter-club Basketball Club Championship for women. They were defeated by Interclube of Angola by 81-55 points at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium,Surulere, Lagos.
—Bamidele Olowosagba

NIGERIA : Dstv Legue Dunks-Off February 25

The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has announced that the 2011/2012 Dstv Premier Basketball League will dunk-off February 25 across the country.

According to a statement issued by the federation, the new date of February 25 was arrived at after the Nigeria Basketball ruling body, NBBF took into consideration appeals from the 16 clubs from the Atlantic and Savannah conference of the league.
NBBF president Tijjani Umar said the federation is a proactive one that is prepared to carry every stakeholder along in administration of the game. Officials of the NBBF will on February 16, 2012, hold a stakeholder conference with teams in the Atlantic conference in Lagos while that of the Savannah conference have been scheduled for February 18 in Abuja with the federation first executive meeting for the 2012 holding same day as the Savannah conference stakeholder conference in Abuja.
The 16 clubs that will be campaigning in the league this season include league defending champion, Royal Hoopers of Port Harcourt and seven Lagos-based clubs Union Bank, Dodan Warriors, Comets, Islanders, Police Baton, Chariot and newly promoted Nigeria Customs club in the Atlantic conference.
Leading the challenge in the Savannah conference are the 2010/2011 fourth placed side Kada Stars of Kaduna, three-time champion Kano Pillars and Nigeria Immigration of Kano. Bauchi Nets and Yelwa Hawks of Bauchi, Tapgun Rockets of Jos, Niger Potters of Minna and newly promoted Civil Defence of Abuja.

01 February 2012

NIGERIA : London not too far away

LAGOS (Olympic Qualifying Tournament) - Nigeria's chances of making it to the 2012 Olympic Games are bigger than a lot of people think.

At least that's according to national team coach Ayodele Bakare, whose optimism is based on the country'
vast pool of experienced talent to draw from, and an improved Nigerian Basketball Federation administration.
Nigeria, despite a chaotic start to their preparations last summer, won the bronze medal at Afrobasket 2011 in Madagascar to book a place in the 12-team FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which is to be staged in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas in the first week of July.
Three places for the London Games will be at stake.Nigeria will take part in the event for the first time.
Which teams are in the best position to make it to London?
"Nigeria, for sure," Bakare said to FIBA.com.
"Then, Lithuania and Greece."
Angola, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and hosts Venezuela are the other teams in the mix.
Bakare, who has coached Nigerian national teams at all levels, including youth and women, took over last year after the resignation of Nigeria coach John Lucas, a great player in the NBA who also coached in the league.
Bakare says Nigeria were in Orlando, Florida, preparing for the Afrobasket when everything fell apart.
"We were having a training camp when suddenly we had no coach, no players," Bakare said.
"The original team was completely broken.
"We had to call some players who were already on holidays.
"The way my players made a commitment, I just have to give them credit."
The team, under Bakare and led by Ime Udoka, travelled to Madagascar and finished third after a 77-67 victory over Ivory Coast.
Bakare says that Nigeria's prospects have improved since Afrobasket 2011, when the national team "had many administrative problems" to overcome.

Looking for reinforcements
Bakare believes the Nigerians have the potential for a much stronger squad than the one that showed up last year in Antananarivo.
"We keep monitoring regularly potential players for our national team," he said.
"We have a number of players based in Europe and the USA.
"Some of them were born outside Nigeria, but all of them hold Nigerian passports.
"This increases our chances to select a strong team."

Familiar foes
In Caracas, Nigeria could cross swords with three teams they have met before: Angola, Korea and Venezuela.
In 1998, they celebrated their first-ever win in a FIBA World Championship game by hammering Korea, 89-65.
Nigeria lost 84-77 to Venezuela at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.
Angola and Nigeria have faced each other at the Afrobasket over the years.
Bakare expects the strongest opponents to come from the old continent.
"The European teams are always tough to beat," he said.
Nigeria can draw on impressive results from years gone by to serve as inspiration.
Six years ago in Japan was one of the most famous, when Nigeria prevailed 82-75 victory over Serbia and Montenegro to make worldwide headlines.
"We will surprise some people," Bakare said.
"We are doing everything to get all players together, and the federation is committed to giving into the players' demands."
Might the obsession with foreign-based players affect home-based players' motivation?
"Clearly our national championship has no players of the quality of those in the main leagues around the world, but it does not mean we disregard them," Bakare said.
"Our policy is to keep at least two home-based players in the national team.
"If you recall, when the US Dream Team appeared at the 1992 Olympics, they used one college player (Christian Laettner) among the NBA professionals.
"This policy applies to Nigerian players who have left the country in the last 12 months, and everybody is happy with it.
"Home-based players react positively to this policy as we seek to name the best players for the national team, as everybody wishes us to do well."
Nigeria are second to Angola in the FIBA Africa Rankings, and 21st in the FIBA World Rankings, yet they have never played in an Olympic tournament.

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