31 March 2013

RWANDA : APR wins women basketball playoff title

APR women players and officials celebrate after winning the playoff final trophy on Saturday. Sunday Sport/ Plaisir Muzogeye.
APR beat Ubumwe in a low scoring Game Three of the women basketball playoff final 47-34 played on Saturday at Amahoro indoor stadium court to end the season with an unbeaten record.
The league champions won the best of five playoff final series 3-0 having also won Game One and Two 54-41 and 58-47 respectively a fortnight ago
Aissa Kamana top scored for APR with a game high 13 points, while Umutoni Salama of Ubumwe finished with 11 points.
The winner APR walked away with not only the trophy but also with Rwf500,000, first runners-up Ubumwe took Rwf400,000, Rwf300, 000 for RPPA in third place and National University of Rwanda, who finished fourth, took Rwf200,000
The ladies Game Three was preceded by the men’s All-star game between ‘Team A’ and ‘Team B’, which Team A led by the league’s MVP Aristide Mugabe won 68-62.
The two teams were comprised of players from all nine league clubs. Espoir Point Guard Mugabe led his team with 16 points, while KCB’s Mike Buzangu had a game high 23 points for Team B. He also won the best dunk of the day.

30 March 2013

KENYA : KBF Boss Directs All Counties to Hold Elections Before End Month

The Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) have directed all counties to hold elections by the end of this month. KBF chairman Paul Otula said: "All the 47 counties have until the 31st of this month to hold elections."
He said there for the counties to formulate offices in order to start developing the game from the grassroots. "At the moment, we have equipment that we want to send to the grassroots but we can't do it because we don't have offices," added Otula, who is also the principal of Maseno School.
Speaking at Cardinal Otunga High School during the ongoing Lake Region secondary school games, Otula said the federation has 150 balls, game clocks and nets that should be distributed to branches.
He said once the offices are formulated, the federation will facilitate the training of coaches at the grassroots.
"As a federation, we want to expose and tap young talent right from the grassroots," added Otula, who also coaches Maseno School. He said the standards of the game in Nyanza have improved drastically.
"I have been here since Wednesday and I can assure you that the game is growing," Otula added. "The school games are becoming more competitive and as the KBF chairman, I am happy with that," he added.

UGANDA : Is Kyambogo Warriors in Free Fall?

MANDY Juruni gone. Cyrus Kiviri gone. Norman Blick and Henry Malinga apparently going.
As far as preseasons go, this has been far from ideal for the Kyambogo Warriors, who in recent years have spent this period stock-piling their ranks with star power.
This time, there have been no mega arrivals, only talk of who's leaving. Needless to say, this is a bit odd for a team just three months removed from winning the men's national basketball title.
But any concern on the part of Kyambogo sympathisers has been dismissed by club patron Ambrose Tashobya as unjustified.
"We don't have to come out and talk about what we are doing behind the scenes but be sure we will be ready to defend our title," Tashobya said.
"We have been in the Finals for four years straight so you don't have to worry about us. And if you look at our current team, even if we lost half of the players we have, we would still have a very good team."
If that sounds like a concession to letting some players go, it probably is.
Kiviri has been allowed to join the UCU Canons because he has been offered a scholarship and the Warriors don't stand in the way of their players' academic ambitions as a matter of principle.
But Juruni, who coached the club to their second championship last year, has joined City Oil after becoming a free agent at the end of the last season.
Reports suggest Juruni could be reunited with the legendary Malinga while Blick, the reigning Finals MVP, is rumoured to be on his way back to D'Mark Power.
In response to claims that the exodus of players from Kyambogo is partly down to financial hardships, Tashobya explained:
"The plan last year was for the club to become self-sustaining (but it didn't happen). But we are hopeful of getting sponsors."

29 March 2013

GABON : Super Cup

This is yesterday’s gym military academy through Super Cup Gabon the start of the basketball season was given. Two beautiful women in opposing meetings Ndella-Somo: 68-42.
The final men was exciting and eventful … everything was there, tactics, techniques and aggression … outstanding! Final score: 83-61 (42-36 at the break) …
We note with great pleasure the good behavior Maxi Shamba (Tali BB) and Amissi (Somo B) which showed the full extent of their expertise …
Gabonese side were the best young NZE ESSONO Lerry voted best player of the final (best hope of last season) and Jason RETENO FANGA (Mvp the past season)
It is therefore left and congratulations to the organizers who allowed us access to gym very soft Baraka camp.
The pdt of FEGABAB has scored a first point …
National elite begins this weekend with a Prytane always enticing Tali-Somo … again!

NIGERIA : First Deepwater, First Bank Lead Respective Groups At Zenith Bank Women's Basketball League

Defending champions, First Deepwater, and former champions, First Bank, are group leaders at the halfway mark of the on-going 9th Zenith Bank National Women's Basketball League in Abuja.
The 16-team league competition, which is in its first phase, is holding at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Abuja National Stadium.
The competition, which kicked off on Saturday with an opening ceremony and two matches, entered its fourth day on Wednesday, with teams breaking off for rest on Thursday.
Play is expected to resume on Friday with day five matches. First Deepwater and First Bank have won all their four matches and lead groups A and B respectively.
First Deepwater beat Nigeria Customs 62-43 in their first match and walloped Taraba Hurricanes 94-10 in their second match.
The Lagos-based side went ahead to whip GT-2000 of Kaduna 62-14 and then humiliated Coal City Queens of Enugu 107-28 in their fourth match on Wednesday.
They are followed by Sunshine Queens of Akure, who also have eight points from four matches, while the FCT Angels of Abuja are third with three wins.
Nigeria Customs are fourth in the group with two wins, while new entrants GT-2000 of Kaduna occupy the fifth position ahead of AHIP Queens of Kano, occupying the sixth place.
The rest newcomers in the group, Coal City Queens of Enugu and Taraba Hurricanes, occupy the seventh and eighth positions after losing all their four matches.
In Group B, last year's runners-up and former champions, First Bank of Lagos also topped the group with eight points, followed by Dolphins of Lagos, which recorded three wins from four matches.
Benue Queens and Plateau Rocks are in the third and fourth positions respectively, after bagging seven points each from three wins.
IGP Queens are in the fifth position with two wins from four matches for six points, while the sixth place is occupied by Delta Force of Asaba, which recorded a win and three losses.
Newcomers, Oluyole Babes of Ibadan, are in seventh place ahead of Nigeria Immigration, who are in 8th position.
The league's second phase will hold from May 2 to May 12 in Asaba.
The third phase, which is the Final Eight Play-offs and will determine the league champions, will hold in Lagos from June 7 to16.

KENYA: KBF Play-Offs to Revert to Best of Five Series

THE national league play-off finals will revert to the best of five series beginning this year, officials confirmed.
Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) assistant secretary, Ambrose Kisoi, said this was a major change made in the rules governing the league during the team managers meeting held at the Nyayo Stadium over the weekend.
The move for the best of five series will start with this year's semi finals and then proceed to the finals. But the quarter finals, he clarified, will still be played in the best of three series. Next year, they will look into making the finals best of seven series. "When the inaugural play-off matches were introduced in 1997, it was played in the best of five series. But this was changed in 1999 after a tragic road accident involving Barclays Bank Eaglets players as they returned from a league tie in Mombasa."
"The number of games in the play-offs was then reduced due to inadequate time following that tragedy. It is good to move back to the old format. It means only an extra two weekends," noted national team head coach Ronnie Owino. It was also decided in the same meeting that a league and competitions committee be constituted to help KBF run the league professionally. It will consist of a five-man team namely—Joseph Amoko, Charles Goro, Cynthia Mumbo, Owino and George Namake.

NIGERIA : I'm Impressed With Zenith League - Hajiya Zainab

One of Nigeria's veterans in basketball, Hajiya Zainab Abubakar has scored the ongoing Zenith National Women's League in Abuja high.
She said from what she has seen from the phase 1 hostilities, the game of basketball in the women's category has improved.
According to her, before now the level of patronage and awareness in the women's game has increased.
The former national team player who was last week inducted into Fiba Africa Hall of Fame for her meritorious services to the nation in basketball the current NBBF board under Tijjani Umar has helped to regain back its lost glory.
"I am impressed with the league to be honest. Before now no women league but now it has come up with tremendous improvement.
In fact we have regained the lost glory under this board."
She said she disagrees with the notion that it is below standard because of the quality of newer teams in the league. "I disagree that it is below standard.
The new teams need this exposure and experience and give them 2 years, they will improve. Very soon the older players will be threatened by the younger ones coming up.
The older players must know that they should brace up because these young ones will soon take over and if they don't tighten up, they will be disgraced.
In fact we need more teams in the league and I am planning to start a team to join the league." She revealed.

UGANDA : Team Koma dares Malinga in FNL Grand Finale

Action between Team Malinga (red) and Team Enabu during the preliminary round.
Action between Team Malinga (red) and Team Enabu during the preliminary round. Team Malinga have a chance to win their maiden title. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA The third season of the thrilling Friday Night Lights (FNL)basketball tournament concludes tonight with an intriguing final between journalists and celebrities.
The fun game is the first match of the FNL finals, which will little doubt arouse excitement. Musicians Cindy, Navio, JB, The Mith, Baboon Forest, Miss Uganda Phiona Bizzu, comedian Salvador, Helen and Sheeba among others are some of the ‘celebrities’ lining up against the paparazzi.
Last season the celebrities managed saw off the paparazzi, sidestepping them 56-19. But Team Media have vowed to smash their opponents in entertaining style to bag the Shs500,000 cash prize up for grabs for the winner. Team Media will be represented by various stars from the Monitor Publications Limited, Vision Group, the Observer, NTV and the Red Pepper.

Title decider
In other games, Team Malinga return to the FNL stage to face unbeaten Team Koma in a title decider while team Blick take on Team Ikong in third place decider. This will be Team Malinga’s first appearance in the FNL finals since the fan-filled event kicked off two years ago. “This is the moment we have been anxiously waiting for,” Henry Malinga told Daily Monitor ahead of tonight’s clash.
“We believe we are set because we managed to knock out the two time champions, Team Ikong last week.”
Team Koma, who are still unbeaten, reached the FNL finals in 2011 but team Ikong denied them a chance to get the much coveted title.
“We will be more proactive now that we know what the environment is like. We are not looking forward to lose after coming all the way unbeaten,” said MVP Ben Komakech, also the captain of Team Koma.
Meanwhile, the KCB blind shot challenge is still up for grabs with Shs8m staked for the lucky contestant.

RWANDA : Rwanda goes NBA-style with All-Star Game


Espoir (green) beat APR (white and black) in Game Three of the playoff final 78-68 at Amahoro indoor stadium to complete a 3-0 whitewash. The New Times / P. Muzogeye.
After the successful conclusion of the regular and playoff season, the Rwanda Basketball Federation has come up with the American NBA-style All-star game scheduled for this weekend at the Amahoro indoor stadium court.
According to the federation Secretary General Richard Mutabazi, 24 best performing players from the just-concluded season will be selected from nine registered clubs to form the two teams. The game will be a curtain-raiser for Game Three of the women’s playoff final between APR and Ubumwe.
Each of the two opposing teams for the All-star game will be made up of 12 best players with one side coached by Espoir’s Jean Bahufite and the other by APR’s Cliff Owour.
Bahufite led Espoir to the league and playoff titles with an unbeaten record, while Espoir whitewashed APR 3-0 in the best-of-five playoff final series.
“We don’t want players to sit idle for a long period, that’s why we came up with this idea to keep them busy after the league,”, Mutabazi told Times Sport on Tuesday.
The officials also noted that the federation plans to come up with more competitions to keep the players busy throughout the season, since the national league runs for only four months.
Mutabazi explained the idea of the All-star game, saying that, much as it is for keeping the players busy it was also to attract more fans at the stadium for ladies’ Game Three of the playoff final as a way of promoting the women’s game.
However, there will be no trophies for the All-star game, since there are no sponsors on board, according to the federation.
“There are no sponsors for this event, therefore the way to go about it is to give to individual players and coaches an envelope for their participation,” Mutabazi reveale
APR lead the series 2-0 after beating Ubumwe 54-41 and 58-47 in Game One, and Two, respectively a fortnight
Meanwhile, the basketball federation awarded individuals, who played a tremendous role in the 2012/2013 season. These included; team president of the year award to Venuste Nsabimana of league debutants 30 plus.


Referee of the year: Jean Sauveur Ruhumuliza, Coach of the year: Alexandre Ahishakiye (RAPP), Journalist of the year: Peter Kamasa (The New Times), Fan of the year: Francois Habiyakare and Volunteer of the year: Mohammed Tuyisenge.
Young player of the year Espoir Placide UWITONZE, born in 1995, while Best scorer player was Mike Buzangu from KBC, and the Most Valuable Player was Aristide Mugabe (Espoir).

28 March 2013

KENYA : Shitsama:1st win was a morale booster

Lions vs Aviation
Lions vs Aviation

Updated on 27/03/13 | By BRIAN AYIEKO

Lions’ coach Morris Shitsama says the first result over the weekend was encouraging and a positive start to a new season. Lions defeated newly promoted Nairobi Aviation College 80-66 in their first league match on Sunday afternoon at the Nyayo Gymnasium.
Lions capitalized on their experience, a factor Shitsama says gave them much needed advantage, “Aviation is a very good team, they have been together since the lower league and now they are in the Premier League so they know each other well but experience helped us.”
“They got exhausted later in the match and cracked and we took advantage of that to win the day.” He added.
Shitsama applauded their new players stating that they had a huge impact in the game, “we have James Omune who came from Ulinzi and his impact was felt immediately. Getting 19 points is a good thing considering it was his 1st game. The other two Dennis Opiyo from KPA and Simon Hill who played for Barclays also contributed a lot.”
Shitsama concluded by stating that the win was only the 1st match and they won’t get carried away with it since there is a long way ahead in the year, “that was just the 1st game and we need to focus for future matches, but all in all the win was a huge morale booster considering what we have gone through.”

NIGERIA : First Deepwater Dominates Zenith Bank B'Ball League

Defending champion of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) organised Zenith Bank Women Basketball League, First Deepwater Basketball club, has remain undaunted in the quest to retain the league title it won three time in a row.
The team secured an emphatic 107-28 points victory over new entrant Coal City Queens basketball club of Enugu in Day-4 of the first phase holding in Abuja.
The Oil & Gas ladies who is ahead of title hopeful Sunshine Angels basketball club of Akure in group-A of the 2012/ 2013 season has won all four games played so far.
The club opens her title defence with a 62-47 points win over Nigeria Customs Service basketball team on Sunday and followed up with a clinical finish of 94-10 points against Taraba Hurricanes on Monday before shooting down GT 2000 basketball club of Kaduna by 62-14 points on Tuesday.
Some of the new teams in the league have display an attitude of competiveness by posting some amazing surprise over the older teams.
Teams such as Benue Princess Basketball club of Makurdi, IGP Queens Basketball club of Lagos and GT 2000 of Kaduna have really done well so far.
Thursday will be observed by all the teams as rest day while action resumes Friday with the last shot of the first phase will be witness on Sunday as the teams looks toward Asaba, Delta State for the second phase.
Four teams will qualify for the final-8 from both groups as fans will witness a new format being introduced by the NBBF.

NIGERIA : GT2000 Eye Top 4 Finish

Kaduna based GT2000 basketball coach, Oche Omuh has revealed his utmost desire is to finish the league among the top 4. He revealed this yesterday after his club beat Customs of Lagos 43-37 points as the first phase of the league observes a rest day today.
He said his team is only a win away from finishing 4th in the first stanza. "We have won three matches and a win away from finishing 4th which will put us in a good position in the second phase.
We want to finish this phase among the first 4 and maintain same position at the second phase in Asaba and qualify for the final 8 playoffs.
What have kept us going are self belief, determination and good support from certain people. We entered the league late where almost all the teams had registered but had to believe in ourselves to do well. That is our secret."
He said he built the team with only five girls and one of his best players Nancy was lost to the Police team after a delay on registration. "I had only one month preparation with the girls because we started a bit late.
Because of late registration the Police team snatched one of my girls Nancy. I started the team with only five girls and resolved to work with what I met on ground.
They were girls that played at the National Sports Festival in Lagos. I really appreciate what the girls are doing," he said.
Action in the league will be off today with hostilities set to commence tomorrow before the phase 1 final action on Saturday.

KENYA : Ulinzi Blades Told to Start Off At Provincial Level

FORMER Premier League side Ulinzi Blades must start off their campaign at the provincial level, a top Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) official directed.
George 'Nyundo' Omondi, the KBF first vice chairman, told a team managers' meeting that there is no way the team can return to the top level after they pulled out in 2004 because slots in the league are already filled up. He explained that because there were already 12 teams as stipulated in the rules, there is no room for an additional team thus the Ulinzi side can only start playing at the provincial league this year. "You pulled out of the league and you must start at the provincial league and that is the position because we have no slots at the moment for any Premier League team.
Ulinzi team manager, Eliud Nzioka, had asked that Ulinzi be reinstated in the premier, arguing that when they were withdrawn, they were playing at that level.
Nzioka said he has already called back some of his girls who were turning up for national champions Eagle Wings to rejoin the forces side and bolster the playing personnel. "The team is back. The players are there and we are raring to go," said Nzioka, adding: "We have been accepted at the Nairobi Basketball Association league where they will start off."
He named the four players as Rebecca Sarenge, Bridgit Nanzala, Sharon Midamba and Mildred Akinyi. The other player who has also joined Ulinzi is Linda Nyikuli.

RWANDA : APR women hoops aim for unbeaten record

APR women basketball club is seeking to finish the Playoffs tournament unbeaten as they prepare to face Ubumwe club in Game Three on Friday at Amahoro Indoor court.
APR basketball club coach Charles Mbazumutima said, “We are targeting a win against Ubumwe in our third game. It will be a difficult game but considering our recent performances, we believe we can do better and finish in a superb way,”
Both APR and Ubumwe women basketball clubs have recorded a victory against each other. APR won the first game 54-41 before Ubumwe reiterated with a 58-47 win in the second game.
However his counterpart Jack Bahige said that Ubumwe can’t afford to lose the decisive game. “We want the title and this is why we have trained rigorously and we are ready for the contest,”
“A win is good to keep us in contention for the title,” added Bahige.
The winner of the best three Playoffs Game between APR and Ubumwe will walk away with the Play-offs title.

Espoir won the Playoffs title in the men’s category last week after beating APR in three consecutive games to finish the season unbeaten.

27 March 2013

KENYA : Cary Odhiambo: Thunder outplayed us

File picture
File picture

Updated on 26/03/13 | By BRIAN AYIEKO

KBF Premier League Champions Co-op Bank head coach Cary Odhiambo has admitted that his side was outplayed by Thunder in their league encounter played on Saturday at the Nyayo Gymnasium.
Co-op Bank were beaten 72-63 by the Shauri Moyo based side in their league opener last weekend.
According to Odhiambo, his side was completely out of game mode and was caught unawares by their opponents who capitalized on every blunder to sink them, “They outplayed us in every department and their shooting was superb. Once you get a shooting team then definitely you will have problems.” He says.
He further adds that apart from Griffin Ligare, the Thunder captain who was in top form, the rest of the team stepped up and gave them a very stiff challenge, “Griffin always gives teams a hard time but in that game the other team members stepped up and gave their side points. It was their day.”
Odhiambo’s focus is now to get his team from the comfort zone and get to serious business in their quest towards defending their league title, “we have to admit that we are not in good form as we were in December so the boys need to step up. As I said before the season, I wanted us to start the league with wins. Catching up is an unwanted situation so we really have to work hard this week.”

NIGERIA : NBBF Plans More Championships for Local Players

The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) at the weekend announced that more local competitions have been lined up for basketball players plying their trade on the local scene as part of measures to ensure that those playing in the Nigerian league are adequately groomed to pick shirts in the various national teams.
President of the NBBF, Mallam Tijanin Umar, who disclosed this at a media briefing to herald the dunk off of the 2013 Zenith Bank Nigeria Basketball Women League in Abuja, said one of the championships, the National Women Open Championship will dunk off in October, shortly after the end of the women league.
He advised the home-based women basketball players to take their career so as to be considered for national assignments by the national team coaches.
He also announced that the federation has entered into a long-term sponsorship deal with Zenith Bank, which will see the winer of the ongoing league take home N1 million, while the runners-up and third placed teams pocketing N750, 000 and N500, 000 respectively.
"My joy is that the women are going to have more tournaments this year. It is not going to be the Zenith Bank League alone, as soon as the league is concluding we will commence the National Women Open Championship. I just want to inform you that this year's edition is going to be tougher and so I advise you to really brace up," Umar said.

KENYA : Maseno Seek to Defend Ball Title As Nyanza Action Peaks

MASENO School will start their Lake and Highland region boys' basketball title campaign against St. Kizito Nyansiongo tomorrow.
Maseno, coached by principal Paul Otula, start the tournament as favourites having consecutively won the title for several years. They have been pooled in Group 'D' alongside Nyansiongo and Ambira.
According to the draws and fixtures released by the regional secretary Tom Odhiambo, Kisii County champions Nyamagwa, Homa Bay Boys and Kisumu Boys are in Pool 'A'.
Pool 'B' will consist of Rapogi, Agoro Sare and hosts Cardinal Otunga High School and Mosocho while Pool 'C' has Rakwaro Seminary, St Mary's Yala and Nyamira Boys. In girls' basketball, favourites Kisumu and Asumbi have been pooled in Group 'A' alongside Gesicho from Kisii County.
Kisii County champions Itierio Girls, Ogande (Homa Bay) and St Mary's Mabera are in Group 'B' while Group 'C' has Ng'iya Girls, Enkinda and Ulanda. Pool 'D' will have Nyamira champions Sironga, Raliew and Koru from Kisumu County. Defending netball champions, Obambo from Siaya are in Group 'B' and will face off with Mobamba and Koru Girls. Pool 'A' will have Nyachogochogo (Kisii), Nyarach and Lwak while Sironga, Kobala and Kandege will be in Pool 'C'. Nyamira champions Gucha, Banda (Nyatike) and Ogande are in pool 'D'.

NIGERIA : Zenith Bank Basketball League - First Bank Maintains Group B Lead

The First Bank Women Basketball Club of Lagos on Monday in Abuja maintained its Group B lead at the ongoing Zenith Bank Women Basketball League after thrashing Dolphins of Lagos 83-63.
The match was both teams' second encounter on day two at the nine-day competition at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Abuja National Stadium.
First Bank had on Sunday walloped Nigeria Immigration Team 84-17 to top Group B at the end of the first day.
In the other Group B matches, Delta Force bounced back from its first defeat by Dolphins 41-55 and walloped Nigeria Immigration 47-29 in its second match.
Plateau Rocks maintained their good grip by defeating new entrant, Oluyole Babes of Oyo 50-42 in another Group B match.
In the last Group B showdown, Benue Queens recovered from the first defeat by Plateau Rocks 49-62, by defeating IGP Queens 41-36.
In Group A, defending champions, First Deep Water of Lagos, climbed to the top after trouncing new entrant, Taraba Hurricanes 94-10.
Sunshine Queens of Akure also shot up to the second in the group after thrashing another new entrants, GT-2000 of Kaduna 64-36.
Nigeria Customs was able to recover from its first loss to First Deep Water 43-62 by defeating AHIP Queens of Kano 39-23.
The league began on March 23 with 16 teams, comprising 10 regular and six new entrants.
The competition is currently in its first phase and will end on March 31, with the second and third phases coming up in Asaba and Lagos respectively later in the year.

25 March 2013

NIGERIA : Zenith Bank National Women's Basketball League Results

The 9th Zenith Bank National Women's Basketball league has commenced fully, and is proving enjoyable at every turn.
The league has reached its second day with the results of the games played as follows:
Game 3.) First Deepwater (Lagos) 62 Nig. Customs (Lagos) 47
Game 4.) First Bank (Lagos) 84 Nig. Immigrations (Abuja) 17
Game 5.) Taraba (Jalingo) 13 AHIP Queens (Kano) 33
Game 6.) Plateau (Jos) 62 Benue Princess (Makurdi) 49
Game 7.) Coal City (Enugu) 36 GT-2000(Kaduna) 58
Game 8.) Oluyole Babes (Oyo) 45 IGP Queens (Lagos) 55

ZIMBABWE : Churchill, Roosevelt Take Bob '89 Honours

CHURCHILL and Roosevelt were crowned the Bob '89 basketball champions at Hellenics Sports Club after some impressive displays yesterday.
The first edition of the basketball event had seen several clubs and schools taking part in the competition. Churchill beat Prince Edward 30-26 in the final to be crowned the boys champions while in the girls section, Roosevelt overcame from Masvingo 21-16 in a tightly-contested encounter.
The inaugural Bob '89 basketball tournament begun on Friday at the various courts in Harare including City Sports Centre, Hellenics Sports Club, Richwood Park and Girls High School.
The tournament was held to commemorate the life and leadership of President Mugabe.
All basketball-playing schools in the country converged in Harare for the tournament.
The tournament was being held under the theme: "Inspired by a Legend, Empowering Youth Through Sport-Shooting 90" and was organised by the Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BAZ), the Harare Basketball Association, the Ghetto Basketball League and the National Association of School Heads (NASH).
Bob '89 patron Ambassador Simon Khaya-Moyo said he was happy to be associated with the sport.
"I am happy to be here for the first edition of the Bob '89 basketball tournament and it is good that we have such a good turnout. To all the teams that took part, I say never lose hope as you are all winners and we look forward to (your participation) next year.
"The event is important as it is held to commemorate the life and leadership of President Mugabe," Khaya-Moyo said.

KENYA : Lions kick start season with roar over Aviation

Nairobi Aviation College
Nairobi Aviation College

Updated on 25/03/13 | By BRIAN AYIEKO
Lions basketball team began the 2013 KBF Premier League on a positive note after beating debutants Nairobi Aviation 80-66 at the Nyayo Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.This being the first match for the oldest club in Kenya's basketball history to play without the backing of their sponsors Kenya Commercial Bank who withdrew their financial support to the club early this year after decades of consistent partnership.
Four matches scheduled for the past weekend involving USIU vs. Storms, USIU vs. Nakuru Club, Western Delight vs. Shimba Hills, KPA vs. MMUST and Western Delight vs. KPA were rescheduled due to technical reasons.
Lions who were formerly known as KCB Lions were clearly the superior side against the students despite the 1st quarter ending 14-14.
Lions again dominated with a 20-14 win in the second quarter to put the half time scores at 34-25. The ever green Ancent Wafula who was also the Kenya team captain that travelled to Tanzania for the African Cup qualifiers hit 23 points for the Lions followed by James Omune who had 19 points while Aviation's top scorer was Byron Job with 21 points.
Aviation lost the 3rd 22- 29 but pulled themselves up in the final stretch to pin down the Lions with a minor lead of 19-17 but it was too late.
In the Division One matches played on Sunday Equity overcame Trailblazers 57-44 while Umoja beat World Hope 72-58. Parklands Baptist succumbed to KCA-U 34 -51.

NIGERIA : Zenith Basketball League - FCT Blames Loss On Fatigue

FCT Angels basketball club of Abuja which lost its first game at the ongoing 9th Zenith Bank National Women's League phase 1 to Sunshine Angels of Akure 47 to 66 points have blamed the loss on fatigue. Coach of the team Emmanuel Odah said the girls were tired even before the game started having waited for so long before the match started. He said the girls were hungry and weak when they eventually entered the court. "The opening game in Group A against Sunshine Angels was to be played at 2pm and the girls came out very early for the opening ceremony in anticipation that they will play at 2pm but the event dragged and they could not leave to eat so they entered the court after 2 hours for the game. That affected them as fatigue set in and they got tired out."
Odah said despite the opening defeat his dream of ending the league as the first 3 remains as the girls will come out stronger today against new entrants the Coal City girls from Enugu.
Assistant coach of the team Sunday Asisi described the loss as painful stating that the girls were tired exhausted before the jump ball. He said he does not believe that Sunshine girls were better than his team but the encounter was lost due to tiredness and fatigue.

RWANDA : Men basketball team to start preps in May


Canada-based Hamza Ruhezamihigo.
The national men’s basketball team will start training in early May ahead Afro basketball championship which is slated to run from 15-26 June 2013 in Ivory Coast, according to the head coach.
Moise Mutokambari said his team will have preparations for about three weeks so as to put themselves in good position to compete well against Africa’s cream-de-la-cream.

“I have always believed in early preparations for my teams because it helps me to have a good and long look at all the players and put my ideas across with a well-informed view,” said Mutokambari.
Some of the professional players Mutokambali will be looking to have on the team include, Hamza Ruhezamihigo, Kenneth Gasana, Bradley Cameron Curtis, Dan Rugamba, Isom Cedric, Brannon Darrius, and Robert Thomson.
In build-up to the continental championships, Rwanda is scheduled to play a friendly game against Africa’s powerhouse Angola either in May or early June.
Rwanda qualified for the Afro basketball championship after finishing runners-up to Egypt at the Zone V qualifier held in Tanzania in January. The draws for the tournament are set to be made on March 30.

24 March 2013

KENYA : Thunder strikes Bankers in Nairobi

Coop bank file picture
Coop bank file picture

Updated on 24/03/13 | By BRIAN AYIEKO

Shauri Moyo based Thunder basketball team pulled a surprise on defending Champions of the KBF Premier League Co-op Bank when they beat them 72-63 on Saturday afternoon at the Nyayo Gymnasium.
Griffin Ligare the Thunder captain was in top form for his side sinking in 27 points while the Banker’s Joseph Khaemba had the highest points in the game with 28. In the 1st quarter Co-op had 23 points against Thunders 13 points while in the 2nd quarter saw Thunder rally back with 21 points against their opponents 15 points to put the half time scores 38-34 in favor of Co-op.
The second half of the match saw a head to head showdown between the two teams but Thunder managed to overcome Co-op in the 3rd quarter at 21 points against 17 points then finished them off in the last quarter with 17 points with the Cary Odhiambo’s side managing only 8 points.
The defeat to Thunder comes as huge disappointment for Odhiambo the Co-op Bank coach as he had highlighted the need for the team to start the league on a high note and the loss will force the side too re-strategize.
On the other end the win is huge boost for the Thunder side with Ligare stating that everyone played their hearts out to win the day, “we knew we were facing the defending champions meaning that we were supposed to be on top of our game and we did that and of course our game plan worked for us.”

NIGERIA : Nineth Zenith Bank Women's League Dunks Off Today

All arrangements have been concluded for the jump ball of the 9th edition of the Zenith National Women's Basketball League Round 1 today at the Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Package 'B' Abuja. To make it more interesting and competitive, the NBBF added more teams from the earlier 10 teams to 16 this season. The 16 teams are grouped in two groups of 8 each. They are First Deepwater, Sunshine Angels, Nigeria Customs, FCT Angels and AHIP Queens make up Group A. Others include Coal City Queens, GT-2000 and Taraba Hurricanes. In Group B, there is First Bank, Dolphins, Delta Force, Nigeria Immigration, Plateau Rocks, Benue Queens, Oluyole Babes and Adamawa Super Flames.
The teams arrived on Thursday and were presented to the media yesterday as well as holding a technical meeting with the federation and officials before today's opening ceremony slated for 2pm. The opening game in Group A today will be a clash of Angels- involving Sunshine Angels and FCT Angels. Coach Emmanuel Odah of the FCT Angels said he is eyeing another memorable first phase and planning to finish among the top 3 at the end of the league. In Group B, Dolphins of Lagos will clash with Delta Force of Asaba in another game that promises to be thrilling.
Subsequent action will see new comers Coal City Queens of Enugu battle league veterans AHIP Queens of Kano while Benue Queens of Makurdi slug it out with Oluyole Babes from Ibadan. It will be a derby like clash when neighbors Adamawa Super Flames confront Taraba Hurricanes. Already for the purpose of inspiration to up-coming basketball talents, more than 20 FCT Secondary Schools with basketball bias have been invited to watch and get thrilled.
The invited schools will benefit from balls to be donated by the federation while top coaches including Emma Odah are slated to speak in a seminar for invited Games Masters on the rudiments of coaching basketball in schools. Nigeria Basketball Federation president, Tijjani Umar told LEADERSHIP WEEKEND SPORTS that already the federation has started a programme which runs concurrently in Abuja, Lagos and other cities to catch them young in schools.
According to him, beginning from the secondary was to help the federation frustrate the idea of having age cheats as it will avail them the opportunity of having legitimate students participate and be nurtured to play for the national teams.

23 March 2013


We emerged Victorious in our first Game with the Kennedy Nets............................
Score Board
Kennedy Nets : 54
YMCA Sixers: 89
Players of the Day
1Mohamed Tosh Sesay
2. Skinner Caulker
3. James Bangura

KENYA : Changes on KBF week one fixtures

USIU file picture
USIU file picture

Updated on 22/03/13 | By DENNIS MACHIO

Kenya Basketball Federation has announced mild changes on this weekend’s league matches with matches involving USIU and Western Delight shelved to a later date.
According to Joseph Amuoko who is the fixtures secretary, USIU teams are still playing in their University games while Western Delight requested to have their Mombasa matches against Shimba Hills and KPA shelved.
The other matches will however go on as planned.
The affected matches include:
USIU vs. Storms
USIU vs. Nakuru Club
Western Delight vs. Shimba Hills
Western Delight vs KPA
Saturday fixtures as follows:
Div 1- KAA vs. Little Prince (9am), Umoja vs. Terror (10:30am); (Nyayo Gymnasium)
Women Premier league - Co-op Bank vs. Safe Spaces (12:00pm),Mennonites vs KCA-U
Men’s Premier league - Mennonites vs. Blazers (3:00pm), Thunder vs. Co-op Bank (4:30pm)
Div 1:Parklands vs KCA-U, Umoja vs World Hope, Trail Blazers vs Equity.
Premier Men: Lions vs Aviation,

22 March 2013

ZIMBABWE : Bob '89 Basketball Tourney On Cards

BASKETBALL enthusiastics in the capital will be spoilt for choice as the inaugural Bob 89 Basketball Tournament and the NASH Top Schools qualifiers are all happening in Harare this weekend.
The Bob 89 event, meant to celebrate the life of President Robert Mugabe through basketball, is expected to attract 30 teams from across the country will burst into life this afternoon at the City Sports Centre.
A total of 20 schools and 10 clubs are expected for the Bob 89 Tournament where the game between seasoned established clubs Cameo and JBC later this evening is expected to give the event an impetus.
Cameo are set to field a strong team led by point guard Jamel Atkins and Aggripa Masvisvi.
Another set of schools teams will converge at Queen Elizabeth and Girls High for the NASH qualifiers early tomorrow while the Bob 89 tournament continues at Hellenic and Morgan High School later in the day.
Tendai Mukuruva, who is the Bob 89 Tournament director, said they are hoping it would be a basketball fiesta in the capital over this weekend.
"We are holding the Bob 89 Basketball Tournament while there is also the top schools tourney.
"I do not think that there should be a counter attraction between the events but they should complement each other.
"We are playing our first matches on Friday (today) afternoon and then on Saturday morning the top schools will be playing at their centres.
"So, on Saturday afternoon, people could actually come and watch the Bob 89 Tournament after watching the schools early in the day.
"All protocols have been observed so that we have non-stop basketball action this weekend," Mukuruva.
Mukuruva said schools have been pooled into four teams that will be play on a round robin for the preliminary stages while the finals are set for Sunday at the City Sports Centre.
Bob 89 Basketball Committee chairperson, Tendai "T-Buns" Zhakata, said Mashonaland Central will provide 10 teams while the other province provides two east.
"Initially the tournament had been set for Mazoe High but we have shifted to Harare. So Mashonaland Central Province acts as host and we have invited 10 teams from the area.
"Schools like Mazoe, Chipundura, Hermain Germainer, St Alberts, Chipadze and Howard will be coming for the competition.
"Accommodation for all the visiting teams has been arranged at Churchill and Girls High while we are grateful to various sponsors like NetOne, Seed Co and Esiabank Farm who have helped other. A lot of people have come to support us," said Zhakata.

TANZANIA : Twelve Clubs to Take Part in Baketball Championship

TWELVE teams have so far confirmed their participation in the forthcoming National Basketball Club Championship planned for Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga early next month.
Tanzania Boxing Federation (TBF) Assistant Secretary General, Michael Maluwe said that the championship will be staged from April 1 to 7. Maluwe named some of the participating teams as Savio, JKT, Magereza, Jeshi Stars, Pazi, Chui, Vijana, Vijana Queens, ABC and Don Bosco.
According to the BFT official, clubs have been given until March 25 to confirm their participation in the annual event. Traditionally, the local basketballers have been showing their prowess in the clubs event compared to assignment featuring national sides.
He said the federation was still looking for sponsorships to cater for the referees and other administrative costs. Maluwe was optimistic that all will be well within time as was the case during the last year's event held in Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam duo of Savio and Jeshi Stars are respectively the men and women's defending champions

KENYA : Eagle Wings back in training

File picture
File picture

Updated on 22/03/13 | By DENNIS MACHIO

Kenya Basketball women premier league champions Eagles Wings are back in training. The team resumed on Tuesday after the long off season break to prepare for the 2013 season that kicks off on Saturday with eight matches in Nairobi and Mombasa.
Eagle Wings will not be in action this weekend as their first match is scheduled for 6th of April away in Kakamega against Western Delight who will be making a trip to Mombasa this weekend to face Shimba Hills.
The team however remains uncertain over the exit of some of their key players who are expected to join Ulinzi Blades that will be making a comeback since 2004. Rabbecca Sarange, Brigit Nanzala and Mildred Akinyi are military officers who could be exiting to join Ulinzi Blades while Linda Nyikuli and Lucy Mwajuma had also been linked with a move to the Ulinzi squad.
The exits however depends on whether Ulinzi Blades will be admitted to the Premier League though fixtures secretary Joseph Amuoko told michezoafrika.com that the team will have to fight their way up to the top from the lower ranks.
Eagle Wings plot to defend both their domestic league title and the regional Zone 5 title in Burundi later in the year.
The full weekend one fixtures as follows:
Div 1- KAA vs. Little Prince (9am), Umoja vs. Terror (10:30am); (Nyayo Gymnasium)
Women Premier league - Co-op Bank vs. Safe Spaces (12:00pm), Storms vs. KCA -University (1:30pm), NYTA-Shimba vs. Western Delight (2:00pm);
Men’s Premier league - Mennonites vs. Blazers (3:00pm), Thunder vs. Co-op Bank (4:30pm) KPA vs. MMUST (4:00pm)

KENYA : Narok High Impress to Win the County Schools Basketball Championship Title

NAROK County basketball reigning champions Narok Boys High school extended their dominance in the game after they retained the title during the county secondary schools Term one 'A' at Maasai Girls' High School ground.
Narok were declared the winners after they scooped six points in a round-robin basis. Ololulung'a boys finished second with three points while Kilgoris placed third with no point. In their opening match, Narok coached by Seela Kuluo, edged out their perennial rivals Ololulung'a boys 26-13. Cheered on by the home fans including their Principal Karoki Ngethe, Narok won the first quarter 10-5 before they took the second 5-3 after aggressive attack. After the break, Longisa tactician changed the tempo of the game and won the third quarter 6-3. In last quarter, the champion managed to get five baskets while the other team also managed to score the two baskets. The second match saw Narok beat Kilgoris 43-12 with Ololulung'a running over Kilgoris 24-22. In girls' category, St Mary's won the title on silver plate after their opponents failed to turn up.

KENYA : Kenya basketball league to go live on SuperSport

USIU vs Cop Bank file picture
USIU vs Cop Bank file picture

Updated on 21/03/13 | By DENNIS MACHIO

The 2013 season of the Kenya Basketball Federation league kicks off this weekend with eight matches in Nairobi and Mombasa.
Basketball fans and players will be excited by news that SuperSport could broadcast selected Premier League matches this season with the first matches expected to go live on Friday 19th of April 2013 if the ongoing talks sail through as planned.
This will be the first time for Kenyan Basketball League to go live on SuperSports joining The Kenyan Premier League (soccer) and Cricket league that enjoys massive coverage on specially designed SuperSport channels for the East African region.
Once the talks are concluded the Live matches could be played at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani gymnasium that also hosts a bigger crowd compared to the smaller Nyayo stadium gymnasium.Sources suggest the first matches could be aired on 19th April if all goes according to plan.
Cooperative Bank of Kenya and Eagle Wings won last season’s league for the men and women respectively with United States International University-Kenya finishing second in both categories losing to the winners in the finals.
The full weekend one fixtures as follows:
Div 1- KAA vs. Little Prince (9am), Umoja vs. Terror (10:30am); (Nyayo Gymnasium)
Women Premier league - Co-op Bank vs. Safe Spaces (12:00pm), Storms vs. KCA -University (1:30pm), NYTA-Shimba vs. Western Delight (2:00pm);
Men’s Premier league - Mennonites vs. Blazers (3:00pm), Thunder vs. Co-op Bank (4:30pm) KPA vs. MMUST (4:00pm)

KENYA : KPA Suffer Blow As Nson Moves to Blazers

KENYA Ports Authority (KPA) suffered a major blow after shooting guard Abel Nson moved to another Premier League side Blazers. Nson, who has also played for reigning national champions Co-operative Bank of Kenya, said he is done with top class basketball and wanted to enjoy himself instead. "I can no longer play the game at such a high level and that is why I decided to move to Blazers so that I can enjoy the game more because there is no much competition here at the lower level," he said. Blazers, who avoided relegation by a whisker a last minute win that sent University of Nairobi "Terrorists" down, said they are happy to have Nson in the team because of his experience and shooting ability.
"We are happy to have him in our team. He is great shooter and will also give us the experience that should help us keep up with the tempo in the Premier League," said player/coach Ken Keya.
Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) fixtures secretary confirmed it's only Nson who has taken the transfer forms and he is free to move after making the necessary payments.
Nson turned out for his new side in the pre-season tournament at the Nairobi Railways Club that was won by Strathmore University.

NIGERIA : National Women's Basketball League Kicks Off in Abuja

The ninth edition of the Zenith Bank National Women's Basketball League will kick off in Abuja with a colourful opening ceremony on March 23.
The event will hold at the indoor sports hall, package B of the National Stadium in Abuja.
16 female basketball teams have registered and will participate at the games. The teams will arrive in Abuja on Thursday.
Find below the list of participating teams:
First Deepwater FC
First Bank FC
Sunshine Angels
Nigeria Customs
Delta Force
FCT Angels
Nigeria Immigration
AHIP Queens
Plateau Rocks
Coal City Queens
Benue Queens
Oluyole Babes
Taraba Hurricane
Adamawa Super Flame

GAMBIA : Basketball League update

The Gambia Basketball league is currently being topped by YMCA after grabbing 21 points in seven matches played.
Wallidan and Serrekunda West are each on 15 points and Brikama are on 12 points chasing behind the leaders.
Armed Forces are also coming up at the middle of the table with nine points.
See below the full table of the week eight.

NIGERIA : Women's Basketball League Starts Saturday

The National Women's Basketball League will be officially opened on Saturday with the opening ceremony and the opening match.
The opening ceremony, which organisers say will be superb, will start at 2 p.m. while the opening match will start at 4.00 p.m. at the indoor sports hall of the National Stadium.
The opening fixtures will be played between Sunshine Angels and FCT Angels in Group A; followed by Dolphins of Lagos versus Delta Force of Asaba in Group B.
The organisers said invited more than 20 secondary schools in Abuja for the opening ceremony while additional attractions at the event include music and dance by top Nigerian artistes. The invited schools will get free T-shirts, snacks by Drumstix, and basketballs.
The official partners for the event include Sports Radio 88.9 Brila FM, PREMIUM TIMES, 7-UP Bottling Company, Drumstix, Tonnies Water, Bolingo Hotel & Towers, and Africa Independent Television (A.I.T).

21 March 2013

MALAWI : Sozobal kick-off shifted to April

Southern Zone Basketball League (Sozobal) has shifted the kick-off of the 2013 season from this weekend to the end of April.
Sozobal chairperson Hamlet Kamtengeni told The Nation last weekend that the extension aims at giving a chance to four college teams, Poly Bobcats, Chanco Hawks, CoM Lumbricals and Catholic University to assemble their squads.
“We have realised that college students will be back to their campuses in April. Now, considering that college teams form an integral part of the league, we have decided to shift the kick-off dates,” said Kamtengeni.
However, he said, for the seventh year running, the league is expected to start without corporate sponsorship.
“Almost all the companies we approached for sponsorship said they cannot afford to bankroll our league because of financial problems. Of course, others have made promises, but we cannot rely on that unless they put pen to paper,” he said.
Bricks are the league’s defending champions.

MALAWI : Malawi out of Afro Basketball championship

Malawi compete at the 2013 Afro Basketball Zone VI Under-16 Championship next month in Zimbabwe, Basketball Association of Malawi (Basmal) has said.
Basmal technical director Obed Nyirongo revealed this on Thursday when asked about reports in Zimbabwean newspapers that Malawi would be among participating teams at the international event.
The competition, to run from April 25 to May 3, is for boys and girls basketball teams. For Malawi to participate, it needed to have both boys and girls teams.
“We are not sending a team to Zimbabwe. We have never had a national women’s team. The women only participate in all-stars regional competitions. We are trying to form a women’s national team starting with an Under-19 all-stars team,” Nyirongo said.
He said Basmal hopes that the all-stars squad would mature for qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Zimbabwe’s Herald newspaper last week reported that following the recent qualification of Zimbabwe women’s basketball team for the 2013 Afro Basketball Women’s Championship, the country was awarded the right to host the event.
The 2013 Afro Basketball Zone VI Under-16 will bring together teams from nine southern Africa countries namely, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and hosts Zimbabwe.
In a statement, Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) president Addison Chiware described hosting the event as a step in the right direction.
“As we enter one of the most inspirational sporting years of our generation, we have already started to capitalise on the unique opportunity, creating a long-lasting sporting legacy for future generations in Zimbabwe and across Africa,” Chiware was quoted as saying.

MALAWI : Cezobal holds Pirates Casino Invitational tourney

Central Zone Basketball League (Cezobal) will on Friday hold a day-long Pirates Casino Invitational Tournament at Civo Court, Lilongwe.
The tournament has been sponsored by The Pirates Casino, a gambling shop, to the tune of K80 000 (about $250).
Last year, the tournament attracted two teams from the Southern Zone Basketball League (Sozobal) Bricks and Magang’a while the host teams were Mimbulu and Pirates.
According to Cezobal vice-chairperson Barlett Mafuleka, the event has involved teams that finished first round in the bottom four positions in Cezobal men’s league. The four teams are Pirates, Bayonets, Mdzodzo and Alliance One.
"The tournament will also involve two women’s teams; these are the newly formed teams in the women’s league Blue Eagles and Trojan Ladies. The Pirates Casino manager Dale Delany told us that they have done this to encourage and motivate the bottom teams in the league. This will give an opportunity to one of the teams to win something," said Mafuleka.
"We are thankful to The Pirates Casino on coming back and sponsoring the tournament. We are looking at this being an annual tournament. We are also pleased that the sponsors are looking at assisting and motivating the bottom teams in the men’s league and also helping in the development of women’s basketball by involving the new women’s teams. It will motivate the teams to work hard and improve their skills," said Mafuleka.
Saturday’s fixtures are as follows: Pirates vs Alliance One; Bayonnets vs Mdzodzo and Blue Eagles vs Trojan.
Mimbulu were the tournament’s inaugural winners last year. They beat Bricks 64-46 in the finals.

EGYPT : Samhan "all the way in" for Egypt this summer

Omar Samhan (EGY) Photo: ratiopharm ulm/Thilo Hensel
EGY - Samhan "all the way in" for Egypt this summer
ULM (2013 FIBA Africa Championship) - After missing out three times on the chance to play for his father’s home nation, ratiopharm ulm center Omar Samhan says he is "all the way in" on playing for Egypt at this summer’s AfroBasket in Ivory Coast.
The 24-year-old native of San Ramon, California will give the Egyptians a dominant force in the middle as well as a big man who can stretch the defense with an outside jumper.
"(The Egyptian federation) has talked a lot with my agent," said Samhan, who stands 2.10m and weighs in at 122 kilos.
"They have a new coach this year and really this is the first summer for me being all the way in and playing all the way through. I think they are pretty excited and I know I am."
Samhan also provides Egypt with a proven winner and someone with high level experience. In 2011, he helped Zalgiris Kaunas to the Baltic League and Lithuanian league titles while also playing in the Euroleague.
Samhan, whose father was born and raised in Egypt, has been close to playing for the African nation in the past.
"It's actually just been bad timing," said Samhan, who ranks third among all-time leading scorers at St Mary’s College (California), behind the Australian pair of Matt Dellavedova and Daniel Kickert.
While still at St Mary’s, Samhan said his coach Randy Bennett had asked him not to play during the summer. Then in 2011, the big man went through some preparations with the national team before the unrest broke out in the country.
"Everything was good to go but once everything started happening with the country and I had just come off the long Euroleague season, me and my agent said we should just take the time off and stay at home," he recalled.
Last season, Samhan went down with a torn ACL and missed the entire 2011-12 campaign. He was still without a job this season until February when German side Ulm brought the big man in to give them another option in the low post behind reigning BBL league MVP John Bryant.
"It's awesome. It's great to be back," said Samhan, who is also considered a great team presence with his joking demeanor.
"There was a chance I wasn't going to play this season and I was pretty upset about that. And then to not only go to a good team but to go to a contender is unbelievable. It's like a dream come true."
When asked about his expectations for Egypt this summer, Samhan said: "Just to play. It's time that we reach the top three in Africa. Eventually, our goal is to participate in the next Olympics. I think we need to make that push every year to become the best team in Africa."
"I think we can be a great team. I think there are pieces that we're still lacking that if we can get we can definitely be a threat."

ANGOLA : Tomas: "We must capitalise on the Olympic experience"

Luisa Tomas (ANG) - Angola v China, 2012 Olympics

LUANDA (Afrobasket for Women/FIBA World Championship for Women) - If there is one moment that Angolan center Luisa Tomas will cherish for the rest of her basketball career, it is the London Olympics.
She attracted the scouts' attention, got her photograph taken with international sport personalities - including Brazil center Nene - but it is her match-up against the USA's Candace Parker that intrigued her the most.
"God, she is a great player. Highly-skilled, in fact," Tomás told FIBA.com.
Team USA trashed Angola 90-38 and Parker went on to register game-highs of 14 points and 12 rebounds in 24 minutes.
Tomas spent 22 minutes on court and finished with two points made from the free-throw line, as she missed all five of her shots attempts.
"We realised that we need to work harder in order to compete equally with the USA," she said.
Angola lost all five games of its Preliminary Round games, including against Turkey (72-50), China (76-52), Croatia (75-56) and Czech Republic (82-47).
However, they almost upset China as they went to the break trailing two points (33-31).
Tomas says she felt more comfortable matching up against Croatian Marija Vrsaljko.
"I had one of my best games in London against Croatia because I was relaxed," she recalled.
In that game, Tomas led Angola in scoring with 15 points and added eight rebounds.
When asked why Angola registered the lowest scoring points percentage, Tomas said that happened because "(we) sometimes, struggled to interpret the head coach's instructions."
As she turns 30 on Sunday, Tomas is yet to decide her club career's future, although she might still remain at Inter Clube de Luanda.
While in London last summer, she was contacted by agents who wanted to sign her to play professionally in France, Russia or Spain.
"I decided to remain in Angola because I have so many things to do here," Tomas explained.
"I have a young daughter to look after.
"I am looking forward to finishing my business management degree and there is a lot for me to do here in Angola."
As the defending continental champions, Angola are expected to travel to Afrobasket Women in Mozambique come September to retain their African crown, according to Tomas.
“We have to capitalise on our Olympic experience and put it in practice when play the Afrobasket again," she warned.
"If you ask me which team I would like to see at the World Championship, logically I would say Angola," she said.
The top two teams at Afrobasket qualify directly to the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women which will be held in Turkey.
Although Tomas stands 1.92m, she says Angola needs height to square off against bigger opponents.

ANGOLA : Petro Defeat ASA in Angola Cup Semi-Finals

Luanda — Petro de Luanda last Tuesday at Cidadela pavilion beat Atlético Sport Aviação (ASA) by 86-84, in the first round of the Angola League Cup in males basketball semi finals.
With this result, Petro de Luanda led by Lazare Adingono (Cameroon), have more chances to qualify for the final, since the two teams play again on Friday for the second round.
Petro de Luanda, a team with unquestionable technical and tactical qualities, judging by their human potential, demonstrated to be able to qualify for the final to face the winner of the clash between 1º de Agosto and Libolo.
The two teams play again Friday, to qualify for the final.

KENYA : Sironga Beat Enkinda to Win Nyamira County Schools Basketball Title

HOSTS Sironga High edged out Enkinda 33-14 to win the Nyamira County secondary schools girls' basketball title. Sironga, coached by Maurice Mwenda led 17-6 at the breather with Milka Nyagwoka, Molly Atieno and Esther Nyagaka inspiring the winners to retain the title. Nyagwoka and Atieno top-scored with 10 points each. In the semis, Sironga beat Rigoma Mixed 37-08 while Enkinda defeated Nyaikuro 15-08.
However, Sironga and Enkinda will represent Nyamira at the Lake and Highland region championships scheduled for next week at Cardinal Otunga High School, Mosocho. In the boys' category, Nyamira recapture their title after tossing a coin after final, where they were top play Kizito Nyansiongo failed to take off due to heavy rains. Nyamira narrowly beat Nyairang'a 34-28 while Nyansiongo benefited from the disqualification of Nyambaria. The school was disqualified after

UGANDA : Ikong secures semifinal date with Malinga

Joseph Ikong and Eric Malinga will lock horns in the Castle Lite Friday Night Lights semifinals after guiding their teams to victory in the quarterfinals.
Defending champions Team Ikong survived a scare before squeezing past Team Kasewu 51-47 in overtime at YMCA on Friday while Team Malinga eased past Team Amonding 57-36.
Ikong scored a game high 17 points for his side.
Meanwhile, with the Malinga brothers Eric and Henry not featuring prominently, UCU Canons’ Desmond Owili was voted the best entertaining player on the night. He pocketed Shs100,000 for his efforts in Team Malinga’s victory.

20 March 2013

ANGOLA : Libolo Beat 1º De Agosto

Recreativo do Libolo beat Tuesday 1º de Agosto by 85-83 in the first hand of the semi-finals of Angola Cup in basketball.
1º de Agosto, that risk losing trophy, will play the second game on Friday, at Rio Seco pavilion.
On the other hand, Petro de Luanda, close to the semi-final, defeated, Atletico Sport Aviação (ASA) by 86-64.

UGANDA : City Oil Boss UCU Invitational

UCU Invitational Men's Final
City Oil 77 UCU Canons 69
Women's Final
Canons B 34 Canons A 31
Men's third place playoff
Ndejje 34 Riders 31
IN the final act of the 2013 UCU Invitational, Jimmy Enabu majestically soared and threw down a two-handed dunk.
Then he teasingly swung on the rattling rim for some seconds, as if to emphasise the point that he had been the best player and that City Oil were deserving champions.
Yes, Enabu and City Oil are - to borrow a common local colloquialism - 'in the thing'.
Enabu, signed from D'Mark Power, dropped a game-high 24 points to lead City Oil - newly promoted to the FUBA men's top flight - to an impressive 77-68 overtime win over hosts UCU Canons in the final of the men's draw of the preseason basketball tournament, held at Uganda Christian University, Mukono, over the weekend. Enabu was named men's MVP.
Wealthy and ambitious, City Oil have been the talk of the preseason with observers keen to see what team they are going to assemble.
Their line-up, or at least the one they have for now, was on display at the two-day event and it delivered.
It is still early days but City Oil, which was coached by 2012 men's national championship winning coach Mandy Juruni, sent out an early message in beating UCU in their own backyard.
New signings Yusuf Mohammed (16 points), Ramadan Arur (13) and Andrew Opio (12) all impressed.
The Ndejje Angels, who have also heavily recruited performed well at the 20-team event, and only missed out on the men's final by a single point after UCU beat them in the semis 45-44 in overtime.
Canons B defeated Canons A 34-31 to win the ladies crown, thanks largely to MVP Maureen Amoding.

19 March 2013

ANGOLA : 1º De Agosto and Libolo Compete This Tuesday for Semi Finals

The Recreativo do Libolo team will receive 1º de Agosto at 4 pm in Dream Space pavilion, in Viana, for the first leg of the Angola League Basketball Cup semi-finals.
To reach this phase, the Kwanza Sul team defeated Progresso do Sambizanga and 1º de Agosto beat Interclube.
Another semi-final will be disputed at the same time between Atlético Sport Aviação (ASA) and Petro de Luanda that took Vila Clotilde and Universidade Lusíada out of the competition.
The teams play for the second round on the 22nd of March, while the final is scheduled for 16 and 19 April.
1º de Agosto is the title holder of the championship.

RWANDA : Ferwaba to Organise More Competitions

Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba) plans to organise more local competitions including the 'Never Again' in a bid to improve the standards of the sport in the country.
According to the federation Secretary General Richard Mutabazi, the more competitions they organise throughout the country, the more the sport becomes popular, which leads to the rise in players' competitiveness.
"I believe if we have more quality competitions, it will raise the level of competitiveness for the players as the more games they play the stronger they will become and in the end, it will help the national team," he said.
Mutabazi made the remarks on Saturday following the climax of the national league season where Espoir were crowned champions of both the regular season and the playoff final.
The annual 'Never Again' tournament is organised to commemorate the basketball players, coaches, officials and fans, who perished during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis.
"We have not yet confirmed the dates, but we are planning to have it immediately after the commemoration period," Mutabazi said. The national remembrance period falls in the first week of April.
The season started with the 'Agaciro Development Fund' tournament, which was followed with national league, the Playoffs and 'Never Again' tourney will be the fourth competition.
Meanwhile, APR women are one game away from wrapping up the playoff final whitewash after beating Ubumwe 58-41 in Game Two on Sunday to lead the best of five series 2-0.
The reigning league champions won Game One 54-41 on Saturday. Game Three is scheduled to be played on Saturday.

KENYA : Cardinal Fall

ST. John's Nyamagwa narrowly edged out hosts Cardinal Otunga High School, Mosocho to emerge the Kisii County secondary schools boy's basketball champions.
Nyamagwa survived a late onslaught and hostile crowd from the hosts to win the nail biting game 36-30.
The saints won the first quarter 10-07, 12-04 in the second quarter and 11-6 in the third quarter but lost 03-13 in the last quarter.
Martin Ocharo of Nyamagwa and Stephen Ogere of Cardinal Otunga were the game's highest scorers nailing 12 baskets apiece.
Nyamagwa's Everland Ongiri was named the three-day tournament's most valuable player.
In the semifinals, Cardinal Otunga overcame Nyabigena 21-10 while Nyamagwa whitewashed Moi High School, Gesusu 49-13 in a one-sided game. In the girls' category, Itierio beat Gesicho 40-23 to lift the title.
To qualify to the finals, Itierio needed half a basket to narrowly beat Senior Chief Kegati 20-19 in a tension-packed match while Gesicho also edged out Randani 22-19.
Cardinal Otunga, enjoying the support of home crowd and Principal Zachary Nyariki, whitewashed neighbours and arch-rivals Kisii School 30-05 to win the rugby title.
In the semis, Cardinal Otunga walloped Nyabigena 41-0 while Kisii School defeated St John's Nyamagwa 31-0.
Nyachogochogo from Nyamache district beat Mobamba 53-35 to win the netball title. Maureen Kepher and Aska Oyugi were leading scorers for the champions with 15 each.
To sail to the finals, Nyachogochogo overcame Mosensensema 74-21 while Mobamba defeated Keoke 47-7.

GAMBIA : YMCA Sees Off Saints

The Young Men Christian Association, YMCA, Saturday narrowly defeated the Saints Augustine's Senior Secondary School team by 58 points to 52 in the ongoing Gambia Basketball Association domestic national league.
Following an impressive and resounding victory over title rivals Wallidan the other week, the YMCA team were given a good run for their money, this time by the high sSchool boys in a tough encounter played at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.
Speaking to Observer Sports after the game, the head coach of YMCA, Foday Singhateh, blamed complacency on the part of his players for their failure to see off the game more comfortably. "We expected this really (tough match). Our players have not been coming to training. We won Wallidan and they think the league is finished. I told them that this team is the one training with Wallidan everyday. So they will come to win us so that we can be level with Wallidan.
"Our problem is that we are trying to discipline the players. Most of the players don't come to training. The ones training are those we give chance to play. Well, we can still be at the top because our aim is to be in the first three in the league and now we are leading we will try to stay there until the end of the league," he remarked.

18 March 2013

RWANDA : MVP Mugabe Praises to Teammates

After being crowned the Most Valuable Player of the national basketball league season that ended on Saturday, Espoir's point guard Aristide Mugabe attributed his outstanding performance to the support of his team mates.
Espoir players and officials pose for a group photo after completing an unbeaten season in their jubilee aniversary year.
Mugabe led Espoir to both the regular season title and the playoffs trophy, success the Nyamirambo-based side achieved with an unprecedented unbeaten record in the club's jubilee anniversary year.
Jean Bahufite's team beat archrivals APR 78-68 in Game Three of the best of five playoff final series on Saturday at Amahoro indoor stadium court, to complete a 3-0 whitewash.
Espoir won all three games which helped them to win two titles in what has been an outstanding season for the oldest basketball club in Rwanda. They won Game One 89-63 and Game Two 106-54 respectively last weekend.
After the game Mugabe, who was named MVP, expressed his delight after scooping the award ahead of his team mates Kami Kabange and APR's Lionel Hakizimana, but heaped the praise on his teammates, whom he said, without them, he couldn't be the player he is.
"I am happy with the MVP award, but what is most important is that the team has won two titles in a single season, the whole team has been outstanding throughout the season," he told Times Sport on the courtside after receiving his award.
He added, "I'm happy with the performance of our team, and I want to congratulate my teammates for the effort each one of us put to make this dream a reality."
The 24-year-old acknowledged that much as he won the MV award, Espoir's success has been built on team effort where everyone connected to the club, from players, coaching staff, management and the fans, played a key role.
He said, "We have been unstoppable this season. We did our best to win all games which is good for us, we hope we will continue to work hard because this is not the end."
APR's Kenyan born coach Cliff Owour summed up his team's demise in just a few words, "We failed to defend well against an excellent team that's why we got punished.

RWANDA : Espoir Lift Playoffs Title

Unbeaten Espoir celebrated adding the basketball league Playoffs final trophy to the regular season title after beating APR 78-68 in Game Three on Sunday at the Amahoro Indoor Stadium court.
Espoir started well, winning the first quarter 19-12 but former champions APR came back strong and dominated the second quarter 23-15.
However, Cliff Owour's team ran out of steam in the third and fourth quarters as Espoir, who have been so dominant throughout the season, ran 25-13 and 20-9 winners respectively in the second half.
Forward Olivier Muhizi and Kami Kabange scored 23 and 14 respectively, while the Playoffs final Most Valuable Player, point guard Aristide Mugabe added 11 points for Jean Bahufite's side.
Lionel Hakizimana scored 11 points for APR, while his skipper Theotime Murimira, who was ejected after accumulating five fouls, scored 8 points.
Espoir won the best of five series playoff final 3-0 to which helped them to add it to the regular season title. The Nyamirambo-based outfit, who last won the league title back in 2004, won Game One 89-63 and Game Two 106-54 respectively last weekend.
Meanwhile, APR women's team beat Ubumwe 54-41 in Game One of their best of three Playoffs final played on Saturday. Games Two is today at Amahoro Indoor Stadium court.

RWANDA : APR Must Win Game Three to Avoid Whitewash

Former champions APR take on rivals and newly crowned national basketball regular season champions Espoir in Game Three on Saturday at Amahoro indoor stadium hoping to win and avoid a 3-0 whitewash in the best of five Playoffs final.
Espoir need to win only today's game to secure the Playoffs title after winning Game One 89-63 and Game Two 106-54 respectively last weekend.
Former APR point guard Kami Kabange led the still unbeaten Espoir with a combined 49 points from two games and was well supported by Aristide Mugabe, who had 35 points.
Former Circle Sportif de Kigali and Espoir forward Lionel Hakizimana was APR's top scorer with total tally of 54 points in both games.
The pressure will be on APR to win Game Three to force the series in Game Four and possibly Game Five if need be, and head coach Cliff Owour knows stakes are higher than ever before.
"We failed to defend well in the first two games, but we need to forget about the past and focus on Gama Three, which we need (desperately) need to win to stay in the race. For us Saturday's game is a must-win," the Kenyan trainer told Saturday Sport yesterday.
He added, "We have not done well against Espoir this season, they have been unstoppable throughout the season, nonetheless we want to fight and win Game Three."
As for his Espoir counterpart Jean Bahufite, only one game stands between his team and history as the Nyamirambo-based side seeks to become the first team to go the entire season unbeaten.
He said, "We have been excellent this season and I hope we can finish the job on Saturday, we have not (yet) won the title so we must be careful in Game Three because APR are capable of (doing) anything."

16 March 2013

LIBERIA : National Basketball League Heats Up

The Liberia 2013 National Basketball League continued over the weekend with more and more amazing performances at the opened air Sports Commission on Broad Street in Monrovia. Six teams including two current championship holders in the male category of the second and third division were amongst the teams battling for supremacy of the Liberia Basketball Association (LBA) 2013 national league.
The LBA national league which officially kicked off February 23, 2013 is featuring 40 teams drown form the first, second and third divisions of both male and female basketball categories.
In division one, Mighty Barrolle Basketball team came from behind in the fourth quarter of the second half to narrowly defeat Monrovia Sky Force 60-58 points. 2012 second division champions, the Cardinal put up a great performance, but were unlucky as they fell to Cestos Mogars by 50-71 points.
In the day's other matches, third division giants D- Rockas trashed the Supreme Brothers 103-23 points.
Meanwhile, there will be no basketball match in the male category according to the 2013 fixture until Sunday March 10, 2013.
According to the fixture on Sunday March 10, 2013, C-Delta will be lock horns with K-Deltas in the day's first game, Cardinals will face SOS Trotters at in the second match and Mighty Barrolle goes against Cestos Mongars again in the last encounter of the day.
The momentum of fans attending matches is increasing gradually in LBA 2013 league. The open air Sports Commission was half packed on Sunday as compare to previous games that have been played at the court, our reporter who covered the games observed.
"Even though Basketball is Liberia's second most popular sports apart from football, we only expect the entire gymnasium to be jammed pack when the competition is in seminal and final stages", an authoritative of the LBA also told our reporter.

NIGERIA : Basketball League Postponed Again

The Nigerian Basketball League has postponed, indefinitely, the commencement of its 2012/2013 league season because of lack of funds from sponsors.
The league was scheduled to start on Friday. The new postponement makes it the third time that the commencement of the new league season will be postponed.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, the Secretary-General of the Basketball Federation, Francis Gbiri, said, "As at today, 14th of March 2013, four teams, Royal Hoopers, Niger Potters, Yelwa Hawks and Police Bombers are yet to register for the new season. The league funding is also yet to be activated. For these reasons the federation is unwilling to start the new league season tomorrow."
"A firm and final date will be communicated shortly," he added.

14 March 2013

TANZANIA : ‘City Bulls’ Vijana prove to be too good for Pazi

By Brown Msyani
The Citizen Correspondent
Dar es Salaam. Basketball giants Vijana put up a spirited fight to beat their traditional foes Pazi 40-33 in an exciting friendly match on Monday.
Vijana, fondly referred to as City Bulls, took command of the proceedings right for the start, and it came as no surprise when they took a 12-6 first quarter lead.
In the second quarter, they started where they had left off, commanding the proceedings with swift but accurate passes to the delight of their fans. They were leading 22-15 at half time.
Sensing the danger of losing the game, Pazi resorted to long passes in the third quarter. They briefly put Vijana at bay in the opening minutes of the closely contested quarter.
However, this could not stop the well-drilled and fast-moving Vijana from extending their lead to 30-25 at the end of the third quarter.
The final quarter was even more fascinating. Both teams fought hard for points. At one point, Pazi, once of the most feared teams in the country, looked d3estined to win the quarter.
Surprisingly, they lost heat towards the end of the quarter, going down 10-8.
Playmaker Saidi Khamisi, Antony Jeikanga and Mohamed “Dibo” Ally were the pillar-heads of City Bulls’ victory.
Khamisi, who was a real thorn in the flesh for Pazi defenders, emerged the match’s top scorer after posting 15 points, followed by Antony Jeikanga who chalked 10 points.
Pazi relied on Steve Mtemhonda, who combined well with Martini Kolikolli and Ceiss Obutu upfront. However, their efforts failed to bar Vijana from winning the match.Mtemhonda scored 15 points for Pazi while Kolikoli had 10.
At the end of the match, Pazi coach, Bahati Mgunda said he accepted defeat, but complained of an error by the game’s time keeper who let the clock run for six seconds during a time-out.
“I don’t have any excuse for the defeat, but I would like to point out that we are encountering problems to train as we share the Mont Fleuri court with two other teams.“There was also the error by the time-keeper and in six seconds we could have won the match.

TUNISIA : Salah Mejri goes viral

It did not take long for Mejri to return his fan’s gratitude.
On Sunday, Mejri and his Blusen Monbus team travelled to Seville to close the gap on a play-off spot as they beat Cajasol 71-63.
The Tunisian had 12 points, five rebounds and added four block shots. The ACB website named him Monbus’ best player of the game.
Mejri went viral following a 1:09 minute video posted on 5 March which shows a sequence of Mejri’s dunks, block shots and exuberant celebrations.
That video has registered a record high sharing on the ACB's Facebook page.
As of last Sunday, the video had been shared more than six hundred times, with the vast majority of visitors based or linked to Tunisia, according to the ACB.
This reaction from fans comes as no surprise, especially as current Afrobasket champions Tunisia are one of the strongest teams in the continent and Mejri is its MVP.
His popularity has stretched to Santiago de Compostela too, the home of his team Blusen Monbus.
Since he joined the Galicia-based team last summer, Mejri has never hidden the desire of playing at his best.
He had just led the London Olympics in block shots with 3.4 swats per games.
Before that, he had tryouts with NBA teams Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks and turned out for the Utah Jazz in the summer league.
Back home, every game Mejri plays attracts high attention, especially because he is currently the only Tunisian playing at such a high European league.
The 2.17m center is currently ACB second in block shots with 1.54 block shots per game, not too far from Nigeria's Ekene Ibekwe.
The Tunisian also ranks second in the league with 1.33 dunks per game.
Mejri currently shoots 62 percent success from the field.
However, just like other big man, the 26-year-old struggles from the free-throw line and his 52 percent from the charity stripe is the lowest among Blusen Monbus players.
When asked about the viral video, Mejri said: "I have many fans in Tunisia and many of them follow me and are eager to see me in action.
"They follow me on Facebook, watched the video and liked it and that is how it began."
"It feels great to have so many fans at home as I am the only Tunisian player in Spain and Europe and they follow me and know what I do," he added.
Basketball is surely one of the most popular sports in the country.
In an appreciation message in French, the ACB page thanked all Tunisian fans and pledged to bring them "some surprises in the coming weeks".
Among those followers quite certainly is Adel Tlatli, Tunisia’s head coach, a man who was criticised when he first called Mejri to join the national team.
Mejri is expected to play at this summer's Afrobasket in the Ivory Coast's capital of Abidjan come August.
Following two seasons in the Belgium League - where he played for Antwerp Giants - it is now time for ACB fans to get used to the Tunisian giant.
Júlio Chitunda

ZIMBABWE : Maseko’s college experience needed back home

Alexandra Maseko (ZIM)
ZIM - Maseko’s college experience needed back home
HARARE (NCAA Women/African Championship for Women) - Seton Hall University's Alexandra Maseko may have finished her four-year college career with a disappointing 51-45 defeat to St John’s in the Big East Championship on Saturday, but her experience will be much needed as her native country of Zimbabwe faces a historic challenge later this year.
Zimbabwe has qualified to the 2013 Afrobasket for the first time since 1994, and she is rated as one of the most prominent players in the country.
Under legendary head coach Anne Donovan, the 1.90m forward brought her college career to a close with six points and seven rebounds in 33 minutes as Seton Hall finished with an 11-20 record for the season.
Now, Zimbabwe needs the 23-year-old's services.
Maseko averaged 4.5 points and 4.5 rebounds during the 2009 Africa zone 6 qualifier tournament, but Zimbabwe lost both games to South Africa.
Last month, Zimbabwe achieved a double win (94-34 and 67-30) over Botswana in the 2013 Afrobasket qualifier held in Mozambique's capital of Maputo, to secure a remarkable return to Africa’s flagship women's tournament.
Zimbabwe women’s team has an average age of 24 and is coached by Skhumbuzo Ndlovu.
Maseko is expected to join a group of internationals that includes Sharon Chamwarura, Rachel Makoni, Dorcas Marondera, Charity Chigumba, Margaret Magwaro and Sibongile Mkandla.
By the time this year’s Afrobasket tips off in September, Zimbabwe will end a 19-year Afrobasket drought, seen in the country as a rewarding moment, especially as this team has been playing together since the youth categories.
Maseko captained Zimbabwe U20 team during the 2007 All-Africa Games as well as Zimbabwe national youth Games and the Africa zone 6 Youth Games.
Zimbabwe began their basketball revamp in 2007 with the U16 and U18 showing at African tournaments in 2007.
The challenge is now to find how competitive Zimbabwe can become.
Addison Chiware, Chairman of Basketball Union Zimbabwe (BUZ) says they expect to be a quality competitor in six months time.
"We expect to stand up and be counted. We expect to win at least 2 games in the round robin stage," Chiware told FIBA.com.
"Zimbabwe is not a tall team in Africa but what we lack for in height we compensate with a big heart for the game and a never-say-die attitude. We have an immense fighting spirit," he explained.
Future of Zimbabwe’s youth teams
When asked about the long absence from the Afrobasket, Chiware said it happened because they did not have a critical mass of players to take them to the next level.
"As long as we continue to have a strong national team programme, we will continue to grow into a formidable force," he explained.
"We also come from a strong zone and as long as the zone continues to prosper we will prosper. Afrobasket champions are from our zone."
For Chiware, Zimbabwe's youth basketball programmes are to become one of their priorities, just like this generation of players who will show in Maputo later this year.
"Our plan is to continue churning out coaches who look after our youth basketball players, especially through our schools programmes because that is where the future lies and it is critical that our basketball programme is strengthened in this area," he said.
"We are also emphasising our referees' development programme in order to have more international referees that will ensure basketball is played as per FIBA standards throughout our leagues."
For Zimbabwe to succeed internationally, Maseko’s college experience is highly needed.

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