31 July 2013

NIGERIA : Umar Happy With American D'Tigers' Tour

Nigeria Basketball Federation president, Tijjani Umar has revealed that he is happy with the development of D'Tigers, who are currently in the United States of America on a 3-game preparation tourney with Venezuela ahead the commencement of Afrobasket next month in Cote d'Ivoire.
Describing the outings as impressive considering that the team only had only practice session as a team for only about a couple hours in total before their first game which they lost, he told LEADERSHIP SPORTS that the team has done well in his opinion. "In the first match, we led comfortably and were in control all of the game till 3 minutes to go to the end. Then we lost focus and our guys thought the game was over. The Venezuelan team went on a run, gained confidence, momentum shifted, and we could not get our heads right anymore. For the guys, it was a good lesson to learn on how to close out games," he said.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation had endorsed a three-game series between D'Tigers and the Venezuelan national team in preparation for the Afrobasket championship coming up next month in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. Venezuela is also preparing for the Fiba Americas championship.
On Friday D'Tigers played Venezuela in Sarasota, Florida, played them again yesterday in Orlando, Florida and will confront them again in their last game on tomorrow in Miami, Florida.
The national team is expected to play additional preparatory games during its final training camp in USA. New entrants like Ben Uzoh and 2013 NEC Player of the Year, Jamal Olasewere are part of the party.

RWANDA : Espoir Keen to Retain Zone Five Basketball Championship Trophy

Espoir Basketball club coach John Bahufite has challenged his team to win for the second year running the Zone five basketball championship tournament which runs from August 5-11 in Bujumbura-Burundi.
Bahufite told Focus Sport that his team is much stronger than the one which won last year's tournament after adding in experienced shooting guard Lionel Hakizimana and point guard Olivier Shyaka.
"Although one of our good players- Kami Kabange left us, we reinforced with two very good players in Hakizimana and Shyaka which makes much stronger than last year.
I have no doubt that we are going to retain the trophy," a confident Bahufite said.
Espoir have been training for six weeks and are due to leave on August 3rd.
APR just wants experience
Although Espoir will be aiming for silverware, APR women basketball coach Charles Mbazumutima says his youthful side will go there for experience. "Our club changed policies last year so that we use only Rwandans, so I picked this team from secondary schools," he explains. "They are inexperienced and will mainly be there to gain experience but I can assure you that in two or three years, they will be a team challenging for regional trophies."
Rwanda was supposed to send three teams to the tournament but APR (men) pulled out to concentrate on military games slated for August 7th in Kenya.
Five countries that include Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda will send teams to the regional showpiece.
Espoir have been in fine form since after finishing the first half of the league season leading the league log.
The western province side won last year's championship unbeaten, a feat they want to repeat as they haven't lost a league match

RWANDA : 15 teams for this year’s Fiba Africa zone V champs

This year’s FIBA Africa zone five championships is set to attract fifteen teams, seven men’s and eight women’s teams respectively. The championship is scheduled for August 5-11 in Bujumbura, Burundi.
Rwanda’s envoys to the zonal tournament will be holders Espoir basketball club in men’s category and APR women’s basketball club in women’s category. APR’s men pulled out of the competitions due to EAC military games set for August 5-17 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Not only APR’s men basketball club has withdrawn from the competition, two Tanzania’s army-owned ABC men’s basketball team and Jeshi Stars women’s basketball club also pulled out due to financial constraints.
It leaves Tanzania with two representatives, Vijana (men) and Bosco Lioness (women).
Other men’s teams are; last year’s finalists Urunani BBC and new star from Burundi, Kenya’s Usiu, Warriors and Falcons from Uganda.

Other Women’s teams include; Burundian Berco Star and Les Gazelles, holders Eagle Wings and Usiu from Kenya and Uganda’s KCCA.

Rwanda’s Espoir (men) and APR (women) will set-off for Bujumbura on this Saturday, two days before the championship kicks-off.

30 July 2013

UGANDA : Leopards, Warriors and Falcons set for Zone 5 championships

KCCA Leopards (Green) and Berco Stars (White) warming up before last year's match upKCCA Leopards (Green) and Berco Stars (White) warming up before last year's match up
With less than week to the tip-off 2013 FIBA Africa Zone V club championships in Bujumbura - Burundi, teams that will represent Uganda at the tournament have been finally confirmed.
After university side, UCU Lady Canons opted out of the event as it coincides with the exams, three teams, women’s champions KCCA Leopards, men’s league title holders Riham Warriors and finalists Galaxy Falcons will represent the country in the regional event.
“KCCA, Warriors and Falcons will be going. They have confirmed to the federation and completed the procedures” FUBA’s publicist Ali Balunywa told Kawowo Sports
Defending champions, Espoir who blew out Urunani in last year’s event held in Kampala will along with APR’s women’s side represent Rwanda in the competition. 
“We only have Espoir and APR (women) set to represent the country in regional event” Rwanda Basketball Federation technical director Didier Shema Maboko told Kigali Dunker
Tanzania men’s title holders, ABC and women’s finalists Jeshi Stars will not participate in the August 2-11 tournament.
“We are expecting to send two sides (Vijana and Don Bosco) after the army sides (ABC and Jeshi Stars) opted out of the tournament and of the two only one (Vijana City Bulls)  have so far confirmed their participation and completed players’ registration” Michael Muluwe, Tanzania Basketball Federation assistant secretary general told Daily News.
The hosts, Burundi will be represented by four teams. Last year’s finalists Uranani will be joined by New Stars on the men’s side while Berco Stars and Lez Gazelles are the women’s sides.
Kenya will be represented by United States International University (USIU). The two sides of the university will be joined by the tournament’s women defending champions, Eagle Wings

TANZANIA : Dar es Salaam All Stars Hit Vijana 'City Bulls'

TANZANIA representative in this year FIBA Africa Zone Five Basketball championship Vijana City Bulls of Dar es Salaam suffered a 79-67 defeat at the hands of Dar All Stars in the build up match held over the weekend.
The build up game between two teams was held at the Zanaki court in Dar es Salaam ahead of the Zone Five event which is scheduled to kick off from August 5 to 11 in Bujumbura, Burundi. Vijana is the only men's team so far that has confirmed their participation for the tournament as the National Basketball League Champion (NBL) ABC pulled out due to financial difficulties.
In the match, Dar All Stars were dominant and they took a 20-19 lead at the first quarter. Vijana pulled their experience from the store but they could hardly match their opponents' quality as Dar All Stars stretched their lead to 43-34 at the interval.
Bulls came rejuvenated after the break, showing some impressive display but their opponent did not give them easy chances to score points. Dar All Stars hold on their nerve to stay 57-47 ahead in the third quarter before finish with 79-67.
Lusajo Samweli scored 18 points to lead his team to the victory as Juma Kisoki and Hashrafu Haruni slotted in 12 and 10 points respectively. Kisoki also took 12 rebounds for Dar All Stars.
Saidi Khamisi stared for City Bulls after he contributed 15 points, Gidibo Tindwa tapped 12 and another 10 points came from Mopero Baraka. Mwalimu Heri topped City Bulls rebounds with 8.
It was the second build up march between the two teams and it was a sweet revenge for Dar All Stars after they lost 87-86 in a closely contested first match played at the same court this month.
City Bulls consider the build up matches as fittingly test for them before the African Zone V basketball club championship, in which about 40 teams from ten African countries are expected to take part in men's and women discipline.
City Bulls will compete in the men's category in Bunjumbura while Don Bosco Lioness are expected to confirm their participation in women's category.

SEYCHELLES : Baya hand Heat second defeat, Hawks crush Drifters

Men’s division one league leaders Beau Vallon Heat seem to be struggling to regain the form that kept them unbeaten in the first round, while PLS Hawks kept alive their hope of retaining the league title with a crushing victory over Drifters.
The game of the weekend was surely the top-of-table clash between Baya and leaders Beau Vallon Heat at Victoria Gymnasium on Sunday.
Robert Léon (Beau Vallon Heat) and Timmy Adam (Baya) provided the early spark for their teams, scoring 9 and 8 points respectively in the first quarter during which Baya edged ahead 19-15.
Heat attempted to fight back in the second quarter and managed to cut their opponents’ lead to three points – 33-30 – at the end of 20 minutes of play.
Baya really showed their domination in the third and fourth quarters. They opened up a 16-point lead by the end of the third quarter – 58-42 – as they outscored the Heat 25-12. Coach Michel Malbrook’s players pressed harder on the accelerator in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Heat 30-15 for an 88-57 win as they handed the Heat their second defeat in four second-round matches.
Timmy Adam led all scores with 23 points for Baya while Liston Reginald added 22 points including six 3-pointers. Former Baya centre Robert Léon led Beau Vallon Heat with 17 points.
Defending champions PLS Hawks kept their hopes of retaining the title alive with a crushing 114-37 victory over a Drifters side who are yet to win in three matches in the second round.
The Hawks got off to a flying start in the first quarter, scoring 26 compared to a lowly 3 points for Drifters. 
They carried their dominance into the remaining quarters which they won 32-9, 28-13 and 28-12 to subsequently win the game 114-37.
Nigerian Alao Solomon had the hot hands for the Hawks scoring 35 points while Ervin Agathine scored 15 for Drifters.
On Saturday, Mont Fleuri Dawgz met MBU Rockers at Victoria Gym and Ron Estico led the scoring with 20 points to help the Dawgz to a 73-56 win.
Daniel Hoareau and Nigel Sinon got 11 points apiece for the Rockers.
Meanwhile in the women’s league, the mother-daughter duo of Simone and Jana Malbrook combined for 31 points to lead Anse Etoile Stars to a 76-32 win against HotShots to maintain their 100 percent record this season.
Simone contributed 17 points while Jana added 14 for the Stars.
S. N.

29 July 2013

TANZANIA : Vijana preps for Fiba tournament on track

Dar es Salaam. Vijana “City Bulls” trounced Dar All Stars 88-67 in an entertaining friendly game at Zanaki grounds on Sunday.

The City Bulls are shaping up for their Africa Fiba Zone V basketball club championship planned to tip off on August 5 and run through 11 in Bujumbura, Burundi.The winners took charge of the game right from the outset, tormenting their opponents with swift but accurate passes.
Vijana opened a huge lead margin of 25-24 at the end of the first quarter before stretching it to 33-21 at the breather.                         
Said Hamis and Jacob Malenga of Vijana were among the most impressive performer
The duo offered crucial support both defensively and offensively and in the process, eased the workload of dependable regulars including Mopero Baraka.
        Malenga, who played as centre in place of the towering Hamis for long spells of the game, used effectively his masculine body to keep Dar All Stars players at bay.Vijana notched most of their points through Hamis who scored 25 points followed by Malenga with 20 while Dar All Stars top scorers were Lusajo Samuel and Juma Kisocky who buried 15 and 12 points, respectively.
                                Speaking after the game, a visibly overjoyed Vijana coach Bahati Mgunda showered praise on his players, but also expressed his respect for their opponents.
                                “My players performed well once again against spirited opponents. Dar All Stars have experienced and talented players, but we managed to overcome the challenge.

“This is a clear indication that Vijana can challenge for the regional title come August, “he said.

Dar All Stars coach Mohamed Abdul conceded defeat, but pointed out that they deserved to win had it not been for his players to squander easy chances.

KENYA : Co-op Bank fall to KPA ahead of regional qualifiers

  • Parklands Collins Angira dribbles the ball during their match against World Hope. World Hope won 56-55. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • Co-operative Bank, the men premier champion, was the only loser in the weekend action among the four teams that will represent Kenya at the FIBA-Africa Zone V basketball qualifiers in Burundi beginning next weekend.
    The other teams are Eagle Wings and United States International University-Africa, USIU, for both men and women. The weekend matches gave the teams a good opportunity to gauge their preparations ahead of the regional event.
    The bankers lost 65-51 to Kenya Ports Authority, KPA, in a match played on Saturday in Mombasa. The loss pushed them to the third place on the log with 21 points, one behind joint leaders Lions and Thunder. KPA led 25-22 at the breather.
    Joseph Ouma and Cliff Ochieng top scored for KPA and Co-op Bank respectively with 18 points each. USIU-A managed to tame Ulinzi Warriors winning 61-51. Ulinzi is preparing for the EAC Military Games that begin next week in Nairobi.
    The students enjoyed a one point advantage at halftime leading 32-31. Victor Bosire had 16 points for USIU while William Ochieng top scored for the soldiers with 17.
    In another tight match, Lions mauled host Nakuru Club 58-42.The first quarter was a 17-17 tie before Lions won the remaining quarters 9-6, 11-10 and 21-9. Chizza Aristote scored 16 points for Lions and Dennis Achiego 13 for Nakuru.
    43 points from Griffin Ligare helped Thunder tear Blazers apart with a 71-45 scoreline. Joseph Koech and Abel Nson scored 10 apiece for Blazers. Thunder led 49-25 at halftime.
    The other match of the men premier saw Nairobi Aviation College beat University of Nairobi's Terrorist 58-49. Ben Oluoch had 13 points for Aviation while Hillary Kubai and Collins Gumba had 12 each for Terror.
    USIU tame Storms 
    Hilda Indasi led USIU in hammering Sprite Storms 80-50 after scoring 15 points.
    Linet Mukiri had 14 points for Storms. The students won all the quarters 16-7, 21-7, 15-14 and 28-22. Eagle Wings easily sailed past Kenyatta University Oryx registering a 64-18 win.
    Annerose Atieno had a game high of 21 points for Wings while Oryx’s top scorer was Betty Kananu with 9. All the quarters went to Wings 16-4, 14-10, 22-2 and 12-2.
    KPA went joint top with Wings in the women premier on 23 points after beating Co-op Bank 80-36. Helen Oketch and Yvonne Akinyi combined for 34 points to lead KPA to victory in a match they won all the quarters 18-8 19-3, 18-17 and 25-8. Eleanor Musundi scored 9 points for the bankers.
    The bankers redeemed their face with a slim 45-43 win over NYTA-Shimba on Sunday after trailing 27-15 at halftime. Western Delight beat Kenya College of Accountancy- University, KCA-U, 42-29 in Kakamega while KU Oryx beat Mennonite 41-25.
    Collated Results: Western Delight 42 KCA-U 29, NYTA- Shimba 43 Co-op Bank 45, Trailblazers 58 Upperhill 54, USIU Flames 80 Sprite Storms 50, KU Pirates 73 Little Prince 55, Mennonite 25 KU Oryx 41, KAA 61 Equity Bank 63, USIU Tigers 61 Ulinzi 51, KPA 80 Co-op Bank 36 (Ladies), KPA 65 Co-op Bank 51 (Men), Nakuru Club 42 Lions 58, Umoja 55 Strathmore University 52, KU Pirates 65 Zetech 49, World Hope 56 Parklands Baptist 55, Eagle Wings 64 KU Oryx 18, Nairobi Aviation College 58 Terror 49, Blazers 45 Thunder 71.

    RWANDA : Senior Hoops Team Regroups Today

    National senior basketball team is set to regroup on Saturday at La Palisse hotel ahead of the Fiba/African Championships for Men scheduled for August 20-31 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
    Initially the team was supposed to regroup on July 22 but it was pushed due to the two-day sub-zonal volleyball tournament that started on Thursday at Amahoro stadium indoors courts, where the hoops team would train from.
    Another reason is the FIBA Africa level two coaching clinic the head coach Moise Mutokambali and his assistant John Bahufite attended. The clinic ran from July 15 to 24 at Amahoro stadium.
    Intensive preparations start with only four professionals namely two USA-based Patrice Twagirayezu, Bradley Cameron and Daniel Primo Rugamba, who arrived yesterday evening with Thierry Sukusuku from France among nine that were named in the squad.
    Canada-based Hamza Ruhezamihigo and Keneth Gasana from United States are expected to arrive in Kigali on July 29.
    The only blip is the news that Thailand-based Brannon Darius won't make it for the national team to Ivory Coast because he is nursing a knee-injury and he is out of action for up to four weeks out according to coach Mutokambali.
    "He (Brannon Darius) might miss out due a knee-injury and his doctor advised him to take a one-month rest. Others are yet to confirm whether they will make it or not but few professionals who already arrived in the country and local players are starting the camp Saturday (tomorrow)," he told Saturday Sport.
    He added, "We are not targeting to perform miracles in Ivory Coast or to win the title but we will do everything to reach as far as possible in the competition."
    At the moment, Cedrick Isom (Primeiro do Agosto, Angola), Dan Manzi and Adonis Rwabigwi (Tampa Bay, Florida USA) are yet to confirm their arrival.
    Local players to start the camp are: Aboubakar Barame (CSK BBC), Jean Luc Girinshuti and Ali Kubwimana (Kigali BBC), APR's Sunny Munyandamutsa and Muhamed Rafiki, Lionnel Hakizimana, Pascal Karekezi, Arstide Mugabe, Olivier Muhizi, Olivier Shyaka and Placide Uwizeye ( Espoir BBC) plus Uganda-based Kami Kabange, who arrived on Thursday.
    The 16-man squad will be training twice a day. Rwanda is drawn in Group B alongside defending champions Tunisia, Morocco and debutants Burkina Faso.
    The national team starts the bid against Burkina Faso on August 21, take on Morocco on 23 before facing Tunisia on 25 August.

    28 July 2013

    UGANDA : Team Uganda beat Select side

    Team Uganda beat Select side
    Although it was nothing more than a practice game, Uganda stars Henry Malinga (15) and Joseph Ikong (14) treated the match as a final, playing with impeccable determination. Photo by Ismail Kezaala.  
    By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo

    Posted  Sunday, July 28   2013 at  00:00
    In Summary
    In the true sense of an All-Star game, used to promote the game through exhibition basketball, Tanzanian Abdullahi Ramadhan was the real deal.
    Uganda 69-54 Select
    Uganda 52-37 Select

    Desmond Owili finished it the way many have known and hope he scores all his points – an authoritative slam dunk that received the last applause from a good YMCA c
    The All-Star made a welcome return and Kenya’s Owili, playing in a Select Side of foreign players from the Airtel National Basketball League, threw down four of those.
     His 11 points and 10 rebounds couldn’t prevent his team from losing. Not that the final score was very important.

    Team Uganda should be very pleased with the victory, a relatively comfortable 69-54 result which head coach Mandy Juruni clearly treated more seriously than an exhibition game  It was a trial game for him.
    This was a good contest in the end that enabled the national team, forever ill-prepared in the past, start ‘early preparations for the Fiba Africa Zone V Nations Championship to be held here next year.

    In the true sense of an All-Star game, used to promote the game through exhibition basketball, Tanzanian Abdullahi Ramadhan was the real deal.
                                    Loved and loathed in equal nature by local since moving to Riham Warriors four years ago, Dulah, now with Galaxy Falcons, made a real attempt to make this fun. If it wasn’t the game, it was his reactions to good, and bad.

    Superb Jimmy Enabu
    No look passes were plenty. So were the turnovers. No one really cared. The Uhhhs…Ahhhs….and Ohhhs kept coming.
                                    One player who received the wows he deserved was City Oilers’ Jimmy Enabu.
    The former DMark Power guard showed glimpses of hours of shooting practice, going 4 for 6 from downtown to finish with a team-high 16 points. This is probably his best shooting night, ever!
                                    Joseph Ikong had 11 and nine rebounds as he continues his evolution from being more than just a scorer.
                                    There is more to come from Juruni. Stephen Omony, Ronnie Kasewu, Ben Komakech and Norman Blick missed the game, the latter two through injury.
                                    Omony had other obligations and Kasewu was ‘dropped’ as Juruni attempted “to try out other options”. Among those was Cyrus Kiviri.

    RWANDA : Espoir eye FIBA Africa zone five title defence

    Holders Espoir basketball club are targeting to retain the Zone Five Club Championships title they won last year in Kampala, Uganda. This year’s edition will be held in Bujumbura, Burundi from August 5 to 11.
    The local basketball league reigning champions Espoir, who finished the on-going league’s first round unbeaten, are seeking to make a strong defence of both the national league and regional championships before going for the continental championship next year.
    Nyamirambo-based Espoir, who boast nine players in the national basketball senior team that is preparing for the African basketball championship (Afrobasket) set for next month in Ivory Coast, powered past Burundi’s side Urunani 90-39 to clinch last year’s FIBA Africa zone five title.
    In women’s category, Eagle wings basketball club, from Kenya, claimed last year’s title after beating 77-54 their compatriots KPA.
    Espoir BBC head coach John Bahufite, who is also the national senior team’s assistant coach, told Sunday Sport, yesterday. “The only target we have set is to defend our title and we can make it because we have the determination.”
    “We have got an advantage of having nine players in the national team; this is helping them get fitter and ready for the zonal tournament,” he said.
    The former Espoir player revealed that they will depart for Bujumbura on August 3, two days before the championship starts and come back a day after the competition on August 11.
    Burundi’s New Stars and Warriors from Uganda will be Espoir’s main threat in the Bujumbura event. Last year’s championship’s MVP Arstide Mugabe, Lionnel Hakizimana, Bievenue Ngandu, Pascal Karekezi and Olivier Shyaka will lead Espoir’s title defence.
    FIBA Africa Zone five club championship is contested by winners and first runners-up from basketball leagues of member countries namely; Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, Egypt, Sudan and Southern Sudan.
    Defenders Espoir, APR (men) and APR’s women will be this year’s Rwanda’s FIBA Africa zone five championship envoys.
    Winners since 2002
    2002: APR (Rwa)
    2003: Ulinzi (Ken)
    2004: Postbank (Ken)
    2005: KCB (Ken)
    2006: KCB (Ken)
    2007: APR (Rwa)
    2008: APR (Rwa)
    2009: Coop (Ken)
    2010: Coop (Ken)
    2011: Urunani (Bur)
    2012: Espoir (Rwa)

    27 July 2013

    NIGERIA : Nigerian League As Good As English Premier League - Nnaobi

    As we entered his expansive office somewhere off Herbert Macaulay Street in Yaba, it was observed that his television tuned to the SuperSport satellite channel 209 which shows exclusively African football.
    It was airing a repeat broadcast of the Oriental derby between Enyimba International and Rangers International and our host sat animatedly watching every move. Intermittently, he cheered as any of the sides made a good move and turning he muttered, 'and yet they say our league is bad".
    At a time Nigerians find it socially relevant to express passion for European football and clubs, it was pleasantly shocking to come across a company executive who professes undying love for the Globacom Premier League. Obi Nnaobi, the Chief Executive Officer of Arena Signages Limited, a match day branding and activation agency says he will go the extra mile to promote the domestic game.
    "It is easier to love and follow the English League and European Champions League but that to me amounts to 'passion laziness', remarked Nnobi, a member of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN). To him, a preference for foreign football over the domestic league is akin to organizations needing outdoor services going abroad to invite companies to come and take over what Nigerians have been trained to do.
    He claims to have visited a third of the domestic league venues in the course of feeding his passion to promote the league and also make it commercially attractive. "In Arena, we work with the League organizers and their partners to improve the ambiance of the pitch and deliver value to sponsors and fans who buy tickets to watch the match", declared Nnobi who also insists that the quality of games in the Globacom Premier League is much better than the picture painted by critics.
    He attempted to diagnose the issues thus, "The biggest problem of the domestic League is the poor and most time imaginary picture painted of it by people who even do not watch the matches and I know what I am saying because in the last six years, I have seen high quality and explosive games comparable with what you obtain in the so called foreign leagues.
    What is still lacking here is appropriate packaging and my conviction is that the newly created League Management Company will resolve some of those problems".
    Arena Signage as a specialist match day branding company undertakes the construction and installation of pitch panels and other hoardings inside the stadium and other game venues such as Marathon, Basketball and Corporate events. He says it is the configuration of the boards that confers aesthetics to match venues to turn them into the beautiful spectacle we see both from the stands and on television at home.
    "Game day branding is a huge stand alone industry and in countries such as England and France, you have such conglomerates as Sport Five managing stadium branding for the Premier League and Clubs in both countries.
    In Spain, there is U-Media which handles Real Madrid and Barcelona as well as the Spanish La Liga game branding. There are several others and back here in Nigeria, there is Pamodzi which though has restricted its operations to the National teams and NFF activities".
    Nnaobi maintains that Arena Signages is the biggest and exclusively devoted to match day branding agency in the country. "What we tried to do in setting up Arena Signages was transforming our core outdoor practice to the games venues, outdoor and indoor.
    It is highly technical and very professional hence we have trained Nigerians in line with FIFA and other international sports regulatory body standards to work for us across the country".
    He pointed out that Match Day Branding is a revenue-generating exercise for clubs but noted that sadly, the clubs are yet to come to grips with the huge opportunities available to them through the platform. "The pitch panels make the stadium look pretty but that is not the prime purpose.
    Every message you see on the boards, be it the electronic or analog format is like airtime on television and radio. They are equivalent of advertising spaces in newspapers and out of home boards which the clubs are entitled to sell and make money. We help them prepare the grounds and attract commercial interest", the Arena CEO explained.
    On how clubs can benefit from the business, Nnaobi said his company usually secures marketing rights to manage the pitch for clubs and help to sell the spaces to non-competing brands of the League partners. "In 2010 and 2011, we secured Milo for six clubs namely Enyimba, Sunshine, Rangers, Heartland, Sharks and Gombe United. Because it's still some kind of virgin trade here, the rates aren't as huge as those of print and electronic media advertising presently".
    Arena has worked and is still working for other top brands such SKG Pharmaceuticals, Nestle, IGI Insurance, Guinness, PZ, LucozadeSport, LMC and SuperSport.
    Beyond the League, Arena Signages has had footprints in events such as the 17th National Sports Festival in Port Harcourt where it worked in partnership with the organizers to prepare the venue for Athletics, Boxing, Basketball, Hockey and Football.
    "We gave the Garden City Games the ambience that made the Lagos Games of 2012 look untidy. It was unfortunate that when we approached Lagos, they didn't appreciate the depth of work required to prepare the grounds hence they used non-professionals to litter the stadium with banners. We only hope Calabar will not make the same mistake".

    RWANDA : Senior hoops team regroups today


    Uganda-based Kami Kabange joined the national team party on Thursday. Saturday Sport / P. Muzogeye

    National senior basketball team is set to regroup on Saturday at La Palisse hotel ahead of the Fiba/African Championships for Men scheduled for August 20-31 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
    Initially the team was supposed to regroup on July 22 but it was pushed due to the two-day sub-zonal volleyball tournament that started on Thursday at Amahoro stadium indoors courts, where the hoops team would train from.
    Another reason is the FIBA Africa level two coaching clinic the head coach Moise Mutokambali and his assistant John Bahufite attended.  The clinic ran from July 15 to 24 at Amahoro stadium.
    Intensive preparations start with only four professionals namely two USA-based Patrice Twagirayezu, Bradley Cameron and Daniel Primo Rugamba, who arrived yesterday evening with Thierry Sukusuku from France among nine that were named in the squad.
    Canada-based Hamza Ruhezamihigo and Keneth Gasana from United States are expected to arrive in Kigali on July 29.
    The only blip is the news that Thailand-based Brannon Darius won’t make it for the national team to Ivory Coast because he is nursing a knee-injury and he is out of action for up to four weeks out according to coach Mutokambali.
    “He (Brannon Darius) might miss out due a knee-injury and his doctor advised him to take a one-month rest. Others are yet to confirm whether they will make it or not but few professionals who already arrived in the country and local players are starting the camp Saturday (tomorrow),” he told Saturday Sport.
    He added, “We are not targeting to perform miracles in Ivory Coast or to win the title but we will do everything to reach as far as possible in the competition.”
    At the moment, Cedrick Isom (Primeiro do Agosto, Angola), Dan Manzi and Adonis Rwabigwi (Tampa Bay, Florida USA) are yet to confirm their arrival.
    Local players to start the camp are: Aboubakar Barame (CSK BBC), Jean Luc Girinshuti and Ali Kubwimana (Kigali BBC), APR’s Sunny Munyandamutsa and Muhamed Rafiki, Lionnel Hakizimana, Pascal Karekezi, Arstide Mugabe, Olivier Muhizi, Olivier Shyaka and Placide Uwizeye ( Espoir BBC) plus Uganda-based Kami Kabange, who arrived on Thursday.
    The 16-man squad will be training twice a day. Rwanda is drawn in Group B alongside defending champions Tunisia, Morocco and debutants Burkina Faso.

    The national team starts the bid against Burkina Faso on August 21, take on Morocco on 23 before facing Tunisia on 25 August.

    26 July 2013

    TANZANIA : Chang'ombe United Get Shot in the Arm

    Kafashe, who is a student at the University of Manitoba in Canada and a former Vijana and Chang'ombe United basketball player made the remarks on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam when donating sports gear worth 7m/- to Chang'ombe United Club.
    The 79 different basketball materials were presented to Chang'ombe United Chairman Adam Gwao. They include balls 13, shoes 18, jersey 30, score board and 18 Adidas Jackets. Kafashe said that he was much impressed with his former team's efforts to promote the game at the grassroots.
    "I decided to donate these sports gear soon after I was informed that Chang'ombe United have introduced a junior programme," he said. He insisted that it is time for those living outside the country and have privilege to come forward and support such programme in order to promote sports in the country as government alone can not afford. Kafashe promised unwavering supports to the game's development programmes in the country.
    "I'm not a millionaire, I still study and pay my school fees, but I still manage to raise some money earned from part time work outside the school and save it so I can donate to youth development programmes," he said. Gwao thanked Kafashe for being so kind and supportive to his club which, he said, has more than 50 players.
    "What you did to our club is a big thing and more meaningful to the players and the programme at large. We are happy that now we've an ambassador," he said Gwao added that the major aim of introducing the junior programme is to promote youth through sports and later find colleges abroad for further studies.
    Chang'ombe United coach Mohamed Mbwana applauded Kafashe and urged other Tanzanians to emulate his good example.

    25 July 2013

    UGANDA : Warriors wrap up first round with 60-53 win over Angels

    Warriors wrap up first round with 60-53 win over Angels
    Riham Warriors 60-53 Ndejje Angels
    Riham Warriors closed the first round on a five game winning streak. Thanks to Ivan Enabu’s five and Brian Gumisiriza’s two free throws in the final 45 seconds that helped Warriors (9-2) beat Ndejje Angels 60-53 Wednesday night at YMCA.
    Trailing by 11 points at the start of the fourth quarter, Angels (7-4) battled back from the double-digit deficit and tied the game at 53 with 46 seconds to the final horn.
    “We expected that, they also came to win. The tried to come back due to a few defensive lapses but it was the guy’s composure at the end of the day that we got the win” Warriors’ coach Emmanuel Samanya said.
    A technical was called on Ndejje’s coach Walker Obedi and Enabu (11 points) hit one of the resultant throws and on inbounding Warriors missed their shot and so did Brian Sentongo on the other end. On regaining possession, Gumisiriza (6 points) was sent to the line sinking both throws to take Warriors up 56-53 with 14 seconds. Obedi called for a timeout and on return Brian Odur failed on the inbound giving up the ball and Enabu was sent to the line and nailed both throws to put the game to bed. The guard added another pair of freebies with 6 seconds.
    “We were punished for those small mistakes and indiscipline - which always happens” Steven Okias who scored team high 12 points for Ndejje told Kawowo Sports
    Much as Warriors led nearly through the entire game, Ndejje were not far behind until some points in the third quarter when defending champions pushed the lead into double figures.
    “We were close but i think we lost the game when we let them stretch that lead” Okias said.
    In all the four losses (to Warriors, Oilers, Falcons and Power) Ndejje have always been in the game only to be done in garbage time.
    “We know we can take on those big guys but still don’t know how to go about those final minutes when the pressure is on and you need some bit of composure” Okias notes.
    Brian Odur and Geoffrey Soro contributed 9 points each for Ndejje and center, Brian Sentongo added 8 points and 9 boards.
    Warriors leading scorer, Henry Malinga scored game high 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Ronnie Kasewu added 13 points as Warriors played their last competitive game prior to the August 5-11 FIBA Africa Zone 5 championships in Bujumbura.

    KENYA : Lions at the helm of Classic League as 2nd leg kicks off

    MichezoAfrika File Picture
    MichezoAfrika File Picture
     Updated on 25/07/13  |    By BRIAN AYIEKO

    Lions Club lead the table standings of the Kenya Basketball Federation Classic League with 20 points after the completion of the 1st leg. The first leg of the league saw each team play a total of 11 matches apart from 2012 runners up USIU Tigers who have so far played nine matches and forfeited one.
    Co-op Bank who are the defending champions come in 2nd with 20 points also, having played 12 matches. They played their first match of the 2nd leg against Ulinzi whom they beat 57-53 on Saturday at the Nyayo Gymnasium. Thunder basketball team is in 3rd place with 20 points after losing two of their matches against Strathmore University who are fourth with 19 points and Lions.
    Kenya Ports Authority, Ulinzi and Nakuru club follow respectively with 18, 17 and 15 points. KPA has lost four of its matches the latest being courtesy of Thunder who beat them 64-63 on Sunday in Nairobi. UoN Terrorists and Nairobi Aviation are in 8th and 9th position respectively with both teams sharing 14 points.
    The last three teams consists of USIU Tigers, Mennonites and Blazers. Tigers are having a not so good season compared to last year which saw them meet Co-op Bank at the play-offs finals which ended 2-1 in favor of the Bankers. The team will be having an uphill task as they seek to recover in the 2nd leg having lost some of their key players in the 2013 season. They are 10th with 13 points.
    Mennonites and Blazers seal the table with both teams sharing 13 points .

    UGANDA : Okias turns guns on old employers

    Okias turns guns on old employers
    Warriors’ Sam Gombya (left) puts pressure on Desmond Owili in the basketball League. Gombya will face Ndejje’s Steven Okiasi today
    By Charles Mutebi
    National Basketball League
    Ndejje v Warriors
    THIS is the day Steven Okiasi always feared. The day when he would take his signature jump-shot and infectious smile and turn them against the very team that made him famous.
    But nightmares come true and today at the YMCA, Okiasi will face his own in the form of the Riham Warriors.
    For the last 13 years, it was hard to think of the Warriors without Okiasi but that changed when he joined the Ndejje University Angels at the beginning of this season.
    True, over the last two years, Okiasi became somewhat of a peripheral figure in FUBA’s elite league but the three-time scoring champion will always be associated with the club that was, until three weeks ago, known as the Kyambogo Warriors.
    Only that now, the name on Okiasi’s jersey reads Ndejje and not Warriors. And today, the two teams clash in Airtel National Basketball League, fulfilling Okiasi’s worst nightmare.
    “I always dreaded the possibility of playing against the Warriors,” Okiasi conceded.
    “But at some point last season I saw it coming.”
    The Warriors won their second FUBA championship last year but Okiasi’s contribution to the team was the smallest it had been in his time at the club. When he eventually left, therefore, it didn’t come as a big surprise.
    So why did Okiasi leave the Warriors?
    He explained: “I felt that the club had drifted away from the vision we always had of taking young players and developing them as part of a family.
    In recent years, the club’s policy was to bring in established players like the Malingas and Norman Blick.
    And I was asking myself, where is the future of the club? I just didn’t feel like the club was still true to its vision,” the player added.

    24 July 2013

    UGANDA : Afidra, Kasekende Make All Star Cut

    WITH the first round of the Airtel National Basketball League (NBL) coming to an end on Wednesday, FUBA has released the names of the players who will take part in the All Star exhibition game.
    24 men and equal number of women will be split in two to form teams from Ugandan players to take on foreign players.
    The game All Star game is scheduled to be played this Friday at YMCA. Given the stiff competition for places on the teams, several top players who have been impressive in the first round of the NBL have found themselves left out of the final 24.
    Players like Ronnie Kasewu (Warriors), Paul Odongo (Power), Jonathan Otim (Ndejje), and Isaac Kamya (Charging Rhinos) have all been excluded.
    While in the ladies team, players like Sylvia Nakazibwe (A-1), Suzan Amito (KIU), Francis Nabulobi (UCU) and Ruth Nakitto (KIU) all didn't make the cut.
    UGANDA: Cyrus Kiviiri (UCU Canons), Ivan Enabu (Riham Warriors), Jimmy Enabu (City Oil), Stephen Omony (Galaxy Falcons), Francis Kasekende (KIU Titans), Joseph Ikong (DMARK Power), James Okello (City Oil), Isaac Afidra (DMARK Power), Edwin Katerega (KIU Titans), Geoffrey Soro (Ndejje Univ. Angels), Henry Malinga (Riham Warriors) and Ivan Lumanyika (UCU Canons).
    INTERNATIONAL: Sudi Ulanga (UCU Canons), Jeff Omondi (Galaxy Falcons), Abdul Rahaman (Galaxy Falcons), Chris Omanye (KIU Titans), Bonfils Nahimana (KIU Titans), Brian Oduor (Ndejje Angels), Maige Yunzu (Riham Warriors), Phillip Ameny (Galaxy Falcons), Ramadhan Arou (City Oilers), Kami Kabange (City Oilers), Michael Kariuki (Riham Warriors) and Desmond Owili (UCU Canons).
    UGANDA: Angella Namirimu (UCU Lady Canons), Flavia Oketcho (KCCA Leopards), Judith Nansobya (KIU Rangers), Maureen Amoding (UCU Lady Canons), Hatima Kassim (A1 Challenge), Victoria Nantale (A1 Challenge), Monica Siima (KCCA Leopards), Claire Lamunu (KCCA Leopards), Carol Nyafwono (Magic Stormers), Elizabeth Kiiza (A1 Challenge), Martha Soigi (KCCA Leopards) and Peace Proscovia (UCU Lady Canons).
    INTERNATIONAL: Evelyn Adhiambo (UCU Lady Canons), Brenda Mbone (UCU Lady Canons), Mishi Jomane (Crane High Ladies), Ashura Jahid (Crane High Ladies), Virginia Awino (UCU Lady Canons), Aurore Irakoze (KIU Rangers), Nasra Uwamahoro (Magic Stormers), Gudbjorg Hakonardottir (A1 Challenge), Aisha Kamana (Magic Stormers), Marion Esther (Nkumba Lady Marines), Lorraine Akinyi (UCU Lady Canons) and Purity Odhiambo (UCU Lady Canons).

    UGANDA : Warriors on alert

    Warriors on alert
    Warriors’ Enabu lays up against Power last Friday. The champions turned on the style against Power but can’t take Ndejje Angels for granted. Photo by Ismail Kezaala. 

    Warriors vs. Ndejje (8.30pm)
    Ndejje University Angels would have wished to have an easier fixture list to wind up their Airtel National Basketball League first round.
    They have to face four of the top five sides. Their report card is quite pleasing. Only fourth-placed City Oilers have managed to beat them, albeit with a 70-61 margin.

    Their response to that was to beat KIU Titans 82-78 and UCU Canons 57-56. It gets even harder today when they face Riham Warriors at YMCA. The champions are coming off their best display in months, ending DMark Power’s 10-match winning streak with a 91-65 rout last Friday.

    That should send Ndejje trembling. It surely won’t. This is the game they have looked forward to for weeks.
    “These are the games you want to play,” Ndejje’s Geoffrey Soro, the reigning regular season MVP and top scorer, said.

    Stephen Okias, a Warrior for 13 seasons before moving to Ndejje this year, is even getting sentimental.

    “I cannot define the feeling (of facing Warriors) in absolute terms,” Okias told Daily Monitor. “But, obviously I never wished this day to dawn. “I always dreamed of playing for Warriors till retirement. But, I suppose playing more games before the encounter has crashed many sentiments.” It was indeed a tough start to life as a ‘Angel’.

    The five-time league scoring champion and two-time title winner with Warriors in 2009 and 2012, is coming good. Okias scored a game-high 18 points against UCU on Sunday, to add to the 14 in the victory over KIU six days prior.

    Despite all this, Ndejje will be underdogs. If Warriors spread the ball the way they did against Power, this could be a no-contest.

    Soro gets to play against his mentor, Henry Malinga, scorer of 28 points on Friday. Add the pace of Ivan Enabu and Mark Opio on the back court and it can be a long evening.

    RWANDA : Hoops rule out Senegal camp

    RWANDA MEN’S basketball team has ruled out taking part in the Senegal camp which was aimed at fine-tuning the team ahead of the Fiba AfroBasket championship due in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire next month.

    Initially, the national team was expected to take part in a tournament organised by Senegal Basketball Federation from August 11-14.
    The Secretary General of Rwanda Basketball Federation, Richard Mutabazi, said yesterday “We have ruled out taking the team to Senegal because the hosts are not willing to put into effect what we had initially agreed regarding the team’s stay in Dakar,”
    “But we are planning to take the team to Egypt for a one-week training camp ahead of the championship where we hope to secure some friendly matches,” added Mutabazi.
    Meanwhile, the national team has been boosted by the arrival of three professional players namely; Bradley Cameron [Mississippi Gulf Coast College], Patrice Twagirayezu [USA] and Thierry Sukusuku [France].
    Daniel Primo Rugamba (Seattle University, USA) is expected to jet into the country on Wednesday night while Cedrick Isom (Primiero do Agosto, Angola), Brannon Darrius (Thailand), Dan Manzi and Adonis Rwabigwi (Tampa Bay, Florida USA), and Keneth Gasana (S. Plaza Moroc) will arrive in the country on July 27.
    Canada-based Hamza Ruhezamihigo will link up with the team on July 29.
    Rwanda is drawn against defending champions Tunisia and Burkina Faso in Group C of the Fiba AfroBasket championship.

    23 July 2013

    KENYA : The team had faith in me – Ligare

    MichezoAfrika File Picture
    MichezoAfrika File Picture
     Updated on 23/07/13  |    By BRIAN AYIEKO

    Thunder basketball team captain Griffin Ligare believes that the last second 3 point shot that he made to give his team a 64-63 win over KPA was a result of the confidence that the team had in him.
    Ligare crushed KPA’s hope of winning the KBF Classic League clash despite leading most of the time with only 2 seconds to go, “the coach had called for a time out and the plan was to go for the 3 point shot at the resume of play of which the team left the responsibility to me. I am also grateful to God because it was not an assured shot but at the end it got in.”
    The win sees Thunder bounce back after last weekend’s loss to Strathmore University. The team is currently placed 3rd with 20 points after eleven matches of which they have won 9

    RWANDA : Cameron boosts Hoops Afro-basket preps

    Bradley Cameron .

    USA-BASED professional basketballer Bradley Cameron is expected to join the men’s basketball team camp tonight as the team gears up for the Fiba Afrobasket championship set to be held in Cote d’Ivoire next month.
    The 22-year-old Cameron who plays for Mississippi Gulf Coast College has been a regular member of the hoops team since 2009 when he first made his debut.
    He is the second professional player to join the team following the arrival of Thierry Sukusuku who arrived in the country on Sunday night from France.
    Canada-based Hamza Ruhezamihigo who was snubbed for the regional championships earlier this year is set to land in the country on June 29, according to Rwanda basketball federation’s (Ferwaba) technical director Didier Shema Maboko.
    Cedrick Isom (Primiero do Agosto, Angola), Brannon Darrius (Thailand), Dan Manzi and Adonis Rwabigwi (Tampa Bay, Florida USA), Daniel Primo Rugamba (Seattle University, USA) and Keneth Gasana (S. Plaza Moroc) are yet to confirm their arrival.

    Rwanda is drawn in Group C of the Afro-basket championship alongside defending champions Tunisia, Morocco and debutants Burkina Faso.

    The national team starts her quest against Burkina Faso on August 21, take on Morocco on 23 before winding up with defending champions Tunisia on August 25.

    SEYCHELLES : Cobras stop Dawgz, Heat bounce back

    Premium Cobras prevented Mont Fleuri Dawgz from getting a third win on the trot in the first division at the weekend at Victoria Gymnasium, while Beau Vallon bounced back from defeat with a landslide victory over RC Dynamics.
    Amadou Sylla led Premium Cobras to a 57-42 win over Mont Fleuri Dawgz with 20 points on Sunday. Dawgz came into the game in confident mood after collecting two successive wins, one of those against league leaders Beau Vallon Heat.
    The game started at a very slow pace, with both sides’ shooting letting them down. The score after the first 10 minutes of play was 8-2 in favour of Premium Cobras. The intensity of the game picked up a little in the second and third quarters, but Premium Cobras had opened a 10-point lead over their opponents. The fourth quarter produced some very good actions and even though there were a few heated moments in the match among some players, Premium Cobras went on to win the fourth quarter 21-16 to win the game.
    Cyril Agrippine led the scores for Dawgz with 17 points.
    Beau Vallon Heat returned to winning ways with a victory against RC Dynamics. Robert Leon scored a game-high 40 points to lead all scores in a 96-68 win for the Heat.
    It was in the third quarter that Beau Vallon Heat managed to break away from their opponents when they opened up a 22-point lead which proved too much for Dynamics to chase.
    Mamadou Diallo led the scoring for Dynamics with 18 points, while Kenneth Domingue added 11.
    Defending champions PLS Hawks had a tough time against Angels but managed to get the win in an 82-73 victory.
    Alao Solomon was the top scorer with 24 points for the Hawks, who also had a 15-point contribution from Rodney Lozé. Eddy Armand was the top scorer for Angels with 14 points.
    In the men’s second division, Praslin Warriors trounced AAP Brothers 84-33, with Jackson Auguste getting 36 points to lead the scoring. Theodore Marguerite and Michel Marie contributed eight points each for AAP.
    In the other bottom division match, Cascade Bullets beat Anse Etoile 84-65 with Kenneth Sophie leading the scoring with 35 points for Bullets. Christian Toulon was close behind for Anse Etoile with 32 points.
    In the women’s league, 29 points from Simone Malbrook earned Anse Etoile Stars an easy 90-23 win over Juniors. Laura Françoise scored 12 points to lead Juniors.
    S. N.

    RWANDA : Espoir finish first leg unbeaten

    Lionnel Hakizimana seen here in national team colours, was pivotal for Espoir who finished the first round over the weekend unbeaten. The New Times/Coutesy.

    Saturday, Men
    KBC 91-58 30-Plus
    Rusizi 48-38 CSK
    Espoir 52-35 APR
    Ubumwe 48-34 APR
    Sunday, Men
    Espoir 71-66 Rusizi
    APR 54-61 KBC
    APR 47-44 Ubumwe

    REIGNING champions Espoir basketball club has edged closer to retaining the national basketball league title after winding up the first round unbeaten.
    The Nyamirambo-based club climaxed the first leg with a 52-35 victory over APR on Saturday and a 71-66 win over Rusizi on Sunday at NPC gymnasium in Remera.
    New signing Lionnel Hakizimana played a vital role against Rusizi on Sunday as he earned the win for the defending champions in the dying seconds of the game when he powered in five points to hand victory to his team.
    Pascal Karekezi, Bienvenue Ngandu and Arstide Mugabe were also influential as they helped Espoir set pace for the league title this season.
    Espoir who won the previous league title unbeaten are on verge to repeat the 2012 feat where they finished the season in both the league and the play-offs as well. They now lead the standings with 12 points in six matches played so far ahead of the second round which begins on August 11.
    “We had a tough weekend playing two tough matches against our serious archrivals (APR and Rusizi) but we are very happy for the victories. The first round is over, so eyes will be set on the second round as we seek to retain the title, Head coach Jean Bahufite said.”
    In other matches played over the weekend, Rusizi beat hosts Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) 48-38 while KBC overcame 30-Plus 91-58 in the men’s category on Saturday.
    In the other match played on Sunday, APR lost to Kigali Basketball Club 61-54.

    In the women category, this year’s genocide memorial tourney winners Ubumwe beat league title holders APR 48-34 on Saturday but a day after the military side secured a 47-44 win over Ubumwe respectively.

    APR women side leads the women standings with 7 points in four matches.

    22 July 2013

    UGANDA : Falcons, Canons close first round with losses

    Falcons' center Philip Ameny drives past Warriors' Micheal Kariuki Falcons' center Philip Ameny drives past Warriors' Micheal Kariuki Photo Credits: Basketball256 

    Magic Stormers 70-52 MUK Sparks
    City Oilers 66-40 Charging Rhinos                                                                                                     Ndejje Angels 57-56 UCU Canons                                                                                                           KIU Titans 61-59 Galaxy Falcons
    Steven Omony’s hook shot at the buzzer drew steel and elicited no joy for fans that wanted overtime. The miss also meant Falcons lost their fifth game of the season, dropped to sixth place and are yet to beat a team above it.
    Trailing by 10 points going into the fourth quarter, Falcons (6-5) rallied back to go ahead as KIU went through a nearly 5 minutes scoring drought. The teams matched nearly shot for shot and with 19 seconds Chris Omanye’s lay-up took Titans (7-4) up 60-59. Former Falcon, Julius Lutwama who was fired up for the game sunk one of the two throws with a second on the clock to take KIU up by 2.
    Edwin Katerega scored game high 16 points and picked 10 rebounds to lead KIU, Francis Kasekende added 10 points and Omanye had 9. Peter Elungat led Falcons with 15 points, Abdulahi Ramadhan had 11 while Steven Omony and Philip Ameny contributed 10 points apiece.
    Ndejje University Angels meanwhile held on for a 57-56 edge of UCU Canons. Steven Okias scored game high 18 points and picked 6 rebounds off the bench to pace Angels (7-3). Geoffrey Soro added 12 points and Brian Sentongo chipped in with 10 points. It was Canons’ second and successive loss. Syrus kiviiri scored 14 points to lead Canons (9-2), Ivan Lumanyika added 11 points and 13 boards. Desmond Owili picked 15 rebounds to go with 5 points while Sudi Ulanga had another poor game going 1-for-11 from the field scoring 3 points.
    City Oilers beat charging rhinos 66-40. Jimmy Enabu and Kami Kabange who have been City Oilers offensive emperors scored 18 and 16 points respectively and James Okello added 11 points.
    Meanwhile in the women’s division, guard, Sylvia Twesigye scored game high 21 points (15 off 3-pointers) to lead Magic Stormers to a 70-52 win over MUK Sparks. Belinda Feni and Nasra Uwamahoro contributed 11 points each for Stormers (6-4). Winnie Anyango scored 15 points and picked 8 rebounds for Sparks (3-8). Forward, Norah Namutosi added 10 points and 17 boards as Parks crossed the points mark for the second time this season.

    KENYA : Ligare’s 3-pointer sinks KPA

  • International player Griffin Ligare fired a three-pointer with four seconds of play remaining to give Thunder a 64-63 victory over Kenya Ports Authority, KPA, in a national classic league match played on Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
    Thunder was trailing the Dockers 61-63 within seven seconds of full time and chances of a comeback looked tiny. However, the Shauri Moyo side called for a strategic time out immediately which tilted possession in their favor.
    Upon restart, Ligare broke loose before nailing the win with a well taken shot that had the packed gymnasium break into elation.
    He scored a game high of 33 points and grabbed four rebounds as well as one assist. From his points, he managed to score eleven free-throws and two three-pointers. Alex Lugasi and Ariel Okal top scored for KPA with 12 points apiece.
    Thunder trailed 27-34 at halftime. KPA had won the first quarter 20-10 and Thunder the second 17-14. KPA still reigned supreme in the third quarter to win 12-11 but Thunder had the last laugh in the fourth with a 26-17 win.
    Lions bounced back from their loss to KPA on Saturday to beat United States International University- Africa, USIU-A, 72-41 in a match they showed some improvements.
    Lions went to the breather enjoying a 32-16 lead after 21-8 and 11-8 wins in the opening quarters. USIU won the third 21-17 before Lions took home the fourth quarter 23-5. Victor Onyango top scored for Lions with 18 points and Tobias Onyango added 17. Kevin Kigotho and Moses Wanjara had 8 points each for USIU.
    Nakuru overcome Terrorist
    In Nakuru, host Nakuru Club beat Terrorist 54-49. Ladies defending champion Eagle Wings left it late to beat USIU-A 64-63 in a tight match for both teams. Eagle Wings was leading 27-24 at halftime after winning the first quarter 16-10.
    The students won the second 14-11. In the third quarter, both teams tied at 11-11 while USIU carried home the fourth 28-26 in a match they dominated but lost.
    Angela Akoth was Wings’ top scorer with 17 points while Hilda Indasi had 18 points for the students. Co-operative Bank equally won their match with a 66-43 thrashing of NYTA-Shimba after leading 28-20 at the breather.
    Linda Alando top scored with 16 points for the bankers while Carol Ouma and Belinda Akinyi added 12 each.
    Taudencia Peter scored 12 points for Shimba. 19 points from Peninah Nthenya helped Safe Spaces to a 53-21 win over Mennonite.
    They were leading 21-6 at halftime. Viviane Akinyi top scored for Mennonite with 10 points. Western Delight registered their first win of the season beating Kenyatta University Oryx 63-46 in Kakamega.
    Collated Results: Western Delight 63 KU Oryx 46, Nakuru Club 54 Terror 49, USIU-A 41 Lions 72, Thunder 64 KPA 63, Little Prince 52 Upperhill 48, Co-op Bank 66 NYTA-Shimba 43, Mennonite 21 Safe Spaces 53, USIU-A 63 Eagle Wings 64.

    21 July 2013

    KENYA : Ulinzi cry foul after loss to Co-op Bank

  • Co-operative Bank, the men’s Kenya Basketball Federation defending champion narrowly beat Ulinzi Warriors 57-53 in a national classic league match played at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium on Saturday amid claims of tanking games in favour of the bankers.
    The match was supposed to be a second leg fixture for the two teams but was drafted into the first leg roster.
    Ulinzi had requested the Kenya Basketball Federation to reschedule of their matches because of their pending engagament in the regional military games in August.
    This could have triggered the change in their fixtures but the club’s management and players wondered why it was the game against Co-op and not the others.
    In their first leg fixtures, the soldiers are yet to play United States International University- Africa, USIU-A, and the match is slated for next weekend.
    The team’s assistant manager Steve Bartiloi accused the league organizers of conspiring with Co-op Bank to their disadvantage which was unacceptable.
    “Our opponents knew very well that we were a weakened side owing to the ejections when they called for the match to be played today,” he lamented. “We are yet to play USIU in our first leg match and what has happened today is unfair.”
    As the home team, the bankers are guilty of influencing the fixture change behind Ulinzi’s back. However, officials from the team and the federation denied the allegations wondering why they (Ulinzi) never complained before the match kicked off.
    Ulinzi was missing four of their key players, three of whom were ejected in their last match against Mennonite. William Ochieng, Mike Tanui and Vincent Ambani all sat out of the Saturday match while Dita Okoth had other commitments thus could not play.
    KPA tame Lions 
    Cliff Ochieng and Joseph Ngoshi top scored for the bankers and soldiers respectively with 15 points each. Co-op Bank was leading 28-21 at halftime.
    The first quarter went to Ulinzi 15-13 and the second to Co-op Bank 15-6. Ulinzi started off the second half stronger of the two sides winning the third quarter 17-12 but the bankers inked their victory with a 17-15 win in the fourth quarter.
    Kenya Ports Authority, KPA, capitalized on Lions’ repeated mistakes to register a vital 84-73 away win at the same venue.
    The Dockers dominated their opponents throughout in a match that Lions saw luck run away from their hands. The Maurice Shitsama boys could rarely hold onto possession and their free shots missed target severally.
    To the contrary, KPA was well organized with good passes while their shots were accurate. The teams tied 37-37 at halftime after KPA won the first quarter 22-20 and Lions the second 17-15.
    Upon resumption, KPA showed no mercy for their host winning the remaining quarters 20-17 and 27-19 respectively. Tony Okello had 16 points for KPA with Samuel Ocholla adding 15. Tobias Onyango was Lions’ top scorer with a game high of 24.
    Strathmore beat Storms
    23 points from Abel Nson could not spare the brushes for Blazers as they lost 41-73 to Strathmore University. Joseph Owino led the students to victory with 17 points while Geoffrey Oteki accounted for 11 points. Strathmore was leading 38-29 at halftime.
    In the women premier, Sprite Storms found the going tough losing 38-55 to Strathmore University. The students were leading 23-13 at the breather. Grace wanjiku hit 22 points for Strathmore while Susan Akinyi had 13 for Storms.
    Red-hot Taudenciah Peter scored a game high of 30 points to help NYTA-Shimba beat Kenya College of Accountancy- University, KCA-U, 57-42 after leading 25-19 at halftime.
    Rebecca Nkatha top scored for KCA with 9 points.
    Collated Results: KAA 55 KU Pirates 61, KCA-U 42 NYTA-Shimba 57, Strathmore University 55 Storms 38, Co-op Bank 57 Ulinzi 53, Strathmore University 73 Blazers 41, Lions 73 KPA 84. By Francis Marangu

    20 July 2013

    UGANDA : Warriors rout Power in National Basketball League

    Warriors rout Power in National Basketball League
    KCCA Leopards 54-70 UCU Lady Canons                                                                                            Riham Warriors 91-65 Dmark Power
    Riham Warriors turned a meeting of the NBL giants into a mismatch. Behind crisp ball movement and valorous attacking of the hoop, Warriors put an end to Dmark Power’s unbeaten run with a 91-65 blowout victory.
    “Our aim was to kill their pace and we managed to do that” Warriors’ coach, Emmanuel Samanya said
    Henry Malinga dropped season high 28 points and picked 6 rebounds as Warriors (8-2) pinned a 26 point loss to Power - the worst in recent history. Point guard, Ivan Enabu added 19 points, 7 rebounds, swiped 5 steals and swatted 4 shots.
    “We stuck to our game plan – to work as a team both defensively and offensively and thank God we got the win” Enabu said.
    Warriors started slow and trailed through the first half. With Power leading 34-32 going into the third quarter, guard, Mark Opio (13 points) opened the period with back-to-back 3-pointers to take Warriors into the lead and the defending champions did not trail again. Warriors pushed their lead into double figures with 2:17 in the third and did not relinquish it.
    Norman Blick led Power (10-1) with 16 points and Joseph Ikong added 11 points. Isaac Afidra was a contrast of who he was a week ago. The forward scored 8 points and pulled down 7 rebounds. “They needed it more - that is all” he said
    Ronnie Kasewu picked game high 11 rebounds to go with 9 points as Warriors won the battle on the glass 50-42 with a whooping 19 on the offensive glass. Warriors complete their first round schedule on Wednesday against Ndejje Angels.
    In the women’s division, UCU Lady Canons used an overwhelming second half to beat KCCA Leopards 70-54. Shooting guard, Moreen Amoding turned in a third consecutive big performance with co-game high 24 points. Purity Adhiambo added 18 points and 11 rebounds as Lady Canons snapped KCCA’s winning streak to stay unbeaten. Francis Nabulobi contributed 11 points and 8 rebounds
    Flavia Oketcho did everything for Leopards (10-1) in a losing effort as she received little help from her teammates. The guard scored 24 points and picked 7 rebounds. KCCA’s leading scorer, Claire Lamunu had a poor night missing many mostly easy field goal attempts. The forward picked 12 rebounds and scored 10 points going 4-for-17 from the field.

    KENYA : Tricky matches for top teams in weekend action

  • There will be significant changes in the log this weekend as top teams in the national classic league’s men and women premier have tricky matches lined up.
    Ladies defending champion Eagle Wings will play United States International University- Africa, USIU-A, on Sunday in a rematch of last year’s playoff final.
    Their male counterparts Co-operative Bank have a date with Ulinzi Warriors on Saturday. At 19 points, the bankers could forfeit the league’s leadership to second placed Lions who are on 17 points and will play two matches this weekend.
    If they beat Kenya Ports Authority, KPA, on Saturday and USIU-A on Sunday and Co-op Bank lose then Lions will take a one point lead. If both Lions and Co-op Bank win their matches, they will be joint leaders on 21 points.
    Wings could go joint top with KPA if they beat USIU. KPA, top of the table with 21 points, will not be in action this weekend. Consequently, a win for Wings, who have 19 points, will mean they share the summit but the Dockers will have played one match less.
    This will be Wings’ last match before heading to Burundi for the Zone V East and Central Club Championships slated for August 5-11 where they will seek to defend their title.
    USIU will also be travelling for the tournament by the virtue of finishing runners up last season. In last year’s playoffs final, Wings beat USIU 2-0 to retain their title and this match could be a tough one as well.
    Wings have been consistent this season despite losing some of its key players to NBA side Ulinzi. International players Silalei Shani, Samba Mjomba and Angela Akoth are some of the big names set to line up against USIU.
    The experience and exposure of Annerose Atieno, Lucy Machuma and Linda Nyikuli will also count a lot in swaying the match their side. USIU, who failed to show up for their match against NYTA-Shimba last weekend, is third on the log with 16 points.
    Captain Hilda Indasi will be the key player expected to lead the students to victory. Linda Mfuchi, Sudanese import Sarah Chan, Zipporah Odhiambo as well as Burundian duo of Ghyslaine Uwimama and Magniffique Ndayikengurutse are other players who can turn the game for the students.
    Co-operative Bank, another team on 15 points, will host NYTA-Shimba as they hope to consolidate their grip on the top four.
    Storms, also on 15 points, play Strathmore University on Saturday. The students are on 14 points.
    KPA double header in Nairobi 
    In the men premier, KPA will have a double header in their tour of Nairobi playing Lions on Saturday and Thunder on Sunday. With three losses behind their back so far, KPA will have a mountain to climb as they face two of the best teams this season.
    Lions have only lost once while Thunder has only two losses so far and began the season on a high. Against Thunder, they will be facing their old boy Dan Okwiri for the first time since he left the club at the beginning of the season.
    The tie pitting defending champion Co-operative Bank and Ulinzi Warriors is a potentially tight match. It will be very crucial for both teams in varied ways.
    The bankers are preparing for the regional championship in Burundi while the soldiers are gearing up for the regional military games all in August.
    With last season's most valuable player Bobby Okwako missing out in action, Coach Carey Odhiambo will have to depend on the likes of Tony Abondo, James Mwangi, Brian Busu and Salim Ali, arguably the best point guard in the league, to tame the soldiers. All-time leading scorer William Ochieng will be the main player for Ulinzi.
    Other matches will see University of Nairobi's Terrorist travel to Nakuru to play host Nakuru Club on Saturday and Strathmore University play tail holders Blazers on Sunday.
    Collated Fixtures: Saturday- Western Delight vs K.U.Oryx (12pm, Kakamega), Nakuru Club vs Terror (12pm, Nakuru), KAA vs KU Pirates (9am, Nyayo), Strathmore University vs Storms (10:30am), KCA-U vs NYTA-Shimba (12pm), Co-op Bank vs Ulinzi (1:30pm), Strathmore University vs Blazers (3pm), Lions vs KPA (4:30pm); Sunday- Mennonite vs Safe Spaces (9am), Co-op Bank vs NYTA-Shimba (10:30am), Little Prince vs Upperhill (12pm), Thunder vs KPA (1:30pm), Eagle Wings vs USIU (3pm), USIU vs Lions (4:30pm).

    SENEGAL : A New Wave of Basketball Players Has Big Plans for the NBA

    Photo: Louisville Athletics
    Gorgui Dieng
    Former Senegalese basketball player Makhtar Ndiaye is a sport agent and mentor to Louisville college basketball star Gorgui Dieng (pronounced GOR-gee Jeng), one of the 30 players picked in the first round of the 2013 National Basketball Association (NBA) draft held in June. Originally selected by the Utah Jazz as the 21st pick in the draft, Ndiaye saw Dieng traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves where he will start his professional basketball career when the 2013-2014 NBA season begins on October 29. Ndiaye and Dieng are following in the footsteps of African basketball legends such as Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo and Manute Bol. They are also changing the face of Senegalese basketball as they lead a new wave of African talent into the NBA.
    Born and raised in Senegal, Ndiaye played a season with the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1999 after finishing school at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dieng also was born and raised in Senegal and is the second product of the Sports for Education and Economic Development in Senegal ("SEEDS" Academy) to be drafted by an NBA team. Located in Thiès, the SEEDS Academy is a college-preparatory boarding school (grades 9-12) created in 2003 to provide Senegalese boys with a year-round, rigorous academic, athletic and leadership development curriculum. The first SEEDS alumni to make it all the way to the NBA was Mouhamed Saer Sene, who was drafted in 2006 by the Seattle SuperSonics and now plays professionally in France.
    Dieng's selection in the first round of the draft is indicative of Africa's growing presence in the NBA and, conversely, basketball's growing presence in Africa. In addition to Dieng, the 2013 NBA Draft saw three other players with direct ties to Africa – Victor Oladipo (Nigeria), Dennis Schroeder (The Gambia) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Nigeria) – drafted in the first round. "It was just bigger than the kid getting drafted and just shaking the commissioner's hand," said Ndiaye. "It was like a symbol."

    LIBERIA : Golden Image Awards Ends Basketball Tournament in Monrovia

    The sensational LPRC Oilers are the new champions of the Golden Image Awards (GIAs) basketball tournament, replacing NPA deadly Pythons.
    But the Oil Boys won it in an unconventional fashion at the Sports Commission on Broad Street on July 13.
    Having beaten Monrovia Sky Force by 53 to 25 points in the semi-finals, they were set to meet Pythons in what should have been a cracker but droplets of rainfall spoiled the party.
    With the cash prize of US$400 at stake and with both teams unwilling to play the final on July 15, five free throws a side were used to decide the winner after the rain ceased at 10:00PM.
    Pythons narrowly beat Mighty Barrolle by 47 to 45 points to advance to the finals.
    In the female category, the shower of blessing also affected the C-Delta versus Destiny Queens match with C-Delta leading by 18 to seven points after 10 minutes into the first half.
    And they were declared the winners after both teams agreed that the team in the lead will win the tournament should there be a rainfall. Juli Endee, Crusaders for Peace executive director, is the brain behind the GIAs.
    And despite the rainfall, Endee was grateful to God for a successful end to yet another tournament.
    "The turnout was very good except we had a little problem with the rain but in Liberia, we will always shine.
    "All of the teams exhibited wonderful skills. We are grateful to God and we will continue to engage the basketball federation," Endee stated.
    There were free raffle draws at the football and basketball events with prizes coming from Lion Stationery Store, Sethi Brothers, UN Drive Supermarket, Super Sound and RK Enterprise.
    The GIAs is named in honor of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and serves as a prelude to the July 26 celebration with sponsorship from private and public institutions. Government is the patron of sponsors for this year's jamboree, which also
    included an art and culture competition for children on July 10 and a peace and reconciliation forum for traditional leaders from July 16-17 to be followed by a grand gala on July 20.
    The corporate sponsors are Lonestar Cell/MTN,Central Bank of Liberia, National Oil Company of Liberia, Liberia Business Association, National Port Authority, Putu Iron Ore Mining Incorporated, Eco bank and Afriland First Bank.
    The bronze sponsors are Carter Center, Mike Mueller charity foundation, International Organization for the Advancement of the Humanity, Liberia Petroleum Refining Company and Alveno Hotel in Nimba County.
    The technical sponsors are the Ministries of Information, Culture Affairs & Tourism, Youth & Sports, Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Education and Gender & Development; Liberia Volleyball Federation, Liberia Basketball Association and Liberia Football Association

    ZIMBABWE : HBA Clubs Converge At National Sports Stadium

    CLUBS from the Harare Basketball Association will this weekend converge at the National Sports Stadium for their general meeting at which elections for a new executive should be the main item on the agenda.
    The meeting will be at the Sports Commission's offices on Saturday morning where the clubs will also review the just-ended season that was characterised by a number of challenges in trying to run the league along the NBA's conference system.
    Outgoing president Gilchrest Mangeza is not seeking re-election as Tendai "T-Burns" Zhakata from Jammerz and Ngoni Mukhukula (Raiderz) have been nominated for the top provincial post.
    The rest of the members who were elected along with Mangezah four years ago quit their posts along the way, leaving the HBL to co-opt other officials to complete the tenure.
    Charmaine Chamboko, who is the incumbent secretary, is seeking to retain the post and will face a challenge from Itayi Chafota and Andrew Chiaturo. Harmony Ndlovu from Mablazo will square off against Raiderz's Martin Mukweva to lead the technical portfolio while Brighton Navaya and Forbes Shuva are seeking to lead the referees committee.
    Simba Mungomezi from Mbare Heats is hoping to lead the competitions' committee while Fungai Zinatsa, Freeman Mutada, Kelvin Ben and Sandra Satumba have thrown in their names for the women and youth commission.
    Carlos Munda, the HBL spokesperson, yesterday challenged the clubs to elect candidates who should be able to restore the sport of basketball to its glory days just before the turn of the millennium.
    "I would say I was disappointed with a number of things during the just-ended season, especially on the technical side of the game. As a league, we need to improve the way we run our fixtures and programmes so that we restore basketball to its glory days during the Mashonaland Basketball Association.
    "The challenge now is on the clubs to elect people who have the zeal and should take basketball to another level," said Munda.
    Cameo Sigauke won the 2012/2013 men's league while Dzivaresekwa Raiderz were crowned the champions in the women's section with Black Rhinos winning promotion from the men's B League.

    UGANDA : Warriors plot to upset unbeaten Power

    Warriors plot to upset unbeaten Power
    By Charles MutebiBasketball League
    KCCA v UCU
    Warriors v Power
    AT the end of last season, it was the Riham Warriors (then Kyambogo Warriors) who were looking down their noses at their great rivals D’Mark Power.
    The Warriors had the championship, Power the embarrassment of flopping in the playoff quarterfinals.
    Now the tables have turned and it is Power who are on top as the two giants meet today at Lugogo in the Airtel National Basketball League (ANBL).
    Bernes Ankunda’s men are the flavour of the ANBL, having won 10 of 10. Defeating the Warriors would complete Power’s sweep of the first round and put an exclamation mark on their title intentions.
    So, how much will it mean to the Warriors to spoil it for Power?
    “It would be good to end Power’s streak and get the bragging rights,” revealed Warriors superstar Ronnie Kasewu.
    “It is also important for us to do well in this game as we are preparing for Zone Five (club championship in Burundi) where we will find other teams that are as good as Power.”
    According to Power star Isaac Afidra: “Finishing the first round unbeaten would not be an achievement. We have been there and done that before. What is important for us is to put in a good performance and get the win.”
    Afidra dropped the performance of the season in Power’s 82-75 win over the UCU Canons last week, going for 29 points and 18 rebounds. So, any promises for this game?
    “You have to wait and see what your opponents give you,” he answered.
    The first match of the night will feature the two unbeaten sides in the women’s ANBL, champs KCCA Leopards and UCU.

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