31 December 2013

KENYA : What a Great Season 2013 Has Been for Basketball Action

Three league categories feature 36 teams and Zuku start a universities competition
The 2013 basketball season will go down in history as a year where there was a great deal of action on the court and too much talk to go with it.
Thirty six teams battled in the league in three categories- men and women's premier leagues as well as Division One.
The Zuku basketball league for universities was also born.
The East and Central Africa Inter Cities championships were held in Kampala, Uganda where Sylvia Njeri guided Nairobi to their eleventh trophy in 15 years. Mombasa won the men's title.
But questions continued to be asked as to why the national champions Co-operative Bank of Kenya missed out, for the second time, on the Zone Five club championships held in Burundi.
Eagle Wings and the United States International University (USIU) teams made the journey to Bujumbura and the students met their compatriots and defending champions Wings who beat them to claim another regional title. The USIU Tigers failed to reach the semi finals.
Then it was time for the two teams to travel to Meknes, Morocco for the 19th Africa club championships for women. For the second time in a year, Wings met USIU in an all Kenyan quarter finals and prevailed 83-77.
The self supporting Wings then went on to meet Nigerian side First Deepwater whom they stunned 67-64 in a hard fought tie to bag the nation's only bronze medal in an African championship.
On the local front, USIU locked league champions Wings out of this year's play offs played in the best of five format. They booked a date with Kenya Ports Authority who had derailed Sprite Storms 3-0.
Zuku pumped in Sh50,000 to sponsor the university and colleges basketball league. The girl's category was won by USIU "Flames" while University of Nairobi "Terrorists" claimed the boy's division.
In the men's category, Co-op beat USIU 3-1 while KPA shut out Lions 3-0 to set a date in the finals where the bankers went into over drive ripping the porters apart with a 3-0 cushion to win their third successive national title.KPA women staged a gritty rally to snatch the national title from the favoured USIU with a 3-2 come from behind win in a tough series finals. It was the ports women's 14th title and an eighth one for long serving coach Anthony Ojukwu..
Four teams were relegated from the top tier with Mennonites and Nakuru Club being pushed down in the men's. NYTA Shimba Hills and Mennonites followed them down in the women's category.
In the Division One championship, Equity Bank beat Strathmore University 3-2 and both teams gained promotion to the Premier League.
In the Nairobi Basketball Association Danking Academy beat Jomo Kenyatta University (JKUAT) 3-0 to win the title while Ulinzi Blades returned to the Premier League with a 3-0 sweep of Footprints.
Malindi Nets and Barclays Bank of Kenya "Eagles" battled in the provincial play off finals and after it all ended, the two teams were confirmed as ticket holders to the lower division.
University of Nairobi "Terrorists" bagged the Zuku varsity top honour as did USIU "Flames" during a well attended finals played at the multi million shilling Safaricom Kasarani gymnasium.
At the school's level, it was a great year for Upper Hill School, who won the Nairobi title. They went to the nationals and bagged the big one before crowning it all with a regional title in Uganda.
This huge feat even earned them a Soya award. Shimba Hills also bagged the girls national and regional title.

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