30 September 2014

ZAMBIA : Stringers Beat Lunga Bullets

Magnets 62 - Stringers 64
YMCA Stringers at the weekend survived a scare at the hands of Mufulira Magnets whom they narrowly beat to close in on leaders Lunga Bullets to remain in contention for the Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) northern region league title.
Despite collecting a hard-fought but narrow victory, it was enough to keep the Kitwe side level on 25 points with their city rivals Lunga, who were not in action for their week 20 fixture.
Stringers, however, remained position owing to an inferior goal difference and having also played a game more.
Trotters 51 - Cavs 59
Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) sponsored Cavaliers got back to winning ways as they added more woes on relegation threatened Konkola Trotters.
The result saw Cavs move a place up into fifth on 17 points while Trotters remained rock bottom on 11 points.
Other games saw CBU Robbins maintain third position after beating Mufulira Saints 32-24 to move to 14 points, eight ahead of the Saints, who are third from the bottom.
Magic 77 - Eagles 49
In the southern region, Matero Magic remained on course to retaining the title as they got the better of Green Eagles as Lusaka City Council (LCC) Looters suffered a defeat at the hands of Hotspurs.
Elsewhere, Napsa Breeze humbled Green Buffaloes with a 91-49 thrashing with Junior Hurricanes powering 72 baskets against 63 of Earthrow Bulldogs.
Chinzam were awarded a walkover against Lotus Challengers with a 20-0 while Evelyn Hone Nishati Denvers beat Nkwazi 66-51 with Matero Magic B edging out Heroes Unity Play by a narrow 78-77 score.

UGANDA : Afrobasket here we come

Excited Team Uganda basketballers celebrate their win over Rwanda that guaranteed them second place in the Zone V Basketball Championship. PHOTO BY Ismail Kezaala 
By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo

Ugandan basketball has finally arrived at the continental high table. Nearly two decades of persistence bore fruit on Sunday night at the Lugogo MTN Arena.
The men’s and women’s national teams qualified for next year’s Afrobasket and All Africa Games, the latter as champions of the Fiba Africa Zone V Nations Basketball Championship.
“This is historical,” Silverbacks’ Sweden-based guard Kassim Nagwere, hoarse-voiced, said. “It can change the situation. It’s a new beginning.” On a euphoric day that delivered on all its promises, Claire Lamunnu and Stephen Omony rose highest. The past week will be the most memorable for a sport yet to reach its 20th birthday.
MVP Lamunnu scored 24 points as the Gazelles beat Kenya 64-61 to rise from the bottom of a three-team event to the summit in just 48 hours. What a turnaround!
Points average
Uganda, Kenya and Egypt finished with two wins and two defeats apiece. Coach Timothy Odeke’s clinched it on points average despite losing their opening two games.
They needed to win by at least three and the result was economic.
If their victory was a nervous one as only Lamunnu passed 10 points, the Silverbacks’ hardly showed any signs of panic in defeating Rwanda 69-61.
With the Egyptians winning all their four games to retain the Zone V title, Omony was not going to be denied in the shootout for the second ticket.
He scored 25 points and six rebounds, visiting the foul-line on no less than 16 occasions where he converted 10. Omony, 34, was irresistible.
“It was a big game for us, the team, the fans,” the forward said. “(To qualify for the Afrobasket) is very special. I had to step up. I couldn’t let this slip.”
Ivan Lumanyika scored 13 points and 14 rebounds to crown a week in which he rose from a footnote to a starter. There was little to choose between the two sides until the third quarter which the Silverbacks won 25-15 and a lead was built it was never going to be lost.
Kami Kabange scored a futile 16 points. It was keeping shooting guard Kenneth Gasana to eight points that did the trick. For Omony, 16 years of wait ended.

RWANDA : Poor preps blamed for dismal Zone V show

Hakizimana in action during the U-18 Afrobasket finals held in Kigali in 2010. He played his second Zone V tourney for the senior team in Kampala. (File)
NATIONAL MEN’S team point guard Lionel Hakizimana has said that inadequate preparation was the reason for their lackluster showing at the Fiba Zone V Championships in Kampala.
The Espoir Basketball Club star made the remarks after Rwanda lost their bid to qualify for next year’s Fiba Afrobasket finals following a 61-69 loss to Uganda in the final game on Sunday.
 Hakizimana said although they went into the tournament beaming with confidence and really wanted to qualify for next year’s Afrobasket finals, poor preparations let them down.
“Against Uganda, we started a on a poor note, losing the first quarter. As the game progressed, there were signs of fatigue and yet our opponents were in good physical shape,” Hakizimana acknowledged.
He added: “We thought we were far ahead of our regional opponents following consecutive qualifications to Afrobasket finals since 2007 but this loss should give us a big lesson and morale to go back and practice harder.”
The 22-year-old point guard noted that there is no way you can only train for 20 days and expect to beat teams which have spent months in preparing.
However the team coach Moise Mutokambali cited lack of shooting prowess as the main reason for his team’s loss to the hosts.
 “We were not good on the three-pointers because in 24 attempts, we only managed to score three while Uganda scored 12 of the 28 attempts,” Mutokambali said.
Rwanda lost the first quarter 11-15 but recovered to lead 30-28 at half time.  However, Uganda, led by their captain Steven Omwony and Norman Blick fought back strongly to take the third and fourth quarters.  Omwony finished with a game high 25 points.
Kami Kabange, who plays for Uganda League Champions, City Oilers, top scored for Rwanda with 16 points.
Egypt won all their games to retain the men’s title while Uganda’s took the women’s trophy. Egypt and Uganda will represent the region in Tunisia. Egypt also qualified for the 2015 All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville.
Rwanda will miss Fiba Afrobasket finals having participated at the previous four editions since 2007.
In the women’s category, Uganda will play in Afrobasket Championships for the first time in their history after beating Kenya 64-61.

29 September 2014

RWANDA : Rwanda miss out on Afrobasket spot

Head coach Moise Mutokambali could not guide Rwanda to a fifth Afrobasket final. Rwanda finished third in the Zone V qualifiers in Kampala. (Courtesy)
Sunday Results
Kenya 61-64 Uganda
Uganda 69-61 Rwanda
Saturday Results
Kenya 52-70 Egypt
Egypt 91-68 Somalia
Kenya 71-83 Uganda
RWANDA MEN’S basketball team failed to clinch a ticket to next year’s Fiba Afrobasket finals after losing to hosts Uganda 61-69 in the final match of the Zone V Qualifiers which climaxed last night at MTN Arena in Kampala.
Moise Mutokambali’s side came second best to their opponents Uganda in attack and defensive. Norman Blick and Steven Omwony were outstanding for Uganda in the entire game.
The plethora of scoring guards led by Kenneth Gasana, Kami Kabange and Aristide Mugabe couldn’t do much to salvage Rwanda as dominant Uganda ruled the game.
Rwanda started on a poor note losing the first quarter 11-15 but managed to register a quick recovery and gained their rhythm to beat Uganda 30-28 by half time.
After half time, Mutokambali’s side lost their concentration as Uganda won the third quarter 53-45 and Rwanda’s return to close the gap in the fourth quarter was futile.
The loss means that Rwanda has lost twice and won twice to finish third in the regional tournament behind leaders and defending champions Egypt and Uganda who will represent the region at the Afrobasket finals and All Africa Games next year.
Rwanda will for the first time miss at the Fiba Afrobasket finals having participated at the previous four editions.
In other games played on Saturday in the men’s category, Egypt sealed their campaign unbeaten with a 91-68 win over Somalia while Kenya beat Uganda 71-83.
Kenya and Somalia finished fourth and fifth respectively.
In the women’s category, Uganda’s women side, The Gazelles sealed their place in the Fiba Afrobasket championships for the first time in the history of Ugandan basketball after beating Kenya 64-61.
Egypt defeated Kenya 70-52 on Saturday but the latter finished second behind Uganda to seal a spot to compete at the Afrobasket finals. Egypt finished third in the overall standings.

26 September 2014

KENYA : Kenyan women still unbeaten at Zone V

As the defending champions and after only two games, Kenya ladies basketball team has come out as the side to beat at the Fiba Zone V Championships.
They saw off hosts Uganda 52-49 on Tuesday in Kampala after their opening 63-57 win over Egypt.
The Kenyan ladies defied all odds at Lugogo Indoor Arena to dominate their opponents winning the first two quarters 18-12 and 13-11 and enjoyed an 8 point advantage at the breather.
A complacent performance upon resumption had Uganda gaining ground and threatened the imminent win for Kenya who struggled back to win the third quarter 13-5 and level the scores going to the homestretch.
It was Kenya who had the finishing kick inside fourth quarter to win 16-13 and extend their good record against the Ugandans in the regional tourney.
Kenya had 15 steals against Uganda’s 6, grabbed 55 rebounds against Uganda’s 38 and scored 12 points from the 3-point line after 18 attempts.
It was the second straight win for Kenyan ladies and second loss for host Uganda who now stand an outside chance of winning the overall title.
After the first round of play, Kenya is top with four points from two wins while Egypt has three points from a win and a loss. Uganda has fallen off the pace with just two points from two losses and will have to restrategize in the return games. The hosts play Egypt in their second game of the double round-robin on Friday desperately needing a win. A loss will all but eliminate them from contention.
The Egyptians will have no time to rest as they will play Kenya in less than 24 hours (Saturday) which could work to the Kenyans’ advantage.
Kenya men face Egypt 
In men category, Kenya will be back on the court Friday with a must-win game against Egypt.
It will be a tough encounter for Kenya who have won one and lost once while Egypt will be looking to add another win to the two they have already registered against Rwanda (79-63) and Uganda (85-77).
A win for Kenya will tie them on five points with Egypt but a loss will complicate their chances.
Desmond Owili who plays for Uganda Christian University (UCU) has been the main attraction not only for Kenya but Ugandans who hold him with high regard. A screaming headline “Owili is back and more” carried by local newspaper Daily Monitor captured his influence to the Ugandan game.
Owili is serving a one-year league ban after shoving a match official but his 16 points against Somalia and screaming dunks proved his mettle.
On the sideshows, constant power outages have also been reported to have interrupted games at Lugogo Arena for several times.
Fixtures: September 26- Egypt vs Kenya (men, 1700hrs), Egypt vs Uganda (women, 1900hrs); September 27-Somalia vs Egypt (men, 1500hrs), Kenya vs Egypt (women, 1700hrs), Kenya vs Uganda (men, 1900hrs); September 28-Kenya vs Uganda (women, 1700hrs), Rwanda vs Uganda (men, 1700hrs), Closing Ceremony- 2030hrs).

UGANDA : One last shot for Uganda’s Gazelles | Zone V Nations Qualifiers

One last shot for Uganda’s Gazelles | Zone V Nations Qualifiers Photo: fuba.co.ug
W: Egypt Vs Uganda 5:00pm
M: Egypt Vs Kenya 7:00pm

Two unwarranted defeats in two games have left the Gazelles in rather a tight spot. They need to win the remaining two games by bigger margins to overturn the defeats against Egypt and Kenya and make it to Afro-Basket and All Africa Games.The first of the two remaining fixtures falls on them this evening against Egypt at the Lugogo MTN Arena. They have to win by at least five points against Egypt to overturn the 65-61 defeat on the tournament opening day.

Peace Proscovia who returned to side against Kenya after pushing the National Netball side to the World Cup should lead the Gazelles’ push to Afro-Basket; hopefully. Her size should not just trouble Reen Ousrama and the Egyptians but it should make it count for the Gazelles.

Sharon Karungi should build on her 23/11 performance in the loss to Egypt and along with Claire Lamunu as well as Carol Nyafwono make it count from the line.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s men’s side who are also in pole position to win the event will take on Kenya who themselves have a chance of making Afro-Basket with a win tonight and against Uganda on Saturday.

After blazing past Somalia and falling to Rwanda, Kenya needs to win tonight and against Uganda. The Kenyans will look to the experience of Ancette Wafula and physical presence of Desmond Owili and Victor Odedndo off the bench for the offensive push against the best side in the region.

ZONE V : Rwanda must beat Uganda to qualify for Afrobasket

Kenneth Gasana missed the game with Somalia but is expected to be fit for Sunday's clash against Uganda. (File photo)
SundayRwanda vs Uganda
RWANDA must beat Uganda in the final game of the Fiba Zone V Championships if they are to qualify for next year’s Afrobasket Championships, which will be held in Tunisia, according to Coach Moise Mutokambali.
Mutokambali’s team has recovered from losing the opening game against Egypt to register two wins over Kenya and Somalia.
Reigning champions Egypt won two matches (against Rwanda and Uganda) and still have Somalia and Kenya to play against before winding up their campaign.
Rwanda needs to beat hosts Uganda to at least be assured of snatching an Afrobasket ticket as Egypt is most likely to win the tournament and qualify for the 2015 All Africa Games in the Republic of Congo.
Mutokambali said on Wednesday, “I must congratulate my players for the good performance in the win against Somalia. It’s was a vital win for us.”
“We have three days to rest and recover ahead of Sunday’s key game against Uganda. It’s a game we must win to seal our qualification for Afrobasket.
“I hope to have a fully fit squad and the good news that Kenneth Gasana is back and in three days, he will be fit and he will definitely boost our chances of winning the final game,” added Mutokambali.
On Wednesday, Rwanda defeated Somalia 85-71 to register their second win in the tournament after the 82-77 win over Kenya on Tuesday.
Action continues today when Egypt take on Kenya and Uganda in the men and women category respectively.
On Saturday, win-less Somalia face Kenya (men), Kenya take on Egypt (women) and Kenya play Uganda (men).

24 September 2014

UGANDA : It’s Uganda versus Kenya

Team Uganda ladies undergoing practice at YMCA last week in preparation for Zone V. They face Kenya today. Photo by Ismail Kezaala 
By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo

KAMPALA. Burundi’s late withdrawal from the ongoing Fiba Africa Zone V Nations Basketball Championship left the women’s competition with only three teams.
Two of Egypt, Kenya and hosts Uganda will qualify for the Afrobasket and next year’s All Africa Games meaning the margin of error was lessened, significantly.
Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Eritrea and Djibouti had already pulled out days before tip-off on Sunday and organisers had to opt for a round-robin format.
The three teams must play each other twice. Sunday’s 64-61 to Egypt left Gazelles in a heap of trouble as the margin of error disappeared. Kenya then beat the North Africans 63-57. Coach Timothy Odeke knows his team must beat the Kenyans today at the Lugogo MTN Arena to stand a chance of finishing in the top two.
“We still have to play Egypt again and if we beat them by four points, we finish ahead of them,” Odeke told Daily Monitor. That second game is on Sunday. It’s relevance largely depends on today. Odeke will have reigning MVP Peace Proscovia return to the side after a successful world cup qualification campaign with the netball team in Botswana.
“Of course she adds a lot as a rebounder and scorer but thereafter it’s about the team,” Odeke explained.
Besides Sharon Karungi, who scored a game-high 23 points, the other inside players struggled offensively. Small forward Claire Lamunnu stood tall with 17 points.
With UCU Lady Canons’ pair of Purity Odhiambo and Vilmar Achieng in the side, Kenya are more than just a familiar opponent.
Georgina Ateino and Hilda Hindasi were part of the USIU side that won the Fiba Africa Zone V Club Championship last month.

RWANDA : Rwanda overcome resilient Kenya in Zone V Qualifiers

The Rwanda team which played against Kenya yesterday. (Courtesy photo)
Fiba Zone V tourney
Rwanda 63-79 Egypt
Kenya 77-82 Rwanda
Uganda 77-85 Egypt
Rwanda vs. Somalia 18.00
Sept. 28
Rwanda vs. Uganda
Rwanda vs. Somalia
Rwanda Men's basketball team beat Kenya 82-77 to register their first victory in the Fiba Zone V Qualifiers yesterday at the MTN Arena, Logogo in Uganda.
After losing to defending champions Egypt 63-79, Rwanda was meant to either win yesterday’s fixture or forget about making any positive impact in their quest to win the title.
Moise Mutokambali’s side played extremely well as they won all the four quarters. Aristide Mugabe and Kami Kabangu led the offensive as Rwanda won the first quarter 22-13 with the duo registering a combined 14 points in the last four minutes of the quarter.
At half time, Rwanda was still in the lead 46-35 with Kami now amassing 19 points after pulling back 8 rebounds.
In the third quarter, Aristide Mugabe and Cameron Bradley ran the show for Rwanda to help the national team secure the quarter with a 65-51 win over Kenya.
In the final quarter, Kenya put on a spirited show in their bid to close the gap with Desmond Owili opening the quarter with a baseline dunk but Bradley answered Kenya back with a deep to help Rwanda extend the lead 68-55.
With 25 seconds to the end of the game, Rwanda was in lead with 80-74 before Kenyan coach Ojukwu called for time out. Play resumed and with 6.5 seconds to go, Rwanda requested for time out and resumed moments later, snatching 82-77 to register a deserved win which has blown the men’s group wide open again.
Meanwhile, in another game played yesterday, hosts Uganda were beaten by defending champions Egypt 85 - 77. Rwanda faces Somalia later in the evening in their third game of the tournament. Forward Kenneth Gasana who missed yesterday’s game due to a groin injury might return back to guide the nation to a most-wanted win over a tricky and talented Somalia team.
Rwanda V against Kenya: Aristide Mugabe, Lionnel Hakizimana, Curtis Bradley Cameron, Olivier Shyaka and Kami Kabange.

23 September 2014

KENYA : Two Wins, One Loss for Kenya At Zone V

A narrow 77-82 loss to Rwanda in the second game on Tuesday neutralized Kenyan men basketball team’s good start at the ongoing Fiba Zone V Championships in Kampala, Uganda.
Kenya had beaten Somalia 97-79 on Monday and was hoping to extend their record to 2-0 but ended up at 1-1.
The record is same for Rwanda who lost opening game 63-79 to Egypt on Sunday. It was a tough fight by the Kenyan side who trailed Rwanda by 14 points at the close of third quarter and 35-46 at halftime.
The game against Somalia was a high-scoring affair as Kenya led 47-37 at the breather with 22-21 and 25-16 scores in the first two quarters.

Kenya won the third quarter 28-18 and exerted dominance before Somalia won the consolation fourth 24-22. Desmond Owili top scored with 16 points as William Ochieng and Ancete Wafula combined for 29 points.

The ladies were victorious in the first game beating Egypt 63-57. The first half was even and competitive as both teams tied 21-all at halftime, Egypt winning the first quarter 11-8 and Kenya the second 13-10.
Egypt surged forward in the third quarter with a 21-14 win but Kenya caused the upset in the closing quarter after winning 28-15.
Brigid Nanzala scored 16 points with Hilda Indasi adding 14. The team will take back to the court on Wednesday to play Uganda. It will be an opportunity for Kenya to condemn the host to a second successive loss in front of home fans after going down 61-65 to Egypt in game one.

UGANDA : Uganda up for the ultimate test against Egypt │ Zone V Nations Qualifiers

M: Uganda Vs Egypt 7:00pm
M: Kenya Vs Rwanda 5:00pm
Uganda’s Silverbacks got off the FIBA Africa Zone V Nations Qualifiers’ blocks with an 85-74 win over Somalia on Sunday night. Great team work from the Silverbacks sums up that game.
The Silverbacks again take the floor this evening against event favourites – Egypt. Silverbacks’ head coach, Mandy Juruni said “they will vary their approach depending on the team they are playing” prior to the tournament. Variations start tonight against the defending champions.
How will Uganda turnout against Egypt?
After limiting Faisal Aden on Sunday with a solid defense you can almost be sure John Balwigaire will be in the face of Egypt’s star guard, Ibrahim ElGammal with help from Josh Johnson, Jimmy Enabus and Kasim Nagwere.

Egypt has got quite a presence down and will be a lot difficult to pick the rebounds. Ivan Lumanyika, Henry Malinga, Andrew Opio and Samuel Kalwanyi will have their hands full to pull down the balls from Moustafa Elmakawy and Abdalla Ramy.
Egyptians may draw the Silverbacks away from the basket as they like to shoot from distance after putting together a sequence of passes but Uganda’s perimeter defense is as impressive as you like to counter that. Abouelaiin Moamen and Abdelahim Amr who like to shoot from beyond the arc may not have many open looks.
Will the Silverbacks beat Egypt’s zone defense that failed the Rwandese?
Uganda’s assistant coach, Gad Eteu said they get past it. “Why won’t you guys believe we can beat those guys?” he asks. “We have strategies that will beat their zone and we will try to stop them from scoring” Eteu said.
Meanwhile, in the first game of the day, Rwanda will seek to bounce back from the loss to Egypt when they take on Kenya who got a huge win last night.

Double joy for Kenya │ Zone V Nations Qualifiers

W: Egypt 57-63 Kenya
M: Somalia 79-97 Kenya

Kenya’s national sides played their first games at this year’s Zone V Nations Qualifiers at Lugogo MTN Arena. It was double joy for Kenya as the ladies edged Egypt 63-57 and the men blew-out Somalia who were barely present after the first quarter 97-79.
Kenya’s coach Anthony Ojukwu couldn’t hide his delight. “I am very happy with the win. Being the first game in the round-robin, it is a good start because it motivates players” he told Kawowo Sports.
After a competitive opening period in which Somalia were edged 22-21, Kenya started to pull away in the second as the turned up their aggressiveness a notch higher, stepped up their defense and eventually took their lead into double figures in the third quarter – they never looked back.
“Our strategy (after the first quarter) was to put pressure on the ball and we managed to do that. We watched them play yesterday (Sunday) and that helped us figure them out” Ojukwu said.
Big man, Desmond Owili led Kenya with 16 points, William Ochieng added 15 points of the bench. Game veteran, Ancette Wafula contributed 14 points while Ariel Oual and Victor Odendo chipped in with 12 and 10 points respectively.
Somalia’s Captain Yusuf Qafoow who netted game high 23 points in a losing effort bemoaned their loss of heads but was happy.
“We lost our heads when the shots were not going in and we made a lot of turnovers (26). I myself made like 10 (actually 8) and that is not me” Qafoow told Kawowo Sports.
Forward, Osman Olol nailed 21 points going 5-for-10 from distance and picked game high 9 rebounds and swatted 3 shots. Tabit Mohamed and Ahmed Eman contributed 14 points eac
“Am very disappointed (with the two losses) but am happy with the guys. They gave it all” Qafoow said.
Qafoow also reserved some praise for the Kenyans. “Those guys were aggressive on offense and they got to the line”
Meanwhile, Kenya’s ladies and defending champions edged Egypt 63-57. Brigid Nanzala grabbed a big double-double (16 points & 10 rebounds) to lead the Kenyans. Hilda Luvandwa chipped in with 14 while Vilma Achieng and Samba Mjomba scored 10 apiece.
Soraya Mohamed scored team high 14 points for Egypt, Reem Ousrama added 12 and Sarah Massoyo had 10.

UGANDA : Lumanyika elevates to new level, Egypt wait

KAMPALA. Had Brandon Ssebirumbi made it for the Fiba Africa Zone V Nations Basketball Championship, Ivan Lumanyika may have been living on the edge.
That one of the foreign-based players couldn’t make it thrust the UCU Canons’ centre into an unfamiliar role of leadership. He grabbed into with both hands and one heart.
Playing alongside veteran Henry Malinga, Lumanyika played one of his best games for a commanding 11 points and 15 rebounds as Uganda beat Somalia 85-74 in Sunday night’s opener.
Inside a packed Lugogo MTN Arena, Lumanyika fed off Malinga’s brilliance worth 16 and seven rebounds to become the factor for the Silverbacks.
“I am taking it as my responsibility to play well,” Lumanyika said. “My teammates were boxing out so I got so many loose balls.” That inside game gave Uganda a dominant presence against one of the star teams.
“We were outstanding,” point guard Josh Johnson, four points and four assists, said. “We wanted to win.”
Lumanyika has gone from probably being down the pecking order behind Ssebirumbi, Sam Gombya and Brian Ssentogo to earning his place.
“Our biggies put Somalia in trouble and gave us an inside game,” coach Mandy Juruni added. The game was 66-58 after three periods only for the hosts to boss the opening exchanges of the fourth.
Juruni’s side opened up an 81-65 lead and also limited Faisal Aden to 20 points, with John Balwigaire doing a tremendous job defensively.
“I think we came into the game knowing what Somalia is capable of and what Faisal is capable of doing. He can score 40, 50 or 60 points so it was a group effort,” Johnson explained. After yesterday’s rest day, the much bigger Egyptians and event favourites are Uganda’s next opponents today. The champions whipped Rwanda 79-63 in the opener.
“Hopefully, in the next game I will keep improving,” Lumanyika said. “Hopefully, we bring the same intensity on defence,” Johnson added. Earlier, the women’s team lost 61-65 to Egypt despite Sharon Karungi’s game-high 23 points and Claire Lamunnu’s 17.

RWANDA : We can’t afford to lose again – Mutokambali

Fiba Zone V tourney
Kenya vs Rwanda 4pm
Uganda vs Egypt 7pm
RWANDA basketball team coach Moise Mutokambali has affirmed his team’s determination to win their remaining matches in bid to qualify to the final of the 2014 Fiba/Zone V Championship which is underway in Kampala, Uganda.
Kenneth Gasana scored 15 points against Egypt before injuring his ankle. (File photo)
Rwanda lost to Egypt 63-79 in the opening game played on Sunday at the Lugogo Arena.
Speaking after the game, Mutokambali blamed the loss to inexperience but vowed to win the remaining matches against Kenya, Somalia and hosts Uganda.
He said: “We faced a good and strong side that had players who featured in the World Championship. My boys did quite a good job except for some defensive mistakes in the last quarter which helped Egypt to win the game.”
Skipper Aristide Mugabe also echoed Mutokambali’s view, saying, “We lost and that’s a gone case. Our focus is now on the next game and we must do whatever it takes to win all our remaining matches and I believe we will do so.”
Lead player Kenneth Gasana, who plays, Al Waklah-Morocco, suffered an ankle injury in the last quarter against Egypt after scoring 15 points.
Rwanda face Kenya in their second game this afternoon, starting to at 4pm while hosts Uganda will be up against defending champions Egypt at7pm.
Rwanda will return to action on Wednesday against Somalia before winding up their matches with a date against Uganda on September 28.
The men’s category has attracted five countries namely; Uganda, Egypt, Kenya, Somalia and Rwanda while there are three women teams—Uganda, Kenya and Egypt, all playing on a round robin basis.

22 September 2014

TANZANIA : RBA League Rescheduled to Next Week

DAR ES SALAAM regional basketball league (RBA) did not kick off on Friday night as planned due to the poor standard of the National Indoor Stadium.
The tournament has now been postponed for a week and it will throw next weekend. Basketball Dar es Salaam (BD) Vice President, Richard Julies, told the 'Sunday News' on Saturday that they met a few days ago to discuss the league and resolved to postpone it until certain problems, especially the state of the Indoor Stadium, are solved.
"We agreed that we should postpone the league for a week so that we can improve the stadium's court, which will be used for the games. Lights are among things to be restored," he said.
He explained that having in infrastructures that are of international standard should be the priority so that the players can have better environments to showcase their talent.
BD is the main organizer of the RBA league under the sponsorship of Azam Media Group. Last week, BD reiterated its mission that they are committed to revive basketball in the region following a poor progression of the league.
Teams which will participate in this season are JKT, ABC, Mgulani and Kurasini from Temeke; Tanzania Prison, Don Bosco Upanga, popularly known as Savio, Vijana City Bulls and Jogoo from Ilala.
Kinondoni will be presented by Chui, Don Bosco Oysterbay, Pazi and Oilers. Women's teams will also have their league and some of the participants are Don Bosco Lioness, Vijana Queens and JKT.

KENYA : Students Arrest Thunder in Premier League Ball

UNITED States International University (USIU) hit Thunder 85-68 in a premier league basketball clash at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
The "Tigers" who led 35-28 at the breather had 27 points from Abel Nson. Kenneth Kigotho provided 13. The losers had game high 35 from Derick Juma.
Lions dismissed Kenya Airports (KAA) 80-71 in an exiting and high scoring tie. The former champions led 47-33 and had Victor Ochieng hitting 23 and Denis Opiyo making 13. The losers had 24 from Billy Ongute and 12 from Ronald Kipruto.
Blazers losing run continued when they were felled 60-55 by Nakuru Club. The visitors who were down 24-28 at the break had 16 from James Okerio and 14 from Victor Orare. The losers had 15 from Joel Wafula.
Renny Moibi paced Kenyatta University "Pirates" to a 63-57 win over Mennonites. The losers who were up 27-29 at half time had Phil Odhiambo to thank as he managed 13.
USIU ladies rolled over Mennonites 94-13 to move to the top of the chart. The "Flames" ran amok in the third quarter taking a 35-3 cushion as Zipporah Odhiambo led with 15.
In the lower division matches played at Upper Hill School , the host beak lakeside 55-42, Dankind Academy survived 37-36 against Parklands Baptist, Umoja topped Baraka Xtreme 71-34 and World Hope hit Africa Nazarene university (ANU) 55-51.

KENYA : Relegation battle begins to take shape

  • Lions Kaudia Harrison in a past league match against Strathmore.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
The weekend matches of the Kenya Basketball Federation national classic league had a huge implication on the relegation battle in both men and women premier leagues.
Western Delight and Mennonite are rock bottom of the women premier with 11 and 12 points respectively but Delight has played fewer games.
The relegation fight in men premier has winless Blazers on 23 points, Kenyatta University Pirates who have so far won three games and stand at 25 points, Mennonite and Nakuru Club who have four wins apiece.
Nakuru is in its second season and escaped relegation last season after finishing eleventh in the then 12-team league.
A move to expand the league to 16 teams that was ratified at the annual general meeting saved them from the chop. Their performance this season has not been that good but are still keeping the hope of staying afloat. “We are going nowhere.
I am targeting at least seven wins in the remaining eleven games and we will be safe,” head coach Richard Kanda told sportsnewsarena.com. Out of the possible 30 games, Nakuru has played nineteen and won five with fourteen losses.
Kanda pegs his hopes on the fact that most of the pending games are against teams not considered serious title contenders.
“It is something we can achieve considering most of our opponents are on the middle and lower ends of the table. The homeground advantage also favours my side since we will play more at home than away.”
Having endured financial challenges for the past two seasons, he remains optimistic that fortunes will change come next season as they expect to remain in the league.
“We are a self-sponsored team thus we struggle a lot. Hopefully, we will have a sponsor next season because we have sent out many requests.”
Nakuru played away in Nairobi on Saturday denying Blazers their first win of the season with a 60-55 last-minute victory. Blazers was on the receiving end again Sunday narrowly losing 48-50 to KU Pirates in a game they trailed 20-26 at halftime.
Nakuru deny Blazers win
Jonathan Lando and Jacktone Agunda top scored for Pirates with 11 points each while Jay Michoma scored 10 for Blazers. United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) scored the second win of the weekend beating Equity Bank 59-51 on Sunday.
The students rallied from down 24-26 at the breather with Samuel Odera scoring 15 points and Abel Nson added 11. Brian Obimbo top scored for Equity with 19 points.
Lions was also on two wins for the weekend after beating Mennonite 76-54 helped by 19 points from Victor Ochieng and 12 from Richard Adega. Eric Makokha scored 15 points for Mennonite.
In the women premier, USIU-A neared the century score for the second day running with a 94-16 beating of Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U).
USIU-A led 42-11 at halftime with Magnifique Magnifique top scoring with 20 points and Zipporrah Odhiambo adding 14. Joyce Lynette scored 6 points for KCA-U as USIU-A remains the only unbeaten side in the league.
Weekend Results: Saturday- World Hope 55 ANU 51, Umoja 71 Baraka Xtreme 34, Dankind Academy 37 Parklands Baptist 36, Upper Hill 55 Lakeside 42, Mennonite 13 USIU Flames 94, Mennonite 57 KU Pirates 63, Lions 78 KAA 71, Blazers 55 Nakuru Club 60, Thunder 68 USIU Tigers 85; Sunday- JKUAT 36 Barclays Bank 61, ANU 50 Upper Hill 61, Baraka Xtreme 51 Lakeside 57, Trailblazers 57 Parklands Baptist 38, USIU Flames 94 KCA-U 16, Lions 76 Mennonite 54, KU Pirates 50 Blazers 48, Equity Bank 51 USIU Tigers 59

ZONE V : Somalia, Egypt test for Kenya teams in zone V openers

  • Hildah Indasi will lead the women's team in zone five championships.(Photo:SNA File)
Kenya national men basketball team will play Somalia while the women’s team lines up against Egypt on Monday evening as the Fiba Zone V Championships enter day two in Kampala, Uganda.
They arrived on Sunday morning and had time to rest in readiness to launching their campaign at the MTN Lugogo Indoor Arena. In the only two games of the day, the men’s team will be first on the court to face Somalia at 5pm local time.
The Anthony Ojukwu coached side will be out to revenge last year’s 79-81 loss to the same team in the same tournament. Ancete Wafula, Joseph Khaemba and William Ochieng were fielded in that game and will be facing a familiar opponent on Monday.
The ladies will play Egypt at 7 p.m. Even though a much changed side, they will be looking to make it a double after last year’s 70-64 win over the Egyptians in Tanzania.
Then captain Silalei Shani is the key absentee in the side but have Hilda Indasi and Purity Adhiambo surviving from the winning side.
Kenya will be back in action on Tuesday when the men’s side face Rwanda, a team Ojukwu has said is a major threat alongside Uganda at the championships.
Rwanda lost to Egypt in last year’s final and has carried a strong team to Kampala that includes professionals Bradley Cameroon who plays for South Bend in Indiana City and Kenneth Herbert Gasana of Al Wakrah in Qatar.
The ladies will play Uganda on Wednesday before men play Egypt on Friday. Kenya and Egypt will play the return game of the women category on Saturday before wrapping up the campaign against Uganda on Sunday.
The men's team will play their final game against Uganda on Saturday. In the opening games played on Sunday, Egypt beat Rwanda 79-63 while Uganda upset Somalia 85-74 in the men category.
The sole game of women category saw Egypt narrowly edge out host Uganda 65-61.
Zone V Day one results: Egypt 79 Rwanda 63 (men), Uganda 85 Somalia 74 (men), Uganda 61 Egypt 65 (women); Full Fixtures: September 22- Somalia vs Kenya (men, 1700hrs), Egypt vs Kenya (women, 1900hrs); September 23- Kenya vs Rwanda(men, 1700hrs), Uganda vs Egypt (men, 1900hrs); September 24- Rwanda vs Somalia (men, 1700hrs), Kenya vs Uganda (women, 1900hrs); September 25- Rest Day; September 26- Egypt vs Kenya (men, 1700hrs), Egypt vs Uganda (women, 1900hrs); September 27-Somalia vs Egypt (men, 1500hrs), Kenya vs Egypt (women, 1700hrs), Kenya vs Uganda (men, 1900hrs); September 28-Kenya vs Uganda (women, 1700hrs), Rwanda vs Uganda (men, 1700hrs), Closing Ceremony- 2030hrs).

UGANDA : Silverbacks slip past Somalia as Egypt beat Rwanda │ Zone V Nations Qualifiers

Silverbacks slip past Somalia as Egypt beat Rwanda │ Zone V Nations Qualifiers Photo Credits: FUBA
Sunday Results:
M: Uganda 85-74 Somalia
M: Egypt 79-63 Rwanda
Today’s Fixtures:
M: Kenya Vs Somalia 7:00pm
“It’s one game at a time and one is down” Uganda’s point guard, Josh Johnson said after the Silverbacks cruised past Somalia in an intense game that closed the opening day of the FIBA Africa Zone V qualifiers at the MTN Arena.
The Silverbacks used a heavy offensive second quarter and a suffocating defense through the game that countered Yusuf Qafoow’s individual brilliance and limited Faisal Aden’s attempts to pull away from Somalia enroute to the win.
“We kept it as a team and it was a group effort to get him (Fiasal) out” Johnson said on the Silverbacks defensive play against Somalia’s sharp shooter, Faisal Aden.
Uganda trailed the first quarter 21-23 but the 27-16 second quarter advantage gave them the edge all through the game. Power forward, Henry Malinga led Uganda’s balanced team scoring efforts with 16 points – some coming off dunks that got the crowd inside the Arena going on their feet.
Guards, Samuel Mukoza, Kasim Nagwere and Jimmy Enabu contributed 11 points each while center, Ivan Lumanyika matched their points and grabbed 15 rebounds. “For me i take it as my responsibility” Lumanyika said on his rebounding effort. “I keep on improning every game and i hope i will even be better the next game” the big man added.
Despite being kept at bay, Faisal Aden led Somalia with game high 20 points off the bench on a 6-for-11 shooting from the field and nailed all 5 foul shots.
“Faisal was not ready. He joined the team yesterday after traveling for four days. He was tired” Somalia’s coach, Omar Baarajab said on Aden’s rather quite night.
Skipper, Yusuf Qafoow added 17 points and handed out 5 assists. Guard, Ahmed Eman contributed 13 points.
Earlier, Zone V defending champions Egypt once again defated last year’s finalists Rwanda in the Zone V Nationas Qaulifiers opening game. Moamen Abouelain led the way for Egypt with 16 points. Amr Adelahim added 12 points. Haytham Khalefa chipped in with 11 while Muhamed Elsabash and Muostafa Elmakawy contributed 10 points apiece.
Kenneth Gasana and Kami Kabange scored 15 and 12 points respectively for Rwanda.
Meanwhile, Somalia will be back on the floor tonight to take on Kenya at 7pm. “We know they (Kenya) are a good team. We played them last year, we won one and they beat us one” Baarajab said. “I can’t say we will win or not because that happens on the court but we will play a good game” he added.
The Silverbacks will be back on court on Tuesday to take on Egypt.

UGANDA : Uganda’s Gazelles fall to Egypt │ Zone V Nations Qaulifiers

Sharon Karungi (2nd Right) scored 23 points in Uganda's 65-61 loss to Egypt Photo Credits: FUBA Sharon Karungi (2nd Right) scored 23 points in Uganda's 65-61 loss to Egypt
Results: W: Uganda 61-65 Egypt
Today’s Fixture: W: Egypt Vs Kenya 5:00pm
Uganda’s ladies side started the FIBA Africa Zone V Nations Qualifiers with a losing effort. They fell to Egypt 65-61 in front of a home crowd.
The Gazelles succumbed to Egypt’s full court man-to-man coughing up the ball several times as the Egyptians who trailed all through the first half exploded in the third frame  to level the game  at 41 and went ahead  for  the first time on Soraya Muhamed’s pair of free throws with 1:20 and closed the third quarter leading 48-44.
The Gazelles played catch up through the final frame and eventually did level at 57 on Vickie Nassolo’s free throws that followed Flavia Oketcho’s big 3-point play but that was the closest the Gazelles came in the final frame.
Reen Oussama led Egypt with 16 points, Sarah Massoud added 14 points off the bench, Alia Mohmoud chipped in with 11 points and Soraya Mohamed contributed 10.
Power Forward, Sharon Karungi scored game high 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a losing effort. Claire Lamunu had 17 points and point guard, Flavia Oketcho netted 13 points and handed out 5 helpers.
Meanwhile, Egypt will return to the floor this evening to take on defending champions, Kenya who will be playing their first game of the tournament.

RWANDA : False start for Rwanda in Fiba/ZoneV tourney

Rwanda basketball national team take on Egypt in a past zonal edition held in Kigali. Rwanda lost the opening game against the Egyptians yesterday in Kampala, Uganda. (Courtesy photo)
Rwanda 63-79 Egypt
Rwanda men's basketball team kicked off their 2014 Fiba/Zone V Championship campaign on a bad note after losing 63-79 to Egypt in the first game yesterday at the Lugogo Arena in Kampala.
Rwanda, last year’s losing finalists, continued their poor record against the Egyptians, who are the overwhelming favourites to retain the regional title.
Moise Mutokambali’s team led 34-33 at half time but they could not contain the north Africans, who have ‘fresh wounds’ from a Fiba World Championship in Spain where they didn’t win a single game.
Last year, Rwanda lost to Egypt twice in Dar es Salaam. Rwanda lost 57-96 in the group stages before another 76-82 loss in the final.
By press time, hosts Uganda were due to play Somalia while the organisers were still waiting for the arrival of Burundi, Kenya Ethiopia, South Sudan and Tanzania to confirm the draw for the next matches.
Initially, the week-long tournament was supposed to start on Monday (today) but that changed at the last minute despite the fact that most teams were not yet in Kampala.
Defending champions Egypt is the team to beat in this tournament whereas Rwanda, despite losing their first game, will fancy their chance too.
The Zone V tournament is also the qualifier for next year’s Fiba Afrobasket which will be held in Tunisia as the All Africa Games will be hosted by the Republic of Congo.

21 September 2014

KENYA : Few surprises as Kenya leave for Zone V tourney

  • Everlyne Kedogo is the women's national team coach. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • Salma Akinyi (c) and Debbie Obunga of Eagle wings were named in the women's Nantional team for the Zone V championship (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • Everlyne Kedogo is the women's national team coach. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • Salma Akinyi (c) and Debbie Obunga of Eagle wings were named in the women's Nantional team for the Zone V championship (Photo by Shutterspeed)
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There were a few surprises when the final national men's and women's basketball teams to do duty at the Zone V Championships were named.
Kenya’s late departure on Saturday evening was taken in consideration by organizers when drawing the fixtures. As a result, the Kenyan teams will not be in action when the championship throws off on Sunday.
Head coaches Evelyne Kedogo and Anthony Ojukwu named their final travelling players on Friday. The ladies side had Samba Mjomba of Equity Bank and Emma Nyakweba of United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) dropped.
Both played at last year’s championship in Tanzania as well as Afrobasket in Mozambique. Assistant coach David Maina will also miss the tour owing to personal commitments.
Ulinzi’s Rebecca Sarange is the other experienced face that did not make the cut together with Co-operative Bank’s Melissa Akinyi. USIU-A's Georgina Adhiambo is the surprise inclusion thanks to her good form having helped her team win Zone V clubs title last month.
Eagle Wings has the quartet of Annerose Atieno, Debra Obunga, Evelyne Nora and Salma Akinyi. Others to represent the country at the zonal championships are Natalie Akinyi and Yvonne Akinyi (KPA), Hilda Indasi (USIU-A), Bridgit Nanzala (Ulinzi), Purity Odhiambo (UCU), Vilma Achieng (Uganda) and Linet Atieno (Co-op Bank).
Biggest casualties
In the men's side, Co-op Bank’s duo of Salim Ali and Joseph Ondinyo were the biggest casualties after failing the selection criteria. Ulinzi duo of Ancete Wafula and William Ochieng’s experience counted heavily as they earned slots in the team.
Others selected are Philip Amenyi (Uganda), Joseph Khaemba, Allan Ouma and James Mwangi (Co-op Bank), Ariel Okal and Joseph Ouma (KPA), Valentine Nyakinda (Strathmore University), Victor Odendo (Ulinzi), Yoni Wanambiro (USIU-A) and Blacio Owuor (Uganda).
The men's category will be played on a round-robin format with Egypt and Rwanda setting the abll rolling at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Hosta Uganda will play Somalia in the second game.
The women's category will be played on a home and away basis with Uganda facing Egypt in the only match on the opening day.
Players whose teams were in league action on Saturday were allowed to play.
Both Georgina Adhiambo and Yoni Wanambiro helped USIU-A register vital wins in the women's and men's premier leagues. The students fell short of reaching the century mark with a 94-13 win over Mennonite in the women's league.
Doreen Nyaga scored 17 points for USIU with Zipporah Odhiambo adding 15. The team scored 21 points from the 3-point line and 18 from the free-throw line.
On the contrary, Mennonite proved to be a weak opponent scoring fringe points in all quarters to lose 5-10, 0-21, 3-35 and 5-28 respectively. Overall, the team got the points from four baskets and five free-throws.
Mary Wangui top scored for Mennonite with four points from a basket and a free-throw while Phenny Akinyi added three free-throws.
False start
A weakened Thunder fought to the last minute before losing 68-85 to USIU-A after trailing 28-35 at halftime in men premier. Thunder had a false start after head coach Faustin Mgendi was given a technical foul by referee Joseph Amoko for his team’s late arrival earning USIU-A two free-throws.
To worsen the situation, only four players turned up for Thunder forcing Mgendi to play for the entire first half. Derick Juma scored a game high 37 points for Thunder while Abel Nson had 27 points for USIU-A that came off eight 3-point shots, a basket and a free-throw.
Nakuru Club had to sweat it out till the last minutes before beating Blazers 60-55 in a game that averaged two points for the first three quarters. Blazers led 28-24 at halftime scoring eleven free-throws and two 3-point shots in the game.
Joel Wafula scored highest for Blazers with 16 points while Nakuru scored 16 free-throws and two 3-point shots as Victor Orale top scored with 14 points.
Renson Moibi scored one 3-point shot and seven free-throws in his 16 points to lead Kenyatta University Pirates to a 63-57 win over Mennonite. Felix Odhiambo top scored for Mennonite with 14 points. Lions beat Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) 78-71.
Saturday Results: Mennonite 13 USIU Flames 94, Mennonite 57 KU Pirates 63, Blazers 55 Nakuru Club 60, Thunder 68 USIU-A 85, Lions 78 KAA 71.
National Teams to Uganda
Women: Annerose Atieno (Eagle Wings), Hilda Indasi (USIU-A), Natalie Akinyi (KPA), Bridgit Nanzala (Ulinzi), Debra Obunga (Eagle Wings), Purity Adhiambo (UCU, Uganda), Evelyne Nora (Eagle Wings), Georgina Adhiambo (USIU-A), Vilma Achieng (Uganda), Yvonne Akinyi (KPA), Linet Atieno (Co-op Bank), Salma Akinyi (Eagle Wings).
Men: Philip Amenyi (Uganda), Joseph Khaemba (Co-op Bank), Ariel Okal (KPA), James Mwangi (Co-op Bank), Valentine Nyakinda (Strathmore University), Victor Odendo, William Ochieng (Ulinzi), Allan Ouma (Co-op Bank), Joseph Ouma (KPA), Blacio Owuor (Uganda), Yoni Wanambiro (USIU-A), Ancete Wafula (Ulinzi).

RWANDA : We are ready to fight for Fiba Zone V title – Mutokambali

Forward Kami Kabange, seen in action at the 2013 Fiba Afrobasket tournament, will be vital for Rwanda at the zonal tournament in Uganda where he plays his club game for City Oilers. (File photo)
The national men’s basketball team is in Uganda to fight for the 2014 Fiba/Zone V Championship title. The tournament starts tomorrow and ends on September 28 at the Lugogo Arena, in Kampala.
The regional tournament which also acts as 2015 Fiba/Afro-basket and All Africa Games qualifier, is expected to attract nine countries including Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia, hosts Uganda, debutants South Sudan and reigning champions Egypt.
The 12-man team, led by head coach Moise Mutokambali, left for Kampala on Friday night aboard RwandAir.
Speaking to Sunday Sport before departure, Mutokambali said: “We are heading for a difficult challenge but well focused on reaching as far as possible, though the main target to win the title.”
“I have a solid and confident team which believes in winning. We have had enough time to prepare and I hope we can go there and do what we are really capable of. We’ve worked on our defense where I felt was our weak point,” he explained.
Rwanda, who finished runner-up last year behind Egypt, will be hoping to go a step further this time round, although the North African side still remains the overwhelming favourites.
Coach Moise Mutokambali
Nonetheless, Mutokambali remains confident that Rwanda has talented and experienced players ready to face anyone and win the title.
“We have assembled a very good squad which has valuable experience. We know every team has made improvements, some have summoned their players featuring in Europe and USA but I do remain convinced that Rwanda can win the title,”
He added: “Our ambition is to win the title and qualify for the Afro-basket finals for a fifth consecutive time.”
In last year’s Zone V edition held in Tanzania, Rwanda lost to Egypt in the final but went ahead to qualify to the African tournament on wild card in Ivory Coast, finishing 10th out of 16 countries.
Egypt is fresh from competing at the Fiba World Cup in Spain but couldn’t register a single win in the group stages. Africa was represented by Angola, Egypt and Senegal. USA retained their world title.
Angola managed only one win—80-69 over South Korea while Senegal was the only African team that managed to progress to the round of 16.
Final 12-man squad:
Home-based players: Aboubakar Ally Barame (CSK), Ali Kazingufu Kubwimana (KBC), Sanny Niyongabo Munyandamutsa (APR), Steven Havugintwali (IPRC-Kigali) and Espoir’s Aristide Mugabe, Lionnel Hakizimana, Pascal Karekezi Rurangirwa, Elie Kaje and Olivier Shyaka.
Professionals: Kenneth Herbert Gasana (Al Wakrah- Qatar), Kami Kabange (City Oilers- Uganda) and Bradley Cameroon from South Bend, Indiana City- USA.

19 September 2014

UGANDA : Approach will vary, says coach Juruni

KAMPALA- We might have all heard of the ability of chameleons and octopi to change as they move from one environment to another. Many times, it’s fascinating to watch.
From blue to green to red to purple…name it. Mandy Juruni may not be an animal expert but he wouldn’t mind if his team behaved that way in the Fiba Africa Zone V Basketball Nations Championship.
“The approach will vary. It depends on what team we are playing,” Juruni, the men’s national team coach, the Silverbacks, told Daily Monitor yesterday. “As Uganda, we always have something that has been working for us.”
That search for an identity is one many may want to point a finger at from tip-off at the Lugogo MTN Arena on Sunday.
From the selection of four big men in the final 12, Ivan Lumanyika, Henry Malinga, Samuel Kalwanyi and Andrew Opiyo, Uganda will attempt to be a shooting team to compensate for being undersized.
This is something the Burundians have done well. Somalia and Rwanda try to seek a balance, the latter relying heavily on City Oilers’ Kami Kabange.
On the other hand, favourites Egypt and neighbours Kenya will largely depend on their inside game to get results.
Juruni, of course, will not be coming from a position of ignorance as the Silverbacks played against this opposition at the last edition and the club event last month.
With the draw set for tomorrow, Juruni, like all the other six teams, will only learn of the pool stage opponents with a few hours to tip-off. “Now, it’s about being better at our weaknesses,” Juruni said.
Consequently, the Zone V event has led to the postponement of today’s Airtel National Basketball League games to avoid the likelihood of any injuries hours before the Uganda takes on the region.
Flavia Oketcho, Sylvia Nakazibwe, Muhaimina Namuwaya, Vicky Ntale (captain), Lynn Nalunkuma, Claire Lamunnu, Meme Rukia, Peace Proscovia, Becky Akullo, Sharon Karungi, Carol Nywafwono, Monica Siima. COACH: Timothy Odeke
Henry Malinga, Ivan Lumanyika, Samuel Kalwanyi, Andrew Opiyo, Stephen Omony, Norman Blick, Jimmy Enabu, Ben Komakech, Josh Johnson, Samuel Mukooza, Kassim Nagwere, John Balwigaire COACH: Mandy Jaruni

17 September 2014

NIGERIA : First Bank Starts Early Continental Preparation

Head Coach of First Bank Basketball Club of Lagos, Aderemi Adewunmi, has defended his team's early preparation for the African Club Women Basketball Championship qualifiers later this year.
The camping taking place at the ultra-modern basketball hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, started after the players were given about two months extended break after a hectic season.
The coach who masterminded a famous victory over Dolphins Basketball of Lagos in a pulsating final decided at the Indoor Sport Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos en-route the 2014 Championship revealed that "We started our preparation from August 18th because we do not want to wait for FIBA Africa's letter before we start getting ready as we actually don't know when the letter will be out."
"So, I decided we should start preparing for the tournament and we are still at it right now" "We have a lot of young girls and we need to work all the year round to turn them into champions, so anytime the letter comes, we are ready to play."
When quizzed whether the early preparation without any competitive match will not come around to haunt the team when the qualifiers starts, Adewunmi was quick to refute such claim and said a big club like First Bank with a rich history in women basketball in Nigeria cannot afford to joke with early and proper preparation.
"We have a tradition in First Bank Basketball club, we do not wait for official notifications before we start preparation even whenever we want to play the local league, we do not wait for Nigeria Basketball Federation to announce the commencement of the tournament before we start."
The 2013/2014 female league award winning coach was elusive on his club transfer policy as they prepare for continental challenges and was quick to jump to the defense of his player who has been together for the past four seasons saying barring any unforeseen circumstances, he may not bring in new faces.
"It depends on what happens because I believe in the present set of players because we have been working for the past four years and they are ripe enough to do well at the continental championship."
"If I want to come in with anybody, it's not going to be more than two players but right now, I am not thinking of anybody."

UGANDA : Uganda Set for Zone V

It has taken Uganda six months to prepare for the Zone V basketball championship and as it draws closer to kick-off from September 21-28 at Lugogo arena, the mood in both the men and ladies' camps is sky-high, writes Felix Eupal.
The road to the biennial tournament can best be described as bumpy. But, nothing could stand in the way of the National Teams Steering Committee (NTSC) and its unquenchable thirst to host the 2014 edition in Kampala. Preparations suffered a setback in June when Egypt and Rwanda pulled out, citing their own tight schedules.
The eventual postponement caused a huge financial loss on behalf of the NTSC but such was their relentlessness that it pulled all stops to ensure no excuses from the visiting teams. Buoyed up by a $50,000 sponsorship package from tyre makers Ling Long and City Tyres, nothing could stop the tournament from taking place.
Other partners include Coca-Cola, Hotel Africana, Castle Lite and Club Ambiance. Indeed, local basketball body Fuba yesterday announced the final squads for the tournament amid fanfare at Hotel Africana. The men's team, popularly known as Silverbacks, goes into the tournament with a heavy burden of making an impression having trained for the past one week.
The squad has a number of surprises such as City Oilers' Samuel Kalwanyi and Andrew Opio. The pair have been in good form this season and put up tremendous performances during the Zone V Club Championship in Mombasa, where Oilers finished third. Among the surprise omissions are Falcons Cyrus Kiviri and Ndejje Angels' Jonah Otim, who have been put on the reserve list.
However, all eyes will be on Uganda's foreign-based players that include Josh Johnson, John Balwigaire, Kassim Nangwere and Samuel Mukooza. US-based forward Sharon Karungi will be the centre of attention for the Gazelles, which is the national ladies team. Meanwhile, the Gazelles have few omissions, save for Maureen Amoding and Judith Nansobya, who skipped the tournament to take part in the 3/3 basketball challenge in Brazil.
Only once has Uganda won the tournament and that was back in 2005 when it was hosted in Kampala. This time round, the tournament is unique because the finalists in both categories will get a chance to qualify for the Afro Basketball Championship next year. The same finalists will also make it to the 2015 All Africa Games 2015 in Brazzaville.
Fiba Zone V is made of 11 countries: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eriteria, Djibouti and Egypt. So far, South Sudan has pulled out of the tournament due to unclear circumstances; the other countries save for Tanzania, Eritrea and Djibouti have confirmed participation.

RWANDA : Rwanda wary of Egypt in Fiba Zone V tourney

Head coach Moise Mutokambali gives tips to his players in a past continental tournament. (Courtesy)
Rwanda men's basketball team will be wary of Egypt as they seek to win the Zone V championship and qualify for the fifth consecutive Afro-basket finals.
Rwanda will on Friday depart for Kampala to participate in the regional tournament, which also serves as the 2015 Fiba/Afro-basket and All Africa Games qualifier.
The qualifier which, is scheduled for September 21-28 will attract Zone V countries such as reigning champions Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and hosts Uganda.
The week long annual event is set to tip-off on Monday, September 22 at the MTN Arena in Lugogo.
The national men’s team head coach Moise Mutokambali told Times Sport in an exclusive interview that his side is well prepared but are only worried of Egypt who are fresh from competing in the World Basketball Championships held in Spain.
“We have a strong squad to stage an impressive performance in the upcoming Zone V tournament. We are primed for the title such that we can be able to qualify for the Afro-basket finals,” Mutokambali said.
He said the team comprises experienced players mixed with young and promising players, a feat which gives him hope to perform better in this year’s tournament.
“Our main concern and worry is Egypt which is likely to bring the squad they used in the World Championship. They are very experienced and they will be a hindrance in our campaign to win the title,” Mutokambali said before adding : “We need to be very cautious and ensure that we win all our matches ahead of Egypt’s fixture which will try to prepare and put in all our efforts for a good result,” added Mutokambali.
Though Egypt is regarded as favourites to win the tournament, it didn’t register any points during the group stages of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Africa was represented by Angola, Egypt and Senegal at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup this month where eventual winners of the tournament, the U.S retained their world cup title.
The team’s biggest loss was to Brazil who defeated them 128-65. Meanwhile, Angola managed only one win, beating Korea 80-69.
Senegal was the only African team that managed to progress to the round of 16 after a tough fight in the first stage.
In last year’s edition held in Tanzania, Rwanda lost to Egypt in the finals but went ahead to qualify to the African tournament on wild card, finishing 10th out of 16 countries.
Mutokambali’s squad has of recent been boosted by the arrival of professional players such as Kami Kabange (City Oilers-Uganda), Nicolas Gihana (Nantes, France), Bradley Cameron (South Bend College -USA) and Kenneth Gasana (Al Waklah-Morocco).

15 September 2014

RWANDA : Buzangu named hoops league 2014 MVP

Buzangu of CSK won both the MVP and top scorer awards. (S. Ngendahimana)

Cercle Sportif de Kigali forward Mike Buzangu was on Saturday evening named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 men’s basketball league.
The former APR player scooped the award ahead of Espoir’s Lionel Hakizimana, Olivier Shyaka and Aristide Mugabe, who won it in 2012 as well as 2013 winner Bienvenu Ngandu.
The DR Congo-born Buzangu also retained the league’s top-scorer award with a total of 519 points.
Speaking to Times Sport after receiving his two awards, Buzangu, who crossed from Espoir to CSK this season, said, “I’m happy for the awards, but I’m a bit surprised to win the MVP (award).”
“Thanks to my teammates, coaches, basketball federation and friends, who supported and made me, believe I can go beyond my own expectations,” Buzangu added.
In the women’s category, Rwanda Allied Peace for Progress (RAPP) captain Rosine Micomyiza was named MVP, while Ubumwe basketball club’s small forward Priscillah Dodo claimed the top-scorer award with a total of 216 points on her name.
IPRC- Kigali’s youngster Steven Havugintwari clinched the men’s league Most Improved Player award, while Emelyse Gihozo of RAPP won the women’s accolade.
The awarding ceremony was held at Amahoro indoor stadium and was preceded by a game between the league and playoffs champions Espoir BC and the national team. The national team won 73-61.

UGANDA : Kalwanyi gets surprise call

Kalwanyi (L) fights for possession with Warriors’ Ronnie
Kalwanyi (L) fights for possession with Warriors’ Ronnie Kasewu in a recent Fuba League encounter. The Oilers player is on the national team. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 
By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo

KAMPALA- Samuel Kalwanyi is the major surprise inclusion in the final team for the Fiba Africa Zone V Nations Championships set to be hosted here next week.
Sources told Daily Monitor yesterday that the City Oilers’ power forward is on the list of 12-man team to be unveiled tomorrow ahead of the annual regional event.
He knocked out 2012 regular season MVP Geoffrey Soro following a lengthy final selection meeting held on Saturday.
Soro is having an average season with his Ndejje University Angels winning only five of the 12 games thus far. When asked about the selection, Silverbacks’ coach Mandy Juruni remained tightlipped. “Yes, the team is done but we cannot reveal it until the players are informed,” Juruni said.
Kalwanyi’s major ability is protecting the rim with his rebounding and blocking skills.
is club side, Oilers, won the league last year, and finished third at the Fiba Africa Zone V Club Championship last month.
That performance in Mombasa must have swung the process in his favour as he often jumped off the bench to provide energy when the levels dropped.
Perhaps his most outstanding performance was the five blocks and 11 rebounds in the 64-58 win over Rwanda’s Espoir on the opening night.
Teammates Andrew Opiyo also made it. Juruni is trying to fill the holes created by Brandon Ssebirumbi who will not be here.
The American-based big man was here in June before the tournament was postponed.
Kalwanyi and Opiyo were not even in the picture three months ago. With Juruni also their coach at Oilers, he knows them very well. The team, led by captain Stephen Omony, enters camp today ahead next Monday’s tip-off.
However, the other four foreign-based players - Josh Johnson (UK), Samuel Mukooza (Sweden), Kassim Nagwere (Sweden) and John Balwigaire (US) - will return. All four are guards.
Johnson is already here while the latter three arrive today. There are no places in the team for Syrus Kiviiri, Joseph Ikong and Jonah Otim whereas shooting guard Jimmy Enabu makes the 12.
Enabu, one of four Oilers, has fully recovered from an ankle problem that was due to to keep him out in June and opend a window for Kiviiri and Otim.
Centres Brian Ssentongo and Sam Gombya, forward Peter Elungat and point guard Daniel Jjuko also miss out from the Afrobasket qualifiers.

UGANDA : We are aware of the challenge – Steven Omony │ Zone V Nations Qualifiers

Silverbacks' captain Steven Omony (L) says Uganda are goign for glory in the upcoming FIBA Africa Zone V Nations qualifiers Silverbacks' captain Steven Omony (L) says Uganda are goign for glory in the upcoming FIBA Africa Zone V Nations qualifiers
The 2014 FIBA Africa Zone V Nations Qualifiers were launched last week. The week long annual event is set to tip-off on Monday, September 22 at the MTN Arena in Lugogo.
It has been a decade since Uganda topped the region and was the last time the qualifiers were hosted here in Kampala. Silverbacks’ forward and captain, Steven Omony is well aware of what they are up to. “It has been long but we need to change that” he says.
Even when the tournament date was moved from June to September, they were not derailed and remained focused.
“When we went back to our teams (in June) after tournament was postponed, each of us knew what to do. We talked about it before we left (the camp)” Omony said. “There is a lot of morale in the camp, the spirits are high and we are re-establishing our team chemistry” Omony told Kawowo Sports.
Uganda has in the recent past failed to beat up on the zone heavy weights and finished fifth in the last encounter in Tanzania but the skipper believes they should be able to play the championship game on the home court.
“We are working aggressively because we are aware of the challenge” the star forward said. “We have had narrow misses on our previous encounters but we are going for glory this time”
Coach Mandy Juruni will officially announce his final 12 players tomorrow but reports say four foreign based players have been named on the team and will be in the camp by Wednesday, four from City Oilers and one from Power, Falcons, Warriors and UCU Canons.
Full Team: Ben Komakech, Jimmy Enabu, John Balwigaire, Josh Johnson, Kassim Nagwere, Samuel Mukooza, Steven Omony (captain), Norman Blick, Andrew Opio, Henry Malinga, Samuel Kalwanyi and Ivan Lumanyika.

KENYA : Kenya Team Run Over Nairobi Select in Friendly

KENYA team beat Nairobi Select team 50-41 in a friendly match played at Nyayo Stadium gymnasium.
The national side under coaches Evelyn Kedogo and David Maina got off to a slow start and never lived up to the expectations of the many fans who turned up for the friendly. At the end of the first quarter, Kenya team trailed 9-12 before turning tables to lead 29-18 at the break.
The losers, comprising Premier League players, took third quarter 11-10 but were downed 20-12 in the last. Georgia Otieno led the side with 13 points and Bridgit Nanzala made 10 before limping out with an injury. For the Select side, play maker Cynthia Irankunda managed nine and Evelyn Itabo shot 8.
The other match of the night saw, Kenya men thump International team composed of foreign-based players 62-50. The winners took total control from the onset cruising to a 10-2 lead in the first quarter. They went on to seal the second quarter 11-6 before erupting for a huge 20-12 margin in the third and winding off with a 22-16 cushion in the fourth.
James Mwangi scored 14 points while veteran shooting forward Ancette Wafula posted 11 for Kenya who are handled by Anthony Ojukwu and Tony Ochieng. The foreigners had 15 from Chris Musumba. The national teams are in camp ahead of the Fiba Africa Zone 5 Afro basketball tournament slated for Kampala, Uganda from September 21-28. Favourites Egypt are among 10 teams that have confirmed participation in the tournament. A total of four women and six men's sides will feature in the event at Lugogo Indoor Hall.
Kenya women and Egypt men are the defending champions having won the last edition in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania last year. The wining teams in the tournament will qualify for the All Africa Games as well as the Africa Nations Cup.

TANZANIA : We're Keen to Revive Basketball

BASKETBALL Dar es Salaam (BD) has said it is committed to revive basketball in the region following the poor progression of basketball competitions in recent years.
BD Vice-President Richard Julies told the 'Daily News' that the RBA league was last held in the 2012/2013 season due to financial constraints. "Our clubs didn't have power to stand by themselves and we didn't have any sponsor. As a result, the association depended on clubs to donate something to run the league.
However, most clubs were not able to contribute money," he said. "So we failed to run the league because we didn't have funds ... we kept on postponing it and later decided that we should organise ourselves for the 2014/2015 season," he added.
Julies said the league will resume on September 18 this year under the sponsorship of Azam Tv and Azam Cola who have invested about 39 million/- in the tournament.
"Our plans for this year include a long RBA league that will be followed by an All-Stars game to involve star players from the league. We'll also organise other competitions including the Nyerere Cup," he said.
The league will help Dar es Salaam pick a strong team for the forthcoming East African Inter-city basketball competition to be held in the city next year.
Some players, including Mohamed Yusuph who played for the Dream Team in the past Inter-city championships, have predicted that the coming league will be competitive and thrilling as all teams have adequate preparations.
Teams which will participate in the RBA league are JKT, ABC, Mgulani and Kurasini Heat from Temeke; Tanzania Prison, Don Bosco Upanga, popularly known as Savio, Vijana City Bulls and Jogoo from Ilala.
Kinondoni will be represented by Chui, Don Bosco Oysterbay, Pazi and Oilers. Women's teams will also have their league and some of the participants are Don Bosco Lioness, Vijana Queens and JKT.

14 September 2014

UGANDA : KIU Titans dent Warriors’ NBL momentum with 70-68 win

KIU's Francis Kasekende (L) stands in the face of Warriors' Ivan Enabu during last seasons encounter. Kasekende scored 11 points last night Photo Credits: Basketball 256 KIU's Francis Kasekende (L) stands in the face of Warriors' Ivan Enabu during last seasons encounter. Kasekende scored 11 points last night
After a rather comfortable close to the first quarter, Riham Warriors looked headed for comfortable night in the second round game against KIU Titans at YMCA.
Their coach, Gad Eteu looked seemed drawn in it. “Everything was going as we wanted” he said. “We had control over the game”
Everything started falling out of place in the second quarter. KIU ‘s 16-7 run to start the second quarter swayed the momentum Titans’ way with a combined team effort something their coach, Henry Mwinuka was happy about.
“Am happy with the guys, i think we did well as team. We don't have go to individuals and that helped us as a team” he told Kawowo Sports
Julius ran at Warriors all night, Francis Kasekende found the basket beyond the arc with his customary uplomb. The Titans found their grove at the back end, stepped up their defense to alternate between a solid man-to-man and a not so sustainable 2-3 Zone but limited Warriors to 9 points in the second quarter.
Kasekende and Collins Kusujja led KIU’s team scoring effort with 11 points apiece. Samuel Ogutu added 10 points while Bol Akol, Micheal Makiadi and David Donat contributed 9 points each.It was turn for Warriors to chase and eventually never got there out of poor decision making in the final 34 seconds some Eteu was disappointed with but thinks his team gave away the game much earlier.
“There are mistakes like that” he said. “We lost the game much earlier. They (KIU) worked for it but we gave away this game that is what sucks” a disappointed Eteu told Kawowo Sports.
Ronnie Kasewu paced Warriors with game high 19 points including a 3-pointer that brought his team with a point of KIU with 11 seconds to the final horn. Henry Malinga added 16 points and picked 9 rebounds in a losing effort.
Meanwhile Claire Lamunu poured in 22 points and picked 15 rebounds as KCCA Leopards rolled past KIU Rangers 57-49. Flavia Oketcho  added 13 points.
Susan Amito had 14 and 19 to lead KIU and Moreen Atulinda added 12 and 14.
M: KIU Titans 70-68 Riham Warriors
W: KIU Rangers 49-57 KCCA Leopards

KENYA : Co-op Bank Queens keen to break the 'semifinalists' jinx

  • Grace Wanjiku in a past game for Co-operative Bank.(Photo:SNA File)
Co-operative Bank ladies basketball team is hoping to get past the semifinals of the Kenya Basketball Federation league playoffs this season, a stage they haven't gone past in the last three seasons.
The bankers lost their seventh game of the season on Saturday to Sprite Storms 36-45. Out of eleven games in the first leg, they lost to Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Eagle Wings, Strathmore University and United States International University- Africa (USIU-A).
In the second leg, they have started on the wrong footing losing three out of five played including KPA and Eagle Wings double. Despite the visibly odd facts against his team, head coach Robert Mugabe says they will pick it up from the playoffs since their qualification is assured.
“I am confident we will finish in the top three. For now, no team has won the league so we all have equal chances,” he told sportsnewsarena.com.
“My main aim is to motivate the players and ensure they play as a team then we can build up on that.”
Mugabe has severally faced criticism from many people over player fielding but he says it is only that they don't understand his philosophy.
“I always tell my players to play at their best and encourage internal discipline. If you don't train, you don't play no matter how good you are and that is my principle whether we win or lose,” he said.
“I wish some of those people who complain come to our training because its me and the players only. They would understand our play better."
The bankers have already lost Taudencia Peter and Linet Juma who have left for collegiate basketball in USA.However, Melissa Akinyi joined the team from Strathmore University towards the end of first leg.
She links up with former teammate Grace Wanjiku who left the varsity side at the start of the season and Mugabe says the impact of new signings has been good.
“They brought in depth and experience that a team of our caliber needs to challenge for the title.” All their losses have been inflicted by the top teams that they are likely to play in the playoffs in case they make it. That does not concern Mugabe who insists that “playoffs is a different ball game from the regular season".
He was at pains to see his side lose to Storms after holding them off to a one point deficit at halftime. Storms won the first quarter 10-6 but Co-op Bank took home the second 15-12.
They lost the game in the third quarter after losing 5-11 and went on to forfeit the fourth 10-12. Mercy Wanyama scored 12 points for Storms and grabbed 10 rebounds with Linet Mukiri adding 11. Grace Wanjiku scored highest for Co-op Bank with 8 points and Akinyi added 7.
Blades slise KU 
Ulinzi Blades had the better of Kenyatta University Oryx winning their encounter 68-48. Blades won the first three quarters 19-10, 15-14 and 15-10 respectively with Oryx taking away the fourth 14-9.
Rebecca Sarange hit four three-point shots as she top scored for Blades with 24 points while Betty Kananu had a similar score for Oryx.
Statistics from the game had Oryx head coach Gitau Waringo worried. His team scored only five free-throws against Blades’ 16 and managed only a single three-point shot against Blades’ four.
“Our shooting is very poor. In this game alone, we missed close to twenty free shots and many scoring opportunities below the rim which could have changed the scoreline.”
He attributes that to the long recess the players took but promised a change by the next two weeks as he plots for the next game.
“It is a matter of precision and we must commit a lot of our training time to perfecting that. On Sunday, we must beat Mennonite to remain relevant.”
Lions beat Pirates, Co-op silence Thunder
In men premier, KU Pirates failed to sparkle going down 60-74 against a rejuvenated Lions side.
The students scored nine points from the free-throw line against Lions’ 17 but had 7 three-point shots against Lions’ 5. Lions led 38-31 at the breather after winning the opening quarters 17-13 and 21-18.
Pirates threatened a comeback winning the third 18-14 but Lions pulled away in the fourth convincingly winning 22-11.
Victor Ochieng top scored for Lions with 15 points and Denis Opiyo had 14. Pirates’ highest scorer was Jacktone Agunda with 23 points and Benson Moibi with 21.
Defending champions Co-operative Bank beat Nairobi City Thunder 66-45 in a game they scored only one free-throw against Thunder’s four. Injured Griffin Ligare was highly missed as Thunder trailed 27-39 at the breather.
The bankers won first quarter 20-7 and Thunder the second 20-19. The third quarter went Co-op Bank’s way 10-6 same as the fourth 17-12. Tony Abondo had 13 points for the bankers and Derick Juma 18 for Thunder.
Other results had Ulinzi Warriors beat Nairobi Aviation College 72-53 while USIU-A saw off host Nakuru Club 77-66.
Saturday Results: MKU Eldonets 45 KCA-U 56, Nakuru Club 66 USIU-A 77, MKU Kakamega 54 Dankind Academy 44, Zetech College 44 Trailblazers 59, Little Prince 60 ANU 61, Parklands Baptist 30 Upper Hill 54, Co-op Bank 66 Thunder 45, KU Pirates 60 Lions 74, KU Oryx 48 Ulinzi Blades 68, Sprite Storms 45 Co-op Bank 36, Nairobi Aviation College 53 Ulinzi Warriors 72.

12 September 2014

KENYA : Co-Op Bank, Strathmore Top Log As Race Tightens

CO-OPERATIVE Bank of Kenya and Strathmore top the men and women's KBF Premier League log following impressive show over the weekend.
The bankers, who triumphed over Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), have 35 points from 18 games having lost only one game. Blades are second on 34 points from 21 ties with their sister club, Strathmore University lying in third with 33 points.
Strathmore are tops in the women's category with 28 points from 16 matches. Former national champions and Africa bronze medalist Eagle Wings lie second also on 28 points from similar number numbers while United States International University, the only side yet to lose fixture this year, are third on 26 points with three matches in hand.
In other matches played over the weekend, Lions trailed by a close 29-18 score-line at half time and went on to lose 54-48 to a gritty Ulinzi Warriors side in a top fight of ex-champions. Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) pipped Strathmore University 74-72. Sprite Storms had 16 points from Faustine Mandu as they beat Kenyatta University "Oryx" 41-25. The campus girls had nine from Betty Kananu. In the Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) matches at Railways club, leaders Strathmore University pipped Legacy 64-63 in a tight show.

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