28 February 2015

KENYA : Kenya confirmed for South African Invitational tourney

  • USIU Hilda Indasi dribbles past KPA Hellen Oketch. KPA face Ulinzi Warriors in their 2015 opening game.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
The national men's basketball team has been invited to take part in a four-nation invitational tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa from March 18-22. Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Secretary General Vitalis Gode has confirmed they will be honouring the invite.
Already, Co-operative Bank tactician Carey Odhiambo has been handed the coaching job and has said key changes will be effected.
“We will work mostly with young players but still have some of the ones who did duty last time in Uganda. There must be good transition so we cannot overhaul the team completely,” he said.
Departure date has been tentatively set for March 17 and Kenya will face off with Nigeria, Mozambique and host South Africa in a round-robin format.
Meanwhile, KBF has released fixtures for the first half of the 2015 national classic league that gets underway in a fortnight.
Basketball league starts 
In the opening round of play on March 14-15, men premier league champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) begins their campaign with a home tie against Equity Bank while runners-up Ulinzi Warriors will play United States International University- Africa (USIU-A).
Newcomers Umoja will start life in the top league with an away fixture against Nakuru Club while Strathmore University plays Thunder and Lions will be up against Terror.
Equity Bank and Kisumu Lady Bucks are the new women premier league teams and will start their campaign against runners-up teams from last season’s campaign.
Equity begins away in Mombasa against KPA who finished second. The bankers are tipped to become a formidable force owing to the pedigree of their squad assemblage.
Head coach David Maina has his target set.
“We will be looking to make it to the playoffs. A qualification to the last four will definitely be a plus for my team.”
Kisumu Lady Bucks start at home to third-placed team in 2014 Co-operative Bank. Champions USIU-A will play Ulinzi Blades, Eagle Wings tackles Kenyatta University Oryx while Western Delight host Co-op Bank.
In division one, Blazers who were relegated from the premier league last season begins their campaign in the second-tier league against Don Bosco.
KBF Opening Fixtures: March 14- Baraka X-treme vs World Hope (Thika, 10am), MKU Thika vs Parklands Baptist (11:30), Eldonets vs Lakeside (UG, 10am), KPA Ladies vs Equity Bank (KPA, 2pm), KPA Men vs Equity Bank (4pm), Nakuru Club vs Umoja (MHS, 11am), EMYBA vs Trailblazers (Nyayo gymnasium, 9am), Blazers vs Don Bosco (10:30), Eagle Wings vs KU Oryx (12pm), Strathmore University vs Thunder (2pm), Lions vs Terror (4pm), Western Delight vs Co-op Bank (KPC, 10am); March 15- Kisumu Lady Bucks vs Co-op Bank (KSG, 11am), ANU vs Barclays Bank (9am, Nyayo gymnasium), Upper Hill vs IAT-Little Prince (10:30am), Dankind Academy vs 4-Christ (12pm), USIU Flames vs Ulinzi Blades (2pm), USIU Tigers vs Ulinzi Warriors.

RWANDA : IPRC-Kigali keen to maintain perfect start in hoops league

Patriots (Blue) in a recent game against UGB. Patriots take on in form IPRC-Kigali this afternoon. (File Photo)
IPRC-Kigali                vs               Patriots                        2pm (Amahoro)
30-Plus                       vs               Espoir                           2pm (CSK)
APR                              vs               UR-CoE                       2pm (Kacyiru)
UR-CASS                    vs               Rusizi                            3pm (Huye)
CSK                               vs               IPRC-South               4pm (CSK)
KBC                              vs               UGB                              4pm (Amahoro)
UR- CASS                   vs               Ubumwe                  5pm (Huye)
IPRC-Kigali will be looking to maintain their perfect league start when they face newcomers Patriots this afternoon in the national basketball league at Amahoro indoor stadium.
The Kicukiro-based side stunned reigning champions Espoir 73-65 last Sunday, and are targeting maximum points as they bid achieve their main target of making the playoffs in their second season after finishing fifth last year, according to coach Albert Buhake.
“Patriots are a good team, we have a lot of work to do this weekend. My players have to be wise and vigilant otherwise we could be in for a shock. We can win against any side in the league and we proved it on Sunday, we only need to keep focus and avoid complacency,” Buhake said yesterday.
IPRC-Kicukiro are the only league side yet to lose a game this season, they have so far played and won two games against 30-Plus and Espoir respectively.
Elsewhere, defending champions Espoir take on 30-Plus today at Cercle Sportif de Kigali courts while University of Rwanda College of Education (UR- CoE) host APR at Kacyiru courts.
Charles Mushumba’s University of Rwanda- College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR- CASS) are up against Rusizi today and Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) tomorrow respectively.  The varsity side, who have played three games so far, are still without a win.

 By: Richard Bishumba

27 February 2015

KENYA : Nairobi Provincial League Set to Start On March 28

NAIROBI Basketball Association Provincial League will throw off on March 28 at Railway Club. NBA chairman Ronny Owino yesterday said despite losing six teams to the Kenya Basketball Federation, the league remains strong as ever. "Already there are new teams ready to join the show,' he noted.
He said the league will feature two pools in the men's category with the top eight in each group making it to the play-offs. On the other hand, the women's league will be a straight fight with the top four sides going straight to the play off semi-finals. Owino said the league format and league regulations will be discussed at length during this Saturday's Annual General Meeting slated at the same venue from 4pm.

RWANDA : Ferwaba sets dates for U-16, Zone 5 club tourneys

Lionel Hakizimana (left) now with league champions, Espoir, was part of the national U-18 team the last time Rwanda hosted the Fifa Afrobasket youth championship in 2010. (File)
Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba) has set May 25-31 as the dates for the U-16 tournament.
According to the Ferwaba secretary general Richard Mutabazi, all the 10 countries in the Zone 5 region including Burundi, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda are expected to participate in the one-week long event.
The winners will qualify for the Fiba Afrobasket U-16 tournament with the girls’ edition scheduled for July 16-24 in Madagascar and the boys’ edition in July in Mali. Egypt has already qualified in both categories.
Mutabazi revealed that, “We have approval from the Ministry of Sports and Culture and are already engaging the private sector for funding. We are ready for this challenge.”
Rwanda will also host the Zone V Club Championships from October 4-11 to accommodate Uganda that will be representing the region at the Fiba Afrobasket Men’s Championships from August 19-30 in Tunis, Tunisia.
Uganda, the champions of the women’s Zone 5 event last August will compete at the All Africa Games from September 5-19 in Congo Brazzaville as well as the Fiba Afrobasket women’s championships from September 24-October 3 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Mutabazi is confident that Ferwaba has the capacity to organize successful tournaments following a good proven record having hosted the 2009 Fiba Afrobasket Men’s Championships, 2010 Fiba Africa U-18 Championships and the 2011 Zone V Championship.

26 February 2015

KENYA : Debutants Equity Bank Face Hosts KPA in League Opener

NEWLY promoted Equity Bank women's team will open their 2015 Premier League campaign against former champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in Mombasa on March 14.
According to the fixtures released yesterday by Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) competitions secretary Joseph Amoko, a total of 18 matches among them10 Premier League duels are on card in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kakamega, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret and Thika.
The bankers, considered as a new forces in women basketball in the country, will tip off their programme with a tight duel. They have a talent laden side led by last year's Most Vaulable Player (MVP) Hilda Indasi and previous holder of the crown Samba Mjomba.

25 February 2015

KENYA : Equity Bank Too Good for Rivals in Pre-Season Duel

EQUITY Bank beat Co-operative Bank of Kenya 36-21 to claim the women's pre-season final crown at the Nyayo Stadium gymnasium.
It was a tough test for the winners who will play in the Premier League for the first time after gaining promotion from the Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) last year.
Equity got off to a slow start after two foul shots by Hilda Indasi and went on to take a 14-8 advantage at the breather. At the end of the third quarter, they had build a strong 16-14 edge and went all the way. Inspirational Indasi nailed 12 points and Eleanor Musundi scored 7 for the winners.
Co-op with coach Caroline Ouma calling the shots had a combined 17 from Mercy Etyang, Mercy Achieng and Grace Wanjiku. In the preliminary ties, Co-op beat Kenya College of Accountancy University 36-14 and lost 21-33 to Equity, who also beat KCA 35-23 to remain the only unbeaten side in the three-team tournament.
Co-op Spartans won the men's finals, beating sister club Co-op Bank 47-33 in a lousy final match. In the semi-finals, Co-op beat Blades 56-46 as James Mwangi nailed 20 and Joseph Ongoro shot the losers' 11.
The other semis saw Co-op Spartans nip United States International University 48-45, behind Salim Ali's 15. Joel Ntambura had the losers 13.

24 February 2015

RWANDA : Poor preps led to Espoir’s loss, says Karekezi

Pascal Karekezi revealed that Espoir didn't train the whole of last week. (File)
Espoir                  65-73         IPRC-Kigali
UGB                     79-46         UR- CoE
Rusizi                   64-68         IPRC-South
APR                      78-59         CSK
Patriots               80-55         KBC
ESPOIR Basketball Club endured a shocking  65-73 defeat at the hands of IPRC-Kigali on Sunday at University of Rwanda College of Technology courts, their first regular season loss in three seasons.
The Nyamirambo-based side, which has won the league for the past three consecutive seasons, went a whole week without a single training session because their home court at Club Rafiki was under renovation. This could be the reason for their surprise defeat, according to forward Pascal Rurangirwa Karekezi.
He said, “We have to bounce back as quickly as possible, we leant our lesson from Sunday’s defeat and I believe we will recover and regain our winning ways. We had no training last week which I believe was the main reason for the loss to IPRC- Kigali.”
The 23-year-old also cautioned the defending champions to shift their focus on the next fixtures, adding that the campaign still has a long way to go.
The 2012 Fiba Africa Zone Five champions, Espoir, last suffered a regular season league defeat in 2011, when the league was won by Kigali Basketball Club (KBC).
But since then, Jean Bahufite’s team has dominated the local scene, winning three league and playoff titles. Last season, Espoir lost just once, in the game three of the playoffs finals series against KBC.

23 February 2015

RWANDA : IPRC- Kigali end Espoir's 3 year league unbeaten record

Yesman Bushiri, (left), of IPRC-South goes round Patrick Kalibushi of Rusizi BC in a league game in Rusizi on Sunday. (Courtsey)
Espoir 65-73 IPRC- Kigali
UGB 79-46 UR- CoE
Rusizi     64-68     IPRC-South
APR         78-59     CSK
Patriots    80-55     KBC
Patriots 62-67 UGB
30-Plus 56-50 UR-CASS
The Hoops Rwanda 55-46 IPRC-South
APR     55-36     UR-CASS
Friday (Men)
APR                        83-54     UR-CASS

IPRC – Kigali yesterday defeated Espoir 73-65 in the national basketball league to become the first team to beat three-time reigning champions Espoir in regular season on Sunday at the University of Rwanda’s College of Technology basketball courts.
Steve Havugintwari and Dieudonne Ndizeye combined to score 52 points for IPRC- Kigali with 27 from Havugintwa and 25 from Ndizeye respectively.
IPRC - Kigali head coach Albert Buhake praised his team’s strong mentality and hard work after the win.
“I am proud of my players, not only because of the win but because we have made history by beating Espoir after such a long time. This gives the team confidence that they will perform well this season,” Buhake told Times sport.
Meanwhile Huye-based IPRC- South point guard, Yesman Bushiri scored 25 points to help his team defeat Rusizi 68-64 in Rusizi.
The league newcomers, IPRC-South recovered from last weekend’s 79-65 defeat to reigning champions Espoir.
Rusizi, who won their first two games against University of Rwanda College of Education (UR-CoE) and CSK last weekend, were booed by their fans following yesterday’s loss.
Seven-time champions APR won their two weekend games, beating University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR- CASS) 83-54 on Friday and Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) 78-59 on Sunday respectively.
While Patriots BC had their confidence dented after a 62-67 loss against United Basketball Generation (UGB) on Saturday at UR-TECH courts but recovered to beat 2011 champions, Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) 80-55 on Sunday.
In the women’s league, The Hoops Rwanda beat IPRC-South 55-46 while former champions APR overcame UR- CASS 55-36 on Saturday.

22 February 2015

Nigeria: Kada Stars Players Demand 14 Months Pay

Kaduna — Players of Kada Stars Basketball Club of Kaduna and their female counterparts, GT 2000 have appealed to Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State to pay their outstanding 14 months allowances before the commencement of the next DStv Basketball Premier League season.
The captains of the two clubs blamed the low morale of players and lack of preparations ahead of the new season, scheduled to commence on March 13, 2015 to non-payment of players' allowances.
According to Samuel Anthony, Captain of Kada Stars, they are yet to receive any response from government inspite of several pleas.
"In year 2013 league season, we had four months outstanding allowances while in 2014, we were not paid all through. In fact, the last league season was not favourable to us because of the challenges we encountered due to lack of funds even though, we tried to finish in a comfortable position by ending seventh on the log so as to avoid relegation," he said.
He noted that the players may not be willing to play for the Kaduna club again, noting that the team will have to rely on local players for the DStv Premier League this season.
"With the current situation at hand, I doubt of we will play for the state again because we cannot be working without pay. Most of us have been stranded since we finished the league, we cannot go home because we do not have money and we have also lost fitness due to lack of training. Other clubs have started training and are preparing for the DStv league, here we are, doing nothing," Anthony lamented.
Also speaking in an interview, the Captain of GT 2000, Linda Okoro decried lack of motivation; saying players play without any form of motivation from the state government. This she said is affecting the players' performance.

KENYA : Teams shape up at Pre-season Tourney

  • Cooperative Bank coach Carey Odhiambo at a past game with his team.(Photo:SNA File)
Most of the teams continued preparations for the 2015 Kenya Basketball Federation league at the pre-season tournament held over the weekend at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
The new season begins on March 14 and the tournament was meant to aid in their preparations. Former men premier league champions Co-operative Bank fielded two teams that played each other in the final. Spartans beat Co-op Bank 47-33 helped by 15 points from Athiey Lwala and 10 from Nick Anyang. David Ogolla scored highest for Co-op Bank with 6 points while Spartans led 29-20 at halftime.
In the semifinals, Spartans won 48-45 against United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) while Co-op Bank beat Blades 42-34.
Spartans came second in Pool A with 5 points while Blades topped with 6. USIU-A and Co-op Bank tied in Pool B with 5 points each but the students finished top having beaten the bankers 47-36 in their tie.
The tournament was the last assessment platform for Co-op Bank head coach Carey Odhiambo as he fine-tunes his final squad for the upcoming season.
“We had 22 players in trials so we used this tournament to see who to pick as well as try out different combinations,” he said.
“We have statistics for every player in all games they played that we will use in making selection. We will not drop a player with no reason because we want only seventeen so five have to go.”
Strathmore University also had two teams that took part in the league last season. It is a tough season ahead for head coach Tony Ochieng as he seeks to get answers to their playoffs jinx.
Strathmore look to strengthen team
His teams are always at their best in regular season but fails to get past the playoffs quarterfinals.
“Our biggest problem is examinations because they come mostly when we are heading to playoffs. Its a big priority for the players because they are students and we can do nothing. Our training is hugely affected,” he said.
Ochieng had an opportunity to see some of his new players promoted from the low-tier team play at the pre-season tourney but most of them will link up in April.
“We had trials and over 70 players turned up but we will select only ten. The program we have has helped in ensuring consistency every season because I don't pick established players but straight from high school.”
He plans to hold a series of high-profile friendly games with league sides before the season starts. With the first league title still elusive for Strathmore, Ochieng is planning to employ a new strategy this season and mount a solid challenge for the title.
“I will come up with one strong team comprising of best players from the two teams plus a few recruits. The rest will form the second side.”
In the women category, only newly promoted Equity Bank and Co-op Bank participated playing two games. Equity won both 33-21 on Saturday and 36-25 on Sunday.
In the Sunday tie, new signing Hilda Indasi top scored with 12 points and Eleanor Musundi added 9 for Equity. Mercy Etyang and Mercy Achieng scored a combined 12 points for Co-op Bank.
Equity is angling to make a positive mark in their first premiership season and head coach David Maina was happy taking part in the tourney.
“Even though we have not played well, Co-op Bank was good opposition for us and we consider our participation value adding,” he said.
The team has only signed Indasi formerly with USIU-A and Mercy Wanyama from Sprite Storms with the hope of finalizing at least one more signing before pre-season ends.
Denise Apondi and Samba Mjomba who joined Equity last season from Strathmore and Eagle Wings respectively are some of the experienced players in the team.
Maina says their individual experience should not be used to judge the team’s performance this season.
“The most important thing is whether they will gel together because if they don't its a different story.”
Full results: Spartans 21 Blades 29, Strathmore University 45 USIU-A 38, KCA-U 33 ANU 38, Umoja 35 Co-op Bank 37, Blades 45 KCA-U 37, Strathmore 36 Umoja 39, Strathmore 29 Co-op Bank 32, Blades 31 ANU 26, Co-op Bank ladies 21 Equity Bank ladies 33, Spartans 42 KCA-U 34, USIU-A 47 Co-op Bank 36, Equity Bank ladies 36 Co-op Bank ladies 25; Semifinals- USIU-A 45 Spartans 48, Blades 34 Co-op Bank 42; Final- Spartans 47 Co-op Bank 33.

20 February 2015

TANZANIA : Savio Surrender to Chui in RBA League

Dar es Salaam. The Dar es Salaam Regional Basketball Association (RBA) League is set to resume tomorrow after a brief break.
Two games will be on the cards at the National Indoor Stadium in the evening with red-hot Savio facing Oilers in the first duel.The second game, which will be played under the floodlights, will pit Pazi against Vijana “City Bulls.”The Oilers, who laboured to overcome Chui 78-75 in the last game, head in to the courts hoping to pull off a shock victory over Savio.Savio, one of the teams primed to clinch the annual RBA League trophy, have yet to lose a match and are odds-on favourites in tomorrow’s match.However, motivated by their win over Chui, Oilers are expected to go all out agaisnst their hyped opponents.And their head coach, William Mziray told The Citizen yesterday that his boys were in top shape and that they would replicate last week’s form. “When you talk about Savio, you are simply referring to the champions elect; they have a rich pedigree in both regional and national events, so we have a tough match on Friday (tomorrow),” Mziray said.“Much as we respect them, we are also well prepared for the challenge; they won’t find it easy at all. The boys have trained intensively and are psyched up to defy the odds.”Savio coach Dassy Makula was in a bullish mood, assuring their fans that the team will record a routine victory.“I can’t say the game is easy for us considering that they have been performing well lately, but I am confident of a win,” the veteran coach said. “We’re aware of what they are capable of, but I have experienced players who can keep them in check. I have no injury concerns, so I will unleash the strongest team possible against Oilers.” For his part,  Pazi  head coach Evarist Mapunda voiced optimism that his team has what it takes to stop another unbeaten side, Vijana. “It is always difficult playing Vijana, they have a good team, but I am confident that we have the quality to beat them,” he said.

RWANDA : Espoir Coach tips Nyamwasa

Bruno Nyamwasa
ESPOIR basketball club coach Jean Bahufite has tipped youngster Bruno Nyamwasa on pursuing a successful basketball career after helping his side start the league title campaign with an emphatic win over IPRC- South on Sunday.
The 18-year-old Nyamwasa who was also pivotal in Espoir basketball club’s triumph in the national heroes tournament two weeks ago, got 27 points to help the three-time champions to a 79-65 win over Huye-based IPRC- South.
Shooting guard Lionel Hakizimana, point guard Aristide Mugabe and power forward Bienvenue Ngandu contributed 15, 14 and 13 points respectively.
In an interview with Times Sport , Bahufite said Nyamwasa is not only a star for the future but a player that the club will bank on as they set out to defend their league title.
“I am impressed with how the boy played the game against IPRC- South. He is very quick, has a very good ball control and is obedient to coaches and his seniors. He will surely help the team a lot this season,” Bahufite said.
In February, the defending champions made three signings that include point guards Kevin Ruzibiza and Jean Paul Kabanda and 25-year old center forward Norbert Kwizera from archrivals United Basketball Generation (UGB).
Champions Espoir face IPRC- Kigali in their next league fixture on Sunday at NPC gymnasium.

19 February 2015

Zambia Out of 2015 Afro-Basketball Games

ZAMBIA has withdrawn participation from the 2015 Afro-Basketball and All Africa Games qualifiers to be held in Zimbabwe after failing to raise K48, 000 to pay affiliation fee.
The team was expected to leave for Bulawayo yesterday for the week-long tournament that will run from February 21 to 28 but failed to raise the needed amount to take part in the competition.
As a result, Zambia will miss out on challenging for a slot at the Afro-Basketball Championships to be co-hosted by Tunisia and Cameroun and the All Africa Games to be held later this year in Congo Brazzaville.
Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) president Shawki Fawaz said in an interview that the association was hoping to get assistance from the Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) but that sadly nothing materialised.
"We had written to the Sports Council of Zambia and the Ministry of Sports but it took us long to get a feedback as there was no Minister in place and we had to wait until a new one was appointed.
Our general secretary went to the Sports Council this morning (yesterday) and he was told there was no money. So we have withdrawn from the competition," he said.
The Angolan men's team, by virtue of defending champions, have already qualified for the Afro-Basketball Championship leaving Zimbabwe, South Africa, Seychelles and Botswana to battle it for honours. Angola's aim will be to win the group to clinch the All Africa Games place.
Meanwhile, Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) secretary-general Joe Mujuru told the Chronicle that Zambia's absence from the competition has come as a blessing in disguise for his team.
Mujuru said Zambia has a strong men's team that could have given Zimbabwe tough opposition during the qualifiers.

16 February 2015

RWANDA : Patriots stun APR, target playoffs spot

APR 62-63 Patriots
CSK 60-67 Rusizi
UGB 62-51 30-Plus
Espoir 79-65 IPRC-South
Ubumwe 59-51 The Hoops Rwanda
APR 58-52 UGB
IPRC-Kigali 58-35 30-Plus
Rusizi 20-00 UR- CoE
IPRC-South 26-54 APR
APR's Ishimwe, (with the ball) helped his team beat UGB 58-52 on Saturday before they went on to lose to Patriots 62-61 on Sunday. (T. Kisambira)
Debutants Patriots basketball club stole the show from seven-time champions APR, stunning them with a narrow 63-62 victory on Sunday at Cercle Sportif de Kigali courts.
Patriots, formed just two months ago, lost the first quarter 20-16 but bounced back to claim the second quarter 22-13 with the first-half ending 38-33 in their favour. APR snacked the third quarter 17-12 before losing the final quarter 13-12.
The league’s new side got their first win of the season thanks to Ali Kubwimana and Walter Nkurunziza, who both a game high 13 points apiece, while former APR shooting guard, Sunny Niyomugabo added 10 points.
According to head coach Cyrille Kalima, Patriots have set high ambitions of at least reaching the playoffs this year and to win the title in the next three seasons.
In a post-game interview, Kalima told Times Sport, “Truth to be told, I am a bit surprised. This is a very important victory; we are going to build on this foundation to even perform better in the next fixtures so that we can achieve our target of finishing in the top four.”
Elsewhere on Sunday, two-time reigning champions, Espoir started their title defence with a convincing 79-65 win over IPRC-South at KIST court.
Last year’s first runners-up, Cercle sportif de Kigali (CSK) were stunned at home by Rusizi 67-60, UGB who lost 58-52 to APR on Saturday, bounced back to defeat 30-Plus 62-51.
IPRC-Kigali, who beat 30-Plus 58-35 on Saturday, had their game against Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) on Sunday, called off due to rain.
However, it was also not a lucky day for women’s league defending champions, Ubumwe who lost 59-51 to new entrants of The Hoops Rwanda at Cercle Sportif de Kigali on Saturday, while former champions APR routed 54-26 IPRC-South in Huye.

14 February 2015

NIGERIA : Nigeria Will Crush Burkina Faso, d'Tigers Vow

Abuja — Nigeria's senior national team basketball coach, Sani Ahmed, yesterday reiterated D'Tigers' readiness to take on Burkina Faso in the Afrobasket Championship 2015 qualifier in Ouagadougou later this month.
Ahmed, who put 14 players through training session in Abuja, said at a media parley that he already had a hint of the type of players that will confront Nigeria having seen Burkina Faso play at the last Afrobasket Championship in Cote d'Ivoire last year in addition to the recent Zone 3 Championship.
The coach said he was ready to take on the fellow West African team given the improved level of fitness of D'Tigers. "At the Zone 3 championship where Kano Pillars and Mark Mentors represented Nigeria, Burkina Faso brought two teams and our teams beat them by 30 points margin. I also saw their team play at the Afrobasket Championship in Ivory Coast. If they bring that team we will be ready to take them on. They have players in division one and two in France as well as some who play in the colleges in USA but I am not sure they will be available," Ahmed stressed.
He vouched for the readiness of the players in camp, saying that he expects the team to triumph over two legs because of the shooting and ball handling skills of his players. He also said he took the players successfully through qualifying for Afrobasket in Togo in 2010. Similarly, the coach's enthusiasm was echoed by two of the players in camp-Stanley Gummut and Mathew Onondaga. Gummut who featured for Nigeria at the last Afrobasket in Abidjan, said D'Tigers would be up to the task because of the pedigree of Nigeria.
He said that they would make the country proud as they know what to expect in Ouagadougou. Also, Omonya who plays for Kano Pillars said the team has forged a chemistry and will be ready to for the challenge. "I know with what we have on ground, we will do the country proud. We are psychologically ready for them. They have a good national team given that some of their players play in Nigeria. But we know their ability," Omonya hinted.

RWANDA : APR start basketball league campaign against UGB

APR Basketball Club have not won a league title since the club started using only Rwandan players in 2011. (File)
APR                            vs         UGB                  2pm
UR- CoE                    vs         Rusizi              
IPRC- Kigali              vs         30-Plus            4pm
CSK                         vs         Rusizi                    9am
APR                        vs         Patriots                11am
UGB                        vs         IPRC- Kicukiro   11am
Espoir                    vs         IPRC- South       1pm
IPRC- Kigali          vs         KBC                       3pm
Ubumwe     vs     The Hoops Rwanda      9am
Former champions, APR start the hunt for their first national basketball league title since 2010 this afternoon when they face United Basketball Generation at KIST courts.
Cliff Owour’s side, who recently lost their senior player, Sunny Niyomugabo to newcomers, Patriots Basketball Club, signed two new players on Thursday.
The new signings include Forward, Ali Ruzigande and Point Guard, Ivan Nshimiyerwema; both from Saint Aloys Rwamagana.
Three-time Fiba Africa Zone V champions, APR also face new league entrants Patriots on Sunday at CSK at 11am in their second league match of the new season.
In other matches, reigning champions Espoir will kick-off the title defence against IPRC-South at KIST on Sunday at 1pm while last season’s first runners-up, Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) host Rusizi on at 9am.
In the women’s league, defending champions Ubumwe take on newcomers The Hoops Rwanda at KIST at 9am on Sunday.

13 February 2015

RWANDA : Patriots target league debut win

Cyrille Kalima
Today (Men)
Patriots vs UR- CASS  6pm
UR- CoE vs Rusizi  2pm
APR vs UGB  2pm
Espoir vs UR- CASS  2pm
CSK vs KBC  4pm
IPRC- Kigali vs 30-Plus  4pm
IPRC- South vs A PR  2pm
National basketball league newcomers, Patriots will be hoping to start their basketball league campaign with a win when they face University of Rwanda (College of Arts and Social Sciences) this evening at NPC Gymnasium.
Patriots coach Cyrille Kalima said, “Starting the league with a win would be a huge boost, although we are taking part in the league for the first time, we won’t be fazed by that and I believe my players have got the potential to take on the more experienced teams.”
On the other hand, UR-CASS who lost 82-64 to IPRC- South in the league’s opening match last Saturday have set the clash as a must win game and won’t welcome a second consecutive defeat according to head coach Charles Mushumba.
Mushumba told this paper yesterday that, “We badly need this victory, my players are well prepared physically and psychologically for the match and I’m confident we recover from last weekend’s defeat to IPRC- South.”
In the women’s league, IPRC- South who lost 51-48 to UR- CASS in their opening match, host seven-time champions APR in Huye district tomorrow while holders Ubumwe play newly created side, the Hoops BBC on Sunday at 10am at KIST basketball courts.

11 February 2015

RWANDA : Niyomugabo ditches APR for newcomers Patriots

Rwandan International Sunny Niyomugabo has crossed from APR Basketball Club to new entrants Patriots BBC on a one-year contract. The development was also confirmed to Times Sport by APR basketball club head coach, Cliff Owuor yesterday.
The former APR shooting guard parted ways with the military side after serving the club for three years and was one of the club’s senior players. “We wish him good luck in his new challenge and respect him for being a good servant to the club during his time here,” Owuor said in an interview.
Niyomugabo said leaving APR was the hardest decision to make but was necessary for his career. “It is always hard, leaving a club like APR but I was not sure that I would be getting any playing time and no guarantees were forthcoming. So I think it is the best decision for both the club and me,” Niyomugabo said.
The 23-year-old former national junior team starlet was part of the senior team that failed to qualify for this year’s All Africa Games and Afrobasket finals.
In a separate interview, Patriots head coach Cyrille Kalima praised the arrival of the shooting guard at the club, “He is an important signing for us, his presence adds something big to my squad. He is now one of my most experienced players, he is vital in helping the young players on the team.”
Kalima has also recruited Ali Kubwimana, his former player at Kigali Basketball Club (KBC), who was also wanted reigning champions Espoir but opted to rejoin his former coach.

10 February 2015

RWANDA : Meet Mutokambali, the National Hoops Team Coach

Basketball is not a new sport in Rwanda. The local basketball federation (Ferwaba) has been a member of the International Basketball Federation since 1977, so it's understandable why the sport is one of the most popular in the country.
However, before 2000, Team Rwanda was virtually unknown to most basketball followers beyond Rwanda's boarders. Since the mid-2000s however, the team has made a name as a formidable side in the region and the on the continent.
Over the last ten years or so, Rwanda has emerged as a major force in Zone V and has qualified for the Fiba Africa basketball championships finals four times in a row from 2007 to 2013.
In this issue, Saturday Sport profiles the man who has been in charge of the senior national men's team for the past two years-Moise Mutokambali.
Playing and coaching career
Mutokambali is a great coach but he never was a great player during his brief playing career and says back in the days, there was no qualified coaches to detect and develop talent.
"During my playing days, there were no coaches to detect, integrate and develop talent like it is today, the few that were there, used not to care about young talents but only dealt with senior players that served the purpose at that moment," he says.
He featured for Lycee de Kigali basketball team in several national inter-schools championships but never won any notable silverware with the secondary school.
Mutokambali never featured prominently for any side in the national basketball league save for brief training stints with Espoir and Kigali Institute of Education basketball teams before venturing into coaching in 2005.
"Thanks to former national team coach and my former lecturer, the late Jean de Dieu Nizeyimana, who saw the potential in me and guided me into coaching. Never in my life had I dreamt of coaching as my profession," Mutokambali explains.
From 2005 to 2012, Mutokambali was a coach for his former secondary school team, Lycee de Kigali on a part-time basis on top of carrying out other basketball development roles at different levels.
At Lycee de Kigali, he won one inter-schools championship title in 2013, and reached the final in 2011 and also helped APE Rugunga win the trophy in 2010, EMEN Nyamirambo in 2009 and Lycee Notre Damme de Citeaux in girls' category in 2009.
National team duties
From 2009, Mutokambali has been serving in national teams at different levels and since January 2013, he has been the head coach of the men's senior team.
In 2009, he was assistant coach to Croatian tactician Veceslav Kavedzja who was head coach of women's national senior team that finished 10th out of 12 teams at the Fiba Afro-basket Championships in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
In 2010, he worked as assistant coach of the U-18 national men's team that finished sixth out of ten teams at the African junior basketball championships staged in Kigali.
Two years later, he was the team manager of the U-18 men's team that won Zone five title in Kigali to qualify for junior Afro-basket and went on to finish bottom of the 11-team at the continental meet in Maputo, Mozambique.
In January 2003, Mutokambali was appointed national senior men's team head coach and led the team to second place in Fiba Africa Zone Five tournament held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania and 10th place (out of 16 teams) at the Afro-basket Championships in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in his first year in charge.
2014, a nightmare year

KENYA : Basketball Federation's tough stand on doping

  • KBF takes a lead in ensuring the players are clean from doping and warns culprits of dire consequences. (SNA File Photo)
Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) has become the third sporting body in the country to take a firm stand against doping.
Basketball has not been linked to any doping cases but the federation has moved to cushion its reputation against the vice.
Recently, doping has dominated sports headlines following reported cases in athletics. It is only last week that Athletics Kenya (AK) held a stakeholders forum and resolved to confront doping head-on.
In athletics, one of their main strategies will be to sensitize athletes on their responsibilities when it comes to doping.
The Kenya Rugby Union recently carried out various random in and out of competition tests for its national squad of 35 men and women. The Union announced on Monday that all the players who were tested between March and December 2014 returned a negative test.
KBF has now followed suit and warned players ahead of the new season that any such cases will attract heavy consequences.
According to the new league rules adopted at the 2015 annual general meeting, any person who uses, administers or facilitates the use of any doping substances shall be liable to a suspension of one (1) year for a first offence. A repeat of the same offence will attract a life ban.
“Doping in whatever form is outlawed by the Federation. In addition to any other sanction as the Federation may determine, the Federation reserves the right to carry out drug tests and any other anti- doping controls at any time during and after the season,” the Federation stated.
KBF adopts conference format
Starting this season, the league will be played in conferences. Each of the men and women premier leagues as well as national division one will have two conferences. Every conference will be played in two legs on a home and away basis with the top four teams in every conference proceeding to the playoffs quarterfinals.
At the inter-conference level, games will be played on basis of one game series. Quarterfinal games will be played on a best-of-three series while semifinal and final games will be on a best-of-five series.Classification games will be a one-off affair.
The new rules also seek to give all teams a fair playing ground in the playoffs series. “In the event of a game five (05), the Committee shall determine the venue provided that both teams shall have enjoyed home court advantage and sponsors interest shall be taken into account.”
Clubs will be able to sign players directly from primary and secondary schools who do not have national identification cards. However, there are strict requirements that must be fulfilled.
“They are eligible for registration with any club for participation in the league upon production of written authority from the Principal/Headteacher of such school allowing them to play for a club of their choice,” the rules read. “Such students shall also produce a valid school ID card. For students who have left school and do not possess a national ID card, a school leaving certificate from their last school shall suffice.”
Transfers a thorny issue
Transfer of players has always been a thorny issue but KBF is seeking to streamline that with the coming season. No club will be allowed to sign more than 26 players and six officials for a season.
The transfer window will end 14 days before commencement of the new season. When the season is in progress, there will be a transfer window running for the entire of June.
Outside the official transfer period, clubs will be allowed to make signings if they lose players due to certified permanent, physical or mental incapacity or death, or imprisonment or leaves the country for a minimum period of 6 months.
That will only be allowed once a club is in a position of providing tangible proof to the federation.
For premier league and division one transfers, there will be a transfer fee of Sh. 5, 000. The federation will retain Sh. 2, 000 and remit Sh. 3, 000 to the club losing a player.
The federation will also seek to instill discipline among players with hefty fines and suspension for culprits as well as teams that forfeit league games and cause abandonment.

UGANDA : Skipper Omony wants Uganda to leave mark at AfroBasket

Omony wants the AfroBasket tournament
Omony wants the AfroBasket tournament to open doors for Ugandan basketballers. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 
By Andrew Mwanguhya

The number of times Uganda have participated at the Fiba AfroBasket - the men’s basketball continental biennial championship - reads naught.
But when this year’s edition tips off in Tunisia AugustSeptember, figure 1 will be entered as the Silverbacks, as the Ugandan national team are called, debut at the championships.
It is one moment Silverbacks captain, Stephen Omony - who learnt his game from St Leo’s College, Kyegobe in Fort Portal before taking it to another level while juggling his A’ Levels at Kitante High with Blue Jackets basketball club duty in 1997 - has been waiting for.
“It has been one of my dreams,” said the 6’4 feet guard, “First of all it is an honour to represent my country, and to captain it - it is a privilege. We can’t take this lightly as a team. We are carrying hopes of the entire nation; so for me it is a challenge.”
Omony added: “Can we win it (AfroBasket)? Well, I don’t get into something to lose. I would like to go there and win. We shall try to do that.”
Yet Omony, in his mid 30s, is not lost on reality.
“But also, we have to be realistic and manage our expectations. It’s our first time at Afcon (he loves to call it that) and the journey has not been easy.
“We missed out on two occasions but I felt on those two we should have qualified… But now that we have made it, we have to go for it.
“But if we are to lose, I want us to lose honourably. Even in defeat, Uganda’s impact must be felt. We want to leave people there saying, ‘There is Uganda!’
“This is something we’ve been looking for. I want this to be our gateway. This is a chance for Ugandan players to get that much needed exposure and this is the stage where international scouts are looking out for talent.”
This year’s event is the 28th edition, and is also a qualifying competition for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The women’s national team, the Gazelles, will also represent at the ladies’ 24th edition in Cameroon - in addition to the All Africa Games.
Stephen Omony
Fact file
2012 to date: Falcons
2010-2012: Miracle
2009-2010: Falcons
2008: Nizwa (Middle East). Six-month stint
2002-2008: Hawks (Seychelles)
2001: Nkumba Marines
1998-1999: Falcons/Kitante Hill
1997: Blue Jackets/Kitante Hill
Falcons: League titles in 1998, 1999
Hawks (Seychelles): 4 league titles

09 February 2015

NIGERIA : Nigeria Invites 14 Home-Based Players to Camp

The Nigeria Basketball Federation on Sunday in Abuja invited 14 home-based players to camp of the senior male national team, D'Tigers. The camp is expected to open on February 9.
In a statement, Femi Adefeso, a member of the federation's media committee, noted that the invited players were expected to report at Parkview Hotel on Sunday for training to start on Monday.
Mr. Adefeso said that the team would now be coached by D'Tigers' former Assistant Coaches, Sani Ahmed and Ayinla Johnson, who would now be the coach and assistant coach respectively.
"The invited players are to report at Parkview Hotel, Abuja, on February 8, while training sessions begin on Monday, February 9.
"The team will be coached by familiar faces, former D'Tigers assistant coach Sani Ahmed and be assisted by Ayinla Johnson.
The home-based players will, however, be joined by a number of international players in due course," the statement read.
The invited players include Abubakar Usman (Kano Pillars), Stanley Gumut (Mark Mentors), Mathew Omonya (Kano Pillars), Ibrahim Yusuf (Kano Pillars) Abdul Yahaya (Mark Mentors) and Moses Odaudu (Mark Mentors).
Other players include Victor Anthony (Mark Mentors), Azuoma Dike (Dodan Warriors), Timothy Kwaor (Mark Mentors), Onyeka Okeke (Kano Pillars) and Ibrahim Okpe (Lagos Islanders).
The remaining players are Dele Ademola (Kano Pillars), Adeolu Ojo (Kano Pillars) and Abdulwahab Yakubu (Kano Pillars).
D'Tigers are preparing for the Joint 2015 Afrobasket qualifiers/ 2015 All Africa Games qualifiers (AAG).
They would play Burkina Faso in the 2015 Afrobasket qualifiers later in February, while the AAG is scheduled to hold in Congo Brazaville in September.

RWANDA : IPRC-South ink impressive hoops league debut

IPRC- South 82-64 UR- CASS
IPRC- South 48-51 UR- CASS
Newcomers, IPRC-South men’s team started in the national basketball league with a home 82-64 win over neighbours University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR- CASS) on Saturday.
Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center- Southern Province (IPRC-South) came from 36-25 half-time deficit to beat UR- CASS 82-64. UR-CASS won first quarter 17-14 and the second 19-11 but the debutants recovered to take the third and fourth quarters 21-17 and 36-10 respectively.
IPRC-South’s Bienvenue Niyonsaba scored the game high 28 points while teammates Yesman Bushiri and Herves Ikishatse added 22 and 18 points respectively to help their team off to a winning debut.
Speaking to Times Sport after the game, IPRC-South coach Didier Bineza praised his players and challenged them to get ready for a long campaign.
“Congratulations to my players, they did exactly what I told them to do. However, we have to stay focused and take one game at a time,” he said.
In women’s league opening match, IPRC-South lost 51-48 to UR- CASS. In the meantime, Rwanda Allied Peace for Progress (RAPP), who finished second last season have pulled out of the league due to financial constraints.

07 February 2015

UGANDA : More thrills as expected on second night of FNL-V

KAMPALA- For the fifth year in a row as evidenced during the opening night of this year’s Friday night light Ugandan fans showed they enjoy their sport when accompanied with musical entertainment.
Whether other sports federations can follow suit is a story for another day but for five years, going by last Friday’s attendance, the castle Lite sponsored tournament is bound to continue rocking.
Another capacity crowd is thus anticipated for the second round of games this evening.
Team Amoding, one of two teams playing their first games this season get action underway against Team Legends that lost 53-43 to Team Blick on the opening round.
Team Lamunnu who made a triumphant debut, winning 70-40 over Team Koma play Team Malinga the other team that didn’t feature on the opening night.
Team Koma without injured captain Ben Komakech will look to Paul Odong for reprieve against Team Duxx while Team Enabu and Team Blick both winners over Team Sudi and Team Legends meet in the final game.

06 February 2015

NIGERIA : D'Tigers to Play Invitational Tournament in South Africa

The Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF, has said that the Senior National Basketball Team, D'Tigers will feature in a four-nation invitational tournament next month in South Africa.
"The National team will participate in a four Nations invitational tournament in Johannesburg which will feature South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique and Nigeria from 18th- 22nd March, 2015," the President of the Federation, Tijani Umar said in Abuja on Tuesday.
The men's national team before now have been largely inactive and fears had been expressed in some quarters that D'Tigers may be worse for it when the Afrobasket qualifiers get underway soon.
Aside the invitational tourney for D'Tigers, other plans of the Federation were also unveiled which included several grassroots programme and deliberate actions to improve the standard of the basketball league in Nigeria.
Amongst such is the NBBF Prospect Camp that will identify players for the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) programme, which will hold 13- 15 February.
The prospect camp will run through February 6-7, and will be coordinated by Emmanuel Odah and Michael Aubourn of the FCT Basketball Association .
There will also be support from Ahmed Aliyu Danmama, Kano State; Spencer Chileh, Benue State; and Ahmadu Abba, Taraba State.

04 February 2015

NIGERIA : Dstv, Zenith Bank League Dunk Off March

The Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) yesterday announced that the DSTV Premier Basketball League and the Zenith Bank Female League will jumpball in March.
According to the release from the secretariat of the NBBF, fans from across the country will be treated to mouthwatering action for the 2014/2015 DSTV Premier League starting from the 6th of March, 2015.
The statement added that the traditional first phase of the Zenith Bank Female League in Abuja will jump ball from the 15th to 25th of March 2015.
Organisers explained that the league would have come up earlier this year but for the political climate of the country with the general elections coming up soon, led to the delay of the jump ball.
The new season promises excitement as defending champions Kano Pillars gun for their 4th straight title in the DSTV Premier League and we welcome back newly promoted Delta Force and FCT Rocks representing both the Atlantic and Savannah conferences respectively alongside the 13 other teams that will jostle for the Premier league crown, while 4 times Zenith League champions, First Deepwater Basketball club will hope to get their trophy back from the Elephant girls (First Bank Basketball club) having lost the title last season after winning the title in 4 of the last 5 seasons and the emerging force of Dolphins who finally look ready to win the title for the first time after an inspiring 2014 African Champions Cup campaign in November.
Expect all the thrills and frills, as "Basketball Madness" takes center stage this March, as we welcome back a double dose of Premier League basketball and a quest for the coveted league crown. Who takes it?

KENYA : Clubs given ultimatum by KBF

  • Mennonites is one of the teams which faced financial difficulties lat season. Some 15 clubs owe KBF over Sh. 1 million. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
The start of the 2015 DSTV Kenya Basketball Federation League is in the limbo after 15 clubs were given an ultimatum to clear their outstanding financial dues or face expulsion.
Most of those affected by the threat of expulsion are self-sponsored clubs. Nine of the teams in the red list are part of the premier league and six are from division one. They have about a month to clear with the league organizers before fixtures for the new season beginning on March 14 are drawn.
The men's teams which risk being locked out of the premier league are Aviation College, Thunder, Lions, Nakuru Club and Mennonite.
The women's teams are Mennonite, Eagle Wings, Western Delight and Sprite Storms. Teams which could be axed from participated in the division one league are World Hope, Lakeside, Parklands Baptist, Nebulas Kakamega, Eldonets and Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT).
KBF is owed over Sh.1million by the clubs in league and affiliation fees that dates back to 2012 season.
This stern warning by the federation was issued as the teams started their pre-season training. “Teams are also advised to pay transfer fees for the players they had acquired for 2014. Unless these monies are paid, we shall not have any option but to stop the players from playing,” said competition secretary Joseph Amoko.
This is not the first time clubs are faced with money troubles. Last season, Safe Spaces which plays in the women's premier league experienced financial difficulties and faced difficulty in honouring their first leg away games. But, they defied all odds to reach the playoffs quarterfinals.
Lions saw a big percentage of their players troop away to other clubs after Kenya Commercial Bank withdrew their sponsorship.
Players had to did deep in their pockets as they struggled to the playoffs last year. Denis Opiyo, Victor Ochieng and Moses Wanjara were the only senior players who held on as the team seemed headed for demise at the start of the season.
In some games, they could not raise quorum playing with few players same as relegated Blazers and Safe Spaces. In the just concluded season, Mennonite ladies team gave away some games after failing to show up citing similar problems.

03 February 2015

RWANDA : Ubumwe look to defend title as basketball league returns

Coach Jacques Bahige (L) with Ubumwe basketball club players. (R.Bishu)
UBUMWE basketball club have turned their focus to retaining the women’s league title after claiming the inaugural Heroes Day tournament on Sunday.
The 2015 season’s champions both in men and women’s categories slated to kick-off on Saturday, 7 February.
Ubumwe won the Heroes Day Cup after defeating seven-time league champions APR 61-52 with American-born point-guard Lisanne Comeau scoring a game high 18 points.
In the men’s final, Mike Buzangu of CSK scored 31 points but that didn’t stop his side from losing 81-61 to Espoir.
Ubumwe, who dethroned APR from the league helm last season, will be looking to bag the second consecutive league title as well as representing the country well at this year’s continental club championships, according to head coach Jacques Bahige.
“We are happy with the Heroes Day Cup triumph, however there is no time to relax. The league starts next weekend and we want to retain the crown which won’t be easy, but we will do everything in our capacity to do so,” Bahige said.
In a separate interview, Lisanne Comeau told this newspaper,” I have no particular secret behind the MVP award-winning performance, It’s just working hard together as a team. I’m looking forward for an even more entertaining league campaign.”
Aristide Mugabe, Espoir’s captain, grabbed the men’s competition MVP award with former Rwanda international Mike Buzangu scooping the top-scorer’s award after netting 86 pionts while Rosine Micomyiza from RAPP won the MVP award in the women’s category, having grabbed 58 points.
Comeau, who is in Rwanda since October last year, will be making her league debut with Ubumwe and believes her side has got all it takes to be 2015 champions.

02 February 2015

KENYA : USIU-A Flames lift first league title

  • USIU Hilda Indasi dribbles past KPA\\\'s Hellen Oketch during their match at the Nyayo National Gymnasium.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • USIU players celebrate after beating KPA in the final to lift the women\'s premier trophy.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • USIU Hilda Indasi dribbles past KPA\\\'s Hellen Oketch during their match at the Nyayo National Gymnasium.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • USIU players celebrate after beating KPA in the final to lift the women\'s premier trophy.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
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United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) ladies basketball team has become the first varsity side to win the Kenya Basketball Federation league title in its history.
The students beat Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) 81-50 in game four of the playoffs final played Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
The 3-1 series win was sweet revenge for KPA who beat them 3-2 in last season’s final.
This is the second major title for USIU-A this season after winning Zone V championship in August. Ironically, they beat KPA in the final.
“I am so happy because we have come from far,” head coach George Mayienga said after the win.
“Three years ago, we finished third and then second for the last two seasons. It was a good fight by the ladies.”
Hilda Indasi was named the most valuable player for the second time in three seasons and bagged Ksh.50, 000.
“I am really humbled by this win. Its the second for me as a player and the first with USIU. I cannot ask for anything more,” she said.
Indasi has already signed for the newly-promoted Equity Bank ahead of the 2015 season. She will link up with guard Samba Mjomba and already relishes the opportunity.
“As I move to the new team, I am settled and happy. I am grateful to USIU-A for supporting and making me who I am.”
Standards of the game are high, KPA coach
USIU-A proved superior and hungry for a win taking home three quarters. They won the first 22-14 and KPA the second 20-17 for a slim five points advantage at the breather.
Sarah Chan and Indasi led scoring for USIU-A with 9 and 7 respectively while KPAs highest scorer at halftime was Yvone Akinyi with 10. KPA had Natalie Akinyi and Helen Oketch accumulate three fouls each from the first two quarters.
It limited their playtime in the remaining quarters which visibly affected KPAs gameplan. USIU-A won the third and fourth quarters 28-6 and 14-10 respectively.
KPA head coach Anthony Ojukwu conceded defeat after watching his team put up an inferior fight in second half to lose by 31 points.
“The standards of women basketball in Kenya have gone high. This series was very competitive and we lost fairly to a good team.”
He promised to rebuild the squad by recruiting more young players in readiness for the new season that starts next month. Indasi top scored for USIU-A with 26 points while Chan added 16.
Natalie Akinyi scored highest for KPA with 11 points and Yvonne Akinyi had 10. USIU-A took charge of the series on Saturday winning game three 77-43 to break the one-all tie from last weekend.
It was Indasi who led the rout scoring 17 points, grabbed four rebounds and three assists. Chan added 16 points for the students and grabbed 21 rebounds while Yvonne Akinyi had a game high 20 points and one rebound for KPA.
USIU-A got a cash reward of Ksh. 600, 000 while KPA banked 300, 000. Co-operative Bank finished third after beating Sprite Storms 46-33 in the decider.
Celina Okumu scored 10 points for the bankers and Mercy Ouma 12 points for Storms. Co-op Bank made 10 free-throws and scored two 3-point shots against Storms’ seven free-throws and two 3-point shots.

RWANDA : Espoir, Ubumwe win Heroes Day championships

Men’s final
Espoir            81-61         CSK
Women’s Final
Ubumwe      61-52         APR
ESPOIR and Ubumwe basketball clubs, yesterday, defeated Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) and APR, respectively, to emerge champions of the Heroes Day tournament in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively.
Espoir defeated 81-61 in the men’s category while Ubumwe beat 61-52 in women’s final.
Espoir captain Aristide Mugabe was named the Most Valuable player (MVP) of the men’s competition while Lisanne Comean of Ubumwe grabbed the same award in the women’s category.
Former Rwanda international Mike Buzangu scooped the top scorer’s award with 86 points while Rosine Micomyiza, with 58 points for Rwanda Allied Peace for Progress (RAPP), was the women’s highest scorer.
In third place play-offs, APR beat 73-50 IPRC- Kigali in men’s fray while RAPP emerged second runners-up in women’s category after defeating UR- Huye campus 40-33.

01 February 2015

RWANDA : Espoir, APR face off in Heroes Day tourney

Reigning national basketball champions Espoir and three-time Fiba Africa Zone V champions APR square off this afternoon in the first semi-final of the national Heroes Day hoops tourney at Cercle sportif court.
The inaugural national Heroes Day basketball tournament started on January 23 and will reach the climax tomorrow with both men and women’s finals as well as third place play-offs at Amahoro indoors stadium.
Espoir coach Jean Bahufite told Saturday Sport that his side is in good form and ready for APR’s challenge this afternoon.
In the other men’s semi-final clash, hosts and last season’s league first runners-up Cercle Sportif de Kigali will be up against the winners between UGB and IPRC- Kigali at 4p.m. UGB played IPRC-Kigali last evening at NPC gymnasium but the game had not ended by press time.
The Heroes Day tourney is also serving as a warm-up for the teams ahead of the league start on February 7.
Espoir and Ubumwe are holders of last year’s preseason tournaments titles in the men and women’s categories, respectively.

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