22 February 2016

RWANDA - Hoops league: Narrow win angers Owuor

Owuor (in cap) said he was not impressed with his team's performance following a 72-71 win over UGB. (File)
APR 72-71 UGB
Espoir 94-41 U18 Boys Team
APR Basketball Club coach Cliff Owuor has said he was not impressed with his team’s performance following a one-point margin win over United Generation Basketball (UGB) in a league game played on Saturday at UR- CST courts.
Owuor’s youthful side narrowly beat UGB 72-71 to move to a 5:4 win ratio this season but stayed in fifth place in the ten-team league table after nine games.
APR dominated the first quarter 22-8 and narrowly won the second 16-15, but UGB recovered in the second half to win third and fourth quarters 22-18 and 26-16 respectively.
Frank Nshimiyimana of APR scored the game high 22 points while Eric Munyaneza added 20 points for the 2010 champions.
“The performance was far from impressive; we almost lost the game despite a huge half-time lead. Clearly something is wrong and we need to address it urgently. We need to work on the mistakes we’ve made today and do better next time,” Owuor told Times Sport.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Four-time reigning champions, Espoir defeated the U18 Boys Team 94-41 to take their win ratio to 6:2 and cut the gap on table leaders Patriots to four points.
As it stands, Patriots top the table with maximum 18 points, one point better than IPRC-South in second place. IPRC-Kigali occupy third with 15 points while Jean Bahufite’s Espoir sit in fourth place 14 points and a game in hand.

20 February 2016

NIGERIA - 9,000 Schools for 18th Milo Basketball Championships

All is now set for the 18th Milo Secondary Schools Basketball championships with the state preliminaries billed to dunk off from February 22 through 26.
Announcing this in Lagos yesterday, Managing Director and Chief Executive, Nestle Nigeria, Dhanersh Gordhon said, "This year's championship will involve 9,000 secondary schools across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT as we continue the search for that potential talent that will begin the quest to reach his or her goal in life."
In the same vain, Olufemi Akintola, Category Manager Nestle Nigeria said, state champions will clash with their counterparts in the zonal stage which begins 21 April to 19 May.
According to him, competition in the Western Conference which has Lagos as host, will flag off between April 21 and 27. This will be followed by Central Conference with Ilorin as centre from April 27 to May 4, while the Confluence Conference with Lokoja as host will hold its competition between May 5 and 12.The Equatorial Conference will be hosted by Enugu between May 13 and 19.
For the first time in the history of the championship, the national finals will be held outside Lagos and Asaba, Delta State capital is the destination.
Defending the choice of Asaba, Akintola said, "it has to do with the tremendous support given the programme by the Delta State government."
This was evident as the Delta State Commissioner, Basic and Secondary Education, Chinedu Ebie and his Sports counterpart, Chief Tony Okowa who doubles as the Executive Chairman, Delta Sttae Sports Commission were at the press conference to assure all participating schools of the state's readiness to host a grand national finals.

RWANDA - APR, UGB to clash, unbeaten Patriots take top spot

U18 Boys Team vs Espoir, 10am
APR vs UGB, 12pm
Patriots 74-41 U18 Boys Team
Former champions APR take on United Generation Basketball (UGB) in a national basketball league game today at UR- CST (formerly KIST) courts – the game starts at 12pm.
It’s a game pitying two teams, level on 12 points each this season, having both won four and lost four out of eight league games played so far. Going into today’s battle, APR stand in fifth position, courtesy of a better point average, a spot higher than UGB.
Elsewhere today, the four-time reigning champions Espoir will be up against Moise Mutokambali’s U18 Boys Team at the same venue in the first game of the day.
Meanwhile, on Thursday evening, on-form Patriots trounced U18 Boys Team 74-41 at Green Hills Academy (GHA) to dethrone Didier Bineza’s IPRC-South at the top of the table.
Henry Mwinuka’s team had a smooth run over the youthful national side—Patriots, won all four quarters 14-12, 26-7, 16-8 and 18-14 respectively to stretch the unbeaten run to 12 games, including 9 games in the league and 3 in the Heroes Day tourney. This was also their final game of the league’s first round.
As it stands, Patriots (9:0 win ratio) tops the table with maximum 18 points, a point better than second-placed IPRC- South, IPRC-Kigali are third with 15 points while holders Espoir stand in fourth place with 12 points but having played two games less.

18 February 2016

UGANDA - KUSA Weekend Round-up

KUSA Weekend Round-up
Magadi Road Conference: Much fancied Riara University Bucks were on the receiving end last weekend. After beating UMMA 68-32, they lost 34-48 to hosts Catholic University of Eastern Africa and African Nazarene University 35-42.
In the ladies league defending champions had to fight to the end to dismiss Kenyatta Univeristy Oryx 31-30. Zetech University collected maximum points after beating CUEA 46-27 on Saturday and got a walkover on Sunday, Cooperative College did not honour the match.
A total of 42 games were played over the weekend.
Full Weekend Results:
Saturday Magadi Road Men: MMU 38-42 MKU NBO, CUEA 23-28 ANU, Riara 68-32 UMMA, Strathmore 69-31 Machakos, Riara 46-28 Co-op, Moi Nbo 00-20 Daystar, Strathmore 00-20 Coop, Daystar 20-00 JKUAT Nbo, TUK 50-32 MMU, MKU Nbo 19-33 CUEA, JKUAT Nbo 43-46 ANU
Saturday Thika Road Men: KU Ruiru 31-49 USIU, Zetech 24-38 UoN, MKU Thika 30-43 KU, SPU38-46 Zetech, JKUAT 36-40 UON.
Ladies Saturday: Riara 35-25 SPU, USIU 47-07 COOP, Daystar 39-11 KU Ruiru, ANU 20-24 JKUAT, Zetech 46-27 CUEA.
Sunday Magadi Road Men: CUEA 48-34 Riara, JKUAT Nbo 34-42 Machakos, Strathmore 43-27 CUEA, KU Nbo 53-25 UMMA, Riara 35-42 ANU, Daystar 33-26 TUK, ANU 44-31 MKU Nbo, MMU 19-29 Daystar
TUK 28-37 Coop, KU Nbo 20-00 MOI Nbo, Mackakos 28-34 UMMA, JKUAT Nbo 45-46 MKU Nbo.
Sunday Thika Road Men: KU 29-19 KU RUIRU, UON 40-61 USIU, SPU 41-18 JKUAT, MKU Thika 33-29 KU Ruiru.
Ladies Sunday: Riara 29-32 KU, ANU 32-23 MKU Thika, Daystar 20-00 Machakos, Zetech 20-00 COOP, KU 30-31 USIU.

UGANDA - 4 Kenyans Contracts Terminated By Sharing Youth

4 Kenyans Contracts Terminated By Sharing Youth
Sharing Youth Basketball Club in Uganda has terminated contracts for four Kenyans who were part of the team last season.
According to the club, lack of sponsorship forced Sharing Youth to part ways with Brian Marumbu, Ansalim Onalo, Alex Lugasi, Faustine Ambrose and Tanzanian Murshid Mudricat.
A communication sent by Sharing Youth Team Manager Ben Lule to the five players reads: “Wanted to let you know what has been transpiring with sponsor we, had a meeting with the sponsor on Wednesday and after we met as Sharing management team yesterday and decided to discuss the outcome, the sponsor is not going to sponsor us financially this year, so that means that our budget on running the team will be cut to bare minimum, we had hoped he would release money by the end February so we can call you guys to come back but unfortunately he doesn’t have finances for us now, so we sat down and decided to avoid incurring any costs, we terminate the contract we have with you as we can not meet the obligations required and would like to avoid incurring any other costs, it’s much more fairer to you and us, I thank you for the time taken with us, and we never saw this coming as we had been told that finances would be released in February , my sincere apologies to you for what has transpired”

UGANDA - JKL add Nyafwono to their roster

Carol Nyafwono (R) during the Zone V Nations Qualifiers against Egypt Carol Nyafwono (R) during the Zone V Nations Qualifiers against Egypt
The Uganda Ladies’ basketball team (Gazelles) center Carol Nyafwono is the latest weapon acquired by Just Keep Living (JKL) Dolphins.
The newly promoted side have been busy in the transfer market and the acquisition of Nyafwono makes them a complete side ready to fight for the title with the seasoned league giants.
She joins Angella Namirimu and Purity Odhiambo, the two biggest signings for the side and team owner Fredrick Freedom Owora has revealed that there are two more signings and the team will be ready to meet their targets.
The side have set a target of making it to the Zone V Club Championship in their first season of top flight basketball.
With five former league winners on the team, JKL will fancy their chances when the season tips off in April.
JKL Team: Peace Nakirijja, Angella Namirimu, Leane Nalunkuuma, Stella Oyella, Jamilla Nansikombi, Purity Odhiambo, Hope Akello, Evelyn Nakintu, Carol Nyafwono, Alisha Walusagi, Suzan Atino, Norah Namutosi, Suzan Namirembe, Salma Akinyi

GAMBIA - Basketball National League Resumes

The Gambia National Basketball League re-starts this weekend after a brief sabbatical.
The championship kick-start today in a mark of a new season as the GBA plans to include the 24 and 14 seconds shot clock in line with international basketball federation rules. Teams are urged to report to the lawn 30 minutes before game start. Time : 4:30pmGames 1. YMCA vs Victory Creators (Bundung)
2. Banjul United vs. Serrekunda West Venue: Independence Stadium
Date: Saturday February 13 Time: 4:30pm Games 1. Brikama United vs. Olypic Afic 2. YMCA Female vs Kotu Blue Ninjas Female 3. Bakau United vs Kotu United Venue: Independence Stadium
Date: Sunday February 14 Time: 4:30pm Games Lamin United vs Kotu United YMCA vs Serrekunda West

RWANDA - Patriots face U18 Boys seeking to stretch unbeaten run

Patriots, the only side still unbeaten in the league this season, are looking to their record to 9-0. (File)
Patriots vs U18 Boys Team 6pm
National basketball league top contenders, Patriots BBC eye to dethrone archrivals IPRC-South at the top of the table standings when they face the U18 Boys Team today evening at Green Hills Academy courts, the game starts at 6pm.
Patriots, the only side still unbeaten in the league this season, take on the national U18 side coached by Moise Mutokambali, seeking for a resounding 9:0 win ratio, having previously won their first eight league games including clashes against closest title challengers, IPRC-South, Espoir and IPRC-Kigali.
The U18 Boys Team, which joined the league last December, will be seeking to be the first side to upset Henry Mwinuka’s on-form Patriots. Mutokambali’s youthful side has only managed two wins out of seven league games played thus far.
Patriots’ coach Mwinuka, while speaking to Times Sport on Wednesday said that his players are fired up to finish the first round on a high.
“All my players are fit and the mood in the team is amazing, everything is in place for today’s game. Our top priority is to win the game, to keep the winning, we are on the right track,” said the Tanzanian trainer.
Table standings
Team             GP    W    L    PTS
IPRC-South    9       8     1    17
Patriots           8      8     0    16
IPRC-Kigali     9      6     3    15
Espoir             7      5     2    12
APR                8      4     4    12
UGB                8      4     4    12
UR- Huye        9      3     6    12
U18 Boys Team 7   2     5     9
Rusizi               7     1     6     8
CSK                8      0     8     8

16 February 2016

NIGERIA - African Basketball League Dunks Off March 4

The African Basketball League, ABL, has secured a partnership deal with Trace as the official TV and digital partner for the inaugural Basketball league, which dunks off on March 4.
With this new partnership deal, African Basketball League games will be aired on TRACE TV in 160 countries across Africa, Europe, Asia, Indian Ocean and the Caribbean.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of ABL, Ugo Udezue, the deal has proved to the world that Africa is gradually gaining prominence in the dunking game.
"This deal is historic for the ABL and it will contribute greatly to the growth of professional basketball within the African continent. We are excited to feed the appetite of basketball lovers all across the world. It is another way of making the ABL games accessible to millions of passionate basketball fans. We are delighted to have TRACE as our official TV partner," he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of TRACE Nigeria, Samo Onyemelukwe, also said:
"This partnership is a new occasion to demonstrate TRACE continuous engagement and support of the best African talents. With ABL, we are committed to provide a fantastic sport and entertainment experience to all basketball fans in Africa and the rest of the world."
Six strong basketball clubs have been confirmed for the debut season, including Lagos Islanders, Stallions and Lagos Warriors. The other Africa clubs that will participate in the league include Dakar Rapids from Senegal, Abidjan Ramblers from the Cote d'Ivoire and Izobe Basketball Club from Libreville, Gabon.

15 February 2016

ZAMBIA - Magic Retain Sprite Crown

Matero Magic defended their Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) Sprite national championship crown yesterday after posting an emphatic 71-56 victory over Green Buffaloes.
With this win, Magic closed out the series on a 3-1 triumph in what was a bruising but highly charged playoffs, where the championship came under intense scrutiny.
Buffaloes, who were playing in the finals for the first time in 10 years, put up a strong challenge but could not match Magic's pedigree as the Matero outfit subdued the Army sponsored side with relative ease.
Magic were first to the line in game one edging the marauding Buffaloes 60-58 in a really tight game and repeated the win in game two though Buffaloes pushed the champions all the way and saw the game dented by physical play and resulted in a Buffaloes player being ejected.
However, Buffaloes pulled a trick off the bag with a game 92-79 win in overtime.
Despite suffering a setback, Magic summed up the series with a 71-56 win to claim the K4, 500 prize.

In the women's game, the streaking UNZA Honeys finished off Nishati shells to win their third national title on the trot to underline their dominance in the women's game in recent times.
Honeys lost the first game of the series 52-62 but responded positively by taking Game-Two 76-67 to level the series before winning the next two games to claim the championship with the series win of 3-1 score.
For their exploits, the national champions pocketed K4,500, a trophy and medals.
Nishanti Denvers won the B league finals Game-Five after beating Magic-B 69-67 to take the series 3-2.
Denvers and Magic were at par 2-2 after the Saturday games but the South B League champions took game five and walked away with the title a trophy and medals.

RWANDA - IPRC-South win to stay top in hoops league

Former Patriots Capain, Sunny Niyomugabo (L), scored 24 points for IPRC-South against their Kigali counterparts. (File)
Patriots 105-72 Rusizi
IPRC-Kigali 86-60 UR-CASS
CSK BBC 48-73 U18 Boys Team
IPRC-Kigali 80-85 IPRC-South
The Hoops 50-58 APR
IPRC-South overcame rivals IPRC-Kigali in a hard earned 85-80 win on Saturday to maintain top spot in the national basketball league.
This was the 7th successive league victory for Didier Bineza’s title hopefuls, and comes on the back of last weekend’s 64-55 win against reigning champions Espoir. The Huye-based side has only lost one game this season, a 73-71 defeat to Patriots on match day 2 last December.
Bineza’s youthful team are well-known for getting better in the latter part of the game, but it was totally a different story on Saturday. The Huye-based side won the first and second quarters; 23-16 and 24-21 respectively to register a 47-37 lead going into half-time.
However, Albert Buhake’s IPRC- Kigali, led by Steve Havugintwari returned for the second-half, much improved to claim the third quarter 28-22, but their Southern Province rivals upped their game to steal the final quarter 16-15 for a deserved 85-80 win.
Rwanda international Havugintwari scored the game high 27 points, youngster Bruno Nyamwasa added 19 for IPRC-Kigali, but individual efforts from the duo were not enough to get a victory.
Sunny Niyomugabo (24 points), Bienvenu Niyonsaba (22 points) and Didier Ishimwe (15 points) got a total of 61 points for IPRC-South, who stayed a point ahead of second-placed and still unbeaten Patriots—however, IPRC-South have played a game more.
Elsewhere on Saturday, United Generation Basketball (UGB) won 60-54 over Charles Mushumba’s UR- College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR- CASS).
As it stands, IPRC-South tops the table standings with 17 points from nine games, unbeaten Patriots are second with maximum 16 points, IPRC-Kigali moved into third place with 15 points, while holders Espoir are fourth with 14 points from eight games.

12 February 2016

SOUTH AFRICA - Egoli Magic 2015 BNL Champions

Sunday the 6th of September might be remembered as South African Basketball’s judgement day. A day drawn to us by fate as the Egoli Magic and Duzi Royals met up for game 3 of the Basketball National League finals. With the teams splitting the 1st 2 games, we were in for a grand finale as this was the season decider.
Egoli Magic started the game with Nkosinathi Festile running the point guard position as Jose Salvador was still stretching out his calf muscle which he suffered cramps on towards the end of game 2. Festile helped to set the tone early for Egoli as he and Captain Lesego Molebatsi gave the Magic an early lead of 17-7 after the 1st quarter. It almost looked like we were about to have the same storyline as game 2 with the Royals failing to score, but they steadily picked up the fight in the 2nd quarter behind some inspired play by their bench players. The score was 33-25 to Egoli at halftime, but the Royals held good momentum going into the half.

TANZANIA - Gloom and Doom for the RBA League

Dar Es Saalam — The basketball fraternity has called on the Regional Basketball Association (RBA) to come up with a raft of resolutions, which will help salvage the RBA League.
Their plea comes after Azam TV who were sponsoring the RBA League decided to withdraw its support for the Dar es Salaam league.
All RBA League matches were beamed live by Azam TV, thus helping to promote the sport.
Oilers guard Lusajo Samuel told The Citizen yesterday that the withdrawal of Azam TV sponsorship has dealt a massive blow to Dar es Salaam basketball.
Samuel, who is also the national team skipper, called on individuals and companies to come to the rescue of the "beautiful game."
"The cancellation of sponsorship has sent ripples of shock to all clubs featuring in the RBA League. I am not a prophet of doom, but I can clearly see the fall of basketball in Dar es Salaam," said Samuel.
"The arrival of Azam TV brought renewed excitement for the sport across the country, but their decision to end sponsorship means that we are going back to where we were. This will certainly change for the worse, but it is down to basketball authorities to act."

10 February 2016

TANZANIA - Savio, Oilers Shine As RBA Rages On

Dar es Salaam Regional basketball League raged on over the weekend with giants Savio and Oilers posting crucial victories. Savio fought bravely to tame ABC in 66-52 in a thrilling Regional Basketball league match held at the national Indoor Stadium on Saturday night.
In the same night, Oilers, other league giants had to wait till the last minute to claim a slim 75-74 victory over Young Stars. It was a tough game for Savio; especially in the first quarter which the team stamped a slim 10-8 lead at its end.
ABC continued to hold Savio, who once again used extra skills to post a 23-17 victory at the end of the second quarter. The third quarter was even a tough one the favourites. Savio claimed a 40-36 victory, only two baskets separated them.
The fourth quarter saw Savio coming up with a bigger force and improved tactics. They managed to add 26 points more compared to 16 points garnered by ABC in the final quarter.
Maige Yunzu was instrumental in Savio's victory as he fired home 15 points while his team mate Amin Nkosa added 15 more points to the team. Also played brilliantly were veteran players George Tarimo and Mohamed Yusuf who each notched 6 points. Yunzu also led in three points brace by doing it three times while doing blocks two times
He provided scoring pass to his teammates 8 times, but he made 3 turn overs. The ABC team relied on Salim Mchemba who was their top marksman. He scored 13 points while his teammate Filbert Mawaipungu penned another 13 points.
Veteran player, Juma Kissoky added 12 points for ABC and Gilbert Batungi who posted 6 points. Mwaipungu did double three pointer and provided scoring passes 9 times.
In another match played at the same venue, Oilers beat Young Stars 75-74 in fiercely contested encounter. Oilers tied with their opponents 23-23 at the end of the first quarter and again they tied 36-36 at the breather.
Oilers led 67-59 in the third quarter before registering a slim 75-74 at the end of the game. Evance Davids hammered 20 points for Oilers while Shafi Songoro and Musa Mwakalobo each posted 12 points.
Mahfudh Simba netted 16 points for Young Stars and Joas Maheta adding 15 more points to his side. The teams had tied 74 all at the end before a shot decision was applied to find the winner. Oilers converted it while their opponents missed.

KENYA .- USIU-A Flames beat KPA to retain title

  • Stunned! Sammy Kiki, the KPA women's basketball coach bravely led his team to five games against USIU-A. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • USIU-A Flames were stretched to the fifth game before beating Kenya Ports Authority to retain the Kenya Basketball Federation women's Premier League title. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • Stunned! Sammy Kiki, the KPA women's basketball coach bravely led his team to five games against USIU-A. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • USIU-A Flames were stretched to the fifth game before beating Kenya Ports Authority to retain the Kenya Basketball Federation women's Premier League title. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
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United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) women's basketball team bagged its second straight league title with a 3-2 series win over Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in the playoffs final on Monday.
The competitive series had to go to the full distance although game five was an anti-climax with USIU-A winning 74-46. They were awarded Sh100,000 while KPA got Sh50,000 prize money. Both teams will represent Kenya at the Fiba-Africa Zone V championships this year
In the fifth game, SIU-A played a free-scoring game and dominated from start to the end. KPA simply didn't come to play. The dockers allowed the students to score easy points.
Their key players failed to rise to the occasion and committed simple errors which was their  biggest undoing. USIU-A dismissed KPA in a similar fashion to Equity Bank in the semifinals.
In both series, they lost game one but won game two then lost game three. They then swept home games four and five but head coach George Mayienga says it was not part of their strategy.
“It has not been easy defending the title especially dealing with students,” he told Sports News Arena. “Sometimes I go for training and only two or three players have turned up. If it was a club, things would have been easy because I can take them to a camp but for students, you get them out of lecture halls every time there is a game to play.”
Mayienga attributed the success to teamwork. “At USIU-A, we have made it a family and as the coach I must follow up on where players are most of the time so that we don't mess up our schedule,” he added. “It's not just about the game but everything that goes around the lives of these players.”
USIU-A remained consistent
The coach singled out game five of the final as their best in both semifinal and final and it was evident on the court. KPA did not have a chance to lead in the entire forty minutes as USIU-A remained consistent to inflate the margin with every quarter.
Georgia Adhiambo, the standout player and fans favorite in the game opened the account for USIU-A with a three-point shot. The students went on to open a nine-point lead in the first quarter of 21-12 to win 23-15 as Cynthia Irankunda scored eight points and Sarah Chan accounted for six.
Inside three minutes of second quarter, the margin stretched to 12 points as USIU-A led 27-15 to win the quarter 8-6 and lead 31-21 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the students opened a 22-point lead of 51-29 and won 22-10.
In the fourth quarter, the body language of KPA players was that of resignation to fate as they did not give USIU-A any meaningful challenge. In five minutes, Adhiambo had made three three-pointers to help USIU-A open a 30-point lead and they extended to 31 points at 70-39 winning the quarter 21-15.
USIU-A scored 18 points from the arc and 12 from the free-throw line while KPA had six points from the arc and seven from free shots. Adhiambo hit six three-pointers to top score for USIU-A with 22 points, Chan scored 16 and Irankunda had 15.
Natalie Akinyi top scored for KPA with 12 points. Chan was named the most valuable player and pocketed Sh10,000. “It’s amazing. I thank my teammates for pushing me to work hard until now I am the best. This award is all about team effort and not my individual brilliance,” Chan said.

RWANDA - Espoir sign Buzangu as Patriots land Burundian

Jean de Dieu Ntagunduka, seen here before the league game against Espoir on Saturday, which Patriots won 64-55. (Courtesy)
Four-time reigning league and playoffs champions, Espoir Basketball Club signed point guard Patrick Buzangu from rivals Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) on a one-year contract until the end of the 2016 season.
The 30-year-old moves from SCK where he has been for the past two seasons.
“I am an Espoir player, I signed for one year initially, and I look forward to winning big things with my new team, it’s a new challenge for me, which I cherish because Espoir is the best club in the country,” Buzangu told Times Sport.
Clarifying the reason behind his move from CSK to Espoir, he noted that, “I am leaving CSK because I needed to win the league title and I think Espoir can offer me that chance.”
The DR Congo-born star has been brought in as a replacement for former club captain Aristide Mugabe, who crossed to Patriots Basketball Club this season.
Meanwhile, Patriots have also completed the signing of Burundian Jean de Dieu ‘Yao’ Ntagunduka from Burundian champions, Urunani.
The 25-year-old won two consecutive Burundian league titles with Urunani, in 2014 and 2015 as well as the Zone V Club Championship in 2013 after they beat Espoir in the final.

08 February 2016

RWANDA - IPRC-South Defeat Espoir to Stay Top in Hoops League

Southern Province-based Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC-South) beat defending champions Espoir 64-55 on Saturday in Huye to maintain a pole position in the national basketball league table.
IPRC- South have now beaten Jean Bahufite's Espoir twice in the same season, with the youthful side also having upset the Nyamirambo-based giants 83-64 last November to win the preseason tournament.
Espoir took the first quarter 13-11, thanks largely to seven points from centre Bienvenue Ngandu, but the hosts bounced to claim the second quarter 18-14 and seize control of the game with a 29-27 lead at half-time.
However, upon returning for the second-half, IPRC-South, with two back-to-back 3s from Yesman Bushiri, never looked back and won the final two quarters; 21-17 and 14-11, respectively, as Didier Bineza's team handed the four-time champions their second league loss of the season.
Ngandu of Espoir scored the game high 15 points, while Patrick Buzangu added 11 points but it was the in-form IPRC-South, who had the final laugh, with Fabrice Ikishatse and Bushiri scoring 13 points apiece while captain Bienvenue Niyonsaba contributed 12 points.
Elsewhere, title hopefuls Patriots overcame UGB 76-69, UR- CASS beat struggling CSK 60-43, while IPRC-Kigali won 81-76 over Rusizi, with Cliff Owuor's APR defeating U18 Boys Team 71-65.

UGANDA - Lessons From Oilers-Silvebacks Friendly

The national men's basketball team, Silverbacks, edged league champions City Oilers 88-87 in their buildup match played Tuesday night at Lugogo Indoor Stadium arena.
The match was intended to win over potential Silverbacks sponsors, Ling Long Tyres, whose president, Wang Feng, attended as guest of honor. FELIX EUPAL looks at the major talking points from the match.
Silverbacks have their work cut out
The Zone V qualifiers may still be seven months away but coach Mande Juruni has his work cut out going by how Silverbacks played. First, with all the players at his disposal, Juruni had failed to assemble a squad of 12, forcing skipper Stephen Omony to improvise by adding UPDF Tomahawks' Moses Muhumuza and Daniel Manojo.
Last year, Silverbacks only had a two-week training camp and when the season tips off, players will all be at their respective teams with hardly any national team training. So, the National Team Steering Committee has to ensure that there are more sessions when Silverbacks train as a unit.

Juruni noted that one of the challenges is getting regular playing time for home-based players in order to improve on their shooting abilities. Indeed, the shooting was suspect; of the 35 three-pointer shots attempted, Silverbacks only converted 14.
Oilers good bet for a fourth championship
For a team that has not been practicing and only has friendly pickups, Oilers stretched the Silverbacks to the maximum and they did that without Ben Komakech and Burundian forward, Landry Ndikumana, who is still away with his family.
Team manager Grace Kwizera said they will add two players to reinforce the current squad as the club bids to win a fourth straight championship title.
Drileba is a man to watch
Every season has a player that stands out with his performance but Oilers guard Tony Drileba just keeps getting better with each game. When Oilers signed him, he hadn't played for any team in the league and was a developmental project.
Gradually, they have nurtured him into a lethal project. During last year's Zone V Club Championship in Kigali, Rwanda, Drileba was the team's silent weapon, coming off the bench to terrorize opponents with his three pointers.
Now, he has garnered the courage to even take drives to the hoop through traffic and even doesn't seem fazed by pressure moments, which explains his 13 points in 17 minutes he spent on court against Silverbacks. This season he should be the player to look out for.
Sensational Omony
The veteran Silverbacks' skipper was yet again the star performer of the night, finishing with 26 points, which included six three-pointers. He led by example at Afro-basket Championship last year and could still be the kingpin this season.
However, he is at the tail end of his career with age catching up on him. Juruni should have an understudy for him; otherwise filling the dent when he is gone would be a hard task.

KENYA - Women's Premier League between USIU-A and KPA goes down the wire

Feb 08, 2016
  • Cynthia Irankunda dribbles past KPA's Brenda Angeshi in the fourth game of the play-off. The two teams will meet in the decider. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) will play out game five on Monday night to determine the 2015 Kenya Basketball Federation’s women's Premier League champion.
The best-of-five series final is tied 2-all after game four on Sunday won 66-62 by USIU-A. Last weekend, the series finished 1-1 after KPA won game one 55-52 and USIU-A won the second 63-57 in Mombasa.
KPA then led 2-1 after winning game three 73-64 on Saturday but the students leveled on Sunday. With three minutes played in the first quarter of game four, USIU-A took a 10-0 lead and stretched to a 14-point lead at 15-1 to win the quarter 24-11.
KPA won the second quarter 19-15 but it’s USIU-A who led 39-30 at halftime.
In third quarter, KPA chased the game and managed to tie scores 49-49 with 31 seconds remaining. Sarah Chan fouled Natalie Akinyi for her fourth foul and Akinyi made two free shots for the first tie of the game.
Zipporah Adhiambo then fired a three-point shot to give USIU-A a 52-49 lead going to fourth quarter. KPA won third quarter 19-13 and the students dominated the opening five minutes of fourth quarter.
Mandela leads charge
KPA took the first lead in the game with 5:51 on the clock when Annerose Mandela made a three-point shot for 60-58. Mandela had scored seven straight points from two baskets and a three-pointer to lead the charge.
However, lack of teamwork cost KPA a lot of points and USIU-A capitalized. Chan who had been rested for the first five minutes came on in the second half of the last quarter and stabilized USIU-A’s play with good rebounding.
The students regained the lead with 3:29 on the clock when Melissa Akinyi fired a three-pointer for 63-62 and they scored 3-0 to settle the scores.
Chan finished with a game high 18 points for USIU-A and Angela Okoth added 14. Mandela was KPA’s top scorer with 16 points and Yvonne Akinyi added 12.
Equity Bank finished third after beating Co-operative Bank 53-47 in the playoff. Co-op Bank led 23-20 at halftime after winning first quarter 15-10 and Equity the second 10-8. Equity dominated second half with wins of 17-11 in third quarter and 16-13 in fourth quarter.
Samba Mjomba shot over 50 percent in three quarters to top score for Equity with a game high 27 points.
In the first quarter, she shot 6/10 for the team's quarterly score, 7/10 in second quarter and 9/16 in fourth quarter. Grace Wanjiku top scored for Co-op Bank with 15 points and Celine Okumu had 12.

07 February 2016

RWANDA - Mugabe keen to lead Patriots to first hoops league title

Rusizi vs IPRC-Kigali - 9am
APR vs U18 Boys Team - 10am
CSK vs UR-Huye - 12pm
Patriots vs UGB 
IPRC-South vs Espoir 
APR vs The Hoops - 10am
UR-Huye vs Ubumwe - 12pm
Rusizi vs Espoir - 9am
APR vs UR-Huye - 10am
UGB vs U18 Boys Team - 12pm
After guiding Patriots to two titles in a space of three months, new signing Aristide Mugabe is eager to lead his side to their first league title this year as they lock horns with United Generation Basketball (UGB) on Saturday at KIST courts.
Patriots Basketball Club, which made their league debut last season, and went on to finish second, behind champions Espoir, have already won two trophies, including the pre-season tournament in November last year, and the Heroes Day tourney last week.
Mugabe, the ex-Espoir captain, was named the Heroes Day tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) after he helped his new team overcome his former employers in the final 84-72.
The 27-year-old point guard was also impressive when the two title rivals met in the league two weeks ago, which Patriots won 77-65 to take the outright lead at the top of the national basketball league table.
“I left Espoir to join Patriots because I was looking for a new challenge, and to be honest, so far so good—I have been here for a short time but I have adapted quickly to the new environment and new teammates,” Mugabe told Saturday Sport.
He added, “We have already won two trophies, but we all know that the bigger prize (league and playoffs) is still way off, nonetheless, winning two tournaments can only motivate us to do even more to achieve the main goal.”
Patriots are still unbeaten in six league games and will be seeking to extend their winning streak.

04 February 2016

KENYA - KPA's Kiki not keen on going full distance

By francis marangu
Jan 28, 2016
  • Kenya Ports Authority are at home for the first two games of the women's Premier League final play off.
Kenya Ports Authority are at home for the first two games of the women's Premier League final play off.
When Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) beat United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) to win the women's Premier League title in 2013, the series went the full distance to game five.
Last year, USIU-A was on the winning end with a 3-1 series score and both teams meet again for the third straight time in this year’s final.
The best-of-five series begins this weekend with two games in Mombasa and KPA head coach Sammy Kiki is not keen to go full length. He plans to take full advantage of the home ground court.
USIU-A defeated Equity Bank 3-2 while KPA beat Co-operative Bank 3-1 in semifinals. He closely followed the second semifinal pitting Equity Bank and USIU-A that went to game five and says they will be facing a deserving opponent.
“I respect USIU-A and believe they were better than Equity who also played very well. But coming down twice to tie the series and win was not easy for them. It shows they are a quality side,” he observed. “We expect them to give us a hard time but my target is to win both games at home and make work easier in Nairobi.
We are well prepared because the team has been training together for the past one week. I thank the management for supporting us and making sure players based in Nairobi are available on time.”
Powerful rebounding
Point Guards Cynthia Irankunda (USIU-A) and Natalie Akinyi (KPA) will be key at the back court. From their win over Equity, Sarah Chan has proven to be a pivot for USIU-A with powerful rebounding and high scoring.
Melissa Akinyi was also outstanding as well as Doreen Nyaga who did not give Equity guard Samba Mjomba an easy time. Yvonne Akinyi, Linda Alando, Evelyn Itabu, Evelyn Nora and Hellen Oketch are some experienced hands for KPA.
USIU-A head coach George Mayienga has said fatigue from playing three straight games over the weekend and traveling to Mombasa a day before game one will not affect his players. Even though he chose to keep his cards close to te chest.
Coming out of the Coastal city with at least one win will be good for the students who lost only to KPA in regular season.
The rivalry between these two teams is slowly shaping up. But, Equity has proven they can challenge the duo in the coming seasons although Kiki maintains they are the dominant teams at the moment.
“I think the best two teams have met in the final again. We were in different conferences with KPA losing one game to Equity and USIU-A lost once to us. I can say we are dominant.”
Co-op Bank will play Equity Bank in the third-place playoff on the weekend of February 6-7.

KENYA - Comeback by USIU-A in fourth quarter pushes tie with Equity to game five

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Teamwork play in the fourth quarter of game four saved United States International University- Africa from elimination as they beat Equity Bank 56-40 to force the deciding game five on Monday night.
Coming to the game at Nyayo gymnasium, Equity led the women's Premier League semifinal playoffs series 2-1 and a win would have sealed their qualification to their maiden final. It was the second time they surrendered the series lead after winning the first game.
The bankers dominated in the first half, held off the defending champions in third quarter before slowing down in the fourth and watched the game slip away.
Equity played without key players Hilda Indasi and Linda Mfuchi while USIU-A did not field Georgia Adhiambo.
The turning point was in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter when USIU-A opened the biggest lead in the game of 17 points leading 56-39.
Melissa Akinyi, Sarah Chan, Angela Okoth, Cynthia Irankunda and Doreen Nyaga coordinated play on the court that disoriented Equity’s game plan. But that was all due to their effort and hard work after chasing the game and struggling for the opening three quarters.
They took a 2-0 lead in first quarter but Equity leveled 2-2 and led 4-2. Captain Eleanor Musundi then scored six straight points from two free shots and two baskets as Equity went on a 9-0 scoring run to lead 14-2.
Equity won the quarter 16-9. Chan took control in second quarter scoring 13 points as USIU-A won 15-4 to lead 24-20 at halftime.
With 4:06 remaining, Chan scored a basket that gave USIU-A a 19-18 lead but Samba Mjomba replied for Equity for the lead to change hands 20-19 in the bankers' favor. Chan sunk a free shot to tie 20-20 before adding two more free shots and a basket to give USIU-A a four-point advantage at the breather.
Samba scored eight straight points from a basket and six free shots as Equity won the third quarter 10-8 to trail USIU-A 30-32 going to the closing quarter.
Close contest in fourth quarter
The contest was very close in the quarter. Equity took the lead with 7:40 on the clock when Samba made two free shots for 26-25. Okoth then made a free shot for the students to tie 26-26 before Chan gave them the lead with a basket and held on.
With only 20 seconds played in fourth quarter, Samba made a steal off Melissa Akinyi to score a basket and tie scores 32-32.
After a similar period, Okoth gave USIU-A the lead with two free shots but Salma Akinyi made a basket with a minute played to tie 34-34. Melissa Akinyi then gave USIU-A a 36-34 lead and the students exerted pressure to open a 17-point gap that ensured they live to fight another day.
Chan, who made three crucial blocks on Salma Akinyi, Musundi and Apondi in second half, finished with a game high 26 points for USIU-A grabbing 18 rebounds, two assists, three steals and four blocked shots.
Samba scored 16 points for Equity with seven rebounds, two assists and four steals while Musundi added 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Equity had on Saturday taken a 2-1 series lead after winning game three 62-57. USIU-A won the first quarter 17-8 and the second tied 13-13 for the students to lead 30-21 at halftime.
The bankers won the third and fourth quarters 21-15 and 20-12.  Samba who played for the entire period had a game high of 32 points for Equity and grabbed five rebounds, five steals and an assist.
Chan also playedthe full period for USIU-A scoring 26 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, six steals and blocked three shots.

UGANDA - Silverbacks win as Fuba waits on sponsorship

KAMPALA. On an occasion to showcase the game to Linglong, as Fuba chase another sponsorship deal with the Chinese tyre company, Stephen Omony shined as the Silverbacks edged City Oilers 88-87 at Lugogo on Tuesday night.
The national team captain scored a joint game-high 26 points including a buzzer beating three-pointer from downtown to close out the second quarter on an evening of 6 for 11 shooting from behind the arc. That earned him an ovation from the Chinese dignitaries that included the tyre company’s president Feng Wang and the capacity crowd at the MTN Arena, Lugogo.
The Silverbacks eventually held on for victory and a Shs1.2m cash prize despite guard Tony Drilleba’s efforts. The league champions converted five of their last six free throws including all three by Drilleba, who finished with 17 points as they trailed by one point with eight seconds on the clock.
Kami Kabange, who missed one of his final three attempts from similar range, led the Oilers with 26 points.
“The game was a success and our guests were impressed by what they saw. We now await their official response on the sponsorship deal,” Fuba president Ambrose Tashobya remarked. The federation is searching for sponsors early enough to aid preparations for the Zone V tournament later this year.
The two parties in 2014 also signed a similar agreement that saw Linglong support the Silverbacks with $50,000 (about Shs125m then) prior to the zonal tournament.

RWANDA . Patriots, Ubumwe clinch Heroes' Hoops titles

Patriots' and former Espoir playmaker Arstide Mugabe shows off his MVP awards after his side Patriots beat Espoir in the final on Monday. (Elise Mpirwa)
Monday finals
Espoir BBC 72-84 Patriots BBC
Ubumwe BBC 74-66 APR BBC
Patriots Basketball Club and Ubumwe Basketball Club in men and women categories, respectively, claimed this year’s national Heroes’ basketball tournament on Monday at Amahoro Indoor Stadium, Kigali.
Patriots, who are still unbeaten in the league after six league rounds of games, proved they are still invincible with victory against last season’s league champions and archrivals Espoir 84 points to 72 points to claim their first title in 2016.
Coach Henry Mwinuka’s side have emerged serious contenders after signing two former Espoir key players, including Elie Kaje and Arstide Mugabe, who went on to win the tournament’s Most Valuabe Player (MVP) award.
“I am very thrilled to win this award and also win this title against my former club, it is a big motivation for me and also to shows them (his former club) that I am still a winner,” said Mugabe.
Meanwhile, Ubumwe beat military side APR 74-66 points in the Ladies tournament to land their first title this year.
Both sides had a few new faces in their ranks.
This year’s tournament attracted seven clubs including Patriots, Espoir, UGB and U18 national team in the men category, while Ubumwe, APR and The Hoops participated in the women category.

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