28 October 2015

UGANDA : Warriors complete playoff match-ups after routing Rhino

Kampala. Such has been the close nature of this season’s Airtel National Basketball League that everyone associated with the game has had to reach for the rule book in order to know the playoff quarterfinal matchups. Following Sunday’s final regular season games, Warriors completed as sixth seed following their easy 94-53 win over Charging Rhino, who were already out of the running.
Warriors will meet third-seeded KIU Titans as a result of having an inferior head-to-head record with Falcons, who also completed with a similar 12-10 record.
Six-time champions Falcons beat Warriors 73-64 in the first round with the latter winning the second round meeting 70-66 to finish fifth and set up a date with fourth seed Power.
The head-to-head rule also applies to the top and final two play-off slots with Oilers edging the UCU Canons for top spot. Friday’s 80-70 overtime victory completed a regular double over the Canons having also won the first round 64-56.
They will consequently play Ndejje, who occupy the eighth and final playoff position after splitting their two meetings with Our Saviour.
Sunday RESULTS (M)
Stanbic Warriors 94-53 Charging Rhino
W: Magic Stormers 65-46 KIU Rangers
Playoffs quarterfinal fixtures (M)
Friday: Power (4) vs. (5)Falcons
Sunday: City Oilers (1) vs. (8) Ndejje
UCU Canons (2) vs. (7) Our Saviour
KIU Titans (3) vs. (6) Warriors
Friday: KIU (4) vs. (5) Stormers
Sunday: Leopards (1) vs. (8) Amazon
UCU Lady Canons (2) vs. (7) Gladiators
A1 Challenge (3) vs. (6) Lady Marines

26 October 2015

KENYA : Nakuru inch closer to maiden playoffs qualification

  • KPA beat Eagle Wings and Equity bank beat Strathmore University in the women's Premier League.
Nakuru Club beat Strathmore University 54-37 on Sunday to inch closer to their first ever playoffs qualification after three seasons in the Kenya Basketball Federation’s men's Premier League.
It has been a dream season for Nakuru who have beaten key title contenders Ulinzi Warriors, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Nairobi City Thunder. They also upset former champions Lions.
Head coach Richard Kanda is happy that their initial game plan for the season is working out as the regular season nears completion. “We had a meeting before the season began and set a minimum target of reaching playoffs. It does not matter the position we finish in our conference as long as we are in the playoffs,” he told sportsnewsarena.com.
“Once there, we will take a game at a time and anything that happens will be a bonus. We wanted to prove a point this year after fighting relegation last season,” the coach added. Kanda says their new players have been one of the reason for the good performance.
Hillary Kubai was signed from the University of Nairobi and came alongside Vanon Okoth and Suleiman Gakure. “They brought in competition to the team. Last season, some of the players were complacent because they knew their places in the team were guaranteed whether they trained or not.”
Against Strathmore, they dominated from start to the end winning all quarters 7-4, 13-8, 16-9 and 18-16. Joe Okoth top scored with 15 points, Victor Orare added 14 and Michael Kariuki had 10.
Robert Hope shot at least 50 percent for Strathmore’s score in every quarter to top score with 20 points including 8 free shots. He scored 2/4 in first quarter, 6/8 in second quarter, 4/9 in third quarter and 8/16 in fourth quarter. Strathmore beat Mennonite 95-70 on Saturday.
After losing 53-76 to KPA on Saturday, Zetech University came out strongly on Sunday to beat former champions Co-operative Bank 54-39. They led all through and set pace with a 14-5 score in first quarter.
The bankers won second quarter 11-7 but Zetech enjoyed a 21-16 halftime lead. The students won remaining quarters 9-7 and 24-15.
Two wins for KPA
KPA beat Lions 74-44 in their second game while Umoja beat Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) 75-49 but lost 46-51 to Equity Bank.
KAA lost their second game of the weekend 64-71 to Ulinzi as Lions beat Nairobi Aviation College 75-47 helped by 18 points from Victor Ochieng all from 6 three-pointers.
Women's Premier League champions United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) struggled to beat Masaku Sparks 77-73 in a tight contest. It was largely a two-point and three-point game through the four quarters and both teams tied 12 times.
With a minute to play in fourth quarter, scores read 71-71 but USIU-A went clear after scoring 6 free shots through Melissa Akinyi who made four and one apiece from Cynthia Irankunda and Angela Okoth.
Masaku led 36-33 at halftime and had Betty Kananu top score with 20 points, Michelle Otinda added 17 and Felmas Adhiambo had 16. Sarah Chan scored highest for USIU-A with 23 points and Irankunda had 18.
Strathmore University lost their second straight game after going down 47-52 to Equity Bank. The students won first quarter 15-10 before the bankers dominated in the rest with scores of 13-12, 14-13 and 15-7.
Hilda Indasi scored highest for Equity with 16 points while Linda Mfuchi and Salma Akinyi scored 13 points each. Susan Manya was Strathmore's highest scorer with 18 points.
KPA beat Eagle Wings 76-40 but Eagles recovered to win second game 48-31 against Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U). Eunice Ouma scored 16 points for Eagles and Celestine Isabwa registered 18 for the students.
KCA-U lost their second game 29-76 against Sprite Storms. Susan Akinyi and Mercy Wanyama led the rout combining for 52 points to Storms’ account.
KBF Weekend Results: Eagle Wings 40 KPA 76, KCA-U 29 Storms 76, Umoja 46 Equity Bank 51, Strathmore University 95 Mennonite Men 70, Lions 75 Nairobi Aviation College 47, Zetech University 53 KPA 76, Ulinzi Warriors 71 KAA 64, Trailblazers 51 MKU Thika 58, JKUAT 59 4-Christ 58, KCA-U 31 Eagle Wings 48, Upper Hill 73 World Hope 52, Equity Bank 52 Strathmore Swords 47, Trailblazers 51 Barclays Bank 58, ANU 84 Parklands Baptist 45, Masaku Sparks 73 USIU-A 77, Umoja 75 KAA 49, Strathmore University 37 Nakuru Club 54, Lions 44 KPA 74, Zetech University 54 Co-op Bank 39.

UGANDA : Canons eager to shed off chokers’ tag

After a stellar regular season in which they finished with a 19-3 win-loss record and as second seeds going into the playoffs starting this weekend, UCU Canons are once again dividing opinion.
A miserable record, however, hovers over them having lost all six of the last semifinals they have taken part in including surrendering a 2-0 series lead to eventual champions City Oilers last year.
“That chockers’ tag is what motivates us,” UCU player Innocent Oduor said after their 91-71 rout of six time champions Falcons a fortnight ago. Coach Nick Natuhereza believes the team’s cohesion could prove to be the difference this season. “There is unity just that you only see the team during games,” he explained on Friday.
“We want to make things right this year,” Natuhereza added.
For Desmond Owili, UCU’s form going into the playoffs means there is no team to be worried about. “This loss won’t really affect us because we have had a really good run,” Owili said after Friday’s 80-70 overtime loss to the Oilers, their only defeat of the second round. Doubts, however, remain about their temperament with Owili, who has previously been suspended for shoving a referee having issues with the games’ officiating.
“We could have won this game but the referees could not let the game flow,” he said after the Oilers’ game. A best of three quarterfinal playoff tie against fellow university side Ndejje awaits them.
Playing on sunday
UCU Canons vs. Ndejje University Angels

23 October 2015

NIGERIA : Pillars, Dolphins Get Date for Zone Three FIBA Africa Champions Cup Qualifiers

Kano Pillars Basketball Club and Mark Mentors, as well as winners of the 2015 Zenith Bank Women League, Dolphins of Lagos and silver medalists, First Bank of Lagos, will begin their campaign in the FIBA 2015 Africa Champions Cup zone three qualifiers from November 5 to 12 at the Stade L'Amite, Cotonou, Benin Republic.
Eight countries in the zone, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria and Togo are to present two teams in the men and women category.
According to the president of the zone, Sam Ahmedu, "Teams are expected to arrive Cotonou on November 4 and depart on the 12.
The qualifier is a prelude to the final round slated for Angola between November 2 and December 19, 2015.
In other fixtures, the Zone One qualifiers will hold between November 3 and November 7 in Tunisia, while Cape Verde will stage the men's qualifier in Zone two from October 28 through to 31.
Zone Four games for men and women is scheduled for November 7 through 15 in Congo, while the Zone Five qualifiers have already been decided in Rwanda as Gezira of Egypt getting the ticket for the final round in the men category, while Berco Stars of Burundi and KCCA of Uganda qualified in the women category.
Zone Seven has also produced its final round qualifiers with ASCUT and SEBAM, both of Madagascar, booking their places for the final round championship, but Zone Six will be decided in Angola between October 29 and November 5.

ZAMBIA : Muf's Uhuru Basketball Tourney On

Mufulira will this weekend be a hive of basketball activities as Copperbelt youths are set to converge on the Chawama basketball courts to compete in the grand 2015 Independence Basketball championship.
The tournament will mark the commemoration of Zambia's 51st Independence anniversary that falls this Saturday.
With the rest of the province marking the celebration with various sports activities in Ndola, the Copperbelt Youth Basketball League (CYBL) organising committee deemed it fit to stage the championship in Mufulira to coincide with the Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ)'s initiative of hosting Independence tournaments across the country.
However, the tournament is deliberately biased to the Under-15s as it will also be used as a tool for developing the sport on the grassroots.
More than 12 teams from Ndola, Chingola, Kitwe, Chililabombwe, Luanshya and Mufulira are expected to compete in the tournament that will be hosted at Chawama and Tangup Barracks courts.
"We hope to start the games around 09:30hours with the boys' stage games at each venue while the final and closing ceremony will be later held at the Chawama basketball court annexed to Shinde Stadium.
"Unlike last year, this time around, we have also invited at least three girls' teams to participate though not strictly for the Under-15 in their case," organising committee member Ignatius Chongwe said.
He said the tournament will provide an opportunity for the youngsters to develop and sharpen their skills.
Developing mass-popularity team sports such as basketball requires a comprehensive pyramid system, consisting of a wide base of school sports, a solid multilevel league system, and elite national programmes on top of that.
The Copperbelt Youth Basketball League is a solid system to cultivate talent and the region's prosperity which will hinge on the success of the youth level.

21 October 2015

LESOTHO : Qie is back in basketball

Qie jersey (12) in action after there monthsMASERU-Lehlohonolo ‘Qie” Rajane (12) is back in basketball since he was involved in a car accident two and half months ago at Hlotse Leribe, on his way back from Butha Buthe. He was hospitalized in Maseru and Bloemfontein.
On Friday Qie played his first match after two and half months and performed very well when his side, Basha Ba Heso (BBH) humbled Lerotholi Polytechnic (LP) by 66-27 baskets.
Qie was part of the attack and defense and he looked very fit and was making very good decisions and played for most of the duration of the match.
BBH won all the four quarters of the A Division Basketball League, they beat LP 13-09 in the first quarter, 21-10 in the second quarter, it was even wise when BBH defeated LP 12-00 in the third quarter and the four quarter LP lost 20-80 but after the match BBH were not happy to have scored more than that.

UGANDA : Lady Canons face KCCA Leopards in playoff tune up

Joy Chemtai (with the ball) has been KCCA Leopards' silent weapon this season © Kawowo Sports / AISHA NAKATO Joy Chemtai (with the ball) has been KCCA Leopards' silent weapon this season
KCCA Leopards vs. UCU Lady Canons 6:30pm, YMCA
It’s almost certain that for a fifth year running, UCU Canons will face KCCA Leopards in the National Basketball League playoff finals come December.
But before then, the two giants who have shared the last eight championships will face off in the last regular season game on Wednesday at YMCA.
KCCA Leopards haven’t lost league game since last year’s finals Game 4 and have only lost once in all competitions this year – against Berco Stars in the Zone V.
The defending champions are in fine form and have seen off their real challengers to this year’s title twice and could achieve Lady Canons’ 2013 feat – going unbeaten through the regular season.
KCCA come into the fixture buoyed up by the Zone V heroics that saw them qualify for the continental club showpiece after finishing second.
The Leopards will be looking to get Joy Chemtai easy baskets on fast breaks, Flavia Oketcho from distance and also have the option going down to Muhayi Namuwaya and Martha Soigi at the post never mind the effectiveness of the pair.
For the Lady Canons, Judith Nansobya as well as bigs Purity Odhiambo and Vilma Achieng will be key if they are to get a win off the Leopards.

UGANDA : Falcons, Our Saviour seek to avoid top seed in playoffs

Isaac Afidra could be key when Falcons take on Our Saviour tonight © Kawowo Sports / AISHA NAKATO Isaac Afidra could be key when Falcons take on Our Saviour tonight
Falcons vs. Our Saviour 8:30pm, YMCA
Our Saviour ended Falcons hot start to the season when the fresh men breezed past the six time champions 75-53 back in May.
Falcons had stringed together six wins in a row to start the season but after that loss to a team the was assembled in the off season, the losses have come easy with wins increasingly becoming difficult – in fact Falcons have won just 5 of 14 games since then.
With both teams at 11-10 for the season, a win for a either side can lift them to as high as the fifth place and avoid the top seed in the playoffs who will be determined on Friday night when City Oilers take on the UCU Canons.
Back in May, it was Syrus Kiviiri (24 points) and Yves Kalambayi (19 points) who tormented their former employers and might be no different tonight as Our Saviour boasts of three formers Falcons as their key players.
Falcons come into the game on the back of four losses (to UCU, Oilers, Ndejje and Warriors) and win in their last normal season game will give them some confidence heading into the post season.
Veteran forwards Steven Omony and Isaac Afidra will be tasked to lead the Falcons.
Our Saviour meanwhile comes into the game on the back of a tough 80-79 last minute loss to City Oilers last Friday and will be looking to making amends.

19 October 2015

UGANDA : Oilers target summit as race for playoff spots heats up

Samuel Kalwanyi (right) of City Oil blocks Steven Mwesige of Our Saviour during the showdown on Friday. PHOTO by Ismail Kezaala  
By Elvis Senono

Kampala. With ninth placed Sharing Youth and 10th placed Charging Rhino unable to leapfrog any side from the top eight, the teams that will feature in the playoffs are already known.
But going into the final week of regular season games, none of those four quarter final match ups has yet to be confirmed. A major reason for this were the Friday evening games that saw Ndejje University Angels throw a spanner in the works following their impressive 72-64 win over the KIU Titans in the late game at YMCA.
Jonah Otim top scored with 21 points while Michael Othieno dropped 20 for Ndejje who never trailed again after the first quarter. That consequently lifted the university side four places into fourth with an 11-10 record as they prepare to conclude their regular season games this evening against City Oilers at YMCA.
The Angels share that record with three other teams including Warriors, Falcons and Our Saviour.
The Oilers meanwhile, in their first game since returning from the Fiba Africa Zone V tournament in Kigali improved to 17-3 following their dramatic 80-79 last gasp win over Our Saviour. They however remain behind KIU and the top seeded UCU Canons who they meet in their final game this Friday.
Airtel National Basketball League
Friday results
Ndejje 72-64 KIU
Oilers 80-79 Our Saviour
Today’s games
Gladiators vs. Amazon Rhino
KIU Rangers vs. Nkumba Lady Marines
A1 Challenge vs Magic Stormers
Charging Rhino vs. Tiger Head Power
Ndejje Angels vs. City Oilers

KENYA ; KPA unshaken after losing to Equity, USIU beat Strath

By francis marangu
Oct 18, 2015
  • KPA women's head coach Sammy Kiki.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) ladies basketball team lost its unbeaten run in the Kenya Basketball Federation league after going down 53-54 to Equity Bank on Saturday at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
Before the loss which ended their 14-0 run for the season, KPA was the only unbeaten team across women premier league, men premier league and division one. Head coach Sammy Kiki partly blamed the loss on fatigue.
“We left Mombasa on Thursday and reached Nairobi on Friday at 11pm due to heavy rains that rendered the road impassable. We had no time to rest or train which contributed to our loss,” he told sportsnewsarena.com.
“On the court, we lost the game in the last two minutes due to lack of concentration. We had three turnovers and allowed Hilda Indasi to score two three-pointers as we trailed by five points.”
He is not concerned that they have lost their unbeaten record but stays focused on playoffs.
“We wanted to end the season unbeaten but since that is now gone, the focus turns to ensuring this team is ready for the playoffs.”
On Sunday, the dockers won their second game of the weekend beating Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U) 76-10 with quarterly scores of 19-0, 19-5, 14-4 and 24-1.
KPA went on a 23-0 scoring run up to early second quarter when Christine Wanja made a basket for KCA-U to the delight of fans in the gymnasium.
Wanja finished with five points, Immaculate Njeri had two free shots, Joyce Awour had a basket plus a free shot from Edwina Jadima to complete KCA-U scores for the day. Yvonne Akinyi and Irene Akinyi top scored for KPA with 14 points each, Magnifique Magnifique added 12 while Evelyn Itabo scored 10.
USIU stop Strath 
United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) beat Strathmore University 51-38 after dominating in second half. Both teams sized up each other well in first half with USIU-A walking away with a slim 15-13 win in first quarter. Strathmore took a 2-0 lead before tying 2-2. They shot ahead 4-2 but USIU-A took the lead at 5-4.
Melissa Akinyi scored five points for USIU-A as they extended their lead to 10-4 with four minutes played. Rachel Opinya led the offensive as Strathmore fought back to reduce the deficit to just two points.
Within seconds of second quarter, Susan Manya made a basket to tie at 15-15 but Cynthia Irankunda shot USIU-A ahead with a basket.
Mollete Achieng then tied 17-17 with a basket for Strathmore before Opinya assured the lead with a three-pointer. Sarah Chan propelled USIU-A to a 23-20 lead with a basket and two free shots plus a shot from Maureen Andalia.
Strathmore came level with a three-point shot from Joyce Masiga but Chan broke the deadlock with a basket and free shot. USIU-A won the quarter 14-10 to lead 29-23 at halftime.
Melissa Akinyi gave USIU-A good foothold in third quarter with crucial steals and six free shots as they won 10-5 to stretch their lead to 11 points. USIU-A won fourth quarter 12-10 as Chan top scored with 20 points and Akinyi finished with 11.
Wins for Co-op 
Mollete Achieng scored 11 points for Strathmore and Opinya added 9.
Co-operative Bank beat Ulinzi Blades 66-63, Celina Okumu top scoring with 14 points and Reldine Akinyi adding 13. Bridgit Nanzala scored highest for Ulinzi with 20 points. Masaku Sparks beat Western Delight 87-39 in Kakamega.
Co-op Bank beat Ulinzi Warriors 62-54 in men premier league’s interconference tie. The bankers took a brief 4-1 lead in first quarter before Ulinzi overturned at 6-4 and dominated to win the quarter 18-14.
Co-op Bank won second quarter 15-12 but Ulinzi enjoyed a one point advantage at the breather leading 30-29. In third quarter, Co-op Bank took a 31-30 before Ulinzi led 32-31. The bankers were on the lead again 33-32 and had opened up a big gap after six minutes of play at 42-34. They won the quarter 20-14 to lead 49-43.
With 5:40 into second quarter, Co-op Bank was leading 56-46. It was a delicate balancing act for Ulinzi who had Victor Odendo fouled out on five fouls while William Ochieng, Byron Mabonga and Eric Mutoro were all on four fouls each. The bankers ended up winning the quarter 13-10.
On Saturday, Ulinzi beat Nakuru Club 61-36. Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) had a plus in their fight against relegation when they beat Nairobi Aviation College 78-40. KAA dominated in all quarters winning 17-8, 21-10, 20-9 and 20-13.
Steve McOdongo hit four three-pointers to top score for KAA with 23 points while Evans Ng’eno had 20. Brian Aboge scored 11 points for Aviation with Sammy Ocholla and Deng Mayen scoring 9 each.
KBF Weekend Results: KCA-U 60 Trailblazers 61, Upper Hill 62 Baraka Xtreme 53, Masaku Sparks 87 Western Delight 39, KCA-U 60 Barclays Bank 55, Ulinzi Warriors 61 Nakuru Club 36, Co-op Bank 66 Ulinzi Blades 63, MKU Thika 69 Parklands Baptist 40, USIU Flames 51 Strathmore Swords 38, KCA-U 10 KPA 76, KAA 78 Nairobi Aviation College 40, Ulinzi Warriors 54 Co-op Bank 62.

RWANDA : Basketball league tip-off set for November 14

The 2015/2016 National Basketball League season will start on November 14. The Rwanda Basketball Federation (FERWABA) secretary general, Richard Mutabazi has said.
Mutabazi also revealed that United Generation Basketball (UGB), which pulled out of the league in the middle of last season, are back in the championship. Espoir (men) and APR (women) are the reigning regular season and playoffs champions.
Last season, the league had 17 (12 male and 5 female) teams but two men’s clubs namely Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) and UGB pulled out midway the season.
KBC pulled out after a fatal road accident that claimed their coach-player Jean Guy Rutayisire, while UGB withdrew over misunderstandings with FERWABA.

14 October 2015

UGANDA : Lethargic StarTimes Falcons take on red hot UCU Canons

Falcons players Ceasar Kizito (L) and Steven Omony (R) look on as teammates Joseph Ouma (2nd L) and Ariel Okall (2nd R) go for a rebound during the first round game against UCU © Kawowo Sports / AMINAH BABIRYE Falcons players Ceasar Kizito (L) and Steven Omony (R) look on as teammates Joseph Ouma (2nd L) and Ariel Okall (2nd R) go for a rebound during the first round game against UCU
Aren’t there some teams in the 2015 National Basketball League that evoke a lot of sympathy from you?
You can have your BushCourt or Diamonds In The Sun or even your Warriors but neutrals will have their Star Times Falcons.
Falcons’ regular season has been unbearable as a wooden cross on the road to Golgotha and it looks pretty timely to bring in a crisis management expert. Beware Falcons!
When they walk on court to face off with UCU Canons on Wednesday night at YMCA (weather permitting) the spot light will be shinning brighter on Benard Oluoch’s side than ever.
On paper and on the National Basketball League table, Falcons look mediocre. They sit a lowly 6th with 31 points only two slots above safety.
In fairness, Victory over Nick Natuhereza’s side will be a herculean task though if secured, will be a twofold coup.
It will not only cure the ill-will to win around the squad but also put them a good few steps ahead on the log.  The fight for favourable playoffs opponents has sprung up.
On the other side, UCU Canons is a team to beat. Nick Natuhereza’s charges have given a notice of their estimable talents and it is no surprise that they are at the summit of the log with 38 points, one better than second placed KIU Titans.
Today’s Fixtures
KCCA vs. Gladiators 6:30pm
Falcons vs. UCU 8:30pm

13 October 2015

RWANDA : Espoir take 3rd place in FIBA Zone V Championships

Lionel Hakizimana, left, of Espoir goes for a lay-up against Burundi's Dynamo in the group stage. (Sam Ngendahimana)
Espoir (Rwa) 82-77 Tiger (Uga)
After losing to Gezira of Egypt in Friday’s semi-finals, Espoir squeezed a narrow 82-77 win over Uganda’s Tiger Head Power on Saturday to finish third at the 21st FIBA Africa Zone Five Club Championships that climaxed last evening in Kigali.
Espoir’s hopes for a second regional tournament title came to an end on Friday night when Jean Bahufite’s side were defeated 71-58 by Gezira in front of a fully packed Amahoro indoor stadium.
The four-time reigning national league champions, Espoir, who won the regional tournament in 2012 in Kampala, came close to reaching the final but failed to maintain the momentum towards the end of play. Going into the final six minutes, Espoir were leading by 56-54 points.
In Saturday’s battle for the third place against Tiger Head Power, Ali Kubwimana and Lionnel Hakizimana inspired Espoir to victory. Shooting guard Hakizimana scored 22 points while point-guard Kubwimana added 21 for Espoir.
Tiger Head Powers’ Abdullah Ramadhan scored the game high 33 points.
The hosts claimed the first quarter 22-14 and the third by 20-19 with the Ugandan side winning the second and fourth quarters 17-14 and 27-26 respectively. Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) finished seventh out of ten teams in men’s fray.
The men’s final between Gezira and City Oilers as well as the women’s title-deciding encounter of Berco Stars (Burundi) against KCCA (Uganda) were yet to be played by press time.
Berco Stars and Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) will represent the Zone V region in the upcoming FIBA Africa Women’s Club Championship in Angola.
Rwanda’s debutants Ubumwe won two games and lost three to finished fourth with 7 points behind Berco, KCCA and USIU (Kenya) while APR lost all the five to finish bottom with five points.

KENYA : Ex-Kenya international Kiki appointed KPA coach

Samuel Kiki (left) on the basketball court touchline. He was appointed Kenya Ports Authority women’s basketball team coach on October 12, 2015 and began his duties immediately by calling up several players to reinforce the side. PHOTO | ABDULRAHMAN SHERIFF | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Samuel Kiki (left) on the basketball court touchline. He was appointed Kenya Ports Authority women’s basketball team coach on October 12, 2015 and began his duties immediately by calling up several players to reinforce the side. PHOTO | ABDULRAHMAN SHERIFF | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
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Sammy Kiki, a former Kenya international basketball star, has been appointed the new Kenya Ports Authority women’s  basketball Head coach with immediate effect.
Kiki, a former  polished national  team and KPA point guard, replaces Anthony Ojukwu, who has been the KPA women’s  head coach for over a decade.
KPA Administrative Manager Jane Kamau yesterday confirmed Kiki’s appointment  saying it was in the  best interest of the game of basketball at the giant company.
Ojukwu, who doubled up as the  KPA women and men’s coach will now remain in charge of the men’s team. Kiki  will be free to appoint his assistant.
“Yes its true we have given Kiki responsibility of turning the women’s team around and hope that he will mould a team that will perform wonders  not only locally  but at the international stage as well,” Kamau.
And immediately after his appointment, Kiki hit the ground running recalling polished point guards  Brenda Angeshi and Lucy Ohanga, who had taken a brief  break from  the KPA women’s  team since last year.
“I need depth in the team as I work on strategies to reclaim the women’s national league title we lost to students of the United States International University (USIU) last year,” Kiki said while thanking the KPA management for the appointment.
Kiki wants to concentrate more on developing the youth into future stars as opposed to the current system where KPA has been depending on already established players from  other Premier League clubs.
“The secret of success in any sport is the youth and thus the reason I will turn around the team by concentrating on the youth from next year to build a formidable team  which will be able to compete with the rest of Africa, whether it will mean taking three to four years to realize this dream”, the soft-spoken Kiki said.

12 October 2015

UGANDA : Tonardo B, KICC in two-horse race for women’s title

KAMPALA. Even before they complete their second round of games, Kutchi Tigers are already a satisfied side in the National Men’s Division One 50-Over League.
“We are sure of topflight cricket next year,” Tigers skipper Alphesh Hirani confidently told Sunday Monitor. Tigers have amassed four wins from six outings with help from a quartet of By darren allan kyeyune
KAMPALA. Out of eight teams, only two stand a chance of winning the National Women’s 40-Over League title.
All that Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC) and Tornado B need to do is win their remaining games and the holy grail will be theirs. Having defeated holders Wanderers by 105 runs last weekend, KICC inched closer and will be champions if they win their remaining three ties. “Our chances of lifting the title get brighter by the day,” KICC skipper Gertrude Chandiru said. Chandiru made an unbeaten half-ton of 60* runs off 99 deliveries and together with Consy Aweko (60 off 79) shared a 128-run stand that rescued a 28-4 slump to eventually set 177. Bowlers Naomi Kayondo (3/10) and Veronica Nakadama (2/9) also deterred coach Sam Walusimbi’s charges.
KICC are now second with 60 points from 11 matches while leaders Tornado B (62) have played one more.
KICC played their 12th match against Ndejje-Premier last evening. That means KICC could be at the summit on 66 points when they face Tornado B in a title-decider at Lugogo Oval on October 17. “There may be a bit of pressure but if we beat Tornado B, we will have one hand on the trophy,” added Chandiru. If KICC win all their remaining games against Jinja SS and KICC, they will finish on a maximum 78 points.
But Tornado B can too mathematically clinch the title by a point if they beat KICC and Pioneer to get a projected total of 74 points. If they lose to Tornado, KICC will finish on a maximum 72.
“The story would have been different if the fixture against Charity was not washed out in Budo,” said Tornado coach Jackson Ogwang. The washout on September 26 meant that Tornado shared the points with Charity.

KENYA : Masaku Sparks dimmed by Strathmore Swords

  • Strathmore Swords coach Ronnie Owino and his players at a past game. The beat Masaku Sparks 48-47 on Sunday.(Photo:SNA File)
Masaku Sparks’ six-game unbeaten run was halted by Strathmore University Swords on Sunday courtesy of a 40-33 win in their Eastern Conference encounter at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
Strathmore completed a double over Masaku adding on to their 48-47 win in first leg.
The students put up well coordinated offensive play to outscore Masaku and caught them severally on fast breaks to score easy points.
Masaku started with key players Pamela Sinda and Michele Otinda on the bench while Strathmore unleashed their key trio of Susan Manya, Rachel Opinya and Mollete Achieng.
Felmas Odhiambo shot Masaku top with a basket but Opinya and Achieng replied for Strathmore with a free shot and two baskets respectively. The game was tied at 6-6 before Masaku led 7-6 and Strathmore 8-7. The students dominated from that to win first quarter 16-7.
After 5:50 of action in second quarter, Masaku had matched up Strathmore as the combination of Sinda, Betty Kananu, Felmas and Otinda clicked.
Felmas scored 8-points from four free shots and two baskets while Sinda scored 3 as the scores tied 18-18.
Susan Manya managed the only basket for Strathmore in the period as they struggled to win possession.
With 1:05 to play in the quarter, Sinda made a free shot to break the tie at 19-18 but Vanessa Lubira gave Strathmore a 20-19 halftime lead with a basket.
Strathmore took only two minutes of third quarter to open a 9-point lead at 28-19 through two baskets from Manya and a basket each from Opinya and Achieng.
Second half substitute Bianca Nyambura made two crucial steals from Kananu to help Strathmore stretch their lead to 12 points at 32-20. Kananu who is Masaku’s leading scorer had a bad day in office finishing the game with 9 points and 10 turnovers.
She was guilty of losing possession easily in third and fourth quarters at a time Masaku was chasing a comeback.
Co-op beat KU's Oryx 
Strathmore won third quarter 13-7 with the fourth tied 7-7. Achieng top scored for Strathmore with 10 points, Manya scored 9 and Opinya had 8. Felmas was Masaku’s highest scorer with 13 points.
Co-operative Bank beat Kenyatta University Oryx 72-46 but with a fight. First quarter was a balanced affair ending with a 15-15 score. It started with 2-2 and 3-3 ties but Brenda Wangoi scored three free shots to give Oryx a 6-3 lead.
Celina Okumu tied scores again at 6-6 with a three-pointer for Co-op Bank. There were three successive ties at 8-8, 10-10 and 12-12 as no team sought to prove dominance that early.
Grace Wanjiku scored a basket to give the bankers a 14-12 lead but Faith Marindanp made a three-pointer for Oryx to lead 15-14. Mercy Etyang ensured a tie for the quarter with a free shot for Co-op Bank.
Early into second quarter, the scores tied at 17-17, 18-18 and 21-21 before Co-op Bank went on a 12-0 run to win the quarter 18-6 and led 33-21 at halftime.
The bankers won third and fourth quarters 17-12 and 22-13 respectively scoring 15 points from the free-throw line and nine from the arc.
Oryx scored 14 points from the free-throw line and 15 from the arc. Vivian Akinyi top scored for Co-op Bank with 18 points while Wangoi scored 11 for Oryx.
USIU suffer another loss 
Western Delight beat Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U) 69-25 with Kisumu Lady Bucks earning a 20-0 walkover win over Mennonite.
In men's premier league, it was a second straight loss for United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) after going down 70-74 to a resilient Lions.
The return of Victor Ochieng who missed Lions’ 47-63 loss to KU Pirates on Saturday boosted their morale as he top scored with 21 points.
Congolese Joel Ntambwe was the top scorer for the students again in the absence of Kevin Kigotho hitting three three-pointers to finish with a game-high 26 points.
Lions head coach Juma Ikapian maintained their target is playoffs after beating USIU-A and Thunder in their last three games.
“The win against Thunder was a booster because they are the current form team in the league. Against Pirates, we missed two key players (Ochieng and Paul Oloo) which contributed to the loss. As a team, we are going to fight for a place in the playoffs until the last minute. We are not giving up.”
Equity stop KPA
In first half, the game tied five times with Lions winning first quarter 18-17 and USIU-A the second 19-11. Third quarter was the game-changer for Lions with a 20-12 win before wrapping up the win with a 25-22 score in fourth quarter.
Lions scored 17 points from free shots and 15 from three-pointers while USIU-A scored seven points from free shots and 21 from three-pointers. Co-op Bank recorded second win of the weekend beating Nairobi Aviation College 97-45.
Joseph Khaemba made four three-pointers to top score for Co-op Bank with 30 points while Deng Mayen scored 13 for Aviation and Damas Odedo added 10.
After their game on Saturday against Strathmore Blades was called off due to poor visibility in the gymnasium, Thunder lost 45-61 to Nakuru Club on Sunday with Griffin Ligare scoring 26 points.
Equity Bank made it two wins beating Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) 54-47 while Umoja beat KU Pirates 40-33.
Sunday Results: Nairobi Aviation College 45 Co-op Bank 97, Lions 74 USIU-A 70, Masaku Sparks 33 Strathmore University 40, MKU Thika 54 Blazers 43, Co-op Bank 72 KU Oryx 46, Eldonets 56 ANU 48, Eldonets 61 World Hope 51, Kisumu Lady Bucks 65 KCA-U 42, Lakeside 62 ANU 61, Don Bosco 48 Upper Hill 59, EMYBA 46 Trailblazers 61, Parklands Baptist 33 JKUAT 44, KU Pirates 33 Umoja 40, Thunder 45 Nakuru Club 61, KAA 47 Equity Bank 54.

KENYA : Kigotho's absence crucial as USIU-A lose to Equity Bank

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United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) men’s basketball team struggled without their high-scoring captain Kevin Kigotho losing 75-78 to Equity Bank on Saturdau at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
Kigotho’s missing contribution was visible during the men's Premier League game. In his absence, Joel Ntambwe was charged with the role of leading their offensive. He stayed on the court for long and was involved in most of their plays finishing with a game-high of 26 points.
The first quarter was balanced as both sides exchanged the lead. Equity led 2-0 before tying at 2-2. The students then opened a 6-2 lead before Equity clawed back to lead 9-8. USIU-A was on top again 10-9 before Equity led 13-12 to finish the quarter 17-12.
After 2:9 was played in second quarter, Equity opened an eleven points lead at 29-18 engineered by two three-pointers from Fred Lugasi. The students fought hard and reduced the scores to 33-31 with 1:20 remaining to halftime.
Ntambwe took the initiative to lead the comeback scoring eight crucial points from four free shots and two baskets. However, Equity restored their cushion going to the breather after a strong fightback with baskets from Luke Felix, Vincent Onsongo and Emmanuel Ochieng to lead 39-31.
They maintained the tempo winning third quarter 19-17 for a 10-points advantage at 58-48 going to the final quarter. USIU-A did not allow them an easy win fighting hard in fourth quarter.
USIU-A reduced the gap
After two minutes of the quarter, they had reduced the gap to just two points at 60-58. Ntambwe was again at the heart of the comeback with six points and Derrick Juma had three.
Equity held steady and led 63-60 at 5:08 when Alex Ramazani made a three-pointer for USIU-A to tie scores 63-63. Ochieng made a free shot and Dan Abuya a basket to restore Equity’s three points lead at 66-63.
When 0:30 was remaining to fulltime, Equity led 75-73 and USIU-A had the opportunity to tie after Ntambwe was fouled by Ochieng for two free shots. He missed both giving Equity the room to stretch their lead with two free shots from Richard Mutua and one from Luke.
Juma made a basket for the students. Luke top-scored for Equity with 15 points while Lugasi added 14 with 12 of the points coming off four three-pointers. Onsongo finished with 11 points.
Kenyatta University Pirates made a big stride in their quest to qualify for playoffs with a 63-47 win over Lions. Pirates endured a tough opening half to show dominance in second half. The first quarter was a close call as Lions narrowly won 11-10.
Lions led 1-0 from an early free shot but Pirates made a basket for 2-1. Lions then led 3-2 and dominated until Pirates was on top 8-7. Both teams then exchanged the lead with Lions leading 9-8, Pirates 10-9 before Lions had the last laugh at 11-10.
The second quarter was not different from the first as Lions won 7-5 after leading once at 16-14 all the way to 18-15 at halftime. Pirates also enjoyed the lead once at 12-11 and was tied 14-14.
In third quarter, Pirates took the lead at 20-18 and went on to win the quarter 25-12 as well as the fourth 23-17. Renson Moibi led scoring for Pirates with 14 points, Jacktone Agunda scored 11 while Ken Adodi had 10. Collins Odhiambo top scored for Lions with 18 points.
Co-operative Bank saw off Nakuru Club 63-52 with Japheth Areba scoring 11 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and one steal. Job Byron added 10 points with six rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Lewis Muya and Allan Ouma also scored 10 points each. Suleiman Gakure top scored for Nakuru with 10 points, Joe Okoth added 8 and Victor Orare had seven.
Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) beat Mennonite 70-39
Bad start for Sprite Storms
In women's Premier League, Sprite Storms beat Ulinzi Blades 72-49. They had a bad start with poor communication and lack of concentration working to the advantage of the soldiers.
They were forced to make their first substitution very early with Eunice Wangari paving way for Ashley Kingbischof. Storms led at 2-0, Ulinzi led at 3-2 before tying 6-6. Storms surged ahead 8-6 but tied again 8-8.
Angela Luchivya broke the tie with a free shot for Storms while Kingbischof and Sylvia Omollo made a three-pointer each to give Storms a 15-8 win for the quarter. Storms dominated to the end winning second, third and fourth quarters 17-9, 21-14 and 19-18 respectively.
Mercy Wanyama top scored for Storms with 18 points while Esther Butali was Ulinzi’s top scorer with 19. Bridgit Nanzala scored her first 8 points from free shots to finish with 12 for Ulinzi.
Eunice Ouma made three three-pointers and three free shots to top score for Eagle Wings with 19 points as they beat KU Oryx 50-30. Beryl Akoth scored 10 points for Oryx.
Saturday Results: Eagle Wings 50 KU Oryx 30, KAA 70 Mennonite 39, 4-Christ 58 Parklands Baptist 36, Barclays Bank 49 JKUAT 55, Upper Hill 60 Trailblazers 67, Blazers 52 Little Prince 44, Equity Bank 78 USIU Tigers 75, Co-op Bank 63 Nakuru Club 52, Lions 47 KU Pirates 63, Sprite Storms 72 Ulinzi Blades 49.

KENYA : Strathmore take on Zetech as Zuku basketball league begins

Zetech University’s Joshua Kisali (right) vies for the ball with Alphas Muena of Kenya Airports Authority in their men’s basketball premier league match August 23, 2015 at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |
Zetech University’s Joshua Kisali (right) vies for the ball with Alphas Muena of Kenya Airports Authority in their men’s basketball premier league match August 23, 2015 at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |   NATION MEDIA GROUP
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The 2015/2016 Zuku University Basketball League (ZUBL) season tips off Friday at Nyayo Stadium.
This will be the third season that the restructured competition is held following the 2013 and 2014 editions.
This year’s tournament will feature 26 top men and women’s teams drawn from different colleges and universities.
Some of the top teams expected include; Strathmore University, United States International University (USIU), University of Nairobi (UoN), Co-operative College and Kenyatta University among others.
The conference system has been used to draft the teams and will feature Nairobi, Western, Central and Coast in the preliminary round before post-season play offs wrap up the competition.
Three matches are lined up for the opening day this evening. Mount Kenya University women and men’s teams will battle their perennial rivals Daystar in the first two matches.
In the last match, defending champions Strathmore Blades will square off with Zetech Titans in what is a repeat of last season’s final. Strathmore closely won the encounter 64-62. Both teams will be looking to start the season strongly.
USIU Flames are the defending women’s champions having dispatched Strathmore 58-33 in the final.
UoN Terror’s captain Steve Kuria said his team would look to replicate the form that saw them win the tournament in 2013.
“We have faced some of the teams here in the league and we know what we have to do to ensure that we win. It will be highly competitive but am confident we will do our best.”
Frday: At Nyayo; MKU-Thika v Daystar Falcons (4pm), MKU-Thika v Daystar (6pm), Strathmore v Zetech (8pm)
Saturday: At USIU; (Women) JKUAT v MMU (10.30am), SPU v ANU (1.30pm), UoN v Co-operative (3pm), KU Ruiru v Machakos (3pm). At Strathmore; (Men) Machakos v UMMA (10.30am), (12noon) Co-op v KU-Nairobi, MMU v Strathmore (2pm), CUEA v Moi- Nairobi (3.30pm). At Kenyatta; JKUAT v KU Ruiru (3pm)

KENYA ZONE V : KPA sent packing in Fiba show

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) men’s basketball team guard Tobias Odumbe (left) dribbles away from Ulinzi Warriors Jeff Mwaniki during a past National basketball league match. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) men’s basketball team guard Tobias Odumbe (left) dribbles away from Ulinzi Warriors Jeff Mwaniki during a past National basketball league match. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |   NATION MEDIA GROUP
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The Kenya Ports Authority men’s team were bundled out of the Fiba Zone Five Basketball Club Championships after losing the second match 74-68 to Uganda’s Tiger Head Power at the Amahoro Indoor Courts in Kigali on Tuesday night.
The Dockers, who had lost 82-52 to Gezira from Egypt in the opening match on Sunday before winning their second game against Southern Sudan’s NFEL 89-61, started strongly against the Ugandan’s, leading 15-14 in the first quarter and 22-17 in the second for a 37-31 half time lead.
Evans Letting, Kevin Kigotho, Aruu Ramadhan and Valentine Nyakinda had a good afternoon combining well for easy points in the paints.
The Ugandans however, resorted to a congested match-up defence which the dockers could not penetrate and caught them on the counter-attack to win 23-14 and 20-17 in the third and fourth quarters respectively.
The win assured the Ugandans a semi-finals berth after they beat Rwanda’s CSK 70-64 in an earlier match.
Francis Kasida emerged the top point’s scorer with 18 points while Evans Letting and Aruu Ramadhan had 15 points each for KPA who were due to play CSK Rwanda in a dead rubber on Wednesday.
In the women’s matches, Kenya’s United States International University (USIU) beat APR of Rwanda 75-35 to increase their chances of retaining the title.
USIU led 13-5 in the first quarter and never looked back with a 12-10, 26-05 and 19-12 wins in the remaining quarters to seal the victory.
Georgia Adhiambo scored 19 points while Sarah Chan and Melisa Akinyi managed 12 and nine points respectively. Sandra Rehema top scored for APR with 14 points.
In other matches played on Tuesday, Kenya’s Ulinzi Warriors (men) recovered from their disastrous start to the Championships with a 94-64 victory over Tanzania’s Savio in their second match.
The Kenyan soldiers raced to a 25-12 first quarter lead before increasing the scores to 29-16 for a 54-28 half time score.
Tiberius Menya, Eric Mutoro, Anthony Bwire and William Ochieng were impressive as they won the third quarter 34-12, and 21-19 in the fourth for a 94-64 full time result.
Mutoro led the scorecard with 18 points while Bwire and William Ochieng scored 14 and 12 points respectively.
“I am happy for this win as it puts us back into contention for the trophy,” an elated Ulinzi coach William Balozi had said after the match.


City Oilers finished second at the Zone V Club Championship © Kawowo Sports / AISHA NAKATO City Oilers finished second at the Zone V Club Championship
M: City Oilers 73-75 Gezira
W: Berco Stars 63-52 KCCA Leopards
Following last year’s heroics that saw them finish third, City Oilers went into the 2015 Zone V Club Championships as one of the favourites – and so was the case as they made the finals unbeaten on the second asking at the regional meet.
After ran through the groups, City Oilers saw off local rivals Power to make the finals with Gezira who saw off hosts Espoir.
With the backing of the local fans and playing their best ever basketball, Oilers made sure the game was an epic one.
Entering the game as outright underdogs and the pressure on their opponents, the Oilers opened the with a 7-2 run before Gezira responded with a 15-7 run in the final five minutes of the opening quarter to edge it 17-14.
A strong offensive and defensive display from the Oilers has them go into the halftime break up by 10 points (39-29). The Oilers clung on to the lead to the final quarter much as it had been trimmed to 3 points by the Egyptians.
Gezira took the lead inside two minutes in the final quarter but were never far ahead – in fact Oilers drew level at 73 with under 2 minutes to play before Gezira went ahead.
Jimmy Enabu (18 points) who had an outstanding tournament had a chance to draw Oilers level but his last attempt on the drive was missed following a foul that was waived and the Egyptians picked rebound. Time expired as Gezira crossed the ball over the center.
Kami Kabange scored team high 23 points for Oilers. Samuel Kalwanyi scored 9 points to go with 11 boards while last year’s MVP Landry Ndikumana contributed 9 points and picked 8 rebounds.
Despite losing the finals, the Oilers made it to the FIBA Africa Clubs Champions Cup due in December in Angola.
Meanwhile, Uganda’s women representative at the week-long event KCCA Leopards also made the FIBA Africa Clubs Champions Cup due in November in Angola.
KCCA lost the final round-robin and also winner-takes-it all game to Berco Stars 63-52 but had cemented their place at the continental meet after their victory over last year’s champions USIU.

04 October 2015

RWANDA : Espoir upbeat on winning second Zone V title

Espoir announced the final 12-man squad led by team captain Aristide Mugabe (left) for the week-long competition on Friday evening. (File)
Despite suffering an early exit last year, Espoir are upbeat on winning a second FIBA Africa Zone Five Club Championship title when this year’s edition kicks of today and runs through October 11 at Amahoro indoor stadium.
The opening game of the 21st edition of the annual regional tournament will pity Jean Bahufite’s Espoir against an opponent that was yet to be determined by press time. The technical meeting was supposed to sit last night at 8pm to make the draws.
The 2012 winners Espoir announced the final 12-man squad led by team captain Aristide Mugabe for the week-long competition on Friday evening and head coach Bahufite is confident his side can make good use of home advantage to claim the tournament for the second time in the club’s history.
“Hosting the tournament is a great chance for us to win it again, but also an good opportunity to make up for last year’s early exit. We are well prepared both physically and mentally, we will do everything possible for the title to stay home,” Bahufite told Sunday Sport.
When asked about which side he thinks is his team’s major threat, the 44-year old former national team assistant coach singled out Egypt’s Gezira, last year’s finalists KPA and City Oilers of Uganda but challenged his players to treat every game as a final.
In a separate interview, Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) head coach Bob Ngoga emphasized that his men are fit and ready to challenge for the title, the first the club was formed in 2007.
Ngoga noted that, “The team is ready for the championships, the target is to go as far as we possibly can, we’ve had quality preparations for this competition and I strongly believe we are among top challengers for the title.”
In the women’s tourney, Rwanda will be represented by Charles Mushumba’s Ubumwe Basketball Club and the eight-time local league champions APR.
Speaking to this paper on Thursday, Mushumba said, “We have been training intensively for six weeks now, the players are on a good level and are determined to do the job. We want to make history of becoming the first Rwandan (women’s) club to win the competition.”
Meanwhile, reports in Bujumbura indicate that two-time reigning champions Urunani could miss the tournament due financial constraints however Rwanda Basketball Federation (FERWABA) secretary general Richard Mutabazi told Sunday Sport that there has been no official communication from the Burundian giants.
By press time, six teams namely Ulinzi, KPA (men) and USIU (women) from Kenya, City Oilers, Tiger Head Power (men) and KCCA (women) of Uganda as well as South Sudan’s National Engineering and Logistics (men) had arrived while Egypt’s Gezira, Dynamo of Burundi were being expected.
The two finalists in men’s category and champions of the female competition will earn tickets to the FIBA Africa Club Championships to be staged in Angola.
Espoir’s 12-man squad:
Aristide Mugabe (captain), Lionnel Hakizimana, Sankara Uwimana, Olivier Shyaka, Elie Kaje, Pascal Karekezi Rurangirwa, Edmond Mujyarugamba, Bruno Nyamwasa, Bienvenu Ngandu, Ally Kubwimana, Steven Havugintwari and Jean Louis Habineza.

03 October 2015

UGANDA : Inconsistent Star Times Falcons take on City Oilers

Falcons' Joseph Ouma closes down on City Oilers Geoffrey Omondi (R) during the first round match up © Kawowo Sports / AISHA NAKATO Falcons' Joseph Ouma closes down on City Oilers Geoffrey Omondi (R) during the first round match up
StarTimes Falcons vs. City Oilers 8:30 pm (YMCA)
One of the many sticks naysayers are using to whip out Falcons in the 2015 Regular Season is their inconsistency. An 11-8 record can justify that.
The former league champions’ variations in performances have left them in mid-table, which is putting them into a tough playoff bracket.
However, that does not deprive Falcons off their giant status as the City Oilers!
And when the two sides face off tonight at YMCA, there will be sentiments from either camp notably as the fight for play-off slots intensifies.
While Falcons are in fight to ascend in the table standings, Mandy Juruni's side hope to win and bring pace setters KIU Titans and UCU Canons at arm's length.
Falcons come off a an 86-76 loss to Ndejje Angels in their last fixture, but head in to the match-up with their tails in air having out classed City Oilers 81-66 in the corresponding first round fixture.
City Oilers, who currently sit third on the 12-team log, play their final domestic game ahead the week long FIBA Africa Zone V in Kigali that gets underway this Sunday.

RWANDA : Zone V Club Championships entry hits record 20 teams

Nicole Rwibutso of Ubumwe Basketball Club, seen here during a training session on Thursday. Ubumwe will be making their debut in the Zone V tourney. (S. Ngendahimana)
With three Tanzanian teams confirming their late entry, the upcoming 21th edition of the FIBA Africa Zone V Club Championships will have a record 20 teams—the biggest in the competition’s history.
The week-long regional tournament gets underway on Sunday and runs until October 11 at Amahoro indoor stadium and the National Paralympics Committee gymnasium.
The three Tanzanian teams include; Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa (men) and Don Bosco which will field teams in both genders.
According to Rwanda Basketball Federation (FERWABA) secretary general, Richard Mutabazi, the increase in the number of teams will consequently increase the level of competition.
Returning to Rwanda for the first time since 2007, this year’s tournament surpasses the 15th edition (19 teams) staged in Kampala in 2009 as the biggest meet since the inaugural edition in 1995 in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The biggest club championship in the East and Central Africa region will be contested by 13 male and 7 female teams from eight countries namely; Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi, South Sudan, Tanzania and hosts Rwanda.
Full list of participants:
Men: Urunani and Dynamo (Burundi), Kenya Port Authority and Ulinzi (Kenya), Espoir and CSK (Rwanda), City Oilers and Tiger Head Power (Uganda), JKT and Don Bosco (Tanzania), Gezira (Egypt), National Engineering and Logistics (South Sudan) and Water Sports of Ethiopia.
Women: USIU (Kenya), Ubumwe (Rwanda), APR (Rwanda), KCCA (Uganda), Berco Stars (Burundi), House Agency (Ethiopia) and Tanzania’s Don Bosco.

RWANDA : FIBA Zone V: A test for local basketball

While APR men's basketball club have won three Zone V titles, their female counterparts (above) are seeking their first. (S. Ngendahimana)

With two days to the start of the 21st FIBA Africa Zone Five Club Championships in Kigali, should Rwandans expect the titles to remain home as the country hosts the tourney in it’s back yard?
Returning to Rwanda for the first time since the 13th edition in 2007, this year’s regional club championship is scheduled for October 4-11 at Amahoro indoor stadium.
As hosts, Rwanda will field four teams; two in each gender. The clubs include; 2012 champions Espoir and former semi-finalists CSK (men) as well as APR and debutants Ubumwe in the women’s category.
In an interview with Times Sport, the Rwanda Basketball Federation (FEWRABA) secretary general Richard Mutabazi said they expect the home teams to do well, since they had enough preparations, on top of the home advantage.
Last year in Mombasa, Kenya, Rwandan representatives Espoir (men) and APR (women) performed poorly. Both sides were knocked out at the group stages.
Little-known on regional scene, APR would be excused because no one expected much from them anyway, but what came as a shock was the dismal showing by four-time reigning Rwandan champions, Espoir, who entered the competition among the favourites.
Jean Bahufite’s team won the competition in 2012 in Kampala after defeating Burundi’s Urunani in the final before the Burundians avenged for that defeat in the 2013 final in Bujumbura.
The year 2014 was not the best for the Rwanda senior men’s national team, after they lost 69-61 to hosts Uganda for a deciding qualifier to the 2015 African Basketball Championships held in Tunisia. It was the first time since 2007 that Rwanda missed out of the men’s Afro-Basket.
Though it remains to be seen in Zone Five history, for a Rwandan women’s club to reach at least the final, both Ubumwe and APR have pledged to battle hard as they seek to write a new chapter in the competition’s history.
While Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) is fighting to win the men’s title for the first time, Espoir will also look to bounce from last year’s woes to claim the title for their second time in club’s history.
APR are Rwanda’s most successful men’s club in the competition, having won three titles in 2002, 2007 and 2008.
Initially founded as the East Central and Southern Africa Confederation, the inaugural edition was held in 1995 in Harare, Zimbabwe and only attracted clubs from Kenya and Zimbabwe.
The event gradually grew in strength and in 2000, the confederation organized its first ever nations cup in Mahe, Seychelles.
In 2006, FIBA Africa decided to join forces with the administration of East, Central and Southern Africa to bring all activities under the FIBA Africa Zone Five to further spread the game and enhance the level of competitiveness.
The Zone Five Championship is contested by winners and first runners-up from basketball leagues of member states namely; Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan and Southern Sudan.
Past Winners since 2000
2000: Falcons (Men), Ogopa (Women)
2001: Vijana (Men), KPA (Women)
2002: APR (Men), KPA (Women)
2003: Ulinzi (Men), JKT E/AFRICA (Women)
2004: Postbank (Men) Lady Bucks (Women)
2005: KCB (Men), Storms (Women)
2006: KCB (Men), KPA (Women)
2007: APR (Men), KPA (Women)
2008: APR (Men), KPA (Women)
2009: Coop (Men), KPA (Women)
2010: Coop (Men), Eagle Wings (Women)
2011: Urunani (Men), KPA (Women)
2012: Espoir (Men), Eagle Wings (Women)
2013: Urunani (Men), Eagle Wings (Women)
2014: Urunani (Men), USIU (Women)
2015: ???

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