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KPA begin Basketball Africa League ticket hunt against Burundi's Dynamo BBC

 KPA players celebrate a past win during the BAL qualifiers.[FIBA]

Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Premier League champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) will on Thursday evening begin their journey to play in the 2024 Basketball Africa League (BAL) when they face off against Burundi’s Dynamo BBC from 7pm EAT in Tanzania.

KPA are in Group C of the East Division Qualifiers that also has Dynamo BBC of Burundi, Benin champions Elan Cotton, and Pazi BBC of Tanzania.

The winner of the group qualifies automatically to the Elite 16 round of the East Division to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from November 14-19 and the Kenyan champions will be seeking to repeat their last year’s heroics and perhaps move a step further.

That is why they have secured the services of French tactician Guy Arnaud alongside four key players in Lugman Lundy, Tyronne Jordan (USA), Abdoulaye Haidara (Mali) and  Bright Akhuetie (Nigeria) who are expected to play a key role on the court.

Kenyan international Ariel Okall is also part of the squad.

Dynamo, on their part, will rely on the services of South Sudanese forward David ‘Dekong’ Deng who featured for Cobra in the 2022 edition of BAL.

Nigerian teenage sensation Israel Otobo, who was part of the national team in their quest for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualification earlier in the year, adds to Dynamo's versatile squad that also boasts the experienced Alvin Ninziza who captained the side to the 2022/23 national title.

At the inaugural edition held in 2019, KPA got their Road to BAL campaign off in style winning all their four matches to finish top.

They earned a ticket to the Elite 16 in Kigali where the Mombasa-based side defeated Ferroviaro de Maputo (Mozambique) 79-67 and Cobra Sports 83-53 but bowed out in the group stage, having missed their opening fixture against City Oilers (Uganda).

KPA made a return for the 2022 edition, booking an Elite 16 place after beating Djabal Basket Iconi (Comoros) 120-37 before losing 66-60 to hosts Club Omnisports de la Police (COSPN) in the qualifiers held in Antananarivo.

The Elite 16 hosted in Johannesburg saw the dockers go winless to exit the competition in the group stage.

This year, the dockers will rely on league Most Valuable Player (MVP) Eugene Adera and his national team compatriot Job Byron who have been KPA's driving force in dominating the local scene. 

 KPA Squad: Job Byron, Ty Jordan, Luqman Lundy, Akhuetie Bright, Lennox Wanje, Martin Kitongo, Benjamin Muga, Tobias Odhiambo, Haidara Abdoulaye, Eugene Adera, Gerry Wekesa, Brian Sivachi, Ariel Okal.

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