Former national women basketball champions Kenya Ports Authority are ready to host Co-operative Bank in their third national semi-final play-offs in Mombasa this weekend.
KPA’s head coach Anthony Ojukwu and his assistant Philip Onyango are optimistic of guiding the team to the final after winning the first two matches of the best-of-five series away in Nairobi.
“We won our two away matches and we only need to win one of the three remaining series set for this weekend at the Makande Indoor Gymansium in Mombasa to qualify for the final,” said Onyango in an interview yesterday.
Onyango said in Mombasa that the team resumed training last week after the December holiday break.
“When we played Co-Operative Bank in Nairobi, my girls were fatigued as they had returned from the Africa championships in Maputo but they are fresh and ready for the bankers when the play-offs moves to Mombasa,” said Onyango.
He said the girls gained a lot of exposure in Maputo and warned the bankers that they should be ready for a bruising battle. “We want to accomplish our mission by beating Co-operative Bank 3-0 in the third match and avoid pushing the play-offs to the fourth and five matches,” added Onyango.
The technical bench will heavily bank on Betty Okumu, Seline Okumu and Yvonne Akinyi who have been outstanding for the coastal side through-out the league season.
At the same time, East Africa secondary schools girls basketball champions Kaya Tiwi School of Kwale County has no time to relax and are in training in readiness for the Maseno Open basketball tournament set for February 5.
Onyango said the team starts training today (Wednesday) after the opening of schools for the first term season.
Team’s Technical Director Robert Aran said all the schools both in Kenya and East Africa are looking forward to wresting the title from them after winning the regional games last year in Eldoret.
“We know the task ahead of us and there is no time to relax as we must start defending the title from the sub-county level next month to the national level in April in Machakos,” said Aran who is also the principal of the school.