MKU Thika campus intensifies training ahead of play-offs

National Cereals Produce Board's Betty Too aims at opponent's goal as Mercylyn Achieng (left) and purity Kibet of MKU Eldoret try stoping her during Kenya Handball Federation league at Nyayo National Stadium on Nov 6, 2016. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

National handball playoffs will begin at the weekend and Mount Kenya University (MKU) Thika campus know they do not have time to rest.

The play-offs, dubbed Super Cup, will be at Nyayo Stadium and have attracted 10 teams.

This will be the second time the university side will be playing in the knockouts. They finished fourth in last season's campaign.

MKU's coach Eugene Luvai said the team had prepared well and are polishing some areas ahead of the matches.

MKU will surely have an uphill task when they face four-time national champions Nairobi Water, who won the Victoria Open Handball Tournament three weeks ago.

The second semifinal will be between National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

"I know Nairobi Water is a good and experienced side, but we also have some experienced players. We lost to them last season, but this time round, we have prepared well and hope to secure better results.

"Nairobi Water have been in this game longer than most of us, but we will do our best. It won't be easy though, considering that we have lost several players to other clubs. Sarah Mabonga and Sylvia Munyui joined NCPB this season," said Luvai.

"This is when we need to be at our best. We must know that for us to win in these games, we should make minimal mistakes," added Luvai.

Mabonga was in the under-20 national team that finished second in the Zone VB International Handball Federation (IHF) Challenge Trophy in Uganda last December.

Luvai's counterpart Jack Sandan said his charges are ready to defend the title and do it better than they did last season.

"We are training hard for the Super Cup and our first outing (Victoria Open) was a success as we began our season," he said.

"We need to show other teams how we do it. Now that we are the champions, all teams will be plotting for our downfall, but we are ready for all that."

MKU Thika campus men's team will be making their debut in the play-offs where they will meet NCPB in their first match.

Men's champions, KDF will play Black Mamba, while Strathmore will take on KDF in the other fixture.

Ulinzi Youth will face NCPB in the last match of the day.

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