Basketball: Kenya Ports Authority raid clubs for new players

By Ernest Ndunda: Wednesday, February 28th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Basketball
Emmanuel Akurase (left) of Strathmore battles for the ball with Victor Odendo (right) of KPA during a Kenya Basketball Federation Premier league match played at the Makande Gynasium, September 10, 2017. KPA who are the league defending champions, won 58-41 to qualify for the play-offs. [PHOTO BY GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD].

There is little time to rest for newly crowned national men's basketball champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

The league winners have raided three clubs to scout for players as they seek to strengthen.

Team coach Sammy Kiki said he will beef up his defence and ensure they leave a mark at the Zone Five Club championships to be held in Rwanda later in the year.

“To make our forwards work, I must beef up the defence. I have identified four players to help us in our future assignments,” said Kiki after guiding KPA to the 2017 title last weekend at Makande Welfare Indoor Gymnasium.

During the play-offs final, KPA beat Strathmore University 61-53 in the fourth game of the best-of-five national series to win the title for the second consecutive year.

It was a double assault by KPA after their women side triumphed after defeating last year's winners Equity Bank 3-0 in the series.

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Kiki said he has identified two guards and two forwards who will help strengthen his team.

“I will not release any player and instead, I will add four more to beef up the team,” said the former international.

He said he has gone to Riara University, Co-operative Bank and Mombasa-based Baobab clubs to get the players.

“I have been monitoring these players over a long time and I am convinced they will comfortably fit into my team," added Kiki.

"It’s a matter of time before they pen their signatures and become KPA players."

The coach warned his charges that a lot of assignments await them.

"We have the local league, Fiba Zone Five Club Championships and Kecoso games, where we will defend our title,” said Kiki.

He said they have began a vigorous training program as they prepare for a busy schedule.

“There is no time to relax. We are back in training,” said Kiki. “I am happy the experience and skills I gained during my playing days are transforming into a reality. I am proud of my players." [Ernest Ndunda]