Sigalame ready to take on East Africa’s big boys: National finalists hope to keep up the momentum in Rwanda

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Tuesday, August 7th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Basketball
Sigalame School's Victor Mwoka (left) and Captain Salim Bundi of Meru School in their semi finals match during KSSS Term 1 National Games at Kangaru School in Embu County. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

They begin their quest in the group of death which also has champions APE Rugunga and 2014 winners Lord Baden Powell.

After stealing the show at the Embu National Term One games and winning the hearts of many, Sigalame are now warming up for repeat performance at next week’s Federation of East Africa Secondary School Sports Association extravaganza in Musanze, Rwanda.

Sigalame will be making their debut on the regional scene in the boys’ basketball contest.

They gave a good account of themselves on their first appearance at the national games reaching the final and giving seven-time national champions Laiser Hill a run for their money in the final.

Even though they eventually lost 65-50, they earned their place at the regional show and they are hoping announce their entry to the grand stage with another robust display.

Having got the crowds at the nationals religiously rallying behind them, Sigalame will be hoping that their admirable resilience will also get the Rwandese on their side.

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Sigalame coach Joseph Were said their aim is to play good basketball throughout the tournament.

“Qualifying for East Africa games is a big achievement for my boys.

“They worked very hard to achieve this feat and playing at the regional games for the first time we just want to play good basketball and hopefully we will get support that will push us forward just as we did at the nationals,” Were said.

He added: “It has taken me close to a decade of hardwork to build a team. I joined the school nine years ago and began building a team. Initially we never made it past the county. We improved and began qualifying for the Western Region games, but failed to make it to the national. We finally made it this year and it inspired the boys to work harder and qualify for East Africa on their first appearance,” Were, who is also the school Principal said.

Sigalame, however, have a daunting task as they seek to advance from Group A, which has defending champions APE Rugunga and Eteni from Rwanda, 2014 winners Lord Baden Powell from Tanzania and Sseta Main from Uganda.

Group B has East Africa’s most successful school and national champions Laiser Hill, Kibuli from Uganda, homeboys LDK and College St Marie Reine as well as Galanos from Tanzania.

Sigalame will bank on Vitalis Akisa, who though small in physique wowed crowds with his spot on three pointers.

Centre player Bor Chan Bieul, big forward Victor Mwoka, forward Isaac Kitong’o and guard Dennis Karani add to Sigalame’s potent mix that was instrumental in the national campaign.

Sigalame and Laiser Hill will be seeking to end Kenya’s four year boys’ basketball trophy drought. Upper Hill were the last to win Kenya’s boys basketball title in 2013.