Rookies Butere eye memorable EA debut

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Thursday, August 9th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Basketball
Kaya Tiwi's Irene Onyango (left) from coast region and Lisa Omondi of Butere Girls during KSSSA Term 1 National games at Kangaru School in Embu County on Saturday, April 14, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Following their superb show at the secondary schools national Term One games, girls’ basketball finalists Butere have engaged a higher gear and are now targeting a brilliant performance at the regional games.

Butere will make their first appearance at next week’s East Africa secondary school games in Musanze Rwanda.

And just like they did on their national debut, the Western Region girls are hoping to excel.

Butere coach Chris Odeke expressed confidence in his charges saying they are fighters, who don’t go down easily.

“I have confidence in my players’ abilities and willpower because they are great players, who refuse to go down without a proper fight,” Odeke said.

He added that by challenging Kaya Tiwi for the trophy, his girls gained courage that will surely come in handy in Rwanda when they take on other East African sides.

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“It was our first time at the nationals and the girls proved their worth. The victory against champions Kaya Tiwi at the group stages and the tough semi-final clash against Buruburu boost their confidence ahead of the final," said Odeke.

Butere beat Kaya Tiwi 75- 64 in their preliminary match. However, their toughest encounter was against Buruburu in the semis as they came from behind to beat the two-time national champions 63-53 in extra time and book a ticket to the regional games.

Butere will announce their arrival on the regional scene in Group A that also has Ugandan giants St Mary’s Kitende, St Bernadette and Adegi of Rwanda and Kizuka from Tanzania.

They have to be at their best against last year’s finalists Kitende, who will be looking to improve on their second-place finish.

Kitende lost 55-66 to their Buddo Secondary School compatriots to finish second.

National champions Kaya Tiwi will face familiar foes in home girls LDK and Buddo in Group, which also has Luyanzi College from Uganda.

Kaya Tiwi, who will be on a mission to reclaim the title they lost last year, will have a tough task against defending champions Buddo who subjected them to a 47-37 defeat last year.

They will also be seeking to extend their dominance over LDK who they thrashed 51-28 in last year’s championships in Gulu, Uganda.