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Strathmore, Eagle Wings win coach Smatts Olumbo’s memorial basketball titles

BASKETBALL By ERICK OCHIENG' | February 16th 2016
kenya basketball premier league Bill Nyagosia (left) of StrathMore University dribbles the ball against Valentine Nyakinda (right) of KPA during a Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League match played at the KPA Makande Gymnasium September 21, 2015. KPA won 79-47. PHOTO BY GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD].

Hosts Strathmore and Eagle Wings won the Thomas Smatts Olumbo memorial basketball titles over the weekend.

Strathmore won in the men’s category, while Eagle wings, which was coached by the late Olumbo, won the women’s title.

Strathmore beat On the Double 50-42 in the men’s category, while Eagle Wings defeated Strathmore 39-33. Emmanuel Soja and Ann-Rose Ndella were crowned the most valuable players in the finals. Griffin Ligare of The Thunder and Sarah Chan of USIU awarded the Smatts Olumbo Award. Over six teams participated in the two-day tournament.

Speaking during the event, tournament organiser Nellie Odera acknowledged the great work that Olumbo had done to basketball in Kenya, noting that the Eagle Wings team was regrouping to come back stronger.

“Smatts was a formidable coach and his shoes are hard to fill. The team is working on a comeback; with a stronger pool of talent,” said Odera.

Until his demise in 2014, Olumbo coached Eagle Wings and Laiser Hill Academy. In his 20- year coaching career, Olumbo led various teams in international leagues. He also coached Telcom Kenya, Cooperative Bank (men), Barclays Eagles and Posts and Telecommunications KPTC (men)

Sports gaming platform mCHEZA were the tournament’s sponsors with a Sh1million boost in cash and kind. The sponsorship is part of the corporate initiative of supporting talent on the country.

“Sponsoring this tournament is part of our long-term commitment to supporting talent in Kenya.

“In the same way we acknowledge sports personalities every year, it is our belief that sports personalities should be appreciated all year round,” noted MCheza CEO Peter Karimi.

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