Former national champions Equity Bank must beat newcomers Nile Legends from South Sudan today for them to progress to the quarterfinals of the FIBA Africa Zone 5 Club Championships that tipped off in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Monday.
The bankers under the tutelage of veteran David Maina narrowly lost their opening Group A match on Monday 51-49 to Alexandria of Egypt.
The Sudanese were to make their debut yesterday against Alexandria and Equity Bank have no option but to beat the Sudanese team this afternoon for them to qualify for the quarterfinals.
The bankers won the club championships in 2018 in Dar es Salaam but lost in 2019 to Uganda’s Dolphins who met Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in the final. The dockers who have won the championships nine times are the defending champions after they dispatched the bankers in last year’s final.
KPA made a strong statement on Monday in the opening match after they beat Burundi’s representatives Young Sisters 69-42 where captain Nitalie Akinyi was the top scorer with 13 points with Charlene Wandago and Selina Okuma pumping in nine and eight points respectively. Pauline Ngabire and Cynthia Irankunda had 10 and nine points respectively for the Burundians.
The six-day championship has attracted nine teams and KPA coached by veteran Anthony Ojukwu is looking forward to retaining the title for the second year running.
In another match, Rwanda’s APR remained in title contention after they defeated the host Vijana Queens of Tanzania 64-40 and were to play Wolkite from Ethiopia yesterday to seal their quarter-final slot.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s representatives to the Red Bull Half-Court streetball world championships leaves the country today to Cairo, Egypt for the event set for Friday and Saturday.
University of Nairobi and United States International University-Africa students won women and men titles respectively during the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) national trials.
Sharon Gaceri is set to captain the University of Nairobi Dynamites quartet that has Faith Otieno, Alisha Ellora and Elizabeth Okumu in the championships that has attracted 20 teams. [Ernest Ndunda]