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Morans, Gor and KCB to battle for Team of the Year at SOYA awards

SPORTS By Ondeke Joshua | January 2nd 2020
Kenya Team's Desmond Owili (right) plays against Ben Mbala of Cameroon team during friendly basketball match at Nyayo National stadium's Gymnasium on Tuesday night Nov 27, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The 2020 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Award (SOYA) is around the corner with many Kenyan sportsmen and women expected to grace the event.

The battle, however, lies in the Male Team of the Year category with perennial Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia, National men's basketball team “Morans” and national Rugby champions KCB in contention for the award.

Morans will be hoping to clinch the prestigious award after an outstanding season last year but face stiff competition from other teams in the category including Bandari FC and the Beach Tennis team.

During the 2019 FIBA AfroCan tournament, Morans registered one of the best performances of the year having beaten Nigeria 81-69 (group stages), Ivory Coast 85-83 (round of 16) and Tunisia 85-83 (quarter-finals) but lost 61-82 to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

K’Ogalo on the other side has been on top form and became the first-ever KPL team to reach the CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals.

Gor finished second in Group D with nine points, missing out on semi-finals as Zamalek edged them on goal difference.

Gor Mahia FC forward Nicholas Kipkurui (L) celebrates with his captain Kenneth Muguna after scoring against Aigle Noir The Fighters from Burundi during their CAF Total Champions League 2019/20 match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on August 25, 2019 [Courtesy]

Kogalo, who has won the league title 18 times are currently in a fine run of form lead the KPL table with 29 points having played 12 matches with two games in hand.

Elsewhere, Bandari FC is another KPL side hoping to put their hands on the crown. Having lost 1-0 to Gor Mahia in the 2019/20 KPL Super Cup pre-season opener, Bandari has produced some outstanding performances.

Under tactician Bernard Mwalala, Bandari managed reclaimed the FKF Shield after beating Kariobangi Sharks in last year's final.

As a result, for the first time in the club’s history, Bandari reached the playoff round in the CAF Confederation Cup.

KCB RFC, who went close to winning the male team of the year in 2019, have managed to defend the Kenya Cup crown for three consecutive years. Additionally, under coach Curtis Olago, KCB also won the Floodlit tournament for the third year in a row as well as the National Sevens Series Circuit.

KCB's Moses Amusala (center) thrusts past Kabras Sugar's Geoffrey Shitambasi (right) as teammate Emphraim Oduor tries to intervene during a past Kenya Cup match. (Photo:Courtesy)

The beach tennis team, which is the first male beach tennis team in Kenya also produced outstanding performances at the African Beach Games - winning bronze during last year’s competition. They also became the first team to qualify for African Beach Games.

This is the first time SOYA awards will be held in Mombasa County, awards have traditionally been held in Nairobi.

The annual SOYA awards will mark 15 years of recognising Kenyan sportsmen and women when it will be held on January 24 in Mombasa.

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