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KPA ready to defend KBF women's title

KPA's Natalie Akinyi in action during KBF final match against Equity at Nyayo Gymnasium in February. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Reigning Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) women’s Premier League champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) are optimistic and ready to defend the title they won in February when the league tips off this weekend.

The dockers coach Anthony Ojukwu said he is looking forward to retain the title with the Mombasa-based club.

KPA, who are fresh from training in Kigali, Rwanda, will host Eagles Wings on Saturday before facing Storms in their second match of the season at the Makande Indoor Gymnasium, Mombasa.

The dockers won their 15th league title after dethroning the former champions Equity Hawks 3-1 in the best-of-five series final in February to reclaim the trophy they last won in 2018.

While in Rwanda last month, KPA played against the country’s top sides APR, Hoop and Rwanda Energy Group (Reg) women basketball teams at Amahoro Indoor court.

Despite focusing on the league, KPA will also be preparing to defend the zone Five Club trophy and represent the country in the Africa Club championships later this year.

Ojukwu has acquired the services of Belinda Okoth from Equity Hawks and Storm’s Jemimah Omondi.

It will be interesting to see how Jemimah will play against her former employer Storms when the two teams clash on Sunday if fielded by the coach.

Ojukwu has strong squad consisting of experienced players including captain Velma Achieng, Natalie Akinyi and Selina Okumu.

“We have prepared well and the pre-season training in Rwanda was an added advantage and we are looking forward to a good start,” said Ojukwu.

He said none of his current team players left the team after winning the league, adding that addition of a guard and forward was in the pipeline to beef up the squad.

At the same time, KPA men’s team coach Sammy Kiki said he has identified three players that he intends to recruit.

“We were to play two matches this weekend but our fixture has been amended. We shall be informed when to start our title defence,” said Kiki.