NAIROBI, Kenya-Local clubs are in upbeat mood ahead of the FIBA Africa Women’s Club Basketball Championships that gets underway in Luanda, Angola on Saturday.
Reigning Kenya Basketball Federation Women’s Premier League champions, Equity Bank Hawks and the FIBA Africa Zone V Club Basketball titleholders, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) will represent the country.
Debutants Hawks have pledged to give a good account of themselves after taking silver behind KPA at the Zone V championships held at the Lugogo Indoor Arena in Kampala, Uganda last month.
“We are well prepared for Angola. Many teams have written us off due to lack of experience but I assure you we will be a force to reckon with,” Hawks coach David Maina told SportPesa News.
Maina is due to fly to Angola on Saturday to link up with his Equity side that left the country two days ago.
“We have a well laid plan for the continental championships. I’m grateful that Equity management took the plan into account which saw the players star residential camp in time.
“As far as I’m concerned, there is no area we haven’t covered in our training. What we are polishing now is our defence,” Maina added.
His target is to silence his critics by making it to the knock out stage of the tournament.
“Our desire is to lift the trophy but making it to the last eight is our priority and we will take a game at at time,” Maina added.
Maina, who retained the squad that did duty in Kampala, will be relying on KBF Most Valuable Player (MVP) Mercy Wanyama, sister to Tottenham Hotspur FC and Harambee Stars midfielder; Victor Wanyama to fire his side to the last eight.
Hilda Indasi and Samba Mjomba who are former MVPs will , who have had a taste of the continental event will offer potent support with the trio having been signed from KPA whom they helped to reach the knockout stages in Maputo, Mozambique last year.
KPA, who have represented Kenya at the continental event for over 17 years have set sights on the last four in following up to their quarterfinal success last year where they beat Etoile Filante of Togo 71-55 to qualify.
“We made it to the knock out stages last year after trying for over a decade. I believe this year will be different,” the dockers head coach, Anthony Ojukwu, said.
Kenya was represented at the tournament last year by KPA and United States International University with Inter Clube of Angola winning the trophy and they will be putting their title on the line on home soil.
2017 Fiba Africa Women Club Championships roster
1. Kenya Ports Authority-Kenya
2. Equity Bank Hawks-Kenya
3. Daring Club Motema Pembe-DR. Congo
4. Club Deportivo De Agosto-Angola
5. Ferroviaro Maputo-Mozambique
6. Groupement Sportif des Petroliers-Algeria
7. Inter Clube-Angola