KENYA, Nairobi- Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) women’s Premier League champions, Equity Bank Hawks are set to open the floor against Nigerian champions, First Bank, tonight at the 2017 Fiba Africa Women’s Club Basketball Championships in Luanda, Angola.
Head coach David Maina, who flew to Luanda earlier today to link up with his side that departed three days ago, has insisted they don’t fear First Bank who have claimed the trophy twice.
“If it was not for our impressive form we wouldn’t have been here today, we are here because we are also a force to reckon with,” said Maina.
“My girls have done a lot of homework, most of them covered during our residential training back in Nairobi. Our game plan tonight is to be cautious of our defense, we know the Nigerians are good in offensive so I will not allow a porous defense to be our main undoing in the match,” Maina told SportPesa News.
Equity heads to the high-profile match as underdogs since they are making a debut in the continental showpiece.
Equity have no foreign based players and Maina says he will rely on the current KBF Most Valuable Player (MVP), Mercy Wanyama and two former MVPs Hilda Indasi and Samba Mjomba who have featured in the tournament before.
The trio have taken part in the tournament while playing for the current Fiba Africa Zone V champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
“The three have massive experience in the tournament after featuring for KPA at the event for a number of years, apart from the decisions I will make as a coach, I will also allow their input to reign supreme as they have very valuable advice,” Maina stated.
Two time champions
On the other hand, First Bank is a seasoned team that has lifted the tournament twice – 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique and 2009 in Cotonou, Benin.
First Bank edged Primero De Agosto of Angola by half a basket to lift the Maputo leg with a 55-54 win. They won the Benin contest after beating Abidjan Basket Club 64-55.
The well-oiled First Bank squad also boasts of a number foreign professionals who have made the side solid in the Nigeria national league.
Equity are in the event’s pool A where they are paired against hosts and defending champions Inter Clube of Angola while KPA are in pool B alongside Daring Club Motema Pembe of DR. Congo.
The contest will be on a round robin format where top two sides will proceed to the semis.
2017 Fiba Africa Women’s Club Championships today’s fixture
Equity Bank(Kenya) vs First Bank(Nigeria)- 8:55pm
Inter Clube(Angola)vs Groupement Sportif des Petroliers(Algeria)-11pm
2017 Fiba Africa Women’s Club Championships Pooling
- First Bank -Nigeria
- Inter Clube-Angola
- Groupement Sportif des Petroliers-Algeria
- Equity Bank-Kenya
1.Club Desportivo De Agosto-Angola
2.Kenya Ports Authority-Kenya
4.Daring Club Motema Pembe-DR. Congo