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Riara, Zetech look to keep top spots in varsity league

Friday February 14 2020
league_pix

Part of the action during opening matches of National University Basketball League (NUBL) at Nyayo National Stadium on February 1, 2020. PHOTO | POOL |

By VICTOR OTIENO            

Riara and Zetech universities will be seeking to make it two wins in a row, to cement their leads in their respective pools when the National University Basketball Leagues (NUBL) resumes on Saturday.

Last weekend’s matches were postponed as the Nyayo National Stadium was closed in readiness for the late former President Daniel arap Moi’s national funeral service, which was held on Tuesday.

Riara University top Pool A on three points thanks to their 57-46 victory over title favourites University of Nairobi (UoN) in the league’s opening matches held on February 1.

Because of a superior winning margin, coach Zedekiah Ong’ang’a’s Zetech are ranked ahead of Multi-Media University (MMU) who beat Technical University of Kenya (Tuk) 73-66 in the five-team pool.

Riara and MMU face-off on Saturday in a top-of-the-table clash.

“Beating UoN was encouraging and it is a momentum we want to keep," said Ong’ang’a.

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“There are mistakes we made in that match, which we hope not to repeat against MMU. We want to improve on our free throws and to dominate.”

In Pool B, Zetech University top courtesy of their 65-54 win over Strathmore University, while Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture Technology (JKUAT) are ranked second after they edged Kenyatta University 59-56.

Zetech tackle title-hopefuls Kenyatta University (KU) in what is expected to be an explosive encounter.

“A match is about winning and losing. If you lose, you go back to the drawing board but I expect to do better because we have the personnel,” said Zetech coach Job Munene.

UoN and KU are the league’s title favourites by virtue of their dominance of university basketball events. UoN are the 2019 Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Division One champions, while KU finished second.

But the two teams were left scratching their heads after they all lost their NUBL opening matches.

“JKUAT beat us because we lost concentration in the last two minutes of the match. This is an area we have been working on so I don’t expect it to happen tomorrow," said KU coach Gitau Waringo.

Four matches have been lined up for the second round, with Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) and Africa Nazarene University (ANU) playing their first matches of the season after missing out on February 1.

Only men’s teams are featuring in the league. The organisers intend to introduce the women's category in the second edition in September, with the number of teams also set to rise from 10 to 16.

FIXTURES
Saturday

MMU v Riara University

CUEA v JKUAT

ANU v Tuk

KU v Zetech

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