KPA coach Kiki cautiously optimistic as league tips off


KPA coach Kiki cautiously optimistic as league tips off
FILE: Martin Kitonga (L) and Ariel Okall of KPA contest for ball with Cliff Alela of KPA during their Basketball Premier League best-of-five finals play-offs series at Africa Nazarene University on February 18, 2018. KPA won 68-37. Photo/Kelly Ayodi/Sportpicha.

In Summary

  • Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) men's basketball team head coach Sammy Kiki says his charges are yet to hit top form despite registering back-to-back wins in the new 2021 Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League season at the weekend.
  • The Dockers who were knocked out of the 2019 play-offs semi-finals by champions Ulinzi Warriors, made a promising start thumping KCA University 65-41 on Saturday before defeating Emyba77-68 the next day but Kiki is cautiously optimistic this season.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) men’s basketball team head coach Sammy Kiki says his charges are yet to hit top form despite registering back-to-back wins in the new 2021 Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League season at the weekend.

The Dockers who were knocked out of the 2019 play-offs semi-finals by champions Ulinzi Warriors, made a promising start thumping KCA University 65-41 on Saturday before defeating Emyba 77-68 the next day but Kiki is cautiously optimistic this season.

“We started well although we’re yet to get our rhythm. Our fans should expect more from us this season but we also aware of the threat from our opponents,” he told Citizen Digital.

Kiki has in his roster three new players, signed to bolster the squad, and he believes their arrival will bring the best from their team mates as they eye to recapture the league title they lastly won in 2018.

“The team chemistry is gradually gelling up and hoping to continue from where we stopped last season especially after adding the three players,” the tactician added.

The three new recruits include forward Nick Ogol from Umoja, shooting guard Fidel Muga from Thunder and point guard Lennox Wanje who is a Mombasa based player.

Elsewhere, defending champions Ulinzi Warriors also got off to a flying start to the new campaign edging out last season’s semifinalists Eldonets 58-52 and team captain John Washika maintains the aim is to defend the title.

“It feels good to be back a whole year without action. Now we’re focusing on defending the title as well as doing well in international games although we’re aware of the challenge ahead,” he said.

Washika added that their weekend game was okay even though they need little but polishing in their team chemistry and they will be good to go.

KPA won the league three consecutive times in 2016, 2017 and 2018 but lost to Ulinzi Warriors in 2019.

League matches had to be switched to the new venue-Moran Lounge Court in Nairobi-for the first time due to unavailability of the Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium.

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Story By Dennis Kamariki
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