Munala to rest star players as battle hits fever-pitch


Kenya Pipeline team celebrate winning at the Hellal Halls in Monastir, Tunisia (PHOTO/COURTESY)
Kenya Pipeline team celebrate winning at the Hellal Halls in Monastir, Tunisia (PHOTO/COURTESY)

Kenya Pipeline head coach Japheth Munala is set to experiment his squad’s depth in the Baringo Governors Cup by fielding team ‘B’ as he rotates his team as a measure of avoiding injuries in the rain hit Eldama Ravine region.

Big names such as Janet Wanja, Violet Makuto, Triza Atuka and Noel Murambi will take a rest after they starred in the 3-0(25-13, 25-23, 25-15) humiliation of  Kenya Prisons on Friday, ending the David Lungaho’s coached side unbeaten league run.

“We are aiming at retaining our title in Mombasa, and yesterdays win against Prisons was outstanding and gave us a lot of confidence in ourselves. For today’s Cup tourney, I will rotate the squad and give some reserve players an opportunity to showcase their talent as we rest our big names so as to avoid injuries in these muddy and slippery conditions,” Munala told Citizen Digital.

Elsewhere, men’s league leaders GSU dispatched second placed Coop Bank 3 -1 (25-18, 25-20, 18-25, 25-17) in their match, even though both teams had already qualified prior to the match. There were a number of walk overs handed in both categories as some teams failed to show up.

Veteran setter, Janet Wanja's hair do turned heads in San Juan during their opening defeat to Colombia. PHOTO/FIVB
Veteran setter, Janet Wanja’s hair do turned heads in San Juan during their opening defeat to Colombia. PHOTO/FIVB

Kenya Pipeline has qualified for the playoffs alongside Kenya Prisons, Kenya Commercial Bank and Nairobi Water in the women’s category whereas Kenya Prisons, Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), Cooperative Bank and General Service Unit (GSU) qualified from the men’s category.

Kenya Pipeline and Kenya Defence Forces are the title defenders from the women’s and men’s category respectively.

The national play-offs will be played at Makande Gymnasium in Mombasa, serving off from December 1-3.

Assistant Malkia Strikers coach, Japheth Munala gives the players instructions during a TTO in their 3-0 defeat to Puerto Rico on Monday. May 23, 2016. PHOTO/Dennis Machio
Assistant Malkia Strikers coach, Japheth Munala gives the players instructions during a TTO in their 3-0 defeat to Puerto Rico on Monday. May 23, 2016. PHOTO/Dennis Machio

Meanwhile the 7th and ultimate leg was scheduled to be a two-in-one event; acting as a league contest and tournament competition (Baringo Governor’s cup). The leagues came to a closure on Friday, but the tourney slated for Saturday and Sunday in the same venue (Eldama Ravine) will see 50 registered teams from across the country contest for a trophy.

16 teams from the men and 8 teams from the women national leagues combine with teams from high schools and colleges to add up to the 50 registered teams.

Baringo Governor’s Cup Draws

Senior men

Pool A: GSU, KDF, AP Kenya, USIU

Pool B: Prisons Kenya, KPA, MKU, Elgeyo Marakwet Medical College

Senior Women

Pool A: Western Bombers, MKU, Huruma

Pool B: KCB, Nanyuki Starlets

Pool C: Prisons, Laikipia Queens, Ravine Roses

Pool D: Kenya Pipeline, Kahawa, Tiboroa

Self supporting (men)

Pool A: KNH, Kabarnet, Mugutio

Pool B: Kahawa, Muchungul, St Joseph

Pool C: Afraha, Nakuru, Solian

Pool D: Ravine Roses

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