Equity Bank team eyes gold medal at Africa Zone Five basketball tourney

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-29 20:54:39|Editor: Li Xia
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NAIROBI, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Equity Bank team hopes to improve on their silver medal as they face 29 teams from 11 countries that will compete in the Africa Zone Five basketball club championships in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania next month.

The tournament, which is open to top three teams from each of the 11 countries, will see men's silver medalist Equity train their guns on clinching the gold medal.

The tournament drawing of lots will be done on Sunday ahead of the competition starting on Monday to Oct 7.

The top two teams will qualify to represent the Zone Five region at the Africa Cup competitions. Participating teams are from Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi.

David Maina, Equity basketball team coach said they gained more experience and learnt from the mistakes they committed last year and will be presenting a stronger team in this year's competition. Other Kenya teams are Kenya Ports Authority and Strathmore Blades.

"The team is ready and we leave on Sunday for Dar es Salaam. The target this time round is to win after our debut last year. We are more experienced and know how to tackle our opponents. I am certain Equity will win the tournament," said Maina, Saturday in Nairobi.

Equity, which finished runners-up during last year's tourney, and have showed their class dominating the Kenyan basketball league. Equity has only lost one match this season in the league.

Compatriots Kenya Ports Authority are the defending champion and will be hoping to retain the title they last won in Kampala, Uganda.

Strathmore Blades head coach Tony Ochieng said a top four finish will be a good achievement for the student side, who are debuting at the tournament.

"The competition is stiff, but we believe in our ability. The team has gone through training and is well prepared for the championship. We will take each match at a time as this is our first trip in this competition. We can reach the semis," said Ochieng.

Blades coach will however miss the services of star players Brian Onyango, Cliff Alela and Mike Oketch.