International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Africa Zone Five women’s championship titleholders Equity Bank Hawks and runners-up Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) are in Maputo, Mozambique where they are representing the zone in the annual FIBA Africa Women’s Champions Cup (ACCW).
Ten clubs from various corners of the continent, among them the two Kenyan clubs, were set to do battle for the right to be crowned champions of Africa. The championship threw off Friday and will run through to Sunday, at the Mozambican capital.
Zone Five champions, hawks are in Group A alongside hosts Ferroviario de Maputo, FAP of Cameroon, InterClube de Luanda from Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s V-club.
Group B has Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) defending champions KPA, Nigeria’s First Bank, CNSS from Democratic Republic of Congo, MB2ALL from Madagascar and Lakers of Zimbabwe.
The Kenyan clubs are facing stiff competition but their tacticians Carey Odhiambo who is in charge of Hawks and Antony Ojukwu guiding KPA have one mission in the championship; to improve their placing from last year’s performance.
In 2017’s edition held in Angola’s capital city of Luanda, KPA narrowly lost a chance to be in the top four, finishing fifth. Hawks had an unimpressive run finishing second last in nine teams that participated.
“We are in a much better position now and my main aim as I go out with the players is to improve on our performance. I cannot promise a podium finish as we are up against the best sides in the continent but we will do better than eighth place,” said Odhiambo.
His sentiments were echoed by Ojukwu who, despite feeling that his current team is not the best he would wish to field promised to make it to the final four.