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SIGH OF RELIEF

New regional tourney excite basketball players

•Egypt, he said, will also host the preliminary round for the U-18 for boys and girls.

In Summary

•Gode also hinted that Egypt have declared their intention to host the women’s 2021 AfroBasket preliminaries slated for February 10-15

•Zonal secretary Vitalis Gode said the new initiative will give the men’s teams a chance to participate in an international competition.

Kenya's Erick Mutoro (L) shields the ball from Tenny Puot of South Sudan during the Fiba AfroBasket preQualifiers at Nyayo early this year
Kenya's Erick Mutoro (L) shields the ball from Tenny Puot of South Sudan during the Fiba AfroBasket preQualifiers at Nyayo early this year
Image: FILE

Kenya basketball fraternity is excited after the introduction of the new East Africa Challenge Cup.

Zonal secretary Vitalis Gode said the event was introduced by Fiba Africa Zone Five, adding that the new initiative will give the men’s teams a chance to participate in an international competition.

Speaking after a executive zoom meeting, he said the tournament will have a maximum of eight teams and will have cash awards for the top performers.

“Since only one team qualifies for Basketball Africa League, the zone felt it was important to give other teams a chance by having a different competition,” explained Gode. He went on, “Member federations are free to nominate up to two teams depending on the participating nations.”

Gode also hinted that Egypt have declared their intention to host the women’s 2021 AfroBasket preliminaries slated for February 10-15. Egypt, he said, will also host the preliminary round for the U-18 for boys and girls.

Meanwhile, this year’s Hope Basketball Tour earlier slated for November have been cancelled due corona virus pandemic, according to organisers.

“Though disappointed, we know it is the best decision based on the global situation.The pandemic creates a safety concern for everyone involved from players to organisers of the Tour,” said the USA-based Peter Kiganya.

Other challenges the organisers face include international travel and lack of the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) games this year.

The national school games that were also called off earlier were to be used as a yardstick to pick players for the Top 50 All-star game featuring both boys and girls.

“With restrictions on spectator events on our minds, we know it is in the best interest of everyone involved that we cancel and start planning for 2021,” he said in a statement. He said that the organisers of the now popular event will start immediate plans for 2021 and work towards making it a much bigger meeting.

“We will tour the same identified cities for the 2020 tour and one other lottery city to be determined later,” the former Kenya international assured.

Centres that had been confirmed to host this year’s shows included Eldoret, Maralal, Kisumu and Nairobi. Mombasa, Nakuru and Yala benefitted from the previous edition.