Mayienga says team in transition after loss to Storms

By francis marangu
Jun 05, 2017
  • George Mayienga said his team is in transition after losing key players. USIU-A lost their fourth match of the season. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Angela Luchiva storms past USIU-A's Clarice Achieng' (L) and Melissa Akinyi of USIU-A. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Storms' Irene Opillo shields the ball from USIU-A's Manuell Biel. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

The United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) who have won the Kenya Basketball Federation women’s Premier League twice lost their fourth game of the season on Sunday against Storms.

After the 41-55 loss, George Mayienga, the team's head coach said his team is in transition.

“I lost six players who were league runners-up for two straight seasons, who won the title for another two straight seasons and they played in both regional and continental championships,” he told Sports News Arena.

“These are players who played together for four years.”

He points out that late conclusion of last season affected their preparations as well. “There was no time to prepare and most of the players I have are playing in the league for the first time. You can't expect them to come and start twisting the big players immediately.”

He will not be asking much from his players as USIU-A gets ready for the coming season.

Further, Mayienga insists the early losses have not exerted pressure on him or the team. “I am building a team for next season. I am going for nothing this season, I will not add any new player and if we will be all there next season, things will be different.”

Cynthia Irankunda who is playing in Uganda, Georgia Adhiambo who joined Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Doreen Nyanga currently at Co-operative Bank led the exodus.

Sarah Chan is still at USIU-A but has been sidelined due to injury. Melissa Akinyi, Cylia Atieno, Angela Akoth, Lisa Mayienga and Manuela Biel are still with the team.

They have been joined by debutants like Daisy Lugendo, Aurelia Joy, Lindsay Wanyonyi and Sharlet Sibweche.

Earlier in the season, USIU-A lost to Kenyatta University, Zetech University and KPA.

Dominant storms

On Sunday, Storms won three quarters; the first 11-5, the third 11-10 and the fourth 16-7. USIU-A won the second 19-17 and had Melissa Akinyi top score with 12 points, Angela Akoth scored 10 with Cylia Atieno adding eight.

Ashley King scored a game-high 24 points for Storms that included two three-pointers and four free shots.

In another match, Strathmore University beat Kenyatta University Oryx 45-19. After a low scoring first half that had Strathmore lead 12-11 winning first quarter 9-7 and Oryx the second 4-3, Strathmore made all the difference in the third quarter.

They won 20-6 and wrapped up the win with 13-2 in the fourth. Mollete Achieng scored 11 points for Strathmore and Edna Kola added eight.

Rita Onyango scored seven points for Oryx with Sharon Odera adding six.

In the men’s Premier League, Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U) lost 57-71 to Strathmore Blades.

KCA-U was not a pushover in the match and put up the fight to the end. They won the first quarter 18-17 and had gone for an 11-0 scoring run in the first six minutes of the quarter.

They maintained the gap at 15-4 but Blades showed their resilience to take the lead with 20 seconds on the clock.

Shilton theee pointer

Peter Shilton fired a three-point shot for 17-16 to Blades. With five seconds remaining, David Omondi put KCA-U back on the lead with a basket.

Early into the second quarter, Robert Simiyu sunk a three-point shot for KCA-U but Raymond Kimathi tied scores for Blades 21-21 with a basket.

Fidel Okoth put Blades ahead from a three-point play and they went on to dominate with a 13-point lead of 42-29. Blades won the second quarter 25-11.

Blades went up by 18 points in the third quarter at 47-29 but KCA-U won 12-10. KCA-U made a strong comeback in the fourth quarter to reduce the gap to five points at 55-60.

But, a series of turnovers helped Blades to stretch their lead to 13 points and won the quarter 19-16. Daril Omondi scored 17 points for Blades while Shilton finished with 13.

David Omondi and Auka Awour scored 13 points each for KCA-U with Alphonce Muchiri adding 12.

Results: USIU-A 41 Storms 55, Kenyatta University Oryx 19 Strathmore University 45, NEOSASA 63 MKU Thika 59, Upper Hill 31 Terror 46, JKUAT 29 Footprints 56, Strathmore University Blades 71 KCA-U 57.