Buruburu Girls basketball team keen on reclaiming national crown in Machakos

Buruburu Girls train for a past championship. Photo:courtesy

Former Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) basketball champions Buruburu Girls are among eight regional winners that will line up at this year’s National Term One games that begin on Tuesday at Machakos School.

The 2019 holders return to the national stage with the hope of reclaiming their title having failed to qualify for the 2022 and 2023 games. The city girls will leave nothing to chance as they seek to make up for the lost time that has seen them stay in the cold for the last four years.

Buruburu’s hope of winning back-to-back titles were crushed when the games were suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On resumption in 2022, Buruburu suffered in the hands of their city rivals, locking them out of the last two championships. However, this year the gods of basketball smiled at them as they recaptured their Nairobi region title to book their place at the national extravaganza.

Buruburu coach Julius Otieno says that their aim is to lift the national title though they face an uphill task in their pool which also has defending champions Butere Girls from Western region.

“During and after Covid-19 we did not prepare a team that could compete in the 5X5 contest but we did well in the 3X3 version and we have built on that to form a formidable squad that is good enough to lift the national trophy,” Otieno said.

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He added that their focus is on their pool matches where their aim is to top the pool so they can play against the second team in Group B in the semi-final.

“We are in the group of death but we are determined to give our best, win all the matches and top the pool so we can secure our place in the last four and so we can meet the second team in Group B in the semis. Butere is a very good side but my girls are equal to task.”

A confident Otieno noted that he has built a good team that will play at the Nationals for the next three years. He will rely on team captain Sharon Otieno who will be alternating the shooting guard role with Josephine Adhiambo as well as point guard Bibishe Ilunga. The trio were instrumental in Buruburu’s campaign at the Nairobi regional games.”

They are in Group A alongside champions Butere, Nyanza and Central region champions Nyakach and Mpesa Academy respectively. Former champions Kaya Tiwi from Coast, Rift Valley’s Nasokol and North Eastern’s Hon DM Amin are in Group B. Kaya Tiwi who have dominated the games for years will be looking to salvage the trophy they lost to Butere in Eldoret last year.

By our reporter

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