Maina wary of Dynamites as KPA face Storms
Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) women’s Premier League defending champions Equity Bank Hawks take on debutants University of Nairobi (UoN) Dynamites in the best-of-five playoff semi-final this weekend as the latter continue their fairy tale season.
The other semi-final will feature former champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), who defeated Eagle Wings 2-0 in the quarter-finals encounter with Storms who came from a game down to beat Strathmore Swords 2-1 in the last eight.
Hawks coach David Maina, who will be guiding the holders in the fight for a third title, is approaching the game against Dynamites with caution.
“They (Dynamites) are doing well for a new team and we cannot be complacent in this encounter. We will use our experience in the league to win the semi. All the players have to up their game and play like they would against any other opponent as we go for the title defence,” said Maina.
The bankers will miss star player Betty Kananu who sustained an injury during the FIBA Africa Zone 5 tournament in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania and was only available for nine minutes in their 68-54 loss to APR of Rwanda in the competition’s semi final. Kananu has been ruled out until next season. “Kananu’s absence will be felt.
She is a scorer and she goes the extra mile in every game and those traits will be missed in the semis. We, however, take consolation in having depth in our squad. Linda Olando, who has replaced her, is doing well,” added Maina. His Dynamites counterpart Kent Juma is relishing the challenge.
“We expect a tough match against an experienced side but we are preparing for it. The players have performed beyond expectations and I hope they keep the trend going,” said Juma, whose side last played in the Premier League in the 1990’s.
Meanwhile, KPA coach Mike Opel wants to use the semis matches as part of their build-up ahead of the Africa Club Championship set to be played in December.