What you need to know:
- USIU-A Flames, who won the women's Premier League two times in a row 2014-15, will meet title-chasing Equity Hawks at Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium on Sunday at 12pm.
- USIU-A Tigers, on the other hand, will open the new season against Equity Bank Dumas at the same venue starting at 4pm.
United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) men's and women's teams have predicted a tough season as they make a comeback in the
2023 Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Premier League this weekend.
USIU-A Flames, who won the women's Premier League two times in a row 2014 and 2015, will meet title-chasing Equity Hawks at Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium on Sunday at 12pm.
USIU-A Tigers, on the other hand, will open the new season against Equity Bank Dumas at the same venue starting at 4pm.
Head coach George Mayienga said USIU-A teams will be fielding inexperienced students.
"We are a learning institution and not operating as a club.We only field university students and we do not recruit established players as compared to most the clubs we face in the Premier League," said Mayienga.
USIU-A men and women teams won the 2022 Division One League play-offs finals to earn promotion to this year's Premier League.
Tigers, who had been relegated two years ago, beat Strathmore University 3-1 play-offs final to return to the top flight.
Flames, on the other hand, clobbered Zetech Development 3-1 in play-offs final to make a come back in Premier League after having opted out in 2021 to re-build the team.
Mayienga said Tigers lost seven top players while Flames will miss services of three stars, who completed their studies and had to be released.
"We do not hold onto any player after they graduate. We release them to join other clubs which make us different from clubs," said Mayienga.
Tigers will miss stars Ariel Ortega, Dalton Mukanga and Peter Kajumbe, who helped them win lower tier league to earn promotion, as they have moved to other clubs.
Equity Hawks, who were eliminated 3-0 by Zetech Sparks in play-offs semi-final last season, have the likes of Kenya Lionesses captain Melissa Akinyi, Silalei Shani, Annerose Mandela and Betty Kananu in their fold.
In today's matches at USIU-A, newly promoted Creeks will play their second men's Division One League tie against Feba at 1pm. Creek had a good start beating fellow new-comers Clique Mamba 58-47.
Clique Mamba, also featuring in lower tier competition for the first time,will face Congo Nets at the same venue from 4pm.
In other matches set for tomorrow at Nyayo, City Thunder, who have recruited heavily and are tipped to be among the title favourites this season, will lock horns with Umoja at 1pm, Footprints tackle ZU Development from 9am while Snipers to play fellow soldiers Moi Air Base starting at 10.30am.
At USIU-A: Creeks v Feba (1pm), Clique Mambas v Congo Nets (4pm)
At Nyayo: Footprint v ZU Development ( 9am), Snipers v MAB (10.30am), Equity Hawks v Flames (12pm), USIU-A Tigers v Equity Dumas (4pm)
At USIU-A: Safe Spaces v Scarlet (9am), Moischers v Congo Nets (10.30am), KCA-U v Clique Mambas (12pm), World Hope v Feba (4pm)