Volleyball: KPA dare Trailblazers on the road
What you need to know:
- KPA Team Manager Joel Kosgei concedes that if they don’t beat Trailblazers on Saturday then chances of qualifying for the play-offs will be slim
- The Dockers are eighth on the standings with 14 points from 10 matches, three behind seventh-placed Blazers who have played the same number of matches
- Pipeline have shelved their matches against KDF and Army, while there is no time to rest for former African Clubs Championship winners KCB Women's Volleyball Team
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Saturday play a do-or-die match against Trailblazers at Nyayo National Stadium during the fifth leg of Kenya Volleyball Federation men’s National League.
KPA Team Manager Joel Kosgei concedes that if they don’t beat Trailblazers on Saturday then chances of qualifying for the play-offs will be slim.
The dockers, who are fresh from competing in the just concluded African Clubs Championship in Tunisia are jostling for one of the four slots up for grabs.
KPA, coached by Sammy Mulinge finished seventh in the event that Mouloudia Sportive De Bou Salem of Tunisia won after beating Zamalek Sporting Club of Egypt 3-2.
“I think it will be done for us if we won’t win against Trailblazers or better still, our chances will be dimmed. We are walking on a tight rope and we have no choice but to win. Should we fail to go past Blazers then we have a mountain to climb against defending champions General Service Unit and former champions Kenya Prisons next month. It's a do or die match for us and the players know this pretty well,” said Kosgei.
KPA will be without their trainer and former Kenyan International James Ontere who lost his father Jefferson Omanga Nyang'au on Thursday after a short illness.
The Dockers are eighth on the standings with 14 points from 10 matches, three behind seventh-placed Blazers who have played the same number of matches.
Leaders Kenya Prisons who have 27 points from 10 matches, are not in action as they are participating in the Inter-Prisons Championship at the Prisons Staff Training College in Ruiru.
Nyanza, Western, Central, Mombasa, Prisons and Rift Valley Prisons will also not be in action. The Inter-Prisons championship served off Thursday and will end on Sunday.
On Friday, second-placed Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) play Kenya Army. A win for KDF will see them go top of the table, a development coach Alisha Aliwa is waiting with open hands.
"We have worked hard to be where we are and I believe we deserve a chance to be in the playoffs after missing last season. It will not be an easy match considering some of the players at Army once played for KDF and so it's a home derby. Army shocked Kenya Forest Service 3-1 and therefore we will not underrate them," said Aliwa, who doubles up as the Kenya men's team trainer.
KDF will however be without promising setter Nick Kimutai who is nursing a knee injury he picked in training last week. In his place, Aggrey Kimeli and Gregory Kiplimo are likely to be fielded.
Fourth-placed Equity Bank battle Administration Police (AP) in another match. AP coach Francis Nguma said, "It's a tricky tie but we have prepared well and we hope to bag the three points."
Equity have 22 points from 10 matches, while AP are fifth with 21 points from the same number of matches.
Women's league matches will be played on Saturday at Ulinzi Sports Complex, Nairobi.
Pipeline have shelved their matches against KDF and Army, while there is no time to rest for former African Clubs Championship winners KCB Women's Volleyball Team.
Pipeline and KCB are fresh from competing in the just concluded African Clubs Championship where the Oilers finished second, while KCB were placed fifth.
KCB will take on Post Bank and Nairobi Water and coach Japheth Munala says he hopes the players will shake off the jet lag and bag the six available points.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) welcome Vihiga County.
Meanwhile, Malkia Strikers' Brazilian coach Luizomar de Moura and team manager Roberto "Beto" Opice who started selection of the team in Tunisia, will have options to pick from in the weekend's matches for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon in August and FIVB Challenger Cup.
Moura and Opice arrived in the country on Wednesday from Tunisia where the just ended Clubs Championship was held.
Fixtures (All matches to be played at Nyayo)
Equity v AP (M) 9am
KDF v Kenya Army 11am