FEASSSA Games: STAHIZA Leave Arusha Empty Handed As Kitende, Buddo Win Basketball Finals
By Our Reporter
The much fancied Standard High School Zzana (STAHIZA) from Uganda who everyone had hoped to win the FEASSSA volleyball boys category title suffered the biggest lose when they were beaten by Kenya’s Cheptil Mixed Secondary School 3-1 to reclaim the title they had last won in 2012 as this year’s games ended on Friday in Arusha, Tanzania.
Kenya’s Cheptil Mixed Secondary School is now the new Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Association (FEASSSA) boys’ volleyball champions.
Cheptil redeemed Kenya as their compatriots Dr Aggrey, Highway and Wiyeta succumbed to Ugandans representatives, Buddo Secondary School, Kibuli Secondary School and St Noa Girls in Basketball boys, football boys and girl’s finals to settle for second best in basketball and football finals.
Cheptil came from a set down to overpower the Ugandans team and carry the day, Standard High known as Stahiza seemed like they were the stronger side settling in the match faster than the Kenyans with Stahiza taking the first set (25-21). But Cheptil regained their footing in the second set, taking it (25-19). There was no looking back as the Kenyans snatched the third and fourth sets (25-22) and (25-23) to reclaim the title Kenya last won in 2016 when the country hosted the games in Eldoret.
Asbel Kirwa the Cheptil captain attributed their success to team work and resilience. “It was not easy for us; I thank God for the victory and Kenyans who turned up in large numbers to support us. We lost the first set but we were able to recover and win.”
The victory saw Cheptil secure their third regional title having won it back-to-back in 2011 and 2012.
“This was a memorable year for us, we won the national title after many years and to complete a double in East Africa crowns it all,” he added.
Wiyeta Secondary School and Highway Secondary School, the two everyone thought would be hard nuts to crack and deny Uganda winning the overall title, it turned out to be a bad day for them falling to Ugandans in the girls’ and boys’ football finals at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium.
Uganda’s St Noa Girls Secondary School who were in the preliminaries beaten 3-1 in group stages by Kenyan champions Wiyeta proved that they are strong and Uganda’s champions hammering them fell 2-1, while debutantes Highway lost 2-0 Ugandan outfit, Kibuli Secondary School.
Highway, who had knocked out record 13 times champions St Mary’s Kitende 1-0 in Thursday’s semi-final, were undone in the final by a goal on either half from Kibuli’s captain Dominic Ayella who futures for Uganda Super League club Kampala Capital City.
The winger struck a sweetly taken free kick on the stroke of halftime, before poking home a rebound after Highway keeper Paul Okumu parried a rebound from a powerful shot on his path in the second half.
“I’m disappointed we lost because we worked so hard to reach the final. They capitalized on our defensive mistakes and punished us. We have gained experience and I am confident we will come back stronger next year,” said Teddy Ochieng.
It was Kibuli’s first title after losing twice in the final in 2011 and 2014. Highway had beaten Kibuli 1-0 in the preliminary stages of the competition.
In the earlier girls match, St Noa had taken a 2-0 lead thanks to Sylvia Kabene and Erica Kanyamuneze and held on despite Wiyeta’s push in the injury time however a late goal from Wiyeta forward Shalyne Opisa was not enough to help the Kenyans, who were bidding, to reclaim the title they last won in 2017.
At the International School of Moshi (ISM), defending champions Buddo Secondary School from Uganda thumped Kenyan boys’ basketball champions Dr Aggrey High School 62-39 to win the title while in the girls category, Uganda’s, St Mary’s Kitende dethroned holders St Noa 72-69.