KENYA : Nairobi schools ready for finals

By Oscar Pilipili

Nairobi International School (NIS) overcame Aquinas 54-44 in a boys’ basketball semi-final to reach the Nairobi Secondary Schools Championships final for the second time in a row.

Upper Hill brought St Austin’s 10-year reign to an end after they beat them 62-59 in a closely-contested semi-final to reach the final for the first time in the history of the provincial games.

Following the results, Nairobi will have new champions when Upper Hill host NIS in the provincial final on Saturday. In the girls’ category, champions Lang’ata beat Arya Parklands by a half a basket, winning 39-38 to romp into the final.

Buru Buru showed their intention of lifting the trophy after they defeated St Georges 75-35 in another semi-final to set a final date with Lang’ata. Winners at the provincials qualify for the Brookside Term One National Championships at Upper Hill next month.

Meanwhile, some coaches are said to literally drag success to wherever they go. These tacticians are known to possess the ability to transform a team into a winning outfit within a short period.

Trail of success

And one such coach is Upper Hill’s Peter Orero, who has never missed the national secondary school championships since 1992.

Orero transformed Kamukunji into great sporting school and breeding ground for world-class players like Harambee Stars international and Inter Milan midfielder MacDonald Mariga and Auxerre striker Dennis Oliech.

When he moved to Lang’ata, he helped mould the boys’ football and girls’ basketball teams at the school into formidable sides.

Orero moved to Upper Hill last year as the principal and the institution is fast changing into a sports powerhouse. Upper Hill’s shocking victory over St Austin’s is a clear indication that this is the team to watch this year.

What qualities make Orero, who also chairs Nairobi Secondary School Sports Association, excel? In his own words, Orero said he is in touch with modern coaching technology and he is a qualified basketball, football and netball trainer.

"My strength in coaching lies in the management of team. I have a wealth of experience since I have never missed the national championships since 1992 and I know what is required for a team to win," Orero told FeverPitch.

Orero revealed Upper Hill basketball team played in the Nairobi Provincial league for the whole of last year in preparation for the school games.

"My team was ready to face any opposition since they had gained a lot of experience from playing against clubs for a year," he said.

Speaking on the venue of the final, Orero observed it was a coincidence that Upper Hill are the hosts, but added they would capitalise on home ground advantage.