Four new teams will feature in the Kisumu County Basketball League (KCBL) which starts this weekend, making it the most competitive since inception in 2015.
The new teams are Maranda School (Siaya), Maseno University (Kisumu), Bay Lakers (Homa Bay) and Vipers (Kisii), bringing to 11 the number of clubs that will battle it out for this year's title.
In last year's contest which was won by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) Suns, only seven teams participated.
Suns will not defend their title as they are on recess, making last year's runners up Native favourites to clinch a maiden title after two consecutive second-place finishes in 2016 and 2017.
In last year's finals, they fell to a 3-2 defeat to Suns, while in 2016, Andaki edged them 3-1 to deny them the title in the best-of-five series.
Other teams that are considered top contenders for the title are Kisumu All-Stars, which topped last year's regular season on 19 points, and the 2017 Biro Lich Basketball Tournament first runners-up Team Wazee.
Newcomers Maseno University and Vipers of Kisii University are also expected to give a good account.
The Kisumu County Basketball Association Chairman Erick Otieno promised a successful season saying all arrangements were in place to ensure that it runs smoothly.
"We have put in place measures to ensure more professionalism not just with how the league will be run, but also on the part of the players and teams.
We have an additional four teams joining the league this season which shows how competitive it has become," said Otieno.
Saturday: Natives v Kisumu All-Stars (10.30am); Maranda School v Wazee (11.30am); Vipers v Tritons (12.30am); Maranda School v Vipers (2pm).
Sunday: Natives v Vipers (10.30am); Wazee v Mbale Saints (11.30am); Vipers v Mbale Saints (2.00pm)