Debutants National Youth Talent Academy-Shimba Hills ladies basketball have taken the National Classic Basketball League by a storm, grabbing an early lead in the 12-team league after winning their two opening league matches in Nairobi at the weekend.
After beating Predators 90-28 in their first match on Saturday at Upper Hill, the team, made up of both in-school and-out-of-school ladies currently undergoing specialised coaching at Shimba Hills Secondary under the sponsorship of Unicef, were on fire, hitting Safe Spaces 78-34 in their second match to rise to the top of the league with four points.
Defending champions Eagle Wings also have four points but are second on goal difference after beating Safe Spaces 83-46 and Cooperative Bank 51-45.
Storms, Western Delight and Safe Spaces lie third, fourth and fifth in the league with two points each.
Lions take early lead
KCB Lions have taken an early lead in the men’s league with maximum four points after victories over defending champions Co-operative Bank and the University of Nairobi’s Terrorists.
Tony Ochieng’s Strathmore University are second on the same number of points but with an inferior goal difference. Co-operative Bank are third with three points.
Against Safe Spaces on Sunday, NYTA–Shimba Hills, cheered on by fans, among them KBF chairman Paul Otula and talent scouts from the US, led 18-08 in the first quarter and 39-17 at the break.
They led Safe Spaces 59-26 and 19-08 in the third and fourth quarters.
Shimba Hills’ Ruffina Lucy Akinyi, Debra Atieno, Hilavi Ayodi, Claris Achieng, Margaret Ndirangu and Taudencia Katumbi gave their otherwise experienced opponents difficult moments.
Ruffina top-scored with 17 points while Katumbi, Debra Atieno and Hilavi Ayodi had 12, 10 and eight points respectively.
Lynette Atieno led Safe Spaces with 11 points, while Florence Mbithe managed eight points.
On Saturday, Katumbi’s 14 points lifted Shimba Hills past Predators 90-28 with former international Winnie Kanani top scoring for Predators with seven points.
In other matches played on Sunday, Nairobi Aviation College beat Umoja 69-52 while Blazers rocked Kisumu Lakeside 66-53 in Division One matches.