KPA teams fire warning shots

Sunday December 3 2017

USIU's Clarice Achieng (left) shields the ball from Strathmore University's Joy Adongo during their Kenya Basketball Federation  Quarter Finals play-off match on December 3, 2017 at Upper Hill School outdoor courts. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

USIU's Clarice Achieng (left) shields the ball from Strathmore University's Joy Adongo during their Kenya Basketball Federation Quarter Finals play-off match on December 3, 2017 at Upper Hill School outdoor courts. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By CAXTON APOLLO
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Kenya Ports Authority teams registered expected victories in their Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League men and women play-offs quarter final matches in Nairobi at the weekend.

KPA, who are men's defending champions, made a brilliant start in their title defence when they defeated hosts Equity Bank 73-62 in Sunday's Game One of the best-of-three series hosted at Upper Hill School outdoor court.

The dockers who beat Co-op Bank 3-1 in last year's play-off final, had forward Ariel Okall scoring a game high 23 points as they led the hard-fighting bankers 43-21 at half time.

Equity had their key actor, Irungu Maina replying with 16 points with KPA's aggressive forward Victor Odendo adding 11.

KPA finished second in the regular season with 41 points to qualify for the play-offs, while Equity Bank were placed seventh on 32 points. KPA will host Equity Bank in Mombasa in Game Two and Three in case of a 1-1 to determine who advances to the semi-final.

KPA coach Sammy Kiki said, "We have a challenge of training as a team because only three players are based in Mombasa. However, having played together in the entire season makes as favourites to retain the league title."

In the women's Premier League quarter final, KPA started off their campaign to lift the title they last won in 2013 with a clean 55-28 victory over Kenyatta University Oryx.

Superstars Georgia Adhiambo and Christine Akinyi fired opening three pointers as KPA led 10-5 in first quarter. KPA, who finished their 18 regular season matches with an unbeaten record, were up 33-11 at the break as the varsity students continued to struggle.

"We have not trained since returning home from the Africa club championship in Angola. The unfamiliar outdoor surface also contributed to our low scoring but we are confident qualifying without resistance," said KPA assistant coach Philip Onyango.

The dockers are favoured to claim a 2-0 sweep with Game Two and Three in Mombasa.

Oryx coach Caleb Osewe has however not ruled out his team's chances.

"We can still pull a big upset in Game Two for a 1-1 tie and throw the series wide open," he warned.

Kenya Defence Forces Morans are one match away from men's Division Two final after beating Little Prince 40-37 in their Game Two semi-final.

Lakeside beat hosts Strathmore University 70-64 in Game One of the men's Division One league play-offs quarter-final.

Strathmore University teams won their quarter final opening matches. Strathmore beat coach George Mayienga's USIU-A Flames 43-35 in their Premier League quarter final Game One, while Strathmore University other team was awarded a 20-0 walk over after Kisumu Lady Bucks failed to show up.

SUMMARISED RESULTS:

Men :KPA 73 Equity Bank 62, KDF Morans 40 Little Prince 37, Lakeside 70 Strathmore University 64.

Women: LOA 55 Oryx 28, Strathmore University 43 USIU-A 35, Strathmore University 20 Lady Bucks 0.