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League champions KPA, Equity Bank on course for play-offs

Monday September 4 2017

Hilda Indasi (right) of Equity Bank shields the ball from Co-oprative Bank’s Everlyne Itabu during KBF Women Premier League match on September 3, 2017 at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Hilda Indasi (right) of Equity Bank shields the ball from Co-op Bank’s Everlyne Itabu during KBF Women Premier League match on September 3, 2017 at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  AFP

CAXTON APOLLO
By CAXTON APOLLO
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Champions Kenya Ports Authority and Equity Bank remained on course to book their places in the Kenya Basketball Federation men and women’s Premier League play-offs, after bagging maximum points in the second leg matches in Nairobi at the weekend.

KPA, who are chasing their sixth league title, demolished hosts Lions 86-27 on Saturday. The dock men, who reclaimed the championship last year after 23 years, followed it up with a 84-46 thrashing of relegation threatened Zetech University to wrap up a fruitful weekend at the Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium.

KPA men’s team coach Sammy Kiki tested Cyprus-based professional Tom Wamukota in the weekend matches. The towering Wamukota sunk 16 points against Zetech University and was a darling of the fans with his brilliant blocks and valuable rebounds.

KPA were too smart for the relegation bound Zetech, whom they destroyed 41-16 at the break with Oman-based professional Arial Okal scoring a game-high 21 points.

KPA made a significant improvement by moving to the second spot on table with 29 points from 13 wins and three losses.

“I’m happy with the performance of my new players but we still have to work hard in training to get the team chemistry,” said Kiki who is a former international point-guard.

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In another match, Blades maintained their winning ways after beating KCA-U 48-29 to threaten dislodging league leaders Ulinzi Warriors from the summit. The win increased Blades’ points tall to 29 point.

In the women’s league, Equity Bank, who won their maiden league crown last year following their dramatic 3-2 win over rivals KPA in the play-offs final, were also in top gear as they saw off Kakamega-based Western Delights 114-27 on Saturday before subduing Co-op Bank 69-40 on Sunday.

That victory over Western Delight is the highest score in the women’s league this season.

“We are taking all our matches seriously to shape up for the Fiba-Africa Zone Five Club Championship qualifier in Kampala, Uganda, next month,” said the bankers’ coach David Maina.

The weekend results demonstrated that both KPA men and Equity Bank women’s teams are still the favourites to qualify for the top six-team play-offs.

However, the unbeaten KPA women maintained top position on the table with 26 points after dismissing newcomers Zetech University 70-30 on Saturday.

The dock women, are seeking to go down in history by finishing the regular season without tasting defeat. Champions Equity Bank remained in second position, with 24 points.

The bankers have won 12 matches and remain KPA’s main challengers this season.

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