Kisumu-based Lakeside on Saturday revived their hopes of qualifying for the men's Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League play-offs with a 70-66 win over World Hope at Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium.
Lakeside had forwards Collins Wataka, Dennis Wekesa and Justus Okitoyi leading them to a deserved 22-19 run at end of first quarter. World Hope, who must win their remaining three matches and pray other results go their way to evade the chop, re-organised their offense to outscore the visitors 17-15 at the end of second quarter. Lakeside's good start saw them squeeze a narrow 37-36 lead at the breather.
World Hope, who are second bottom on the standings with 21 points with only two wins and 17 losses, had forward Erick Kayiere giving them a short lived 45-44 lead in the third quarter. On sensing danger, Lakeside coach John Ogilo effectively used his time out that seemingly changed the tide.
It was Wekesa, Trevor Gari, Wataka who inspired Lakeside with big shots in the fourth quarter as they raced a 58-47 lead. World Hope never recovered to catch up.
"Watch our steps for the play-offs. We are determined to win the remaining three matches against Umoja, Eldonets and USIU-A Tigers
at our backyard to be assured of finishing in top eight teams," Ogilo said.
"We lost because of biased officiating but with three matches to go, we cannot afford to be relegated," World Hope coach George Namake said.
In the women's Premier League, Jemima Night scored game-high 23 points, Linnsey Wanyonyi hit 17 and Frida Yagomba added 18 as former champions USIU-A Flames beat Tangit Sparks 72-67.
Flames had a bright start leading 17-14 in the first quarter and continued to pill pressure on their opponents before both teams locked the scores 32-32 at half-time. Flames outscored Sparks 21-14 in the third quarter. Sparks, who had Michelle Otinda sinking 24 points, took home the fourth quarter 21-19.
USIU-A coach Cliff Owuor said: "We are left with 10 matches and we just need to win three to survive relegation."
Coach Ben Oluoch of Tangit Sparks had only nine players, who failed to utilise the referee's decision to eject two of USIU-A players Frida Yagomba
and Lisa Mayienga on five fouls at the critical moment of the showdown.
In the women's Division One League, Riara University had Diana Wafula sinking 16 points, Ashley Minayo scoring 15 and Susy Teresia adding 11 to defeat visiting Kenya Ports Authority Youth 66-61.
Men's Premier League: Lakeside 70-66 World Hope. Women's Premier League: USIU-A Flames 72-67 Tangit Sparks. Women's Division One: Riara University 66-61 KPA Youth.