Defending champions Kenya Ports Authority men’s basketball team whitewashed underdogs Tigers of the United States International University of Africa 74-47 in a one-sided men’s Premier League match at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium on Saturday.
KPA, who won their fifth match, had an easy time from the start after veteran Dickson Aran, forward Ariel Okall and Kennedy Wachira hit the opening baskets which intimidated the new-look Tigers. The trio’s effort saw KPA outscore the varsity students 14-5 inside the first four minutes.
Tiger’s Fred Onono, who finished the game with 11 points, was a lone ranger as the dockmen exploded into a 19-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Tiger’s coach Cliffe Owuor relied on Onono, who threatened the Coastal team in the second quarter, firing two three-pointers in a row.
KPA responded like a wounded cat with big man Job Byron, Aran and Wachira nailing critical baskets which saw KPA make a deserved 10-0 run in the second quarter.
Pummelled Tigers started running out of ideas losing balls as KPA led 36-20 at the breather. KPA put the match beyond their opponents when shooting Tonny Abondo and Keith Adams sunk lay-ups to open a huge 31-point lead at 64-32 at the beginning of the last quarter.
Tigers tried to recover in the last quarter in which their star Ariel Ortega fired two three-pointers as they outscored KPA 13-12 in this period but it was not too little to dent the visitors’ huge lead.
In the women’s Premier League, Storms registered their third straight victory with a shock 55-52 win over former champions Kenya Ports Authority at Nyayo.
Coach Abel Nson’s Storms, that had won two consecutive matches last weekend, sounded an early warning of causing a major upset when forward Patricia Kalusokoma, Sylvia Omollo and Auleria Joy started raiding the dock women’s half to score critical baskets. Storms defied experienced KPA’s Backie Nkatha’s hard work to hit two three-pointers in a row to lead 12-9 at the end of the first quarter.
KPA, who were playing their second game after they beat University of Nairobi’s Dynamites 73-31 in Mombasa, were unable to penetrate Storms tight defence of Steffie Ngabire and Linet Atieno, who were outstanding. Storms led 25-21 at the breather and held on for a famous win.
In another women’s Premier League match, Strathmore University needed 21 points from Clara Rotich while Joyce Adongo added 10 to defeat newcomers Africa Nazarene University 69-42.
Coach Ronnie Owino’s Strathmore University had nothing to stop them from harvesting maximum points as they raced to a huge 43-18 lead at half time.
At Nyayo: Zetech Titans v Blazers (8.30am), ANU v Zetech University (10am), USIU-A Flames v Tangit Sparks (11.30am), Eagle Wings v KPA (1pm), Strathmore University v Equity Bank (2.30pm), Blades v KPA (4pm); At USIU-A — MKU Thika v Upper Hill School (8.30am), KCA-U v JKUAT (10am), Riara University v KCA-U (11.30am), ANU v KAA (1pm), Pirates v Terrorists (2.30pm), Barclays Bank v Strathmore University (4pm); At KPA hall — Baobab Blazers v Neosasa (10am), Coastal Kings v 4-Christ (12pm)