IN MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE
Equity Bank ensured they did not finish last at this year's Fiba Africa women's Champions Cup when they saw off Zimbabwe's Lakers 65-54 in a classification match here at the Maxaquene indoor courts on Friday to finish ninth.
The bankers put aside their disappointment of failing to reach the last eight, taking a 13-9 lead inside the five minutes of the first quarter, but it was Lakers, who were smiling at the end of the qaurter following 18-15 lead.
Sensing danger, the bankers engaged a higher gear to lead the second quarter 20-09 for a 35-27 halftime score.
Lakers came back strongly to outscore their opponents 15-10 in the third quarter, but the bankers still led 45-42 and held off their opponents in the last quarter for the win.
Seline Okumu and Samba Mjomba top scored with 14 points each, while Hilda Indasi had 12 points, with Melisa Majonga managing 10 points for the Southern Africans, who were making their maiden appearance.
"I'm personally happy that we did not finish last only moving one step lower than last year when we finished in position eight," Equity stand-in coach Carey Odhiambo said.
The other Kenyan team here, Kenya Ports Authority are due to play hosts Ferroviario from 7pm Kenyan time in the last quarterfinal match.
Meanwhile, Inter Club of Angola became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals with a huge 84 -46 victory over hapless MB2 All from Madagascar. They will now meet the winner of the I.N.S.S, V- Club (both from Democratic Republic of Congo) clash in the first semi final on Saturday.
Elsewhere ,the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) will henceforth not allow Kenya teams to travel out of the country without a federation official as required by Fiba.
This is after an embarrassing situation here when Equity's complaint against possible match fixing between Zone four teams F.A.P from Cameroun and V-Club from DR Congo could not be heard by Fiba due to the lack of a federation official to officially file and follow up the case.
KBF Treasurer Peter Orero on Friday said all teams travelling for continental matches will first have to commit to the federation that they have a budget for a federation official before their names are submitted to Fiba for the competitions.
"Fiba in their by laws do not deal directly with the clubs but only though a federation representative," Orero said, promising to tighten the rules for teams.