Champions Equity Bank on Saturday maintained their top spot on the women's Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League table with a hard-fought 79-70 win in overtime over rivals Kenya Ports Authority 79-70 at Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium.
The victory saw Equity Bank keep their top position intact with25 points from 12 victories and one loss. KPA's aggressive forward Selina Okumu sent the exciting duel into over-time with 24 seconds to go when she scored a critical free-throw to lock the scores 65-65. KPA, who had beaten Equity with half a basket in the first leg match in Mombasa, had trailed 34-27 at half-time.
Equity Bank had outplayed their opponents from start until the last quarter when the dockers snatched their first lead at 54-53.Okumu was behind KPA's 8-0 run as they exploded into a 62-57 lead with two minutes 17 second to go.
It was Annerose Mandela, who cut short KPA's celebration as she helped Equity Bank take a narrow 65-64 advantage in the last 44 seconds. Forward Linda Alando and Mandela played a key role in the dying minutes of the encounter.
Guard Annerose Mandela led Equity Bank with 19 points, Betty Kananu scored 17 and Melisa Akinyi 11. The evergreen Okumu scored game-high 25 points for KPA while team-mate Felmas Adhiambo provided 15. Equity Bank coach David Maina said: "We managed to avenge the first leg defeat because I talked to my players not to lose their heads when we were down in the fourth quarter after having led for long spells."
"We had picked up at a right time in the fourth quarter but committed too many turn-overs which cost us the victory,'' said KPA coach Mike Opel.
In another women's Premier League match, Deedee Were scored 11 points to help Storms register a 54-37 victory over Strathmore University Swords.
Equity Bank 79-70 KPA, Storms 54-37 Strathmore University , Barclays Bank 65-64 Terrorists, Riara University 74-58 Strathmore University, KCA-U 46-45 JKUAT