IN DAR ES SALAAM
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) have taken command of Group ‘A’ and cruised into the semi-finals of the Africa Zone Five women’s club basketball tournament here after a hard fought 58-57 win over stubborn JKL Dolphines from Uganda.
This happened as Equity Bank, who were due to play Rwanda's APR in a decisive Group ‘B’ match Wednesday night, clobbered hosts Don Bosco 80-47 to also make sure of a place into the semi-finals.
The poor organisation which has marred the championships since day one saw the games delayed for another three hours due to unavailability of the Dar es Salaam indoor courts which are also hosting a karate championship.
Despite the win, KPA coach Mike Opel was not a happy man saying his senior players failed to rise to the occasion at the hour of need.
"It is good that we won, but we were very poor defensively, and our rotation was poor with lots of turnovers among other things that we must correct to make an impression," Opel said.
His Ugandan counterpart Mike Mulinya blamed tough luck for the slim loss saying his players executed well.
With the Ugandans relying too much on penetration and fast breaks — where Flavia Oketcho, Ekane Brenda, Ritah Imanishimwe, Hope Akello, Sarah Ageno and Zainah Lokwameri were outstanding — JKL ran rings round KPA in the opening minutes of the game at one point taking a 14-point lead.
This forced KPA to abandon the pressing game and congest their defence, a move that slowed down JKL Dolphine as Betty Kalanga, Natalie Mwangale, Vilma Awino and Selin Okumu played well for the ports women.
Against Don Bosco, Equity had Betty Kananu and Annrose Atieno score 28 and 11 points respectively while Bablia Jasmin and Londo Orlin scored 15 and 10 points respectively for the hosts.
KPA women were due to play JKT of Tanzania in the last match of the day from 10.00pm Wednesday night. Thursday is a rest day ahead of the semi-finals on Friday.