30 April 2006

KENYA: KPA are new club champions

By Oscar Pilipili

Kenya Ports Authority are the 2006 East and Central Africa Basketball club Champions.

KPA dethroned defending champions Sprite Storms after beating them 58-49 in a decider at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium on Sunday.

The victory meant that KPA finished at the top with 10 points after winning all their five matches. Storms finished second on nine points after winning four matches in the women’s category played on a round robin format.

Despite the victory, KPA coach Sammy Wanjohi was still unhappy. He said: "Although we have won the title, we did not play well."

"We did not prepare well for this tournament because we received confirmation of our participation quite late. But I’m happy we are the new champions," he added.

His Storms counterpart, Ben Oluoch, said his team did not play well because they had an attitude towards being champions that affected their performance.

"Our defensive and offensive was wanting. We must go back to the drawing board," Oluoch said.

Despite being the first to dunk the opening basket in the second minute through captain Angela Luchivya, Storms ended up trailing KPA in all the four quarters.

Gladys Wanyama and Rose Ouma scored 12 points a piece for the new champions with Miriam Awour contributing a further 11 points.

Storms replied through Hilda Luvandwa who drained the games high 19 points and Luchivya’s seven.

KPA were up 18-5 at the end of the first quarter and added 10 more points in the second quarter including three pointers to lead 28-25 at half time. The third quarter started on a high note with each team struggling to main points.

Sprite, who won the trophy in Dar ea Salaam last year, introduced the towering Beatrice Owino in their bid to narrow the gap, but Millicent Anyango and Ethel Wakesho displayed great defensive game that checked her excursions.

In another match, Uganda’s A-1 Challenges overcame Cargo of Tanzania 84-67 to finish third on eight points with Berco Stars from Burundi fourth on seven points.

The fifth position went to Cargo who collected six points with University of Rwanda finishing sixth on five points.

In the men’s play off, Co-operative Bank of Kenya withered strong resistance to beat Runani of Burundi 7-1-66 in a closely contested match. Co-op led Runani 23-14 after the first quarter, but the tide changed with the visitors catching up with the hosts at 32-32 at half time.

Runani were still ahead of Co-op in the third quarter leading 16-14, but the Kenyans recovered to overtake the visitors with 25-18 lead in the fourth set.

Wycliffe Ochieng and Dan Gaiko scored 18 and 11 points respectively for Co-op while Njibere Willy (14) and Sindayigaya Fabrice (9) replied for Runani who finished fourth.

Patriotic Army of Rwanda (APR), were rated fourth, with Nkumba Marine (Uganda), Stone Town (Zanzibar) finishing fifth and sixth respectively.

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