26 April 2006

KENYA: Sprite storm to win over Burundians

Defending East and Central Africa Club Basketball champions Sprite Storms of Kenya started their title defence with a fine win yesterday.

Storms beat Burundi side Berbo Stars 80-36 at the Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium.

Angela Luchivya top scored for the champions with 15 points as they led 21-5 in the first quarter.

The hosts scored 16-9 in the second quarter, 21-11 in the third quarter and 22-11 in the fourth quarter to win 80-36.

Despite an impressive 10 points by Muhimuendo Eaviru for Berbo, the visitors found the going tough against the local side.

In the other match, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) ladies team also got off to a solid start. They beat A-1 Challenges of Uganda 70-37.

KPA, who are the national champions and also heading Kenya’s charge for glory in the competition, led Challenges throughout the match watched by a sparse but vociferous crowd.

The hosts were up 10-6 in the first quarter and maintained the tempo to lead the visitors 28-11, 55-28 and 70-37 in the next three quarters.

Gladys Wanyama top scored for KPA with 14 points with team-mate Millicent Anyango contributing nine. points

Jose Namayega and Liz Kiza posted 10 and six points respectively for Challenges.

KPA captain Irene Murambi expressed satisfaction with the result: "We had difficulties in the opening quarter as we are yet to acclimatise to the cold weather conditions in Nairobi."

"Some players experienced running noses. (But) the Ugandans were no better than us as they, too, had some problems as they arrived only hours to the match," she said.

Challenges coach Hamza Nyambogo attributed the defeat to fatigue saying the team did not have enough time to warm up.

Nyambogo said an injury to dependable point guard Gloria Kyomugisha had affected the team. "There was nobody to control the match after Gloria got injured," he said.

The match started off on a high tempo with both teams fighting to seize control of the proceedings.

But it was KPA who scored first when Miriam Awour drained a three pointer in the third minute.

Ethel Wakesho, who displayed great dribbling skills during the match, was next to post points.

Challenges got their first points when point guard Kyomugisha scored in the sixth minute.

The scores could have been different in the first quarter but inaccurate shooting and passing cost both teams.

The Ugandans, who faded as the match progressed, failed to click in the second quarter as the inspired Kenyans intercepted their passes at will to score points.

Nyambogo was forced to call for time out with KPA leading 16-9.

Challenges tried to recover in the third quarter with Kiza, Namayeka and Betty Namukasa in the thick of the action.

It was not enough, however, as KPA responded with a string of three pointers, one each from Wakesho, Anyango and Awuor and Yvonne Akinyi, to close the quarter at 55-28 in their favour.

Challenges once again showed some flashes of brilliance in the fourth quarter scoring two quick points from Namayega to narrow the gap to 55-30 but that was as close as they got as KPA went on to clinch the match 70-37.

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