21 November 2008
KENYA : KPA begin on a winning note
By PHILIP ONYANGOPosted Thursday, November 20 2008 at 19:26
Kenya Ports Authority started the 14th Fiba Africa Women’s Club Championships on a winning note when they hit Rwanda’s APR 44-43 in a tough match at Nyayo Stadium on Thursday.
The win did not, however come easy as KPA struggled to contain the youthfull and swift Rwandese, who scored most of their points on fast breaks. The Kenyans took a 3-0 early lead but Shimba Hills High School forward Purity Adhiambo, playing for APR, scored two points as the scores stood at 3-2.
Caroline Arato made it five for KPA from an easy lay-up shot but Sine Ali scored two free throws to make it 5-4.The game continued to change hands, but it was KPA who enjoyed the early proceedings, at one time building a 12-points lead, courtesy of Joyce Makhungu, Irene Murambi, Yvonne Akinyi and Everlen Akoth, who had a good afternoon.
A last minute effort by Brenda Wasuda , Purity Adhiambo and Patience Ndandi saw APR close the gap as KPA led 24-19 at the break.Wasuda and Adhiambo combined for six points to tie the game 26-26 but Helen Oketch scored a lay-up to make the scores 28-28.
After Adhiambo tied the scores 28-28 from free throws, KPA stepped up their game once again with Akoth and Makhungu combining for eight unanswered points for a 36-28 scoreline before APR put in more pressure for a 38-32 third quarter score.
The fourth quarter was tense as both teams exchanged the lead for 44-43 full time score.
Brandile Ndaya scored a game high 13 points while Purity Adhiambo contributed 12 points for APR while KPA were lifted by Yvonne Akinyi and Evelyne Akoth who scored 10 points each.Rwanda coach Kavedzifa Veceslav blamed the defeat on missed chances and a five foul on Patience which he says disorganised the players.
KPA coach Anthony Ojukwu though happy with the win said he did not expect such a strong challenge from Rwanda.
In a match played at the same venue earlier, defending champions Desportivo from Mozambique defeated V-Club from DR Congo 81-45.
The game saw both teams play minus three utility players each who were disqualified for non registration.
Kenyan Ports Authority (KPA) and Eagle Wings, the two Kenyan teams in the 14th Fiba Africa club championships for had mixed luck when the draw for the tournament was done Thursday.
While KPA celebrated what looks like an easy draw for them, Eagle Wings were cursing their luck after drawing former champions and last years runners up Primero de Agosto from Angola, Djoliba from Mali and First Bank from Nigeria in Group A. .
These three team are all considered giants in the Africa women’s basketball. The other teams in the group are ABC from Cote d’IVoire and Radi from DR Congo
KPA, who never been past the preliminaries in their four appearances at this championships, are in a relatively easy Group B which also has Kampala City Commission and APR Rwanda, teams which the dockers easily beat to win the Zone Five championships in Ethiopia a fortnight ago.
The other teams in group B are defending champions Desportivo from Mozambique, CSA from Cote d’Ivoire and V-Club from Democratic republic of Congo.KCC, who finished third at the zonal games in Ethiopia, were a last minute replacement for Sonatra from Madagascar who withdrew from the tournament at the last minute.
KPA head coach Sammy Wanjohi and sports officer Harrison Lusigi were happy with the draw. “This must be a very early christmas for us, Wanjohi said while Lusigi immediately predicted a semi final slot for the dockers.
“They will really battle it out to qualify from that group and any team emerging from that group will definitely be fatigued,” Lusigi said.
Coach Anthony Ojukwu however expressed caution saying they would tackle every game as it comes.“Yes we are in a relatively easily group, but who knows, things might change because this is basketball”, Ojukwu said.
Eagle Wings assistant coach Juma Kent could not hide his frustration saying his charges will have to work extra hard to make an impression in the group.
“Some of this teams have professional from Senegal and USA and have assembled almost the entire national teams from their countries. This coupled with the fact that our players are commuting from their homes complicates the matters for us”, he said.
Group A- Eagles Wings(Kenya) Primero de Agosto (Angola),First Bank (Nigeria), B Doliba (Mali), ABC (Cote d’Ivoire), and Radi (DR Congo).
Group B, Desportivo (Mozambique),KCC (Uganda), CSA (Cote d Ivoire), APR (Rwanda),V-Club (DR Congo), KPA( Kenya).
He has however predicted Eagles Wings will cause an upset..