30 March 2009

TANZANA : Nairobi and Mombasa crowned 11th Inter Cities champions

Kenyan Nairobi women team and Mombasa men team are the 2009 East and Central Africa Inter Cities champions.

The Kenyans defied all the odds and a roaring home support to take home the 11th regional cities titles in contrasting styles during the final matches played at the Soweto Grounds, Arusha on Saturday 28th March.

Nairobi...........53 Dar..........27

Nairobi reclaimed the title after showing class in their return match against Dar es Salam. Emma Nyakweba nailed the opening basket and banked a three pointer off the board for a 5-2 lead. But Dar recovered and locked the scores 5-5. After Hilda Indasi fast break ignited a run making the scores 7-5, Dar were left trailing the rest of the way.
Nairobi were up 13-5 in the first quarter and maintained a good run in the second where the scores stood at 17-5 for a strong 32-16 edge at the break. And the players doing the damage were captain Angela Luchivya and assistant Caroline Achieng "Majeng".

After the intermission, it was business as usual as Nairobi key a strong defense pilling on the points for a 44-21 charge in the third. The upbeat winners then finished off their opponents by simply running out the fourth with a low scoring 9-6 advantage.

Dar, who had recovered from a 30-7 deficit to suprise Nairobi 65-64 in the opener on their opening day, had no answer for a confident Nairobi as coach Ben Oluoch seemed to have had his defensive tactics working well this time round.

The hard working duo of Luchivya and Achieng led the way superbly. Achieng named MVP led the tally with 12 points, 12 rebounds six steals. Indasi scored 11 while Luchivya contributed eight points, four rebounds and six assists and the impressive Faith Owich tallied another eight.

"After they won the firs encounter by a point, I knew where they hurt us and we had to work on this in our training and this was the key as we cut their inside plays and made them work hard for every shot taken." said a happy Oluoch.

Mombasa..........63 Dar............62

Mombasa dethroned Dar es Salaam 63-62 with a gritty show in this duel that went to the wire with Musa Odari sinking the game clincher from the line with fifteen seconds to play. This was a repeat of last year's show where the host Dar won 68-63.
Mombsa got off to a low start trailing 15-18 in the first quarter. They recovered 12-8 in the second as brothers Musa, Furaha Odari and Dan Okwirri showed their skills to the delight of the crowd.

The third quarter was well balanced as Dar gave as good as they got and even took a 16-17 cushion. But the last was a give and take affair after the losers had taken a 55-48 edge on three unanswered fast breaks.

Mombsa clawed back with two three pointers from Dan Okwirri tying the scores 60-60 and tied again 62-62 before Musa heroics from the line gave Jimnah Kimani's boys a well deserved crown.
Musa led the scoring tally with 17 points and Furaha had 11 while MVP Phillip Amenyi was a rock on defense. For Dar, Charles Mahere scored 18 as did team mate Gilbert Patungi. Both teams battled in last year's finals in Dar

In the semi final matches, Mombasa trailed 11-16 in the first quarter but recovered well to lock out Kampala 67-54.

The winners took the second quarter 21-10, were up 17-15 in the third and wound up 19-14 in the last to set up a date with Dar. Musa shot 15 points while Okwirri scored 10.
Dar shut out Harare 66-49 in the other semis to romp into their third finals in a row. They rolled up a strong 16-5 lead in the first quarter, the second was tied 11-11 before they moved up 13-12 in a closely fought third. The fourth was 26-21 in their favour.

In the classification results:

Third/Fourth place: Debutants Harare beat Kampala 53-44 to claim the third place.
Fifth/ Sixth place: Tanga edged out Arusha 74-73 to be fifth team.
Seventh/Eighth place: Another new comer Mogadishu beat Meru 67-42 to take the seventh position.

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