07 September 2011

KENYA : Ulinzi - KPA match ends prematurely

The much anticipated clash between Ulinzi Warriors and KPA ended with over 8 minutes left to play in the fourth quarter after tempers flared prompting the center referee Erick Omondi to eject John Apollo after engaging in a scuffle with his KPA opponent, an action that did not go down well with the Warriors’ bench forcing them to throng the court in protest.

That marked the beginning of the end of a game where the referee’s calls were questionable all through and his failure to call on obvious fouls especially those committed by the warriors against the highly tactful KPA.
KPA were yet to make any protest over the official’s calls but after the storming on the court by the Warriors’ bench, KPA Coach Anthony Ojukwu walked to demand an ejection of the entire Ulinzi bench for violating FIBA rules besides requesting that the floodlights be switched on as the lighting in the gymnasium was getting poorer with time.
The center referee held to his decision of ‘play on’ just as the KPA bench did with a ‘no play’ prompting the referee to allow Ulinzi soldiers play against themselves at a time when KPA were leading 50-49 and were even more threatening in the game.
The soldiers buried the ‘donated’ basket to lead 50-51 but still the dockmen could not get into the court to continue with the game ending the game with 8.29 minutes left to play in the fourth quarter.
Coach Anthony Ojukwu had no kind words for the match officials for failing to stamp their authority in the game and being ‘sympathetic’ to Ulinzi but lauded his charges for putting up a good show against the soldiers.
The second clash that also promised to be a real fight for two points was between Strathmore Blades who were pathetic in their clash with Thunder in the Friday night basketball but were out to make amends for the loss against an inconsistent KCB Lions side who were out to revenge their 46-61 loss against the Students in the first leg. The match was called off after both sides refused to play citing poor lighting in the gymnasium.

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