Kenya Ports Authority women got one hand on the National Classic basketball league trophy after trouncing their bogey team Eagle Wings 53-46 in the first leg of the finals at Mombasa Sports Club on Sunday.
It was, indeed, sweet revenge for the dockwomen, who lost to Wings in the first leg of the regular season in Nairobi and now only need to win in the city to cling onto the trophy they reclaimed from the same team last year.
While Wings tactician Thomas Smarts Olumbo said his players had a bad day in office, generally playing very badly, KPA, who had a very poor show against Sprite Storms at the same venue a week ago in a match they could have lost, led the encounter throughout.
“We played badly today and there is no way we could have won this game,” Olumbo said. “We however promise to turn the tables on them in Nairobi.”
Wings played without influential forward Caroline Majeng Achieng, who will be undergoing a shoulder surgery in a fortnight as they went down 12-10 in the first quarter and plumetted further in the second when they scored only five points, KPA outscoring them 15-05 for a 27-15 half-time score.
Yvonne Akinyi, Helen Oketch and ageless Joyce Makhungu contributed vital points and assists.
However, in the last two quarters Wings turned the heat on the hosts, winning the third 14-11 and cutting KPA’s 12-point lead in the fourth to minus two.
Helen Oketch top-scored for KPA with 11 points while Yvonne Akinyi and Joyce Makhungu added 10 and eight, respectively.
Eagle Wings face KPA in basketball play-offs finals
International Silalei Shani contributed 13 points for Wings while her national team colleagues Angela Okoth and Samba Mjomba hit 10 and eight.
The return matches are set for Thursday and Friday night before KPA depart for the Africa Women Club championships in Nigeria.