16 September 2012

KENYA : Flames stopped in Mombasa

KPA vs USIU Flames at the Makande Hall in Mombasa
KPA vs USIU Flames at the Makande Hall in Mombasa

Updated on 15/09/12 | By DENNIS MACHIO
Kenya women Basketball Premier League leaders USIU Flames on Saturday suffered their second defeat of the season going down to hosts KPA 57-43( 20-08, 04-12, 18-15, 15-08) in a fast paced match staged at the KPA Makande Hall.USIU have had a good season this year going unbeaten in the first leg and this was their second defeat after falling to defending champions Eagle Wings last weekend in Nairobi.
KPA coach Anthony Ojukwu after the match said, “USIU is a solid side, I respect their determination. They have really come up to be a strong team in the league and this is good for women competition. It shows there is tremendous improvement and the league is not all about two teams, KPA and Eagle Wings.”
The match started in favor of the hosts who pinned the students hard in their quarter earning themselves a 6-0 lead in the opening five minutes. It was a tight match as expected, leaders against former champions KPA who happened to be the hosts and enjoying court advantage in the first quarter which they won 20-8.USIU struggled to find the rim, their lay ups missing target and their three point mistress Hilda Indasi locked out of play.
But after the first quarter break, line talk by Coach George Mayienga changed the tide as Chan, Cynthia Irakunda and Hilda Indasi did well to reduce the hosts’ lead. Flames won the second quarter 12-04
The students looked young and small in physique but their moves mesmerized even the experienced bulky KPA players and coach Mayienga says “They are just a group of girls who have gelled well and are having a good time enjoying basketball. Their biggest strength is team work and understanding each other well on the court. Today we missed out on a lot of easy baskets and in the end that cost us the match but all is well, we have more matches ahead and I am sure the girls will recover.”
From the break, KPA started well with a fast stab picking the first points through Hellen Oketch’s three pointer from the flank. This would be cancelled out immediately on the opposite end by Indasi’s free throws after being obstructed.
KPA coach Ojukwu responded by pushing his side’s defense line to the opponent’s half and this helped the hosts in cutting out the student’s charge early enough and also capitalizing on their frequent spills.
Flames Coach Mayienga says, “We had the match well in balance but we allowed them easy penetration and when they pulled away in the final quarter it was a bit hard to catch up.”
Supported by Oketch’s 3 three pointers, KPA recovered to win the third set 18-15 and the final set 15-08 to prevail.
“Leading in the third quarter, we just needed to play around with the ball, get those added points and wait for the buzzer. Winning is good for us especially against a team that was unbeaten in the first half of the season and we just need to maintain the consistency and add some speed in our squad.” Ojukwu added.


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