21 July 2013

KENYA : Ulinzi cry foul after loss to Co-op Bank

  • Co-operative Bank, the men’s Kenya Basketball Federation defending champion narrowly beat Ulinzi Warriors 57-53 in a national classic league match played at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium on Saturday amid claims of tanking games in favour of the bankers.
    The match was supposed to be a second leg fixture for the two teams but was drafted into the first leg roster.
    Ulinzi had requested the Kenya Basketball Federation to reschedule of their matches because of their pending engagament in the regional military games in August.
    This could have triggered the change in their fixtures but the club’s management and players wondered why it was the game against Co-op and not the others.
    In their first leg fixtures, the soldiers are yet to play United States International University- Africa, USIU-A, and the match is slated for next weekend.
    The team’s assistant manager Steve Bartiloi accused the league organizers of conspiring with Co-op Bank to their disadvantage which was unacceptable.
    “Our opponents knew very well that we were a weakened side owing to the ejections when they called for the match to be played today,” he lamented. “We are yet to play USIU in our first leg match and what has happened today is unfair.”
    As the home team, the bankers are guilty of influencing the fixture change behind Ulinzi’s back. However, officials from the team and the federation denied the allegations wondering why they (Ulinzi) never complained before the match kicked off.
    Ulinzi was missing four of their key players, three of whom were ejected in their last match against Mennonite. William Ochieng, Mike Tanui and Vincent Ambani all sat out of the Saturday match while Dita Okoth had other commitments thus could not play.
    KPA tame Lions 
    Cliff Ochieng and Joseph Ngoshi top scored for the bankers and soldiers respectively with 15 points each. Co-op Bank was leading 28-21 at halftime.
    The first quarter went to Ulinzi 15-13 and the second to Co-op Bank 15-6. Ulinzi started off the second half stronger of the two sides winning the third quarter 17-12 but the bankers inked their victory with a 17-15 win in the fourth quarter.
    Kenya Ports Authority, KPA, capitalized on Lions’ repeated mistakes to register a vital 84-73 away win at the same venue.
    The Dockers dominated their opponents throughout in a match that Lions saw luck run away from their hands. The Maurice Shitsama boys could rarely hold onto possession and their free shots missed target severally.
    To the contrary, KPA was well organized with good passes while their shots were accurate. The teams tied 37-37 at halftime after KPA won the first quarter 22-20 and Lions the second 17-15.
    Upon resumption, KPA showed no mercy for their host winning the remaining quarters 20-17 and 27-19 respectively. Tony Okello had 16 points for KPA with Samuel Ocholla adding 15. Tobias Onyango was Lions’ top scorer with a game high of 24.
    Strathmore beat Storms
    23 points from Abel Nson could not spare the brushes for Blazers as they lost 41-73 to Strathmore University. Joseph Owino led the students to victory with 17 points while Geoffrey Oteki accounted for 11 points. Strathmore was leading 38-29 at halftime.
    In the women premier, Sprite Storms found the going tough losing 38-55 to Strathmore University. The students were leading 23-13 at the breather. Grace wanjiku hit 22 points for Strathmore while Susan Akinyi had 13 for Storms.
    Red-hot Taudenciah Peter scored a game high of 30 points to help NYTA-Shimba beat Kenya College of Accountancy- University, KCA-U, 57-42 after leading 25-19 at halftime.
    Rebecca Nkatha top scored for KCA with 9 points.
    Collated Results: KAA 55 KU Pirates 61, KCA-U 42 NYTA-Shimba 57, Strathmore University 55 Storms 38, Co-op Bank 57 Ulinzi 53, Strathmore University 73 Blazers 41, Lions 73 KPA 84. By Francis Marangu

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