12 November 2013

KENYA : Co-op to play KPA in playoffs final

  • Co-operative Bank players after a past league game. They will play KPA in the final.(Photo:SNA file)
  • Men's premier defending champions Co-operative Bank will square it out with Kenya Ports Authority, KPA, in the 2013 national classic league playoffs final.
    The bankers made it to the final after beating USIU-A 3-1 in the best-of-five series while KPA was 3-0 winners over Team Lions. Co-op Bank will be seeking to retain the title they won last year while the Dockers will be out to claim their first title in two decades.
    Co-op Bank started off slowly to later stage a comeback after losing game one 67-72. Head coach Carey Odhiambo, well known for his cautious and highly tactical approach in such crucial matches, whipped his boys to take up the next three matches and qualify for their fourth consecutive final.
    They won games two and three 60-55 and 78-60 respectively to assume a 2-1 series lead. Going to the fourth game on Saturday, it was all competitive as the bankers wanted to seal qualification early while USIU was keen on forcing the decider with a win. However, it is the bankers who prevailed with a late 70-69 win.
    Co-op Bank won the first quarter 18-13 before the students took home the second 20-15 as both teams tied 33-33 at the breather. The third quarter went the bankers way 19-18 before the fourth ended on a 18-18 tie. Victor Bosire top scored for USIU with 12 points while James Mwangi led the bankers onslaught with 15 points.
    KPA went past Lions 
    For KPA, it was a matter of consistency as they swept aside Lions in style. The Coastal side claimed the first two games 80-65 and 83-68 in that order to set a tough battle in game three.
    With a 91-82 win, they secured their place in the final where they will face champions Co-op Bank. Tony Okello and Ariel Okal were the main players for the Anthony Ojukwu side.
    In division one, Equity Bank has earned qualification to the premier league after making it to the playoffs final.
    They will meet Strathmore University II in the final who also earn a place in the league come next season. However, it remains to be seen how the matter will be handled since there is another Strathmore side taking part in the league.
    Equity, who were playing in the lower league for the first time, defied experienced opponents Kenya Airports Authority to claim the series 3-1.
    Equity seal premier spot 
    The bankers won game one 74-64 before KAA leveled the series with a 75-70 win in game two. Equity claimed games three and four 94-58 and 79-72 respectively to emerge overall winner. Strathmore, promoted to division one alongside Equity Bank, followed in the same footsteps taking their series 3-1 against Kenyatta University Pirates.
    Pirates won game one 61-57 but Strathmore leveled the series winning game two 90-65. It was never turning back for the Tony Ochieng boys as they clinched the series with 84-74 and 93-79 wins in games three and four respectively.
    The best-of-five finals for both men premier and division one begin on November 27 and will be screened live on Supersport.
    Women's premier semifinal playoffs began on Saturday with champions Eagle Wings taking on USIU-A while KPA has been paired with Sprite Storms.

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