24 December 2013

KENYA : KPA beat USIU to win Kenya Premier women's crown

  • KPA Brenda Angechi (no9) leads teammates in celebration after winning the decider.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • USIU Sarah Chan dribbles past KPA Hellen Oketch.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Kenya Ports Authority,KPA, staged a comeback to beat United States International University - Africa, USIU-A, 60-55 and win the 2013 women premier league title in game five played Monday at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
    Leading 30-17 at the break, USIU-A’s complacency in the second half cost them what was an imminent victory.
    The teams started off on equal strength with a 9-9 scoreline in the first quarter. Sarah Chan had two baskets while Hilda Indasi added a three-pointer and two free-throws accounting for USIU-A’s opening points.
    KPA scored three sharp three-pointers through Lucy Ohawga’s brace and a single from Helen Oketch.
    With only fifty seconds of the quarter remaining, KPA called for the first timeout as they trailed 6-9 and it worked the magic when Ohawga scored the three-pointer that tied the scores.
    The second quarter was a USIU-A affair as they ran away with a 21-8 win for the halftime break advantage. In the opening half, KPA was evidently the weaker side both from the scoreline and their physical play that cost them too many fouls.
    They conceded thirteen in the first two quarters against USIU-A’s six. The second quarter was the worst for KPA as they gifted USIU-A twelve points from the free-throw line.
    Midway the second half, it was clear that the match was headed for overtime as KPA managed to cut down the deficit and level the scores at three different intervals.
    From thirteen points down at the end of second quarter, the Dockers won third quarter 20-11 as USIU-A led by four points going to the homestretch.
    Character won us the game,KPA coach 
    KPA’s turning point came three minutes to full time when Indasi fouled Joyce Mukhungu as scores tied at 51-51.
    Mukhungu scored the resulting two free-throws to give KPA the lead for the first time at 53-51. Exchange of baskets saw the game tied again at 55-55 with over a minute to go.
    It took the efforts of Yvonne Akinyi with a basket and a free-throw as well as Oketch’s basket to win the game for KPA in the dying moments.
    USIU-A’s George Mayienga was voted the best coach while KPA captain Brenda Angeshi was the most valuable player.
    “Character has won the game for us today,” said an elated KPA coach Anthony Ojukwu. “At halftime, I told my girls that talent and skills would win them nothing and they had to develop a positive attitude which really worked.”
    Ojukwu singled out Oketch as the best player for the side this season but attributed teamwork and self belief for the triumph.
    “Nobody expected this team to make it to the playoffs but here we are today celebrating the win.
    They have fought hard all along and as a coach am happy.” KPA’s change of tact in the second half yielded fruits as they conceded six fouls to USIU-A’s ten. Angeshi top scored for KPA with 16 points while Oketch had 11.
    Cynthia Irankunda was USIUs top scorer with 15 points and Sarah Chan 13.
    The win increased KPAs title tally to eleven making them the most successful club in the country while USIU-A lost their second successive final. The third place playoff tie between Eagle Wings and Sprite Storms was deferred to early next year.

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