KENYA Ports Authority coach Anthony Ojukwu hailed his veteran players as the key to capturing their 14th women's premier league title.
The tactician, who has been at the helm at the ports for years, gave credit to his girls who failed to win their opening two games but recovered with impressive performance to stun favoured United States International University (USIU) 3-2 in a pulsating five game series to claim the 2013 crown.
He said losing one of their opening two games series at the Makande Welfare hall in Mombasa, he was caught between a rock and a hard place considering how well the "Flames" had performed beyond expectation in all their Nairobi matches.
The key to the win, explained Ojukwu, was Irene Murambi who returned to action after long lay off to put the brakes on USIU playmaker Cynthia Irankunda batting her toe to toe. Point guard Brenda Angechi was superb all through and was declared the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the finals.The long serving coach also gave mention to Yvonne Akinyi, Hellen Oketch, Millicent Anyango and Joyce Makungu as players who refused to be cowed and showed no glimpse of old age. He described their performances as brilliant.
"I owe this win to my veteran players. They turned it on in the three series, in Nairobi especially, when it mattered most. They played their hearts out and that was the reason why we are all smiling now," beamed Ojukwu.The series, that were delayed by Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) due to Usiu participation in the Africa women club started in Morocco, started in Mombasa with KPA going down 59-49 in a Game One stunnerKPA regrouped before their home fans and took Game Two with a close 57-55 margin. Hellen Oketch burried 27 points .Then the series moved to Nairobi for three matches and KPA upstaged the students 60-48 in Game Three as Brenda Angeshi and Oketch managed 17 points a piece.But it was not over as Hilda Indasi who was subdued in the other matches erupted for a game high 23 points to lift USIU to a 76-51 win in Game Four and inch closer to their first ever title.
When everyone thought USIU would break the duck in the decisive Game Five, they collapsed in the last two quarters as KPA laughed all the way to a 60-55 victory.
It was agood ride for KPA teams in this year's championships as the men's side also did well moving to the finals where they lost 3-0 to eventual winners Co-operative Bank of Kenya