15 December 2014

KENYA : End of an era for Co-op Bank Spartans

  • USIU Wanambiro Yoni dribbles the ball away during the playoff match against Ulinzi Warriors.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • Coop Bank Allan Ouma looks dejected during their match against KPA at the Nyayo Gymnasium.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • USIU Wanambiro Yoni dribbles the ball away during the playoff match against Ulinzi Warriors.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • Coop Bank Allan Ouma looks dejected during their match against KPA at the Nyayo Gymnasium.(Photo by Shutterspeed)
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This year’s Jamhuri weekend is one that Co-operative Bank men basketball team will want to forget easily. As Kenyans were celebrating 51 years of independence, they were dethroned by Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in the Kenya Basketball Federation semifinal playoffs.
They lost the league title that they have held for the past four seasons unchallenged. It was a painful end to their dominance at the hands of the team they beat in last year’s final on a 3-0 series win.
This year, KPA avenged by knocking down the champions with a similar series score and will now have to deal with the “former champions” tag.
The dockers had won first two games 59-55 and 66-62 in Mombasa last weekend and had to win the third one to progress to the final. They did exactly that with style beating the bankers 74-45 in Nairobi in a clear show of might.
Samuel Ocholla with 16 points and Tobias Onyango with 14 led the rout as KPA enjoyed a 37-27 halftime lead.
Allan Ouma top scored for Co-op Bank with 17 points and they never won a single quarter. KPA claimed first quarter 19-9 and the second ended in a 18-all stalemate. KPA won the third and fourth quarters 15-13 and 22-15.
They will wait until late Monday to know their opponents in the final that begins on Wednesday at the Safaricom Indoor Arena, Kasarani.
Ulinzi, USIU level series
Ulinzi Warriors and United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) are tied on two games each with the decider set for Monday.
Going to Sunday action, Ulinzi led the series 2-1 but USIUs 71-51 win in game four leveled matters.
USIU won game two 78-60 on Friday to tie the series at 1-1 but Ulinzi surged ahead on Saturday winning game three 78-65.
The students left nothing to chance as they dominated the soldiers from the first to last whistle on Sunday winning first three quarters 22-11, 12-11 and 20-12 while the fourth tied at 17-all.
They literally controlled proceedings maintaining the lead for 37 minutes and 44 seconds while Ulinzi only led for one minute and 8 seconds in the entire game.
USIU had the lead for 22 times while Ulinzi enjoyed the lead in three instances only. Both teams were tied for just one time while the lead changed hands thrice.
From turnovers, USIU scored 18 points against Ulinzi’s 14 while 36 points for USIU came from the paint against Ulinzi’s 20.
The soldiers had the bench power scoring 16 points from the bench against USIUs 11 while fast breaks contributed 13 points for USIU and 3 for Ulinzi. Individually, Alvin Nyangweso was the best shooter for USIU scoring 19 points and grabbed 8 rebounds while Kevin Kigotho had 18 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and three assists.
For Ulinzi, Ancette Wafula who sat out the last quarter injured scored 11 points while Victor Odendo scored 10 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, one steal and three assists.
KPA, Flames in women’s semis
KPA and USIU-A were the last to make it to the women premier league semifinals on Saturday after winning games two.
KPA beat Ulinzi Blades 70-39 in Mombasa helped by 21 points from Yvone Akinyi and 19 from Helen Oketch. Ulinzi’s highest scorer was Bridgit Nanzala with 16 points.
USIU-A whipped Safe Spaces 83-43 as Cynthia Irankunda scored 12 points for the students and Florence Mbithe 14 for Safe Spaces.
KPA will play Sprite Storms in the semifinals while USIU-A pairs up Co-op Bank. The semifinals and finals have been shelved to early next year since USIU-A will be heading to Uganda for the universities games.
Division one teams will also be in action on Monday in game four. Umoja and Zetech University lead their series 2-1 over Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U) and Dankind Academy respectively.
Umoja beat KCA-U 52-45 in game one but the students leveled series on Saturday with a 64-61 win.
Umoja regained the lead on Sunday winning game three 53-52. Zetech had taken command of the series with 89-76 and 57-50 wins over Dankind in games one and two.
However, Dankind complicated the arithmetic on Sunday with a 61-56 win in game three.
KBF weekend results: Friday- KPA 74 Co-op Bank 45, USIU-A 78 Ulinzi Warriors 60; Saturday- KPA 70 Ulinzi Blades 39, Safe Spaces 43 USIU-A 83, KCA-U 64 Umoja 61, Zetech University 57 Dankind Academy 50, Ulinzi Warriors 78 USIU-A 65; Sunday- Umoja 53 KCA-U 52, Zetech University 56 Dankind Academy 61, USIU-A 71 Ulinzi Warriors 51; Monday Fixtures: Dankind Academy vs Zetech College (2pm, Nyayo gymnasium), KCA-U vs Umoja (4pm), Ulinzi Warriors vs USIU-A (6pm).

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