Mennonites celebrated their first victory in this year’s men’s basketball Premier League with a hard-fought 57-56 win over Lions at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium on Saturday.
After losing four matches in a row, Mennonites to deny Lions their first win of the season.
Mennonites trailed Lions 17-16 in the first quarter before edging ahead 28-27 at the break.
Strong Simon Mayien, Victor Ochieng and Collins Odhiambo, who had started well for Lions, lost their fighting spirit in the third quarter in which Mennonites used Moses Koome and Irungu Maina to respond to their threat.
The duo put pressure to steer Mennonites, who had lost 65-49 against Umoja last weekend, to go up 24-14 at the end of the third quarter.
Mennonites had a 10-point advantage, 52-41, at the beginning of the last quarter but were let down by turnovers in which Ochieng and Mayien of Lions capitalized on to hit them hard and stay in sight of the game.
LIONS STILL WINLESS
Lions, who are still winless in five outings, had Collins Odhiambo missing a critical free-throw that could have sent the game into over-time at 57-57.
Odhiambo scored a game high 17 points, Koome (11) for Mennonites while Ochieng and Mayien each provided 12 and Odhiambo (13) for Lions.
“The boys were desperate to register their first win and ended up committing unnecessary turnovers when they were leading comfortably,’’ Mennonites coach Sonny Mugesha said.
Lions coach Ikapian Juma said: “ We have adjusted our training sessions which have contributed to our poor performance where have lost all our five matches. Just like last year, we intend to work on our weakness on inadequate training to do well in coming fixtures.
“We train for only a few hours and no team can do well in any competition when the players do not train adequately,’’ said Juma, a former Lions and Kenya international.
In the men’s Division One League match, red-hot Daniel Imbali scored 31 points to lead 4-Christ in a comfortable 63-54 victory over visiting Nebulas Kakamega. Imbali was on fire from the word go scoring the opening 12 points for the winners as they led 12-10 in the first quarter.
Nebulas hit back to tie the scores 25-25 at half-time before they overpowered their hosts taking a 18-11 third quarter lead. 4-Christ had Imbali again sinking 12 points in the last quarter.