04 February 2016

KENYA - KPA's Kiki not keen on going full distance

By francis marangu
Jan 28, 2016
  • Kenya Ports Authority are at home for the first two games of the women's Premier League final play off.
Kenya Ports Authority are at home for the first two games of the women's Premier League final play off.
When Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) beat United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) to win the women's Premier League title in 2013, the series went the full distance to game five.
Last year, USIU-A was on the winning end with a 3-1 series score and both teams meet again for the third straight time in this year’s final.
The best-of-five series begins this weekend with two games in Mombasa and KPA head coach Sammy Kiki is not keen to go full length. He plans to take full advantage of the home ground court.
USIU-A defeated Equity Bank 3-2 while KPA beat Co-operative Bank 3-1 in semifinals. He closely followed the second semifinal pitting Equity Bank and USIU-A that went to game five and says they will be facing a deserving opponent.
“I respect USIU-A and believe they were better than Equity who also played very well. But coming down twice to tie the series and win was not easy for them. It shows they are a quality side,” he observed. “We expect them to give us a hard time but my target is to win both games at home and make work easier in Nairobi.
We are well prepared because the team has been training together for the past one week. I thank the management for supporting us and making sure players based in Nairobi are available on time.”
Powerful rebounding
Point Guards Cynthia Irankunda (USIU-A) and Natalie Akinyi (KPA) will be key at the back court. From their win over Equity, Sarah Chan has proven to be a pivot for USIU-A with powerful rebounding and high scoring.
Melissa Akinyi was also outstanding as well as Doreen Nyaga who did not give Equity guard Samba Mjomba an easy time. Yvonne Akinyi, Linda Alando, Evelyn Itabu, Evelyn Nora and Hellen Oketch are some experienced hands for KPA.
USIU-A head coach George Mayienga has said fatigue from playing three straight games over the weekend and traveling to Mombasa a day before game one will not affect his players. Even though he chose to keep his cards close to te chest.
Coming out of the Coastal city with at least one win will be good for the students who lost only to KPA in regular season.
The rivalry between these two teams is slowly shaping up. But, Equity has proven they can challenge the duo in the coming seasons although Kiki maintains they are the dominant teams at the moment.
“I think the best two teams have met in the final again. We were in different conferences with KPA losing one game to Equity and USIU-A lost once to us. I can say we are dominant.”
Co-op Bank will play Equity Bank in the third-place playoff on the weekend of February 6-7.

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