10 February 2016

KENYA .- USIU-A Flames beat KPA to retain title

  • Stunned! Sammy Kiki, the KPA women's basketball coach bravely led his team to five games against USIU-A. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • USIU-A Flames were stretched to the fifth game before beating Kenya Ports Authority to retain the Kenya Basketball Federation women's Premier League title. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • Stunned! Sammy Kiki, the KPA women's basketball coach bravely led his team to five games against USIU-A. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
  • USIU-A Flames were stretched to the fifth game before beating Kenya Ports Authority to retain the Kenya Basketball Federation women's Premier League title. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
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United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) women's basketball team bagged its second straight league title with a 3-2 series win over Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in the playoffs final on Monday.
The competitive series had to go to the full distance although game five was an anti-climax with USIU-A winning 74-46. They were awarded Sh100,000 while KPA got Sh50,000 prize money. Both teams will represent Kenya at the Fiba-Africa Zone V championships this year
In the fifth game, SIU-A played a free-scoring game and dominated from start to the end. KPA simply didn't come to play. The dockers allowed the students to score easy points.
Their key players failed to rise to the occasion and committed simple errors which was their  biggest undoing. USIU-A dismissed KPA in a similar fashion to Equity Bank in the semifinals.
In both series, they lost game one but won game two then lost game three. They then swept home games four and five but head coach George Mayienga says it was not part of their strategy.
“It has not been easy defending the title especially dealing with students,” he told Sports News Arena. “Sometimes I go for training and only two or three players have turned up. If it was a club, things would have been easy because I can take them to a camp but for students, you get them out of lecture halls every time there is a game to play.”
Mayienga attributed the success to teamwork. “At USIU-A, we have made it a family and as the coach I must follow up on where players are most of the time so that we don't mess up our schedule,” he added. “It's not just about the game but everything that goes around the lives of these players.”
USIU-A remained consistent
The coach singled out game five of the final as their best in both semifinal and final and it was evident on the court. KPA did not have a chance to lead in the entire forty minutes as USIU-A remained consistent to inflate the margin with every quarter.
Georgia Adhiambo, the standout player and fans favorite in the game opened the account for USIU-A with a three-point shot. The students went on to open a nine-point lead in the first quarter of 21-12 to win 23-15 as Cynthia Irankunda scored eight points and Sarah Chan accounted for six.
Inside three minutes of second quarter, the margin stretched to 12 points as USIU-A led 27-15 to win the quarter 8-6 and lead 31-21 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the students opened a 22-point lead of 51-29 and won 22-10.
In the fourth quarter, the body language of KPA players was that of resignation to fate as they did not give USIU-A any meaningful challenge. In five minutes, Adhiambo had made three three-pointers to help USIU-A open a 30-point lead and they extended to 31 points at 70-39 winning the quarter 21-15.
USIU-A scored 18 points from the arc and 12 from the free-throw line while KPA had six points from the arc and seven from free shots. Adhiambo hit six three-pointers to top score for USIU-A with 22 points, Chan scored 16 and Irankunda had 15.
Natalie Akinyi top scored for KPA with 12 points. Chan was named the most valuable player and pocketed Sh10,000. “It’s amazing. I thank my teammates for pushing me to work hard until now I am the best. This award is all about team effort and not my individual brilliance,” Chan said.

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