17 November 2015

KENYA : Advantage USIU-A, KPA and Co-op Bank

  • Strathmore Babra Samba dribbles past Co-op Bank in game one of the playoffs. (Photo by Shutterspeed)
United States International University- Africa (USIU-A), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Co-operative Bank have a foot into the women's Premier League playoffs semifinals after winning game one of the well attended quarterfinals played at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
The best-of-three series means the trio will need to register a win in game two on Saturday to progress. Their opponents are in a must-win situation in game two to force a decider.
The game between USIU-A and Masaku Sparks was billed as the biggest clash for the weekend but ended up with the students dominating with a 64-52 win. The students were in their true pace, energetic and displayed teamwork despite playing for the third day running.
They had beaten Co-op Bank 43-42 on Friday and Sprite Storms 44-43 on Saturday to complete their regular season fixtures.
Masaku were casual in their offense losing easy scoring opportunities that could have made the difference. For the entire game, they led only once at 7-6 early in first quarter as the students commanded the court.
USIU-A won the first quarter 19-7 and extended to 21-7 early into second quarter. Crucial baskets from Betty Kananu helped Masaku claw back to cut the deficit to seven points at 23-16. The quarter tied 13-13 for a 32-20 halftime lead to USIU-A.
The students won third quarter 20-18 and Masaku the fourth 14-12. Georgia Adhiambo top scored for USIU-A with 18 points, Angela Okoth had 14 and Sarah Chan scored 12. Kananu scored 17 for Masaku with Michelle Otinda adding 11.
Easy win
KPA had an easy 59-27 win over Eagle Wings with quarterly scores of 17-8, 18-9, 16-6 and 8-4. Apart from a 2-2 tie in first quarter, KPA enjoyed the lead all through with.
Annerose Mandela top scored with 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Natalie Akinyi scored 11 points, five rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Yvonne Akinyi added 9 points. Lucy Machuma was the top scorer for Eagles with 13 points.
Strathmore University put up a competitive play before losing 38-48 to Co-op Bank. The students capitalized on their pace to counter the experienced bankers scoring crucial points on fast breaks.
Co-op Bank won the first quarter 9-8 after taking a 2-0 lead. Strathmore led twice at 4-2 and 7-4 while both teams tied at 2-2 and 4-4. In second quarter, Strathmore led at 10-9, 12-11 and 14-12 with Co-op Bank enjoying the lead at 11-10 and 16-14.
There were two ties in the quarter at 12-12 and 14-14 with Co-op Bank winning 9-6 to lead 18-14 at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Co-op Bank stretched the lead to 23-14 but Susan Manya and Mollete Achieng led the comeback for Strathmore to tie at 25-25. They briefly led 27-25 before tying 27-27 going to fourth quarter.
Strathmore won the third quarter 13-9. In fourth quarter, the game tied at 29-29 with Co-op Bank enjoying the lead for the remaining period.
The only men's Premier League game played saw USIU-A take a 1-0 series lead over Co-op Bank with a 86-56 win.
The bankers were competitive only in first quarter as the students enjoyed their free flowing play. USIU-A won first quarter 22-17 after a see-saw performance. Co-op Bank led at 2-0, 4-2 and 8-6 with USIU-A leading 6-4, 9-8, 15-13 and 18-15.
Tied five times
The game tied five times in the quarter at 2-2, 4-4, 6-6, 13-13 and 15-15. USIU-A began to break away in second quarter and enjoyed the biggest lead of 16 points at 45-29. They won the quarter 23-14 to lead 45-31 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the students continued with their dominant play with the biggest lead of 21 points at 60-39 to win the quarter 22-13. Their biggest lead in fourth quarter was 30 points as they won 19-12.
Alvin Nyangweso scored a game high 31 points for USIU-A while Allan Ouma top scored for Co-op Bank with 18 points.
In division one, 4-Christ and Africa Nazarene University (ANU) began the push to earn promotion by winning game one of their quarterfinals. 4-Christ came back from 27-30 at halftime to beat Barclays Bank 61-59.
David Sinda shot 82% from the three-point line to top score for 4-Christ with 22 points while Franklin Delano top scored for Barclays with 14 points, Dan Nalwege scored 13 and Neville Ogutu had 11. 4-Christ scored half of their points from the three-point line.
Bayles Cossiga scored 11 of the first 13 points of the game to steer ANU to a 57-51 win over Upper Hill. He top scored with 20 points while David Ouma scored 16 for Upper Hill and Isaiah Ater added 13.
KBF Weekend Results
Saturday: MKU Thika 72 Eldonets 56, Storms 43 USIU-A 44, Ulinzi Blades 53 Equity Bank 56, Thunder 58 KU Pirates 54, Parklands Baptist 54 Eldonets 59; Sunday:  KPA 59 Eagle Wings 27, Barclays Bank 59 4-Christ 61, ANU 57 Upper Hill 51, Co-op Bank 48 Strathmore Swords 38, USIU-A 64 Masaku Sparks 52, Co-op Bank 56 USIU-A 86.

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