Former East Africa boys basketball champions Laiser Hill yesterday launched their quest to reclaim the crown with a resounding 65-34 win over Tanzania’s Don Bosco at International School of Moshi, in the ongoing regional games in Arusha, Tanzania.
The Kenyan champions, who are looking to recapture the title they last won in 2012, overcame a slow start to outclass their hosts and win their Group A opener.
Brans Nzioka top scored for Laiser Hill with 14 points, while captain Douglas Kivati added 10.
Don Bosco’s Anthony Oscar sunk a game-high of 15 points.
Kivati said they will be looking for better performance in their next matches.
“We had some lapses at the beginning but being the first game, there is still room for improvement,” said Kivati.
“We will analyse how we played and work on the areas that were failing us for us to have a better match in our next assignment.”
The first quarter was scrappy with both sides struggling to settle as they made numerous unforced errors.
The Kenyan boys were able to squeeze a narrow 10-9 lead going into the break.
Guard Aubert Balingi came off the bench to help Laiser Hill Academy find their footing in the second quarter.
They scored an impressive 19 points against the opponents’ eight, for a 29-17 advantage going into half time.
The Kenyans were unstoppable in the second half, silencing the home crowd as they took the third and fourth quarters 16-6 and 20-11 to complete their first win.
In the girls’ title chase, 2016 winners Kaya Tiwi tasted their first defeat after going down to rivals St Mary’s Kitende in their second Group A match at St Constantine Grounds.
Yvonne Atieno starred in the match but her match-high of 18 was not good enough to bring joy to her side as they lost 58-66 to the skillful Ugandans.
Yvonne Akello top scored for Kitende with 17 points.
It was also a bad day for the Kenyan girls at St Constantine as Nyakach Girls were whipped 96-24 by their ruthless Kitende opponents in their opening Group B tie.
Tanzanian girls Misungwi were also not spared by the ferocious Ugandans as Ngando drubbed them 82-24.
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