By ERICK OCHIENG’
|Erick Makhoha (Mennonites) dribble past Erick Odhiambo of Co-op Bank.|
Co-op Bank Spartans has successfully retained the Kenya Basketball Federation men’s Premier League trophy after beating Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in game three played at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Friday night.
Co-op Bank, who won game one 70-88 on Wednesday and game two 74-64 on Thursday kept up with the spirit to claim a third straight of 85-72 in the best of five series. The champions have now won the title eight times, four of them in a row now.
Elated coach, Carey Odhiambo attributed hard work and dedication for the success his team is currently enjoying.
“It was team work that led us here. I am more than inspired to leave a legacy. But we will not rest on our laurels. There is more work a head for us to do. We need to improve our defence and offensive skills,” said Odhiambo.
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The tactician also bagged the Best Coach Award while Co-op Bank’s forward James Mwangi was voted the Most Valuable Player. Others who led Co-op Bank to victory include Salim Ali, Tony Abondo, Brian Busu and Joseph Khaemba.
KPA won the inaugural title in 1987 but have since gone for 21 years without winning the league title ever since they returned in 1991.
KPA coach Anthony Ojukwu promised to work on their weaknesses that saw them win no game in the finals series.
“Our opponents had a better game but we hope to win soon,” said Ojukwu.
Martin Gitonga, Ariel Okal and Alex Lugasi were quite outstanding on KPA’s side in the final.
Meanwhile, women’s champions Eagle Wings on Friday night departed to Morocco for the FIBA Africa women basketball Club championships.
The trip to the North Africa country was delayed by three days due to lack of funds. The team needed Sh1 million to facilitate their travel to the tournament.
Team manager Wesonga Agina said the government provided air tickets worth Sh1.8 million while Equity Bank injected a Sh100,000 bonus.
“We appreciate everyone who has contributed towards our trip and we look forward to a better performance this year,” said Wesonga.