Fiba Africa Zone Five women's basketball championships: Equity Bank dismiss debutants Nile Legends

Selina Okumu [right] of Kenya Ports Authority and Samba Mjomba of Equity Bank are in action during Basketball National tournament held at KPA gymnasium in Mombasa. 27th February 2022.[Omondi Onyango,Standard] 

Equity Bank powered their way to the quarter finals of Fiba Africa Zone Five women’s basketball championships that enters its fourth day in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, today. 

The bankers were in a must-win situation before they easily dispatched debutants Nile Legends from South Sudan 78-37 to sail to the quarterfinals and revive their hopes of reclaiming the title they surrendered in 2019 to Uganda’s Dolphins. 

The bankers tried in vain to recapture the trophy last year but failed at the hands of Kenya Ports Authority, who beat them in finals. 

In yesterday’s match, Equity Bank Hawks cheered by KPA players in solidarity gave the Sudanese little space to breath as they swung the ball in the pitch to take a 18-9 lead in the first quarter before extending the lead to a comfortable 39-18 at the breather. 

Coached by Njeri Kamau, the bankers who lost 51-49 to Alexandria of Egypt in their opening match won the third quarter 20-11 before sealing it with a 19-8 win in the fourth quarter. 

The Legends under coach Lam Nyang had 6-0 as their biggest run compared to Equity’s 17-0. 

Shani Agalo was the top scorer for the bankers with 15 points while Christine Akinyi slammed 14 points as Annrose Atieno and Lindesy Nandako tied on eight points for the Nairobi-based side. Yasmina Cojakaya and Deng Boir had 17 and 12 points respectively for the Sudanese.  

The quarterfinals pairing will be done today after the conclusion of the group stage matches. 

Another Kenyan team and defending champions KPA were due to play Rwanda’s Reg last evening. The dockers were the first team to qualify for quarterfinals after defeating  Burundi’s Young Sisters 69-42 in their opening match on Monday. 

The winner of the zone during the Sunday’s final will automatically qualify for the FIBA Africa Champions Cup in December.  

Meanwhile KPA men’s basketball team has been grouped alongside Djabal, Gospin, Foxes Club and Bekkedda Club in pool D of the Basketball Africa League (BAL).