BASKETBALL: Storms dim USIU-A Flames as Equity Bank overcome champions KPA
Former Kenya Basketball Federation women's Premier League holders Equity Bank Hawks yesterday beat reigning champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) 48-42 in a nail biting clash staged at United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) outdoor courts.
It was sweet victory for the 2016 league winners who ended their losing streak to the dockers. Last Season Equity lost all their matches to KPA and had also fallen to them in the first leg tie played in Mombasa. Back from injury Hilda Indasi starred for the bankers scoring an impressive 14 points while Belinda scored 14. Betty Kananu and Natalie Akinyi top scored for KPA with nine and seven points respectively.
Equity coach David Maina said that going into the match they were determined to win. "Last season we lost seven matches to KPA and we were not ready to fall to them once again," Maina said. He added that they were also using the league matches to prepare for this year's Interbanks competition next week and also the Africa Zone Five Club Championships in Tanzania at the end of September.
KPA controlled the first quarter of the match taking a comfortable 11-4 by the break. However, gritty Hawks were not ready to fall for the nineth time to the dockers and returned stronger in the second quarter to take it 10-7. Despite trailing 14-17 at halftime, there was no looking back for the bankers as they ruled the court scoring at will to make it 20-13.
With a 44-31 lead at the end of the third period, the Hawks were home and even as KPA fought to salvage the game. The bankers cruised to victory taking the final quarter 14-11.
In another women's encounter, Swords who subjected KPA to their first defeat of the season a fortnight ago beat hosts USIU-A Flames 51-34 to increase their chances of qualifying for league playoffs. The hosts took the first quarter 10-8 but Storms returned stronger in the second period to snatch it 13-4 and take a 21-14 lead at the breather.
Led by revered forward Mercy Wanyama, Storms took the third and fourth quarters 17-11 and 13-9 to close in on a last eight slot. Strathmore Swords thrashed Footprints 60-21 in another women's Premier League tie.
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