Rookies Emyba leap to third place as USIU-A struggle
Debutants Emyba ended the first leg of the ongoing Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) 2019 men’s Premier League with victory against United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Tigers at the weekend.
Emyba beat Tigers 75-58 to chalk their fifth victory of the season, increasing their chances of qualifying for playoffs on their first attempt.
The trio of Tony Mwenda, Thomas Kioko and Eugine Adera was instrumental for Emyba with 17, 16 and 15 points respectively. Fred Onono led USIU-A with 12 points while Ariel Ortega added 11.
The first half was evenly contested but the students were keen to force a half basket lead having taken the first quarter 11-10 before playing to a level 25-25 in the second.
It was in the second half where Emyba won the match as they dominated Tigers to take the third quarter 22-13 and open an eight-point lead going into the final period.
Emyba quartet of Erick Olum, Mwenda, Kioko and Emmanuel Ekai ensured the fourth quarter ended in their favour as their effort generated 18 points against USIU-A’s nine to deliver a fifth win.
The victory saw novices Emyba move to third place on the log with 16 points from 11 outings.
They are behind former champions Ulinzi Warriors, who have 21 points.
Thunder, who are the only side that has beaten Ulinzi, have 19 points with a match in hand having won nine and lost one.
USIU-A are rooted at the wrong end of the table with eight points from seven outings while Lakeside are above them with nine.
New entrants Eldonets are fourth with 15 points whereas defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) are fifth with 14 points from eight encounters.
In the women’s title chase, Storms lead the table with 18 points after completing their first leg task.
Champions Equity Bank Hawks and Strathmore Swords, who are yet to drop a point, are tied on 14 points having won all their seven matches.
African Nazarene University (ANU), who made their Premier League debut this season, were the top gainers as they earned crucial double victory to move from the bottom spot to eighth place.
KPA ladies, who relinquished their crown to Equity last season, are last.
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