Basketball: Nairobi City Thunder strike Lakeside in Kisumu

Lakeside Emmanuel Kiyaka fights for the ball from Nairobi City Thunder players during the match between Lakeside and Nairobi city Thunder at Jomo Kenyatta sports ground in Kisumu on 4th November 2022. Nairobi City Thunder won with 63 against lakeside 59 baskets. Photo (Michael Mute, Standard)

Nairobi City Thunder on Sunday bounced back to winning ways after overpowering Lakeside 63-59 in a Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Premier League match played at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sportsground in Kisumu.

Kenya Morans captain Griffins Ligare dropped a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds to lead Thunder to victory in foreign territory as Justus Okitoyi scored 17 points with Charles Anjeho adding 15 points in the defeat.

Kennedy Okumu got the match on for Lakeside with easy two points in the paint before Tony Mwenda responded with a jump shot to tie the scores.

Byron Ochieng would hand Lakeside a 7-2 lead after a 5-0 run but again the visitors would rally through Ligare and Derrick Juma who pushed the game to a 10-10 first-quarter tie after Emmanuel Kiyaka scored one free throw and Okitoyi adding two from the line.

In the second quarter, Ligare busted out with two big three pointers and a total of nine points as Thunder outscored Lakeside 18-11 to lead 28-21 at halftime.

In the final half, Okitoyi started Lakeside comeback push with a nine-point play in the third quarter that would be capped by Anjeho and Kiyaka who added two points each for a 13-11 win that cut the Thunder gap to 39-34.

With all to play for in the last quarter, shooting guard Dennis Wekesa dropped a three-pointer before adding a layup to Anjeho and Ochieng driving layups to lead 51-44 with one minute left on the clock.

However, poor passing and possession set plays would come to haunt Lakeside with Derrick Juma and captain Ligare leading the Thunder strike back to tie the scores at 51-51.

Juma would hand the visitors a 53-51 lead with 17 seconds left to play before Okitoyi sent the game to overtime with a last ditch off the glass basket to tie the scores at 53-53.

In overtime, Ligare took matter into his own hands after converting six free throws and a baseline jump shot to lead Thunder to a 63-59 win. Lakeside failed to convert eight free throws and missed two easy layups in the overtime defeat.

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