KPA and Equity Hawks emerge from AWBL groups with eyes on quarterfinals

Equity Hawks players celebrate after qualifying for the quartefinals.[FIBA]

The 2023 Africa Women's Basketball League in Egypt has been a stage for riveting basketball action, with Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Equity Hawks both advancing to the quarterfinals after a series of intense group games.

In Group A, KPA showed tenacity and skill, winning three matches and succumbing only to the host nation's powerhouse, Egypt’s Alexandria Sporting Club (ASC), in their final group match.

Alexandria, who finished unbeaten with eight points, overpowered KPA in a commanding 102-77 win, showcasing a strategic offense that left the Kenyan team struggling to keep up. Despite the setback, KPA clinched second place with seven points and an opportunity to redeem themselves in the quarterfinals.

Equity Hawks' journey in Group B was equally dramatic as they fought hard to edge out Cameroon’s Overdose in a nail-biting encounter that ended 76-73. The victory, sealed with a last-second buzzer-beater by Judith Pantaleo, who scored 24 points, ensured that the Hawks finished third with six points after two wins and two losses.

Pantaleo’s emergence as a clutch performer for Equity was a highlight, with her final quarter heroics underlining her potential to be a game-changer in the knockout stages.

The quarterfinals loom as a crucial test for both Kenyan teams, with Equity Hawks potentially facing KPA in a Kenyan derby that would not only serve as a local rivalry on the continental stage but also as a testament to the country’s growing influence in African basketball.

The performance of both teams reflects the competitive spirit and talent in the Kenyan basketball leagues, and their progress in the AWBL is being watched closely by fans back home.

With their eyes set on the prize, KPA aims to regroup and address their shortcomings, while the Equity Hawks look to continue their momentum and make a statement in the quarterfinals. The prospect of these two Kenyan teams possibly facing off adds an extra layer of excitement and national pride to the AWBL's thrilling quarterfinal matchups.

By AFP 17 hrs ago
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