Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) ended Mozambique's Ferroviario de Maputo's seven-game winning streak with a 79-67 win in the Basketball Africa League qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda, despite travel hitches.
The Dockers, who traveled by road from Mombasa to Kigali, missed their opening match against Uganda’s City Oilers after arriving late. Their opponents got a walkover.
KPA reaffirmed their intentions to play in Africa’s top plight league next year. KPA’s point guard Faisal Aden put up a man-of-the-match performance scoring 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and four steals to guide the Mombasa side to their first victory in Group H.
KPA led 16-10 at the end of the first quarter but Ferroviario who were without their star player Alvaro Calvo Masa, came back strong to tie the game at 34 at half time.
KPA went on a 13-point scoring run to take a 53-40 lead in the third quarter. Michael Kazunguzibwa and Okall Koranga added 16 and 14 points for KPA as they cruised to victory, ending Ferroviario's seven-game unbeaten run in the qualifiers.
Ermelindo Novela was the only Ferroviario player who scored double digits with 16 points while Heltn Ubisse picked an impressive 12 rebounds and added seven points but their efforts were not enough to keep Ferroviario's unbeaten streak.
KPA coach Sammy Kiki said his charges braved the travel hitches.
“We showed quality basketball is made in Kenya and I am proud of the boys,” said Kiki.
Kiki said they have filed an application seeking to reverse the walkover against City Oilers. “We communicated to the event organisers that we were facing traveling challenges and asked for rescheduling of our first match,” said Kiki.
KPA were due to play Cobra Sport from South Sudan last night. KPA beat Cobra 81-78 in Madagascar last month in the first round of the qualifiers.
The top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals, where the top three teams qualify for Basketball African League regular season in March next year.