|Tobbias Onyango (right) of KPA dribbles the ball past James Mwangi (left) of Co-operative Bank in the Kenya Basketball Federation semi final pla-offs, game one of five at the Makande GYM. Hosts KPA won 59-55. [PHOTO BY GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD].|
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) edged out defending champions Co-op Bank 2-0 in their Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men's Premier League semi finals play-offs held in Mombasa over the weekend.
KPA, who are on the verge of winning the best of five series, edged the visitors 59-55 after taking a 30-28 half time lead in game one staged on Saturday at Makande Gymnasium.
The hosts led the first three quarters 16-14, 14-8, and 18-12 but even their loss in the fourth quarter of 12-21 did not change the outcome of the match. Martin Gitonga and Joseph Ouma kept the hosts hope alive with top scores of 19 and 13 points respectively. The bankers were led by last year's MVP James Mwangi, who realised 18 points as Salim Ali added 12.
Co-op Bank were unlucky in game two played on Sunday at the same venue. KPA still managed to win with a four point margin after the game ended 66-62 to the hosts favour.
The bankers, who had taken a 32-30 half time lead dominated the first and third quarters, which they won 20-18 and 16-14. KPA instilled authority in second and fourth quarters winning 18-16 and 22-14.
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Allan Ouma and Mwangi gave Co-op Bank 15 and 11 points while KPA were buoyed by Ariel Okal who netted 18 and Martin Gitonga with 13.
The bankers now needs one more win out of the five-match series to claim an assailable 3-0 win to be on course of realising a ninth title in the KBF Premier League.
The other men's Premier League semis play-off pitted sensational Ulinzi, who were invincible in the second leg, against the United States International University (Usiu) Tigers played at Nyayo National stadium in Nairobi on Sunday.
The soldiers were able to overcome their opponents trailing from 27-25 at the breather to grasp a 70-58 win against the students side in game one.
The soldiers were led by William Ochieng and Ancette Wafula, who scored 19 and 20 points while Kevin Kigotho raked 12 for the losers.
League topping Zetech University carried on with the good run in the men's Division One semis play-offs by winning game one 89-76 against Dankind. Joshua Kisali and Joshua Okumu gave the winners 21 and 18 points as Sathiey Lwal and Joel Ntambwe scored 20 and 17 for the losers.
Kevin Sunguti (13 points) and Gilbert Obiero (11) led Umoja to edge Kenyan College of Accountancy University (KCA-U) 52-45 in the other men's Division One semis play-off. Alphonce Michiri (10) was outstanding for the students.