UNITED States International University (USIU) beat Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) 104-88 in over time in a storming play-off semi finals match at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
The students got off to a dream start, taking a huge 23-6 first quarter lead but the porters clawed back as the exiting Fred Lugasi started to exert pressure. KPA took their first lead t 72-71 on a basket by Martin Gitonga but failed to hang on to it as fatigue set in.
Tigers broke open this cracking tie again and Chris Mulumba made it 83-85 before locking it 85 all with 0:45 left to play. No side would score as the match was deadlocked setting off another five minutes of play.
In over time, USIU wrecked the porters, taking a 19-3 cushion as the students registered a century ever play-off series. Kevin Macharia scored 20 points, Victor Bosire nailed and Evans Letting added 17 for the winners.
For KPA, who will host Game Two and Three if necessary in Mombasa next weekend, siblings Fred and Alex Lugasi scored 22 points a piece.
Reigning women champions Eagle Wings beat KPA 56-49 after trailing 23-27 at the break. Samba Mjomba scored 21 points, Angela Okoth managed 12 and Everlyne Nora hit 11 for Wings. KPA had 15 from Millicent Anyango. Game two and three will be played in Mombasa.
In the lower division semis, Upper Hill dismissed Nakuru Club 72-63 as William Okombo scored 20 points while Joseph Ongoro and Dan Osale made 19 and 13 points respectively. James Okerio bagged 30 and Ariel Okal 10.
In a classification match, Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCA) nipped Kenyatta University "Oryx" 66-63. Alphonse Muchiri scored 17 and Gerald Mwangi 19 for KCA as Renny Moibi and Nick Odhiambo scored 16 and 12.