29 October 2018

Kenya: Champions Kpa Land Usiu Tigers in Playoff Quarters

Defending champions Kenya Ports Authority will take on United States International University - Africa (USIU-A) Tigers in the Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League playoffs quarter finals.

KBF competition secretary Joseph Amoko said the quarters will be on best of three series and will see the best placed teams in the league standing play their first games away before finishing the remainder of the series at home.

The Dockers, who finished the regular season in first place, are the clear favourites against the students who have struggled this season and only scraped through to the playoffs after Trailblazers failed to honour their last league fixture thereby benefitting from a 20-0 walkover.

Ulinzi Warriors, who were second, clash with Umoja while Thunder square it out with Equity Bank. Last year's runners-up Strathmore University Blades will have date with fellow students Kenya College of Accountancy - University (KCA-U).

In the women's league, the pairings are yet to be determined with two league matches set to be played this week.

On Thursday, Kenyatta University's Oryx might move to seventh with victory over struggling Masaku Sparks. KPA women play Eagle Wings on Friday with hopes of clinching second place in the regular season ahead of Storms.

The women's teams that have qualified for the playoffs include Equity Hawks, Storms, KPA, Strathmore University's Swords, Zetech University, Eagle Wings, USIU-A Flames and Kenyatta University's Oryx

Meanwhile, Kaya Tiwi secondary school girls' basketball team beat Pwani Hoopers 38-17 to lift the inaugural Mombasa Divas basketball tournament held at the KPA Hall Makande at the weekend.

The reigning national secondary school's girls' basketball champions also dominated the awards ceremony running away with the Most valuable player award, top scorer and best rebounder award at this event organized by the Mombasa Veterans in partnerships with the Mombasa Basketball Association whose sole aim is to promote basketball among girls in the region.

Five women teams took part in this inaugural event which Dan Okwiri, one of the sponsors said will be held after every three months exclusively for the women teams to promote women's basketball which has been lagging behind in the region.

Lilian Akinyi Ochola, a form three student at Kaya Tiwi who represented Kenya at the Basketball Without Borders tournament in South Africa in August, was voted tournament most valuable player and top scorer at the same time while her school mate Yvonne Atieno was voted best rebounder.

Others awards went to Jecinta Adhiambo of Pwani Hoopers who was voted best defensive player, Emmaculate Wambere of Starlets was best shooter while Pwani Hoopers won the best disciplined team award.

Other teams that participated this tournament include Masaku Sparks, Uprising and KPA Homegrown.

"As former players, we have decided to give back to the society by organsing tournaments for the youth especially the girl child and must say I was very impressed that the tournament could attract up to five women teams on a short notice and would now want to do it quarterly as we strive to ensure more women teams take part in this game of basketball in the region," said Okwiri, a former Kenya international and KPA player.

Kaya Tiwi captain Yvonne Atieno said the team was slowly building up ahead of the national secondary schools Term One games to be staged in Mombasa where she expects the school to successfully defend the title for the fourth consecutive year.

"Our main challengers Butere Girls, Tigoi girls, Barchando secondary, St Brigids Kiminini and Buru Buru are training very hard and participating in tournaments with an aim of wrestling the title from us next year but it will not be that easy," said Atieno who turns out for KPA women.


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