KPA in fine start

Kenya Ports Au­thor­ity beat Ubumwe of Rwanda at Zone 5 ball

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports Local - BY PHILIP ONYANGO @philiponyango4

Kenya Ports Au­thor­ity women bas­ket­ball team made their in­ten­tion of re­claim­ing the FIBA Zone Five club cham­pi­onship ti­tle clear when they ham­mered a sturb­bon Ubumwe from Rwanda 62-51 in game one in Dar es Salaam, Tan­za­nia on Satur­day.

The Dock­ers who last won the tro­phy, cur­rently held by KCCA of Uganda, four years ago, were in a class of their own in the first and sec­ond quar­ters when they outscored the Rwan­dese 13-06 and 19-11 to lead 3819 at the break in this cat­e­gory be­ing played on a round rob­bin for­mat.

Ubumwe who have among others Bu­rundi and Berco Stars for­ward Ines Negev­erwa and Rwanda Pa­tri­otic Army’s San­dra Kan­tore and Char­lotte Umug­waneza in their line-up re- turned to the sec­ond ses­sion de­ter­mined, match­ing the dock­ers score by score to re­duce the gap.

The tow­er­ing Negev­erwa, ar­guably the tallest player at this cham­pi­onship was un­stop­pable in­side the paint, con­trol­ling both the de­fen­sive and of­fen­sive re­bounds to score a game high 15 points. Umug­waneza and San­dra scored 13 and nine points re­spec­tively for Ubumwe while Mercy Wanyama, the younger sis­ter of Vic­tor Wanyama the English Premier League foot­ball club Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur mid­fielder, scored 13 points to lead KPA while Natalie Akinyi had 10 points.

“We played very well in the first half but ran out of steam in the sec­ond which is not good enough. We can­not af­ford to be a two-quar­ter team at this level,” KPA head coach An­thony Ojukwu said af­ter the game.

His Ubumwe coun­ter­part Jac­ques Bahige blamed the de­feat to fa­tigue, say­ing his play­ers had not rested enough af­ter ar­riv­ing in Dar es Salaam just a few hours be­fore the game.

“KPA women are def­i­nitely a bet­ter team but I feel we could have given a could ac­count of our­selves if we had had enough rest,” Bahige whose team ar­rived in Dar es Salaam at 3am on Satur­day said.

Ear­lier Kenya cham­pi­ons Ulinzi War­riors faced a bap­tism of fire when they were hu­mil­i­ated 93-55 in the open­ing match by City Oil from Uganda.

The Kenya soldiers were a pale shadow of them­selves par­tic­u­lar in the sec­ond half when the Ugan­dans outscored them.

Ulinzi coach Wil­liam Balozi while ad­mit­ting there was a se­ri­ous prob­lem with the team promised to make amends in the re­main­ing matches.

“Yes we have been out­ma­noeu­vred but know where the prob­lem is.”

/PIC- CEN­TRE

Yvonne Akinyi of KPA chal­lenges Mau­reen An­di­ala of USIU dur­ing their kenya Bas­ket­ball League match at Up­per Hill School in Nairobi on 10 Septem­ber 2016.

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