Champs KPA on the brink of title defence
The Kenya Basketball League Federation (KBF) defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) inched closer to defending their title after sealing in a semifinal place after crushing Strathmore’s Blades 88-56 in Game Two quarter final playoffs on Saturday.
The Dockers who enjoyed the support of hundreds of fans at their home court Makande Gymnasium finished the work they had started in Nairobi last weekend in style, after winning 86-73 in Game One.
The win takes KPA to a hard and tricky semi-final fixture against Ulinzi who topped the regular league with 43 points and had earlier edged out Lakeside of Kisumu in their quarter final encounter.
In Game Two against Blades, KPA started off well with a 22-16 win in the first quarter, Keegan Oyugi scoring seven points for the Dockers as Fidel Okoth scored the same for Blades.
Ken Wachira came from the bench scoring six same as Job Byron to take the dockers to half time enjoying a 51-26 lead after winning 29-10 in the second quarter.
In the third quarter Blades looked sharper drawing 14-14 but KPA made their mission impossible winning 23-16 in the fourth quarter.
“I’m happy for the win, I expected it. The boys played very well, executed the game plan as instructed and I’m looking forward to the semis having in mind Ulinzi will not be an easy walk in the park,” KPA head coach Sammy Kiki said after the win.
His sentiments were echoed by his assistant head coach Samuel Ocholla.
“The game was cool; Blades was a bit down compared to the way they played game one. We anticipate a win in the Game One and two of the semi finals scheduled to take place next weekend against the tough Ulinzi,” Ocholla said.
Blades head coach Tony Ochieng put up a brave face despite the defeat hailing his players.
“Playing KPA away is always difficult; I thank my players for their efforts. We didn’t have enough preparations due to injuries of our five players and also preparations for exams,” Ochieng lamented.
Stathmore’s captain George Okoth also weighed in. He said:“We played better but it wasn’t good enough, we had a young team and we hope to build from it come next season,” Okoth added.
KPA will be facing Ulinzi in Game One and Two of the semis playoffs in Mombasa next weekend while Thunder will meet Equity Bank.