KPA qualify for final, USIU-A leads Co-op Bank

By francis marangu
Jan 18, 2015
  • Diane Nikuse celebrates a point in a previous game. USIU-A Flames will miss three key players for the third match against Co-Op Bank on Monday. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has qualified for the Kenya Basketball Federation women premier league playoffs final after beating Sprite Storms 3-0 series.

The defending champions won game three 65-32 in Mombasa on Saturday and are likely to face USIU-A flames who lead Co-Operative Bank 2-0.

In Mombasa, KPA took a 34-9 halftime lead with Helen Oketch top scoring with 13 points and Carol Mureji adding 12. Angela Luchivya top-scored for Storms with 16.

USIU-A is only a game away from qualification after taking a 2-0 series lead over Co-op Bank and appear set up for a repeat of last year’s final. Game three will be played on Monday.

In game one, the students won 60-54 with Sarah Chan scoring a game high 25 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and played for 35:20 while Mercy Etyang top scored for Co-op Bank with 11 points and 8 rebounds while Grace Wanjiku added 10 and grabbed three rebounds

Out of 18 attempts, USIU-A made only three 3-point shots, scored 20 baskets from 50 attempts and eleven free-throws from 20 attempts. They enjoyed the lead for longest period at 29:53 and had the biggest lead of 17 points.

Co-op Bank’s 13 attempts from the 3-point line yielded fifteen points, scored nine free-throws from 12 attempts and 15 baskets from 40 attempts. The bankers only led for 3:16 and their biggest lead was three points.

In this game, the lead changed hands five times and tied six times.

Tougher game two

Game two was tougher for Co-op Bank who lost by 18 points as USIU-A won 61-43. Co-op Bank started off stronger of the two sides winning the first quarter 15-13 after earlier leading by seven points.

Sarah Chan who had 10 points by halftime scored crucial baskets to help USIU-A win the second quarter 18-6 for a 31-21 halftime lead.

The bankers only led in the first quarter after which they faded when USIU-A tok control. USIU-A killed off the game in second half winning 15-10 and 15-12 in the third and fourth quarters.

Chan top-scored for USIU-A with 19 points grabbing 14 rebounds after playing for 35:52 while Hilda Indasi added 16. Grace Wanjiku was Co-op Bank’s highest scorer with 13 points while Carol Ouma grabbed nine rebounds.

The students had the biggest lead of 20 points against the bankers’ seven. USIU-A scored 19 points from turnovers against Co-op Bank’s nine while 30 points for USIU-A came from the paint against Co-op Bank’s 18.

USIU-A head coach George Mayienga lamented the absence of key players in game three which could given an advantage to the bankers as they seek a comeback.

Indasi will have work commitments while Cynthia Irankunda, Zipporah Adhiambo and Diane Nikuse will be having classes. “The game will be tough without these players so its not done yet. There is nothing we can do.” Monday will be crucial for Mayienga as he tries a new combination.