False start for Thunder

By francis marangu
Mar 20, 2021
  • Equity Bank beat Thunder as the basketball season started. Thunder were a pale shadow of the team that reached the playoffs last season.

Last season’s men's Premier League playoffs semifinalists Nairobi City Thunder launched their 2016 campaign with a false start after losing two games over the weekend in Nairobi.

On Saturday, they lost 73-81 to Lions before being overwhelmed 84-53 by Equity Bank on Sunday.

Thunder never played as a team against Equity and never led for the entire period. The bankers were  dominant in their offensive play coupled with good rebounding.

Griffin Ligare, Charles Kituyi and Kevin Chogo who were the forces behind their successful season in 2015 could not help Thunder from the humiliating defeat.

In the first four minutes of first quarter, Equity led 6-0 with two free shots and a basket from Brian Obimbo while new signing from University of Nairobi Frank Manyara made two free shots. The bankers won the quarter 23-11.

In second quarter, Equity extended the lead to 13 points at 38-25 and won the quarter 25-18 for 48-29 at halftime. The gap widened to 28 points in third quarter at 61-33 and claimed the quarter 23-12.

Thunder did not give the bankers any challenge in fourth quarter as they scored freely for a 33-point lead at 82-49. Victor Orare who has joined Equity from Nakuru Club top scored with 16 points while Edwin Nyakinda added 14.

Ligare hit five three-pointers and made six free shots to top score for Thunder with 25 points.

Co-op Bank recruitment pays off

Co-operative Bank beat Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) 78-70 in the battle of former champions. Both teams exchanged leads severally but it was Co-op Bank who have recruited heavily having the last laugh.

They have released Japheth Areba and David Ogola who have joined United States International University- Africa (USIU-A), Tony Abondo and Lewis Muya.

In turn, they have signed William Mayiel and Sila Awour both from Terror, Felix Odhiambo from Thunder, Marvin Odhiambo from Lions, Paul Nyakinda from Equity and Nick Anyang’ from Nakuru Club.

Co-op Bank won first quarter 17-15 after leading once only at 5-2. KPA led 2-0, 7-5, 13-11 and 15-13 with ties of 2-2, 5-5, 11-11, 13-13 and 15-15. The bankers enjoyed a one-point lead at halftime of 28-27 after KPA won second quarter 22-21.

In the quarter, KPA led 25-22 after making a comeback but Co-op Bank went on a 10-0 scoring run to lead 32-25. They had the biggest lead of 11 points at 38-27. In reply, Evans Letting scored seven points to lead KPA into a 10-0 scoring run as the quarter came to a close.

The game was for anyone to win in third quarter and it was Titus Musembi who stood out with moves that wowed fans. He scored 11 points as Co-op Bank won 23-12 to break away.

KPA never enjoyed the lead in the quarter as Co-op Bank dictated play and tied twice at 38-38 and 46-46. Co-op Bank stretched the lead to 19 points in fourth quarter at 68-49 but late surge by KPA yielded nothing. Musembi finished with 15 points while James Mwangi scored 14.

Three pointers

Letting top scored for KPA with 24 points that included four three-pointers. Co-op Bank scored six points from free shots and 18 from three-pointers while KPA made eleven free shots and scored 21 from the arc.

On Saturday, KPA condemned newcomers Trailblazers to their second defeat with a 84-59 win. Champions Ulinzi Warriors made it two wins with a 65-49 score over Nakuru Club.

In the women's Premier League, KPA beat Co-op Bank 56-44 and earned a 20-0 walkover win over Ulinzi Blades.

Equity Bank beat Masaku Sparks 71-50. Masaku won first quarter 15-12 but Equity dominated the rest 14-10, 21-9 and 24-16 respectively. Samba Mjomba had a game high 23 points for Equity and new signing from Storms Mercy Wanyama added 17.

Pamela Sinda scored 11 points in fourth quarter to top score for Masaku with 19. Equity scored 24 points from the free-throw line and made one three-pointer while Masaku made four three-pointers and four free shots.

Weekend Results: Masaku Sparks 50 Equity Bank 71, Equity Bank 84 Thunder 53, Co-op Bank 78 KPA Men 70, KPA 84 Trailblazers 59, KPA Women 56 Co-op Bank 44, Terror 52 Barclays Bank 54, Ulinzi 45 Riara University 31, Zetech Sparks 37 Egerton University 10, KCA-U Ladies 34 Daystar Falcons 60, Nakuru Club 49 Ulinzi Warriors 65, Lions 81 Thunder 73.