KPA edge Patriots to reach FIBA semis
- Kenyan champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) sailed to the African Zone Five Championship semi-finals after outlasting Patriots of Rwanda 65-61 in the quarters staged in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
- KPA who finished third in last year’s edition held in Uganda started awfully, going 18-21 in the opening quarter before taking the second 17-16 in a tight contest
Kenyan champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) sailed to the African Zone Five Championship semi-finals after outlasting Patriots of Rwanda 65-61 in the quarters staged in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
KPA who finished third in last year’s edition held in Uganda started awfully, going 18-21 in the opening quarter before taking the second 17-16 in a tight contest.
Patriots rebounded with a huge 9-17 performance in the third quarter but KPA’s response was just as emphatic, winning the last quarter 21-7 to take the game.
Steven Hagumintwari showed his individual brilliance for Patriots emerging the top scorer with 16 points but this could not match the team work of KPA led by Victor Bosire who scored 14 points, Victor Ochieng and James Mwangi who scored 12 points each.
Speaking to Citizen Digital, KPA captain Samuel Ocholla could not hide his feelings.
“It’s a good feeling especially coming down and winning since many had written us off but we believed in ourselves taking one game at a time. We shall remain focused and through team work we shall go far.” Jovial Ochola said.
Team’s head coach Sammy Kiki said he was proud of his players for the effort they put in Friday’s game even as they prepare to face SMOUHA of Egypt in Saturday’s semi final. When the two sides met in group stage, SMOUHA defeated KPA 80-53.
On their side, Strathmore’s Blades were knocked out of the championship after losing 53-71 to SMOUHA of Egypt in Friday’s quarter final.
Blades who were competing in the championship for the first time will be leaving the tournament with only one win of 101-45 they registered against Welkite of Ethiopia; a win that saw them qualify for the quarter finals.
“The experience and exposure will help to analyse and strategise now for the league matches. It was a good performance by the team moving forward and it will help us on good game structure.” Blades head coach Tony Ochieng after the exit.
Blades will now be focusing on the remaining three league games against Equity, Lakeside and Thunder when they back in the country on Monday.
In other quarter finals matches played on Friday, AL-AHLY of Egypt smashed out COBRA of South Sudan 71-44 while REG of Rwanda humiliated home team Oilers of Tanzania by a win of 99-59.
AL-AHLY will face REG in another semi final on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Equity Bank ladies team won their third match consecutively defeating home team JKT of Tanzania 69-48
Equity that are playing in the round of robin will be required to win the remaining two matches to be declared champions but things will not be easy for them since they will be meeting compatriots and the defending champions KPA in their last match on Sunday.
The ‘bankers’ will be playing Welkite of Ethiopia today while KPA who rested yesterday will be taking on UCU of Uganda.
Welkite( Ethiopia) VS Equity Bank (Kenya) – 10:45 AM
KPA (Kenya) VS UCU (Uganda) – 12:30 PM
JKT (Tanzania) VS APR (Rwanda) – 14:15 PM
Men’s Semi Finals
SMOUHA (Egypt) VS KPA (Kenya) – 4:00 PM
AL-AHLY (Egypt) VS REG (Rwanda) – 5:45 PM
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