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Eliud Owalo Foundation Tournament: Dominant Dockers shut down Hawks

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11 – National Women’s Basketball League leaders and defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) put in a dominant third quarter performance to shut out Equity Hawks and beat them 54-46 in their opening match in Group A vs Eliud Owalo Foundation Tournament at the Ulinzi Complex on Saturday evening.

The Dockers limited Hawks to just one free throw point in the entire ten minutes of the third quarter, a shutout that clinched the game. They trailed 31-26 at half-time but bench changes by coach Anthony Ojukwu ensured the Mombasa-based side-pick emerged victorious.

“I wanted to sort out my team and give some playing time to some players who normally don’t get opportunities to play in the league. The starting five didn’t start the game very well and it shows that we still have some work to do to bridge the gap between them and the starters,” Ojukwu said. Capital sports after the match.

He added; “This is a great tournament for us, especially just before the play-offs. It helps me as a coach to keep my team very competitive and it also helps us know where we stand and what we have to do because these are the same teams we will face.”

Only one player in double figures

KPA’s Rebecca Nkatha battles Equity’s Betty Kananu during their match at the Ulinzi Sports Complex. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Congolese import Grace Irebu starred for KPA with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, with her performance crucial to the turnaround.

She was the only KPA player to reach double figures in scores, with Belinda Okoth having nine, Rebecca Nkatha and Vilma Owino eight, while skipper Natalie Akinyi picked seven.

KPA skipper Melissa Akinyi had a 12-point performance with Maryanne Nyagaki picking up nine points and former KPA center Rita Anyango taking seven points.

The first quarter was a seesaw and ended with KPA leading by half a basket at 15-14. In the second quarter, however, the bankers upped their game and with two hours to go, Nyagaki made an easy basket under the rim as they opened a six-point lead, scoring at 26-20.

This led to an Ojukwu timeout, but the Bankers maintained the gap with Elizabeth Okumu’s three-pointer at the buzzer to see them go to halftime at 31-26.

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But the dockers came back from the changing rooms with a different side as Ojukwu breathed fire on them during the half-time pep talk. Within the first minute of the match they scored 6-0 to take the lead again and from then on they didn’t look back.

Stocks call for a timeout

KPA skipper Natalie Akinyi dribbles away from Equity’s Melissa Akinyi. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

With 2:11 to play and only one point left, Equity coach Ben Oluoch called a timeout to stem the tide, but that didn’t help much as KPA led by eight and scored at 40-32 when he got to the final. quarter.

The Bankers started with Jemimah Omondi at point guard and this seemingly brought their act together. However, they went toe to toe as KPA made sure the gap they opened at the end of the third quarter remained for them to win.

Both teams will each play a match against Storms on Saturday. A win for the dockers saw them get A1 placement, while Equty had to win but they could only get A2 placement.

In Pool B, University teams Zetech, USIU and Strathmore face each other.