KENYA : Champs Lions pip Posta in a cracker to remain unbeaten

Reigning national champions KCB Lions over the weekend pipped Posta 59-57 in a top tie played at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.

This explosive tie, watched by a good crowd, ended in confusion with a contentious David Otiso drive after both giants were locked 57-57 in the waning seconds of this cracker. Before that match, both teams were the only unbeaten sides in the show.

The mailmen, who have not lost a league tie in two and half years, immediately filed a protest after game ended with captain Ben Oluoch signing the scoresheet. Posta contested that Otiso's basket was scored long after the final horn would have gone.

No buzzer suprisingly sounded to end this stormy show and Posta raced to the other end of the court missing a potential decider amid confusion before scoree keeper Charles Goro switched the alarm after the game clock failed to go off signalling the end.

Posta's tactician Ronny Owino told Fiba hours latter on phone that the result would stand." There is no need for that protest. I think we were well placed to win this game in normal time.It was harsh losing it, but that is sports." said Owino in a true sporting gesture.

Posta rode on a superb 20-12 high in the first quarter. But KCB changed the tide in the second scoring at will before the losers had made any basket to tie it 24-24, 26-26 and a basket by Samuel Mogeshi saw them take a 31-28 edge at the break.

The third quarter got off in style with Ancette Wafula swishing a long range three pointer and Ben Oluoch scoring to again tie it 37-37 after which the game swung from one end line to the other with the crowd rooting. There were more ties at 42-24 and 44-44.

Another Wafula three pointer bomb saw Posta sail away 56-44 without even scoring a field goal- all points were from the line. The losers then seemed home and dry with just over three minutes still to play.Then the tide dramatically swung Lions way.

Two three pointers from Tobias Onyango and Juma Ikapian saw Lions regain the advantage at 57-56 and Posta forward JP Nyadaro then went to the line mising one foul shot giving KCB a chance for one last gasp attempt. And they took it with both hands.

It came after Yoni Wnambiro was foul sending him to the line for two foul shots with 0:04 seconds left on the clock. But he missed both attempts. Still Lions had the last possession from mid court. And more drama was to follow.

The ball went to Ikapian who found the range too long to shoot and dished it to Otiso who was all alone on the wing. The lanky forward, hesitated as if to shoot then decided to drive the lane for a lay up that sealed Posta's fate.

The player who stole the show was Wafula. He has been away in the gulf but he still showed remarkable accuracy as he sunk team high 21 points that included four three pointers. Oluoch added 13. For Lions, it was Onyango who hit double figures with 21.

Francis "Officer" Ngunjiri, the long serving Lions said." I am very happy at the way my boys responded in this tough game.The refereeing was not very good to us but we showed we are true champions." he noted.

Former national champions Co-operative Bank of Kenya clobbered Lombiritz 71-42 in a one sided. The bankers got off to a slow start taking the first quarter 13-7 and the second 22-15. Led by Ben Mufutu, Collins Gaya, Moses Kamau, Eugene Genga and Richard Osano Co-op were too strong.

They were up 13-11 as Lomboritz rallied behind Rogers Magati, Dennis Chute and Melvin Oketch. But the last one was easy for the victors as they tallued a strong 23-9 difference to carry the day. Mufuitu nailed 15 points and Gaya 11. For the losers Magati hit 15.

United States International University (USIU) won 63-56 over University of Nairobi "Terrorists" as Chris Mulumba nailed 23 points, Rocky Achega hit 21 and Victor Bwire made 17 for the victors.. UoN had 17 from Sam Kiria with Ken Githinji making 14.

In the women's show, Eagle Wings hit Mennonites 60-32 behind 12 points from Rebecca Sarange, 11 points from national team star Caroline Achieng and 10 from Bridgit Nanzala. Mennonites, who trailed 26-22 at the break, had 11 from Sarah Anyango.

Emma Nyakweba shot 15 points including 3-three pointers, Irene Makori added 14 and Mitchelle Otinda nailed 11 as Eastern Queens stopped Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University. Monica Odhiambo led KCA with 14 points.

National team point guard, Samba Mjomba scored 13 points to lead USIU Flames to a hard fought 45-38 win over a dtermined Sprite Storms side who had game high 17 points from Beatrice Juma.

In the only lower division ties, Blazers nip the visiting Nakuru Club behind 13 points from Mutwiri Kiogora. Richard Randa led the losers with 17 points while Joseph Ngure tallied another 12. KCA impressive run continued with a 60-49 win over Africa Nazarene University (ANU).

The Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) matches played at Railways Club, saw leaders Trailblazers crushed Balozi 67-47. Joshua Vuva scored 25 points while Savio Kanyanya had 12 for the losers. Vuva also hit 17 and Dennis Oyaro 17 in a convincing 70-43 win over Nairobi Aviation College (NAC).

Eric Mabwi scored 21 and Nicholas Muli had 20 as Kenya Airpors Authority (KAA) thumped Balozi 83-45. Baraka Xtreme were too smart for Madison posting a 48-28 win behind Calvin Apwoka's 13 points. FOB won 55-23 over Don Bosco Joseph Achega nailed 23 points.They lost 50-61 though to NAC.

Don Bosco had 20 points from Mike Angaine as they thumped Sattelite Mercenaries 50-28. Madison had it easy beating Upper Hill School 75-41 in a game that saw Romanus Nehondo and Edward Nalo each recorded 13 points.