By PHILIP ONYANGO
Kenya Ports Authority women’s basketball team failed to impress at the Africa club championships when they were defeated 68-54 by Desportivo from Mozambique in the quarter-final of the 15th edition of the Fiba tournament in Benin.
This is the sixth year in a row that KPA has been made to fight for position seven and eighth at this prestigeous event.
The dockers, who were the most experienced team at the tournament having been part of every club championship for the past seven years, only won one match against the newcomers Energie from Benin in the opening tie.
They were due to play Sporting Club from Alexandria in the fight for position seven and eight yesterday, while the championships finals will be held today. In their final preliminary match, Nigeria’s First Bank humiliated them 84-29.
With all the players in the current KPA line-up having played in at least four of the previous championships, many expected that the dockers would use their experience to outwit the newcomers at the championships, which brings together zonal champions from all over Africa.
First Bank, who finished third at last year’s championships in Nairobi, were all over the clueless KPA and comfortably led 22-6 in the first quarter and 38-22 at the break.
Double digit figures
The Nigerians came to the second half a stronger side, outscoring KPA 26-01 to take a big 64-23 lead at the end of the third quarter before completing the rout with a 20-08 win in the fourth quarter for the 84-29. Greens Danielle was First Bank’s star player with 17 points to her credit, while Sadik Rashidale and Odiala Chaima scored 10 points each.
None of the KPA players managed a double digit figure in this encounter with Agnes Anyango and Irene Murambi managing to score seven and five points respectively.
Despite the heavy losses in their group, KPA still managed to sneak into the quarter-finals, thanks to the last minute withdrawal of Radi from Democratic Republic of Congo, who failed to show up.
In Group B, defending champions Desportivo of Mozambuique were made to sweat before beating Inter-club from Congo 62-57 to qualify for the quarters.
Other teams that have qualified for the quarters from Group A are ABC from Cote d’Ivoire, A’politecnico from Mozambique and First Bank from Nigeria. In Group B Desportivo from Mozambique have qualified for quarters.