KENYA : Champions Nairobi and Mombasa open with wins as Inter Cities show gets underway

Reigning champions Nairobi women and Mombasa men posted wins as the 12th edition of the East and Central Africa Inter Cities championships tipped off in Mombasa with nine team on card.

Nairobi led by national team stars Anastasia Njeri, Caroline Achieng, Angela Okoth and Eleanor Musundi were too much for the Mombasa Select side winning 70-29 after a slow start that saw them miss easy points.

Njeri led the winners with 10 points while Okoth and Musundi combined for another 16 points tallly. Lulu Ohanga and Purity Adhiambo showed the way for the losers with nine and eight point respectively.

Mombasa City men on the other side had many players who won the event in Arusha last year missing from their line up but still had Dan Okwirri and Salim Ali to thank as they went past home rivals Mombasa Select 69-42.

Playing before their home fans, Mombasa City had 14 points from Okwirri in a closely fought 56043 win over Mwanza who had 11 points from Timotheo Ngambo.

George Tarimo scored 18 points as he led Dar to a 61-48 dismiss of Mombasa Select. The home boys, who hasyet towin a game wee led by Steve Odhiamboi and Mwalimu Heri who nailed 12 points a piece.

Dar es Salaam gave Mombasa City all the problems in the first three quarters but collapsed as Mwajuma Suleiman and Yvonne Akinyi started to exter presure in the last quarter as they broke open a close game and posted a 62-47 win.

Akinyi led the winners with but the toast was Dar star Jabau Shaban who tossed in 23 points that included long range three points that cut Mombasa lead as they threatened to sail away.

But Dar recovered to post a 62-53 win over Mombasa Selecxt behind 18 points from Amina Ahmed while Purity Adhiambo bagged 19 points to pep Phillip Onyango's national school championships bound girls.

"These girls are here to gain all the necessary exposure. By the time the games starts in Nairoibi in a few weeks time, tell me if there is anyone team in Kenya that will stop them." noted record breaking and succesful school tactician.

Kampala City, the 2006 hosts started their quest on a losing note when they were handed a 57-41 win by Mombasa City. Millicent Anyango scored 14 points that included three-three pointers while Akinyi recorded nine.

The five day tournament has brought together teams from Mombasa (four), Dar (two), Nairobi, Kampala and Mwanza. Others like Harare, Mogadishu, Arusha and Tanga failed to show up as were Mbeya and Lusaka who had confirmed they would make the trip to the Kenyan coastal city.

FIBA Africa