By Suleiman Jongo, Mombasa,
Dar es Salaam's teams got the Intercity Basketball Championship off to a flier after winning their Tuesday's opening matches at KPA courts in Mombasa, Kenya.
George Tarimo scored 14 points and took six offensive, and eight defensive rebounds to guide the men's team into a 61-49 demolition of Mombasa Pwani.
Pwani enjoyed an electric home atmosphere, but paid the price for their inexperience in high profile games. The team comprised youthful players.
With Tarimo and Francis Mlelwa troubling Pwani shot blockers, the Dar es Salaam team dubbed Dream Team finished the first quarter leading 18-16.
Tarimo had one steal and four blocks while Mlewa notched nine points with one defensive and offensive rebounds.
Second quarter saw the Dream Team change tactics and preferred long passes that cushioned their lead to 30-25.
The home team poured forward in a bid to level the score, but exposed themselves defensively to gift the Dream Team quick points.
Until the end of the third quarter, the Dream Team were leading 47-41.
Mwalimu Henry, a Tanzanian born player who trades his skills for Vijana City Bulls, emerged the top scorer for Mombasa Pwani after hitting 11 points.
"They are still young, but displayed mercurial performances...they denied us many chances to kill the game off, we were uncertain of the victory until the forth quarter," said the Dream Team's coach Bahati Mgunda.
The women's side also known as the Dream Team fought hard to post a 62-53 win over Mombasa Pwani at the same venue.
Led by Jabu Shaaban, who netted 12 points, the Dream Team were leading 18-14 in the first quarter and increased their the lead to 36-26 in the second quarter.
The home team refused to be dominated, but failed to down the Dream Team due to their over-reliance on Purity Odhiambo.
Odhimbo posed a constant threat to the Dream Team and garnered 15 points for her team.
In another pairing, Mombasa City (women) outsmarted their Kampala City Council (KCC) rivals 57-41.
This is the third time for Mombasa to host the regional event, which is now taking place for the 12th time.
Arusha hosted last year's tournament that saw Mombasa (men) claim the title at the expense of Dar es Salaam while Nairobi Queens, who arrived here on Tuesday, won the title.
Mombasa Pwani were yesterday expected to pit their wits against the defending champions, Nairobi while Mombasa City had a date with Mwanza.
Mombasa City (women) were to take on the Dream Team while Mombasa Pwani (men) were facing Mombasa City in the evening.
Today, Dar (men) clash with Mwanza, Kampala lock horn with Nairobi ( ladies) while Mwanza will play Mombasa Pwani (men).