NAIROBI (FIBA Africa Zone V inter-city) - Nairobi's men and women's teams claimed the Sprite/Smart TV East and Central Africa Inter Cities crowns during tough finals played at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium on Sunday.
The men's side nipped a hard fighting Juba 68-60 in a fiercely contested final while in the women's category Select teams dismissed Combined teams 50-41 in the finals played before a huge crowd.
Ancette Wafula shot Nairobi into the opener with a three-pointer but Juba had other ideas posing all sorts of problems as both sides traded baskets.
Nairobi were up 22-21 in the first quarter but trailed 30-31 at the break. After intermission, a Desmond Owili dunk gave them a 43-34 cushion but Juba led by Arou Chan James Matiang, Simon Mayien and Joseph Situma ran them rugged.
The champions, who had easily won the first tie betwen the two teams 82-45, suddenly lost their flow. In the third quarter, Juba shot up 47-46.
After Mayien nailed a three pointer for a 50-46 edge, Nairobi edged back to lead 63-60 in the waning seconds before a steal by Victor Odendo and a thunder dunk by Owili sealed the win.
Wafula scored 21 points while Peter Kiganya nailed 10, but much credit goes to defensive ace Salim Ali who played his heart out. Matiang nailed 13 and Elijah Panel added 12 for Juba.
The women's finals saw Nairobi Select take a solid 17-9 and 15-11 lead in the first two quarters. The third ended on a deadlock 11-11 before a battling Combined took the fourth 10-7.
Angela Okoth hit 15, Hilda Luvandwa 14 and Silalei Shani 13 securing Nairobi's ninth title.
Kenya University (Kusa) teams won the third place play offs with the men pipping Dar es Salaam 60-54 while in the women's category, Kusa blew out Mogadishu 100-24 with Faith Owich icing the century scores with a sweet three pointer.
A total of 13 teams took part in the five day championship, with Nine men's teams - Nairobi, Juba, Kusa, Dar, Mombasa, Mwanza, Eldoret and Mogadishu - and four ladies' Select, Combined, Kusa and Mogadishu - battling it out.
Nairobi's Ancette Wafula and Silalei Agalo were named the tournaments Most Valuable Players (MVP).
MVP Ancette Wafula (Nairobi - men's) and Silalei Shani (Nairobi - lady's)
MVP Two: Mark Mayien (Juba) and Caroline Achieng (Combined)
Best Defensive: Evans Leting (Kusa) and Faith Owich (Kusa)
Most Discilpned team: Bentiu Southern Sudan.
Dunking: Nelson Mandela.
Three points shooting: Moses Musosi.