National men’s champions Kenya Ports Authority fell 47-59 to United States International University in a Premier League clash at the Makande Welfare hall, Mombasa.
KPA women on the other hand made amends by beating reigning champions USIU ‘Flames’ 56-40 in another fixture at the same venue. KPA women remain the only side yet to lose a game in the top tie.
The matches took off over two hours late due to lack of assigned referees but Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) fixtures secretary Joseph Amoko said the matter was sorted out. In the men’s match, USIU ‘Tigers’ and KPA battled hard with the two giants locking 12-12 in the first quarter. USIU raced away to a strong 21-13 second quarter but KPA took the third 11-10 before the students surged ahead again 16-11 in the last quarter.
Joel Atwambe nailed 20 points and Dennis Ramadhan added 18 for the winners. KPA had 17 from new signing and ex-USIU stalward Arou Ramadhan and 12 from forward Martin Kitongo.
The ladies match saw KPA take a 12-6 advantage in the first quarter and never looked back in this game. The ports women, who lost their title to USIU last year, hanged on 17-11 in the second. The losers managed a 12-11 edge in third before trailing 15-12 in the last .
Yvonne Akinyi tallied game high 18 points and Natalie Akinyi nailed another 12 for KPA. USIU had 10 from the ever dangerous Sarah Chan and another eight from sharp shooting Georgia Odhiambo.
KPA coach Anthony Ojukwu yesterday asked KBF to address the issues of referees with the seriousness it deserves. The same sentiments were echoed by former KBF chairman and Fiba Commissar Agina Wesonga. “Every time we have national matches here in Mombasa, we always have problems with the officials assigned to officiate. If it is about payment, it should be sorted out once and for all,” Ojukwu lamented.