National champs KPA, Equity seek wins in final group stage ties at Zone 5

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1 – Equity Hawks take on home girls APR on Wednesday afternoon in the final pool match of the Women’s Africa Basketball League qualifiers in Kigali as they battle for top spot in Group A.

Equity clinched their second win of the group last evening, beating Burundi’s Gladiators 77-45, having started off their campaign with a 98-66 victory over Tanzanian champions Vijana Queens.

A win against the local girls will assure the Bankers top spot in the group and an assured ticket to the quarter finals. Equity were drafted into the championship after last season’s league losing finalists Zetech University pulled out.

They have gone on to make a good imprint of themselves in Kigali.

Against Gladiators, the bankers had an arguably slow start, going 10-6 ahead in the opening five minutes, but found themselves chasing the game in the second part of the quarter, after allowing a seven-point scoring streak for Galdiaotors.

The Kenyan side levelled the score at 16 points at the conclusion of the period.

Equity playing against Gladiators in the FIBA Zone Five. PHOTO/FIBA

Equity seemed to have found their rhythm in the second period, running the scores against Gladiators for a 21-10 outcome that gave them an 11-point cushion going into the break.

Action in the second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with the Burundi side maintaining a tight grip on the action defensively in the third quarter for a 13-9 outcome in favour of the Kenyans, only to seemingly crumble in the final stanza for 27-10 and the 32-point loss.

Grace Malu, playing for just over 27 minutes managed 19 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists, combining with Christine Akinyi (16), Betty Kananu (13) and Melissa Otieno (10) for the day’s double-digit scorers in the win.

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Vallary Kemunto pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the stats.

Meanwhile, national champions Kenya Ports Authority will look to complete Group B unbeaten when they take on South Sudan’s Nile Legends.

In their third match of the competition played on Tuesday, against hosts Rwanda Energy Group (REG), the dockers tied on 13 points in the first quarter but were more clinical in the other three quarters going 19-6, 17-16 and 23-07 for a 72-42 victory.

KPA in action. PHOTO/FIBA

KPA, who lost the Zone Five title to Alexandria Sporting of Egypt last year and are looking to reclaim their title and book a ticket to the AWBL, had Madina Okot pushing their numbers in the 35.27 minutes she played, dropping 19 points and a similar number of rebounds in the win.

Victoria Reynolds gave a good account of herself, contributing a game and team-high 20 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and four steals while Morgan Greene added 10 points to the tally.

-Additional reporting by FIBA Africa Website

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