Kenya Basketball Federation men’s Premier League champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) suffered their second defeat of the season after going down 79-72 in the hands of rivals United States International University-Africa Tigers (USIU-Africa) in one of the pulsating encounters of the weekend at Nyayo Stadium Gymnasium.
It was a match that lived up to its billing, being the first encounter of the season to be decided in over-time after both sides settled for a 62-62 stalemate at the end of the fourth quarter.
A defiant USIU-A stamped their prowess just as they did in Mombasa to rally from a 32-19 half-time deficit to down the champions who seemingly collapsed in the second half.
KPA notched successive 16-11 and 16-8 victories in the first and second quarters before the students staged a comeback with an incredible 31-13 score in the third quarter to take the lead with a five-point advantage (50-45).
The champions refused to let go of their victory as they rectified their lapses to narrowly win the fourth quarter 17-12 but that wouldn’t earn them victory since the score was now tied at 62-62 at the end of the final buzzer.
Buoyed by their newly found confidence, Tigers kept their tempo high to comfortably win their overtime decider 16-10 to emerge the winners with Alex Ramazan netting 25 points for the winners.
Meanwhile, Co-operative Spartans also showed their resilience with a 77-68 comeback win over Strathmore University Blades in another encounter whose winner was decided in overtime after a 64-64 deadlock in regular time.
Blades put up a spirited fight to salvage the fourth quarter with a 20-15 victory which handed them a lifeline to win an encounter that they had demonstrated every intention to collect maximum points in.
Co-operative seized the moment when it mattered most, outwitting Blades 13-4 in overtime to carry the day to the shock of their opponents.
In other matches, former champions Ulinzi Warriors kept their run un-dented with a 69-40 victory over Trailblazers in a match played at the same venue as Lions registered their first victory of the season against Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA-U) following a 65-48 success to end their six-match losing streak.