Kenya Ports Authority’s (KPA) long serving ladies’ coach Antony Ojukwu guided his charges to their 12th Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) league title dethroning Equity Bank Hawks after a 74-49 win in Game Three to seal a comfortable 3-0 win.
After five years of waiting, Ojukwu attributes their win to a journey of hard work and intensity in training, further saying that the players have come of age in the game. Self belief was a major contributor too.
Coming into the just concluded season Ojukwu, who has been with the side since 1997, taking over from coach Sammy Wanjohi, signed Bridget Nanzala and Georgia Adhiambo and Christine Akinyi.
“We sealed our win in Nairobi when we won the first two matches. In Mombasa we were having fun and protecting our own turf. We had beaten Hawks in six matches throughout the season and we knew the final match would be no different,” said an elated Ojukwu.
KPA defeated Equity in the premier league home and away matches, in Africa Zone V competitions in Uganda and in Africa Basketball Championships held in Angola, before seeing them off in the playoffs.
The team last won the title in 2013 after which most of the first team players left and Ojukwu had to rebuild a new team, making signings from Eagle Wings and United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) among other premiership teams.
“I had to sign new players and that meant losing some momentum. It has been four years of playing in the finals and losing to different teams but my players have matured now and we have reclaimed our rightful place in the premier league,” the coach said.
The FIBA Africa Zone V defending champions and eight time title winners had a good run in the 2017 season, going unbeaten to lift the title and in the process producing the Most Valuable Player of the season in Felmas Adhiambo.
Boasting dominance in FIBA Africa Zone V, and having produced the competition’s MVP in Natalie Akinyi last year, KPA have their eyes set on winning the Africa cup in 2018.