Last year’s finalists stunned in KBF university derby as league gathers pace

Last season’s Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) league finalists Strathmore University Blades were on Sunday stunned to a 47-42 defeat by fellow students KCA University in a low scoring league match played at the United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) courts.

The loss to KCA came hot in the heels of another shock defeat by bottom-placed Trail Blazers with Blades head coach Tony Ochieng blaming the two losses on poor officiating.

“It is unfortunate that we have lost three matches this season but our last two losses are a result of poor officiating.

The referees in the said matches could not keep up with the happenings on the court and something needs to be done as this is killing the morale of teams. This can even be witnessed in the low scores recorded as the matches can’t flow well,” said Ochieng.

Signs of defeat were written all over for Blades as they started the match on a low winning only five points compared to KCA’s 13 in the first-quarter. Ochieng’s charges made an improvement in the second quarter to bag eight points for KCA’s 12 for the match to head to the breather on a lowly13- 26 score.

On finding themselves on unfamiliar grounds, trailing the minnows by 13 points at half time, Blades mounted a comeback winning the remaining quarters 11-7 and 18-15 but it was not enough to avert the loss.

“The loss to KCA is a wake-up call for my squad to work harder and have better team chemistry on the court to avoid any more losses.

I have to admit we were in a comfort zone but it is time we went back to the drawing board and strategise on how to come back stronger.

We also have to treat all teams as a threat,” said Ochieng adding that school programmes as the students are preparing for graduation had disrupted their training schedule and some players might not have prepared well for the said matches.

In other matches champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) men’s and ladies’ teams extended their unbeaten runs over the weekend as they won their matches played on their home courts in Mombasa. 

Under coach Antony Ojukwu, KPA Ladies left nothing to chance as they picked a comfortable 84-54 win over Storms before demolishing Western Delight by 110 -28 in their second fixture of the weekend a performance the coach attributes to hard work.

Coach Sammy Kiki’s men were up against Thunder and Lakeside, matches KPA won 64-62 and 91-51 respectively.

draw against JKUAT on Sunday, their second encounter this weekend after a 2-0 win on Saturday.

In the womens’ super league matches played over the weekend, University of Nairobi scaled to the top of the standings off a 1-0 win over Lakers. Lakers however held onto third place courtesy of 1-0 win over Wolverines.

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