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Bankers see off Strathmore to stay in contention for KBF league

Former Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) women’s Premier League champions Equity Bank Hawks are on a roll as they seek to reclaim the title they lost to holders Kenya Ports Authority last season.

Equity had a good first leg, winning nine of their 10 matches with the only defeat against arch-rivals KPA. The second leg started well for the bankers over the weekend as they easily saw off Strathmore University’s Swords 59-38.

The first half of the match was a one-sided affair as Equity dominated, winning 14-9, 16-3 in the first two quarters. However, Strathmore came back determined after the break, forcing a 9-9 draw in the third quarter but the bankers held on to their 17-point lead to win the final stanza 20-17.

“We are aiming to win all our second leg matches as that will give us an edge over KPA. The squad I have has not changed a lot so the players know what to expect in the second leg. We are working on our concentration and intensity as that is what cost us the title last season.

Our conditioning has come in handy and I am confident we will do better,” said Equity coach David Maina who lost one of his key players, Mercy Wanyama, to Storms at the start of the season.

Rita Anyango from Kenyatta University and Brenda Ngaira from Footprints were brought in as replacements for 2016 season Most Valuable Player, Wanyama and Maina says that the two have slotted in well.

Their male counterparts, however, had an unlucky start to their second leg as they lost to Ulinzi Warriors 62-52. Carey Odhiambo’s charges started the match on a high, winning the first quarter 19-11. The bankers dominated the first minutes of the second quarter, forcing the soldiers to take a time-out that worked magic as they went on to win the quarter 19-10.

With one point separating the two sides at the break, coach William Balozi’s men battled to extend their narrow lead, winning a hard-fought third quarter 15-12. The final quarter ended 17-11 in favour of the soldiers.

In other matches, Strathmore Blades came from one point down, at half-time to force a 42-all draw against KCA University in regular play and win by six points (55-49) in extra period on Sunday.

Blades took the first quarter 5-3 before KCA grabbed the second 16-13.  The third quarter ended 12-10 in favour of Blades but KCA won the final 12-13 for the draw in regulation time.  Blades scored 13 points against KCA’s seven for the win.

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