Engineers Brigade fought to retain the trophy as curtains came down to the five-day Kenya Defence Forces’ (KDF) Chief of Defence Forces basketball championship played at Nairobi’s Moi Air Base (MAB). This is the fifth title for the side.
The side faced the tournament hosts MAB, both teams having qualified for the semi-final from Pool A. The champions faced Second Brigade in the semis winning 99-57 while MAB beat Laikipia AirBase (LAB) by half of a basket in a 54-53 outcome.
The holders started off strong assuming the lead at 8-6 after a three minute of toe-to-toe fight in the first quarter. The lead was exchanged severally with a two point lead separating the two sides at any given time but the Thika-based Engineers’ side held on to win 14-13.
The second quarter was a different ball game as the Engineers, determined to gain an unassailable lead, came out gins blazing while MAB seemed to fade away the former scoring 23 points against the latter’s 12 for the match to take a break at 37-25.
The third quarter ended 18- 12 in favour of the eventual winners as MAB mounted an unsuccessful comeback. The last quarter ended in a draw at 20-20 but it was too little too late for the host.
With the culmination of the tournament that is used to select players to the various KDF teams taking part in three Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) leagues, seven players made the list including Fidelis Ireri, Emmanuel Ochieng, Mark Lomaria, Issah Bashir, Kevin Mmbasu, Maxwell Moru and Elvis Ayoreh. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award went to Steve Omolo of Second Brigade who finished in fourth place. –