The University of Nairobi Terrorists must be brimming with delight. With only five minutes of the 4th quarter remaining on Saturday at the UON grounds, USIU Tigers were leading by a single point and were on course to delivering another piece from the same pie they had served the Terrorists two weeks ago at the Eldoret Invitational tournament.
Not so fast Tigers, not so fast. In this top tier ZUBL Nairobi Conference encounter, where scores have to be settled and the rivalry between these two top teams puts pride at stake, Collins Ochieng’s superb three-pointer soon enabled the UON to rally back from 32-33 and post a 35-33 score line.
Surprised by the turn of events, the Tigers called for time out to plot a comeback and spare their blushes. It wasn’t to be. The Terrorists’ sideline pep talk marshaled UON to sink in two more points as the match ended 37-33 in favor of the hosts.
These two sides, which have been the best in the conference so far, have been touted to go all the way to the finals, and it was evident, given the strong defenses deployed to deny each other rebound points thus the low score line.
The Terrorists had come into the match with the intent of silencing USIU’s dreaded duo of power forward Kelvin Kigotho and the free scoring Alex Ramazani. And it worked, with the hosts winning the first quarter 14-10, before succumbing 05-11 in the 2nd quarter. UON then edged the third quarter 09-08 to reduce the overall deficit to just one point.
It was in the last quarter that the hosts powered through the Tigers’ defense posting a 09-04 score line to win the fast paced affair with a four point margin. Hillary Kubai, the UON team captain was ecstatic after the match.
“The ball flowed well for us,” he said. “USIU tended to stay inside more and thus we were able to utilize our outside shooting.”
The forward added that, in Eldoret, the Tigers played well and their rebounding was good, but during yesterday’s game, the hosts were able to nullify their opponents’ strength in rebounding as UON kept picking all the loose balls under the rim.
“Our target is to win the championship at the end of the season,” Kubai continued. “We’ll be rated on how we win the tournament. USIU have a good scorer in Kigotho and we were able to frustrate him and reduce his points tally.” It was a day well enjoyed by the captain and his side as he noted his team had played well, especially in their shooting.
A day well enjoyed wasn’t what Kenya Methodist University got as they find the league a mountain to climb. It’s only last week that they were mercilessly walloped 86-26 by USIU Tigers. Yesterday, facing a well oiled Technical University (TUK) side that had been missing in action for close to three weeks, KEMU were left battered and bruised in a 65-37 hammering.
In that match, KEMU lost all quarters 05-18, 05-08, 15-18 and 12-21 and found no reprieve from their women’s side, which got defeated 37-12 by UON Dynamos.