NAIROBI, Kenya, July 1- Ten points from Lovings Otieno helped Slum Dunk Nets beat Family Kenya Warriors 37-16 in the Junior NBA Finals on Saturday.
The Mathare based Nets led 26-7 at half time as they dominated the Warriors in a brilliant display of high intensity basketball at Africa Nazarene University.
Otieno, who was the game’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), and team mate Thomas Achaga combined well with the rest of the team as they caught the Warriors countless times on the fast break to score points at will.
“We knew that if we played a fast paced game we would win, and it started with our defence,” said Nets coach Sylvester Ndindi.
“They (Warriors) didn’t have a very good point guard. The moment he crossed into our half, we were on him and cleverly anticipated where he would pass the ball and within a short time, we were already above ten points,” he added.
Warriors failed to replicate their league form and struggled to sustain any ball possession in the first quarter that finished 16-5 in the Nets favour.
Ndindi had special praise for Otieno who he credited for his work ethic and commitment to the sport.
“Lovings has been incredible. He’s a very hardworking boy and doesn’t miss training. Even when he’s alone on the court, he still does the same drills that he was taught days before,” said Ndindi.
Saturday’s final was the culmination of three and a half months of Under 14 boys’ basketball which saw 30 local school teams taking part.
Each school team represented one of the NBA teams and played their games in corresponding NBA team-branded jerseys.
The Nairobi league structure also mirrored the NBA’s with the teams divided into the Eastern and Western Conferences with the top eight from each conference qualifying for the playoffs.