NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 17 – After winning the Kenya women’s Basketball Federation Premier League title, Equity Hawks have immediately shifted focus to retaining the Africa Zone Five title that will be held next year.
This is after they beat rivals and defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in the 4th game of the best of 5 playoff finals to take the series 3-1.
The teams had tied 1-1 after playing the first two games at KPA’s stronghold Makande Gymnasium in Mombasa. KPA won the first game 67-57 but Equity leveled the series by winning the second game 64-47.
With the final 3 games to be played in Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium, the Hawks pressed home court advantage by winning game three of the series 64-59 to lead the series 2-1.
Sensing that they were within touching distance of the championship Equity went into game four of the series with the swagger of Champions-elect. They began the game in devastating fashion racing to a 19-6 lead.
The second quarter was no different as Equity maintained their winning ways as lead 26-16 five minutes. With the spirit to win with a game to spare, the Hawks were lethal breaching KPA’s defense time and time again to close the first half time 30-20.
The Hawks heeded the words of their coach to finish the job at hand with four of his players registering doubled figures in the scoring charts. Belinda Okoth had a game high of 19 points while Samba Mjomba and Betty Kananu had 12 points each as Hilda Indasi registered 11 points.
By the third quarter Equity Hawks were up 59-37 egged on by the fans in the stands already in celebratory mood with thunder claps and ole chants rocking the gymnasium whenever an Equity Hawk player made a move.
The Hawks continued to extend their lead for the scores to end at 73-64 at final whistle prompting victory dances.
Equity Hawk’s Selina Okumu was named as the Most Valuable Player for the 2018 playoff finals with her all-round assists and baskets for Equity to win the game.
“I thank my teammates and coach for the win and I hope from more championships and more individual trophies for my teammates and I,” she stated.
Equity Hawks Head Coach David Maina paid tribute to his team’s defensive play which kept KPA at bay.
“It has been 5 years since we started this team and in the last three years we have won the championship twice. This team has been progressing each and every year. We are looking to continue with the same attitude to accumulate as many championships as possible to keep the name of Equity high,” Maina said.
The result caps a stellar year for Equity Hawks as they were crowned East & Central Africa Champions when they won FIBA Africa Zone 5 champions and finished as the ninth best team in Africa at the Fiba Africa Women’s Champions Cup held in Maputo, Mozambique.