The Kenya Commercial Bank Lions and Kenya Ports Authority men and women’s basketball teams respectively are the new 2007 Premier League champions. Lions and KPA easily beat their opponents in Game Two of the play-offs finals, which ended at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday night. The venue had earlier hosted the World Universal Boxing Organisation contests up to 7.30pm.
Lions, who won their first title in 2001, rocked Co-operative Bank of Kenya 62-52 in Game Two of the best-of-three series.
KPA defeated Flames of the USIU 63-53 in the women’s final. Last year’s champions Ulinzi Warriors and Telkom pulled out of the 2007 competition because of lack of sponsorship, leaving the new winners without much challenge.
In the men’s Division One, Telkom tied the series 1-1 when they beat KPA 78-70 in over-time. Both teams were to meet again yesterday in the decisive game three to determine the 2007 champions.
On Saturday, Lions who had defeated Co-op Bank 60-49 in game one, went for an early kill when Yoni Wanambiro, David Otiso and Tobias Onyango sunk baskets at will. Lions dictated the proceedings to lead 22-5 in the first quarter. Co-op Bank, who were seeking to reclaim the title they last won in 1998, utilised well their scoring chances through Lewi Muya and Wyciffe Ochieng in the second quarter. They led 25-15.
Lions roared again strongly as Ikapian Juma and Otiso worked hard to race to a 37-30 half-time lead. After Co-op Bank trailed 12-5 in the third quarter, they regained their scoring touch in the last quarter in which they oustscored their fellow bankers 16-11.
Juma scored game-high 20 points, Otiso had 19 and Wanambiro shot 16 for Lions.
Ochieng had 24 points, Horrace Nyadera hit 19 while Lewis Muya replied with 15 for Co-op Bank.
KPA women’s team used experience to recapture the league title they had lost to Telkom last year. KPA had little resistance in beating USIU Flames 63-53. KPA, who lost 2-1 to Telkom in 2006, won back the crown with a clean 2-0 sweep. They had won game one 77-51 in Mombasa to make their work easier in Nairobi.
Irene Murambi and Vyonne Akinyi of KPA put the students to task from the first whistle as the dockwomen went up 10-0. The students, who had qualified for the play-offs for the first time, took too long to settle down, going dry for six minutes.