The finalists in the qualifiers, set to conclude on Saturday 4 November in Kigali, have gained an automatic slot in the inaugural edition of the AWBL,
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) women’s team stormed the final of the ongoing Africa Women Basketball League (AWBL) Zone Five qualifier to book their ticket to the continental competition slated for December in Egypt.
The finalists in the qualifiers, set to conclude on Saturday 4 November in Kigali, have gained an automatic slot in the inaugural edition of the AWBL, the female version of the men’s Basketball Africa League (BAL).
The Antony Ojukwu-led KPA won their semi-final match played on Friday night, picking a 74-53 victory over Uganda's JKL Lady Dolphins to set up a final clash against Rwanda Energy Group (REG) who saw off Equity Bank Hawks 76-61 to reach the final and subsequently qualify for the continental championship.
“We executed our game plan well to make it to the final and I am impressed with my players so far. We have taken it one match at a time throughout the championship and we have one last hurdle to claim the zone five title,” Ojukwu offered ahead of the final match against REG.
Placed in pool B which had five teams, the Dockers went undefeated, beating JKL Lady Dolphins 82-72 in the opener. They went 105-43 against JKT of Tanzania, 72-42 against REG whom they meet again in the final and 70-49 against Nile Legends.
Playing Tanzania’s Vijana Queens in the quarters, the Mombasa-based side were the clear favourites and proved it with an 81-36 victory to reach the semis where they met JKL for another comfortable victory to make it to the final.
On their part, Equity Bank Hawks who had gone unbeaten until the semis had an opportunity to make it an all-Kenya final in Rwanda but fell to REG, who came from behind to win 76-61 and reach the final.
Betty Kalanga who played the entire 40 minutes starred for the Rwandese side scoring 22 points, 17 rebounds and 4 assists as Faith Hayes added 15 to the final tally.
The bankers had led 20-16 in the first quarter but REG recovered in a 19-16 second-quarter outcome to see the match head to the break tied on 35 points.
A third quarter 21-10 show by the Esperance Mukaneza-coached REG gave the home side an 11-point advantage heading to the final stanza which the bankers were unable to recover from as the eventual winner went 20-16 ahead for the win.