In a historic turn of events, the Antony Ojukwu-led Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has secured a spot in the African Championship match for the first time in its history, marking a significant achievement for Kenyan basketball.
Facing off against the formidable Rwanda Energy Group (REG), KPA clinched a hard-fought 101-97 victory, making them the inaugural finalists in the revamped continental championship.
Captain Natalie Mwangale showcased outstanding leadership, contributing 26 points with eight successful three-point shots, 13 assists, and coming close to a triple-double with one rebound shy.
Victoria Reynolds added 26 points, while Hilda Indasi, Rita Aluoch, and Madina Okot all reached double-digit points with 15, 14, and 12 respectively.
Coach Ojukwu expressed satisfaction with his team’s adherence to the game plan, praising their execution and flexibility in making adjustments.
The first quarter saw KPA taking an early 8-2 lead, only to face a resilient REG response, narrowing the gap to 29-24 by the end of the quarter.
In the second period, both teams traded blows, with Destiney Promise Philoxy leading REG’s charge.
Despite KPA’s lead, REG managed to close the gap to 54-47 at halftime. The third quarter witnessed a determined effort from Rwanda, reducing the deficit to 83-74 by the end of the period.
A dramatic final quarter saw REG fiercely contesting the lead, trailing by just five points at 89-84 and further narrowing it to three at 95-92 with three minutes remaining. However, KPA held on for a 99-98 victory, securing their place in the final.
Philoxy, REG’s standout performer with 41 points and seven assists, acknowledged KPA’s prowess and expressed determination to regroup for the bronze medal match. Tiffany Mitchell and Nia Clouden contributed 26 and 17 points, respectively, for REG.