……As Selina Okumu bags trophy for the Most Valuable Player
Nairobi, Monday 17th December 2018…Equity Hawks are the 2018 Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League Women’s Champions after dethroning previous holders Kenya Ports Authority.
Equity defeated the Dockers 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.
During the break Equity Hawks Head Coach David Maina warned his troops against complacency telling them to finish the series “Let’s not allow KPA back into this game. I don’t want to come back for game 5 in this series. We have to finish this series here and now,” he stated.
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 Bank Chief Human Capital Officer Reuben Mbindu present at the finals congratulated the team stating that the culture of Equity Bank is what elevates the Hawks to be creative working as a team. “Today’s win is remarkable. We have seen the team play as expected and are now not only the champions of the Kenyan league but the champions of East and Central Africa.”
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 3 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” he 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.