MOMBASA – Equity Bank knew their game plan for Game 2 of the Kenya Basketball Federation semi-final.
KPA knew the Equity’s plan, too.
Equity believed if they could press well, they might be able to steal a win from the red-hot KPA.
That was the plan and they executed it before falling to KPA 79-84.
KPA cruised to a 8-2 lead early in the first quarter outscoring the bankers in the paint led by Martin Kitongo and Ariel Okal but Equity fought back to cut the lead to 22-19 going into the second quarter behind a good full court press.
Equity went small in the second quarter and it seemed to work until Victor Odendo opened their defense from behind the arc twice to open a 10 point lead. For the first time in the game KPA looked comfortable breaking the press taking and took a 43-31 lead going into the halftime break.
Equity’s continuous press paid off in the third quarter with a 7-0 run forcing coach Samuel Kiki to call a time out and reorganize his side. Off the timeout Victor Ochieng hit a three but Ian Wachie replied with one of his own from down town to restore parity.
Despite leading, the defending champions gave Equity more than enough chances to mount a comeback, a 7-0 run capped by a Alex Lugasi layup with 5:44 remaining saw Equity cut the lead down to 67-69.
But as with most good things with the press, the momentum was short-lived as KPA were back up by 8 points in less than two minutes. It turned out, nothing could save the bankers in the fourth quarter. Sloppy proved to be their undoing as they were outscored in the last minutes of the game.
Martin scored 18 points while Ariel added 16 for KPA.