• An early off day inspired Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to an impressive win in their opening Basketball Africa League (BAL) qualifying tie.
• Five players posted double figures. Job Byron scored 20 points while Arial Okal, Valentine Nyakinda and Congolese Michael Kazunguzibwe each tallied 18 before Victor 'Jet' Odendo flew for another 15.
An early off-day inspired Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to an impressive win in their opening Basketball Africa League (BAL) qualifying tie.
The porters were the only club that sat out as the four opponents opened their five-team Group F campaign on Wednesday.
Coach Sammy Kiki revealed that the break ensured that they watched all their opponents in action before they stepped onto the court. KPA silenced home side Gendamerie Nationale BC of Madagascar 98-84 in their first fixture played in Antananarivo on Thursday.
"After watching them play yesterday," Kiki noted, "We had a plan for them. To cut off their dangerous players and put pressure on them defensively. I am happy with the win knowing that we were playing a good team, at their backyard and performing in front of their own fans."
The Kenyan champions got off to a good start sailing away to a 26-23 edge in the first quarter. Another strong 25-20 second surge gave them a 51-43 lead at the breather.
After intermission, KPA kept pushing and were ahead 23-19 in the third. The decisive stanza was no different despite the push by the home side as KPA hanged on for a 24-22 win.
Five players posted double figures including 20 from Job Byron while Arial Okal, Valentine Nyakinda and Congolese Michael Kazunguzibwe each tallied 18 before Victor 'Jet' Odendo flew in with another 15.
GNBC were led by their danger-man Francis Mory, who pumped in 36points.
In the other games, Cobras from South Sudan whipped Beau Vallon Heat of Seychelles 94-44.
KPA return to the courts to today take on Cobra Sport from South Sudan and then close the show with a match against Beau Vallon Heat of Seychelles.