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Gladiators stab Safe Space as basketball league shapes up

By Lynette Matheka
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
Tony Mwendwa of EMYBA beats Joshua Kisali and Lenson Kisia of Equity to the ball during their KBP league at Nyayo Stadium. PD/PHILIP KAMAKYA

Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) women’s league playoffs took an interesting turn over the weekend as Gladiators stunned Safe Space in Game Four of the best-of-five finals winning 55-54 to set up a decisive Game Five set for this weekend.

 Safe Spaces had taken a 2-1 series lead over Gladiators after winning Game Three 51-47. However, Emily Ongoro scored a last gasp three-point shot that saw Gladiators snatch Game Four from Safe Spaces’ hands. Ongoro’s long range winning shot, which took her point tally to 29, saw Gladiators take the only lead of the game. Safe Spaces had taken a 17-9 lead inside the first quarter and seemed to be cruising to the title before Gladiators determination and grit saw them turn the tables for the stalemate.

The winner in the final will take part in a provincial playoff next month for a promotion chance to Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) women’s league division one.

Meanwhile, Stanbic Bank Shields were crowned 2019 NBA men’s champions after beating debutants Moi Airbase (MAB) 3-0 in the final. The clean sweep in the final was an extension of the season that the bankers have had as they have clinched the title without losing a match.

This outcome gives Shields a direct ticket to the KBF division two men’s league. MAB will have to fight for the chance to join the KBF league through the provincial playoff, set for November 30 and December 1, in Kisumu, and brings together regional champions from the eight provinces as previously constituted.