Thunder’s late surge silences Lakeside

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CAXTON APOLLO

By CAXTON APOLLO
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PHILIP ONYANGO

By PHILIP ONYANGO
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Thunder on Saturday enhanced their chances of leading the table at the end of the first leg of the Kenya Basketball Federation men’s Premier League when they registered a hard-fought 57-42 victory over Lakeside at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.

In the women’s Premier League, forward Melisa Akinyi scored a game-high 19 points to help champions Equity Bank defeat Storms 63-13 in a lop-sided affair at Nyayo.

At the KPA hall in Makande, Mombasa, Kenya Ports Authority easily beat University of Nairobi Dynamites 73-31 to start their 2019 season on a winning note.

Thunders now need to win against Tigers in their last match on May 18 to be assured of top spot on the 12-team table standings at the midway point of the regular season.

Thunder took things for granted leaving Justus Okutoyi, Sila Derrick and Kennedy Okumu loose up court to hit the target earning Lakeside a shocking 13-7 first quarter lead.

Thunder’s forward Ancette Wafula, who was recruited from Ulinzi Warriors, and Terry Nate had to take responsibility to help their fancied side outscore Lakeside 16-10 in the second quarterto lock the scores at 23-23 at half-time.

Thunder’s key men, shooting guard Griffins Ligare and forward Kevin Chogo used their experienced to help their side outscore the lakeside visitors by three points in a tightly contested third quarter.

Thunder coach Sadat Gaya rested top players Chogo, Wafula and Ligare in the last quarter when the scores stood close 41-38 in Thunders favour.

Lakeside, who meet Ulinzi Warriors today, had forward Charles Anjeho locking the scores 41-41, a result which sent Thunder into panic. On sensing danger Gaya hurriedly brought back Wafula, Ligare and Nate. The duo’s presence saw Thunder explode with 10 unanswered points Lakeside as they eventually coasted to victory.

As usual, Griffins Ligare emerged top scorer with 16 points for Thunder with teammate Terry Nate providing 12.



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