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Eldonets crowned Division One champions - Dec 11, 2018


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EUROBASKET NEWS
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Emmanuel
Ekai
Eldoret-based Eldonets were on Saturday crowned the new 2018 Kenya Basketball Federation men's Division One League champions. Eldonets defeated Emyba 73-64 in Game Three of the best-three series play-offs final to be declared champions on a 3-0 sweep. Eldonets had made a good start at home by winning their two opening matches to lead 2-0 before the series moved to Nairobi for the last three matches. They won Game One and Game Two 86-85 respectively to enhance their chances of claiming their first ever lower tier league title. Eldonets and Emyba both qualified for promotion to next year's men's Premier League by virtue of playing in the play-offs final. On Saturday, Eldonets, who also made history after becoming the first team from North Rift to qualify for the Premier League, withstood early pressure from their hosts to lead 20-19 at the end of hotly contested first quarter. Led by experienced Frankline Omwaka (186-G-78), John Biur and James Ongwae, Eldonets defied the pressure from Emyba, who needed to win to avoid a 3-0 knocked out, to race a deserved 40-32 lead the break. Emyba, who fielded experienced players Joseph Ondinyo, Emmanuel Ekai and Richard Otieno, fought hard to cut down the scores 62-65 with two minutes 15 seconds to go. The match had high tension in the last one minute and 15 seconds with chief crew Diana Mayaka penalizing Emyba coach Brian Busu for a disorderly bench and forward Erick Odhiambo. After Emyba's Thomas Kioko missed to convert two free throws at the critical moment, Eldonets pinned down their hosts as Maxwell Kevogo and Jeremiah Alivais made good use of the last chances to score baskets that steered their team into victory. Hardworking John Biur scored 16 points and James Ongwae 10 for Eldonets, while Thomas Kioko replied with game-high 22 points and team-mate Brian Sambayi shot 11 for the the losers. Eldonets coach Maurice Ouma said: "We were sure of a 3-0 sweep after having comfortably won two matches at home. We beat an experienced team with players who had featured in the Premier League before with top clubs. "We intend to recruit players to cope with the Premier League next year which is more physical than the lower tier. Emyba coach Brian Busu said: "We lost to a better team after having narrowed our chances by failure to win Game Two in Eldoret which costed us." Eldonets eliminated Pirates 3-0 in the semi-final, while Emyba knocked out Terrorists 3-1 to qualify for the final.
Courtesy of: nation.co.ke   



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