Seven-time boys basketball champions Laiser Hill Academy from Rift Valley launched their title defence on the right footing as this year’s National Term One games got underway yesterday at Shimo La Tewa School, Mombasa.
Laiser Hill were on fire as they began their hunt for eight title hammering homeboys Aga Khan Academy Mombasa 82-33 in the opening Group A match of the Brookside sponsored games.
James Marial who was named last year’s national games most valuable player sunk 18 points to anchor his side to victory against their hosts.
Akol Lino Wol added eight points for the champions while Aga Khan captain David Otieno led from the front with ten points with his compatriot Brian Mutiso scoring nine.
Laiser Hill made their intentions to retain their title known from the onset scoring at will to take a comfortable 17-6 lead by the break of the first quarter.
The former East Africa champions were home and dry at half-time leaving no room for their hapless opponents to recover as they led 36-14.
They got better with each quarter sinking 21-11 and 25-8 in the third and fourth quarters to chalk the emphatic win.
Laiser Hill captain Douglas Kivati said that having secured their desired start they will be looking to win today’s clash against Alliance Boys and seal a semi-final slot.
“We came prepared for the challenge because as champions we know that we are every team’s target. An opening win is a plus for us because we have moved a step closer to the semis but we need to push harder against Alliance and secure a last four spot,” Kivati said.
In another Group A encounter, Alliance from Central had no regard for their North Eastern counterparts Darul-Hikma thrashing them 77-17. Kephas Lokorikan was superb scoring 24 points for Alliance with Brian Ziruel adding another 14 while Abdifatar Hussien was Darul-Hikma top scorer with nine points.
In girls Group A basketball contest, former national and East Africa champions Tigoi from Western beat Barchando from Nyanza 75-44 whereas Strigid’s Kiminini walloped Wajir Girls 118-2.
Girls handball defending champions Moi Girls Kamusinga from Western beat Coast’s White House 19-7 in their opening Group B tie. Kamusinga who are seeking to win a second title were too good for their opponents who fought to impress the home fans. In another match, Kirigara from North Eastern beat Nairobi’s Dagoretti Mixed 27-18.
In the boys’ contest, Mangu from Central forced a slim 20-18 against Sanial from Rift Valley while debutants Hospital Hill from Nairobi made their national debut memorable with a 24-15 win over White House.