Rejuvenated Ukonga Kings put a spirited fight to down hard-fighting Kurasini Heat 54-40 in the Dar es Salaam Regional Basketball Association (RBA) League match at the National Indoor Stadium on Monday night.
The well-attended game was very tight in the early minutes of the first half, as both teams resorted to defending tactics.
Whenever Ukonga Kings player could receive a ball, within seconds, a Kurasini Heat player could be behind his back.
Players continued tight marking each other, but during the course of the game, they got tired and started playing freely.
After a tight battle in the opening exchanges, Kurasini Heat slightly lost steam towards the end of the first quarter, allowing their opponents to take a 14-11 lead.
Ukonga Kings came out a more aggressive side in the second quarter, and it came as no surprise when they took the quarter 15-10.
It proved to be a see saw game in the third quarter with both sides outdoing opposite guards to add points, but it was Ukonga Kings who won 12-9.
In the last quarter, Kurasini briefly took the game to Ukonga Kings and seemed set to win the quarter when they took a 7-5 lead at one point. But this could not stop Ukonga Kings from winning it 13-10.
Following the victory, Ukonga Kings sit ninth in the RBA League table with 34 points from as many games.
They are one point adrift of Kurasini Heat, who blamed Monday’s defeat on poor finishing.
High-flying Savio, who were not in action on Monday, remain unruffled at the helm of the league chart with 48 points garnered from 24 wins.
Second are Vijana or City Bulls, as they are popularly known, who have bagged 45 points while JKT are third with 42 points.
Oilers are fourth with 40 points while ABC sit fifth after collecting 37 points.
Fallen Mainland basketball giants Pazi are next with 36 points, ahead of Mabibo Bullets, who have carved 35 points.
In the women’s series, Vijana Queens are at the driver’s seat with 18 points.
Don Bosco Lioness are placed second with 17 points, one point ahead of third-placed JKT Stars.