Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology University (KNUST) successfully navigated a tricky duel against Kumasi Polytechnic to book a place in the quarter finals of the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges (UPAC) Basketball Championship.
The “Technocrats” defeated Kumasi Poly 42-31 in the final game of Zone D, played in Kumasi before an enthusiastic crowd this past weekend. The UPAC Championship, headlined by Rexona had University of Development Studies-Tamale and University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) secure spots in the quarters in prior qualifiers.
Both teams went into the game undefeated after playing two games each against Ghana Technology University College (GTUC)-Kumasi and Garden City University College in the earlier rounds of qualifiers. Kumasi Poly beat GTUC in the opening game 54-23 as KNUST followed suit by trouncing Garden City 48-11.
With a place in the latter stage of Ghana’s grandest tertiary basketball championship on the line, both teams inevitably started tentatively. However, it was KNUST who settled quicker and began to assert themselves on the game by taking a massive 35-18 lead over Kumasi Poly heading into the final quarter.
Experienced duo Kwame Akrasi and Ekow Amoako willed the team who were without floor general supremo Nana Agyei after graduating last year, to victory on the back of making several key plays down the stretch particularly in a decisive third quarter.
At the end of the game, KNUST coasted to claim an 11 point victory over its’ fierce rival with relative ease. The result means Kumasi Polytechnic will miss out of the last eight for the first time in the Championship’s three year history. The team made it out of the preliminary stage in 2011 and 2015. KNUST on the other hand, takes another step forward as it seeks to overturn a loss in last year’s final to Accra Polytechnic.
The 2016 UPAC Championship is headlined by Rexona, supported by MTN, CAL Bank and Fanyogo in partnership with Basketballghana.com, TV3, YFM and Ghana Sports Newspaper.