Kumasi Polytechnic will not make a third straight appearance in the last eight of the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges (UPAC) Basketball Championship qualifiers after failing to qualify out of Zone D in preliminary games played over the weekend in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi.
The team fell 31-42 to champions Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in the final game of the day in front of a teaming home crowd. The home side’s loss meant its’ fierce rival KNUST, topped the zone and automatically secured a spot in the last of the UPAC Championship which will take place at the University of Ghana on April 14.
This marks the first time, Kumasi Poly failed to qualify from the preliminary stage in the Rexona- headlined competition’s three year history. As part of institution’s that participated in the inaugural season of the Championship and in the second edition in 2015, Kumasi Poly came out slowly in the second quarter against KNUST.
KNUST used the drop in intensity to its advantage and opened a massive 14 point lead (31-17) in the third quarter that all but decided where the zonal championship was heading. At the end of the game, KNUST claimed a well deserved 42-31 victory.
The team had beaten Ghana Technology University College (GTUC)-Kumasi and Garden City University College 54-23 and 47-22 respectively before falling to KNUST. Qualification to the next stage would have been the third straight appearance in the quarter finals for the team; KNUST will make it a second consecutive appearance in the last eight of the competition.
KNUST joins University of Development Studies and University of Energy and Natural Resources as qualified teams following similar wins for the latter in Zones B and C respectively.
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.