Kenya Ports Authority volleyball players at a past training at KPA Gymnasium in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Debutants Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) came from a set down to see off an experienced Armee Patriotique Rwandaise (APR) in the opening Group A match of the Men’s Africa Club Championship that served off on Sunday in Kalibia City, Tunisia while General Service Unit (GSU) lost the Group D opener to Egyptian side Zamalek.

KPA stunned the Rwandan side by three sets to two (24-26,25-23, 21-25, 25-23 and 15-12), while GSU, who finished fifth in 2018, fell by straight sets (25-17,25-15,25-22).

This is not the result that coach Gideon Tarus had anticipated in the opening match with the main target of improving on their best ever performance three years ago.

“If I can get a win in my first match then we can go all the way to the quarters,” Tarus told The Standard Sports last week.

But it was the Mombasa based KPA who disapproved the form book when they turned around the setback in the opening set that they narrowly lost 24-26.

But determined KPA, who are making their maiden appearance at this stage levelled the scores with a 25-23 victory in the subsequent set, a result that threw the match wide open heading into the third set which they lost 23-25.

The Kenyan side once again came back into the game after clinching the fourth and decisive fifth set to the dismay of Rwandan representatives.

GSU will seek redemption when they play Nigeria’s Customs on Monday while KPA will clash with four-time champions Esperance of Tunisia.


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