KPA, Blades renew rivalry in playoff quarters


Fidel Okoth (L) of Blades contest for ball with Victor Bosire of KPA challenge during ...
Fidel Okoth (L) of Blades contest for ball with Victor Bosire of KPA challenge during their Basketball Premier League best-of-five finals play-offs series at Africa Nazarene University on February 18, 2018. KPA won 68-37. Photo/Kelly Ayodi/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Strathmore University Blades will face off this weekend in the Game One of the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Premier League play-offs quarter finals at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.
  • The match will be a repeat of last season’s semi-final clash where KPA edged Blades en route to clinching the title.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Strathmore University Blades will face off this weekend in Game One of the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Premier League play-offs quarter finals slated for Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.

The match will be a repeat of last season’s semi-final clash where KPA edged Blades en route to clinching the title.

The Dockers who finished fourth in the regular league with 38 points are enjoying a fine form after recently storming to the second round of the Africa Basketball League Qualifiers scheduled for Rwanda.

KPA head coach Sammy Kiki is confident his side will reign supreme once again.

“All players are available since there is no serious injuries, we will treat this game with a lot of seriousness to win so as to advantage at home for Game Two and Three,” Kiki said.

Kiki has however bemoaned the lack of facilities which has hampered their training in preparation for the encounter.

“Preparations are on-going although we have been having challenges in getting a training venue in Nairobi since Nyayo is occupied for now but we have managed to train,” Kiki observed.

KPA assistant coach Samuel Ocholla said they will start from where they left in the continental tourney.

“Playoffs are usually very tricky. We don’t want any kind of upset hence we want to get the win in Nairobi and finish job in Mombasa the following weekend. It’s going to be a good, hard and very tactical game,” Ocholla said.

On his side, Blades head coach Tony Ochieng is expecting a tricky duel as he seeks to upset the Dockers.

“I am just working on mental toughness by preparing the boys to believe they can. KPA have a star-studded team and their guards are good and well exposed,” Ochieng said.

Ochieng added that he will maintain the same squad he has been using in the regular league although he is set to miss the services of some of his players who are currently sitting for their exams.

The two teams will then meet in Game Two and Three of the playoffs at Makande Gymnasium in Mombasa on November 23-24.

Meanwhile, in the women Premier League playoffs, former champions KPA will take on Eagle Wings in Game One of quarter final playoffs.

KPA finished second in the regular league with 42 points behind defending champions Equity Bank while Eagle Wings finished seventh with 32 points.

Elsewhere, Strathmore will be squaring it out with Storms in another quarter final clash after the two sides won a match each in Game One and Two.

Saturday Fixtures

Women Premier League (Nyayo Gymnasium)

Eagle Wings VS KPA- 4pm

Strathmore VS Storms- 2.30 pm

Men Premier League

Blades VS KPA- 5.30 pm

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Story By Dennis Kamariki
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