Thunder seek KBF playoff redemption


Thunder seek KBF playoff redemption
Eric Mutoro (L) of Ulinzi Warriors outpaces Benjamin Muga of Thunder during their men’s Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League match at Nyayo stadium Gymnasium on November 18, 2018. Thunder won 70-57. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

In Summary

  • Nairobi's Nyayo Gymnasium will host Games One and Two of the five-game series on Friday and Saturday and Thunder are keen not to repeat similar mistakes
  • Thunder defeated Eldonets in the quarters while EMYBA who hail from Embakasi hammered Equity Bank to reach the last four

Thunder will have another crack at reaching Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s playoff final for the first time in their history when they face off against EMYBA in the semi-final.

Thunder crashed out at a similar stage during the 2018 playoffs, losing their series against Ulinzi Warriors 3-2 with that defeat further aggravated by the fact that they had won the opening two rounds.

Nairobi’s Nyayo Gymnasium will host Games One and Two of the five-game series on Friday and Saturday and Thunder are keen not to repeat similar mistakes.

The Shauri Moyo based side defeated Eldonets in the quarters while EMYBA who hail from Embakasi hammered Equity Bank to reach the last four.

They finished position two in the regular league with 41 points after losing only three of 22 games played while EMYBA finished sixth.

Thunder head coach Sadat Gaya said the three weeks they have rested gave them enough time to relax and prepare.

“We have managed to get our injured players back. We’ve prepared for Emyba whom their strength is full court press, and transition basketball. We will look to limit them while playing to our strength,” Gaya said.

Elsewhere it will be a battle for supremacy in Mombasa when defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) basketball team face their all-time rivals Ulinzi Warriors at Makande Gymnasium for Game One and Two on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Both matches will be played at 4:00 PM.

KPA will be enjoying home advantage as they seek to do what they did in last year’s final where they emerged champions.

In this year’s semis between the two it will be like a final as whoever wins is likely to win the final and emerge champions.

The Dockers crushed Blades of Strathmore University in the quarters while Ulinzi hammered Lakeside.

Ulinzi’s captain John Washika said they have confidence they can defeat KPA at their home court.

“We are well prepared as a team to take on our all-time rivals KPA. The two wins for Game One and Two are very important to us to be able to accomplish our mission. We are going to work as a team and with great communication, desire and a big hearts we are going to sail through as team,” Washika narrated.

On his side, assistant head coach Samuel Ocholla said they going for nothing but wins.

“It will be a hard game, we hope to win both games to make work easier when we travel to Nairobi the following weekend since we will be looking for one win only,” Ocholla said.

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Story By Dennis Kamariki
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