Warriors emerge top of KBF league, train gears on playoffs

Warriors emerge top of KBF league, train gears on playoffs
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.

Ulinzi Warriors finished atop the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s Premier League with 43 points after the conclusion of the regular league at the weekend with a narrow 59-58 win over Umoja at Nyayo Gymnasium.

The former champions had beaten their rivals Thunder 76-49 on Friday at the same venue, a sweet revenge for the soldiers after losing their only match of the season against Thunder in the first leg.

In their Sunday match against Umoja, Ulinzi started off well with a 24-17 win in the first quarter before falling 17-15 in the second quarter. In the third quarter things looked equal as they shared 11 points each before Umoja turned on the gear in the last quarter with a 13-07 win.

Despite the loss, Nick Ogol of Umoja emerged top scorer with 14 points while Ulinzi’s captain John Washika and Victor Bosire scored 12 each.

A delighted Warriors captain John Washika said they are proud to top the league and they will now focus on the playoffs.

“We have been working hard and there has been ups and down but we managed to come together and pull through. Play offs is a different ball game and our main focus is on championship title,” Ulinzi captain John Washika said.

Washika added that they’ll play their hearts out and treat every game like a final.

Thunder who finished fourth in regular league last season came second with 41 points after playing all their 22 games.

Thunder head coach Sadat Gaya said their focus too is on playoffs where they’re primed to face the team which will finish seventh.

Meanwhile, the defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) who finished first in the regular league last season face a fight in their bid to finish in the top three. KPA are currently placed third with 37 points with one game to go against Lakeside, a match scheduled next weekend in Mombasa.

Over the weekend, KPA hammered USIU Tigers 80-55 on Saturday before suffering a 63-65 loss to last year’s semi finalists Blades of Strathmore on Sunday. Despite losing to Blades, KPA’s captain Samuel Ocholla said they’ve learnt a lot of positives from the game.

Weekend Results

KPA 80-55   USIU

KPA 63-65 Blades

KCA-U – 56- World Hope

Umoja 58-59 Ulinzi

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Story By Dennis Kamariki
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