Warriors of class: Ulinzi claim basketball league title


Warriors of class: Ulinzi claim basketball league title

In Summary

  • Ulinzi Warriors were on Saturday night  crowned Kenyan basketball men Premier League champions after a 67-63 win sealed a 3-1 series victory over Thunder in the playoff final played at Makande Gymnasium in Mombasa.
  • The Soldiers put to an end Kenya Ports Authority (KPA)'s dominance in the domestic league after the Dockers won the league three consecutive times(2016,2017 and 2018).

Ulinzi Warriors were on Saturday night  crowned Kenyan basketball men Premier League champions after a 67-63 win sealed a 3-1 series victory over Thunder in the playoff final played at Nyayo Gymnasium, Nairobi.

The Soldiers put to an end Kenya Ports Authority (KPA)’s dominance in the domestic league after the Dockers won the league three consecutive times(2016,2017 and 2018).

Ulinzi last won the league in  2015, and have now won the diadem nine times in the history.

The Warriors crushed out KPA in the semis while Thunder hammered EMYBA.

Apart from being the new champions, the soldiers will represent Kenya in the Basketball of Africa League (BAL)  second edition next year.

Ulinzi finished the regular league with 43 points having lost only one match while Thunder finished second with 41 points.

What had promised to be a good day turned into utter disappointment for Thunder after they dominated the first three quarters only to lose the last quarter horribly.

Thunder struck to win the first quarter 21-14 before claiming a 23-13 win in the second quarter  leading 44-27 by half-time.

After the break,  Thunder looked unstoppable as they registered a 16-14 win but Ulinzi came out of their closets to protect their territory shooting down Thunder 26-3 in the last quarter to emerge victorious.

Ulinzi had won Game Two and Three 123-106 and 99-51 respectively while Thunder had claimed Game One 75-73.

Thunder’s hitman Faheem Juma continued with his heroic performance scoring 26 points as captain Griffins Ligare scored 12 but this could not help them win.

Ulinzi captain John Washika  scored 13 points while Victor Bosire and James Mwangi scored 12 each.

Washika attributed the victory to their tight defending.

“Intensity on the defense won us the game. We were down 20 points. We fought so hard and gave our all to recover. Byron Mabonga came from the bench and he took charge.

We are humbled as a team and we give thanks and praise to the Most High,” the humble Washika said.

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Story By Dennis Kamariki
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