Warriors, Thunder roar to BFL semis playoffs  


Warriors, Thunder roar to BFL semis 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.

In Summary

  • Ulinzi Warriors men basketball team stormed to the Kenya Men Basketball League semi-finals after winning 94-63 against Lakeside in the quarter final playoff series played at Nyayo Gymnasium in Nairobi.
  • The Soldiers who last week overcame the Kisumu based side by a basket in Game One of the quarter finals played in Kisumu needed one more scalp to put the three game series to bed and secure a berth in this season’s semis.
  • Ulinzi were too strong for their opponents in all quarters dropping 20-13 in the first quarter followed by an impressive 26-10 in the second quarter thus a 46-23 lead into the break.

Ulinzi Warriors men basketball team stormed to the Kenya Men Basketball League semi-finals after winning 94-63 against Lakeside in the quarter final playoff series played at Nyayo Gymnasium in Nairobi.

The Soldiers who last week overcame the Kisumu based side by a basket in Game One of the quarter finals played in Kisumu needed one more scalp to put the three game series to bed and secure a berth in this season’s semis.

Ulinzi were too strong for their opponents in all quarters dropping 20-13 in the first quarter followed by an impressive 26-10 in the second quarter thus a 46-23 lead into the break.

After the breather, the soldiers maintained their salvo winning 20-17 in the penultimate quarter before winding up in style with a 28-23 win in the last quarter.

Kenyan international shooting guard Eric Mutoro continued with his impressive form dropping a game-high 31 points while James Mwangi scored 20 points for the high flying soldiers.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, Ulinzi skipper John Washika praised his teammates for their impressive exploits adding that they still have room to get better.

“Through team work and hard work it was easy for us to get our second win to end the series 2-0.

We are going to push harder and work more as a team and improve our commutation both offensive and defensive,” he said.

Ulinzi who topped the regular league with 43 points will now have a date with either defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) or Strathmore Blades in semi-final playoffs.

Elsewhere, Thunder also qualified for the semi-finals for second year running after clawing their way back from a game down to win the last two games in their quarter final playoffs series against Eldonets, making it their third appearance in the semis.

After suffering a shock 63-53 loss in the first game, they bounced back with  82-52 and 97-57wins in Game Two and Three  of the quarter finals played at Nyayo Gymnasium in Nairobi on Saturday and Sunday respectively thus securing themselves a place in the semifinals.

They are likely to take on perennial rivals Equity Bank in what is expected to be an explosive clash.

“It’s a great feeling though as we still have semis ahead of us, Thunder captain Griffin Ligare said.

“Our defence was key in helping us win the two games,” he added.

Meanwhile, Equity Bank men team have one foot in the 2019 league semis playoffs after registering a narrow win of 66-64 against EMYBA at Nyayo Gymnasium in Nairobi at the weekend.

The ‘Bankers’ were in good shape to put their semi-finals hopes alive.

Equity finished the regular league this season in third position with 39 points, seven points ahead of EMYBA at position six.

Equity captain Carey Odhiambo expressed his delight at overcoming a resilient EMYBA side.

“It was a tough match but we survived, EMYBA gave us a real challenge.

“Going forward we will prepare mentally because that’s all that we need.” He reckoned.

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Story By Dennis Kamariki
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