KPA sides taking no chances ahead of Finals play-offs

Wednesday February 14 2018

KPA's Betty Kananu (right) drives to the basket against Kenyatta University at KPA Gymnasium in Mombasa on December 9, 2017. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT |

KPA's Betty Kananu (right) drives to the basket against Kenyatta University at KPA Gymnasium in Mombasa on December 9, 2017. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PHILIP ONYANGO
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Kenya Ports Authority men and women’s teams arrived in Nairobi on Wednesday, three days ahead of their respective Premier League Finals Play-offs which tip off this weekend.

KPA men will take on Blades in the men’s finals while their female counterparts will face Equity Bank in the women’s battle for the crown.

At the same time, Kenya Basketball Federation have secured the African Nazarene University to host games one and two of the best-of-five finals series.

The fixtures had earlier been scheduled for Strathmore University that also staged the preliminaries and the semi-finals play-offs following the unavailability of an under renovation Nyayo National Stadium.

READY TO BATTLE

KPA team manager Christopher Ogutu on Wednesday said the team travelled to Nairobi early to acclimatise and he was optimistic they would perform well.

“We definitely have tricky fixtures and the players already know they have a tough battle ahead of them that’s the reason we have arrived in Nairobi earlier to get used to this weather which is different from the heat of Mombasa,” said Ogutu, a former KPA and Kenya international point guard.

According to him, the women’s team had put behind them all the huge wins their had registered against Equity Bank in the regular season and at the Zone Five championship final in Uganda and during the Fiba Club Championships Angola and would approach the finals from a very different angle.

“The finals play-offs will be a totally new ball game. We are seeking to reclaim the trophy we last won in 2013. Simple,” Ogutu, who manages both the KPA men and women’s teams, said.

TRICKY MATCH

He mentioned out that it would be tricky playing Blades - made up of students of Strathmore University, who eliminated former champions Ulinzi Warriors 3-1 in the semi-final play-offs.

Ogutu said that their target will be to win at least one of the two games in Nairobi ahead of remaining matches in Mombasa next week.

Have no doubt, KPA will be looking to take home a two-game advantage and closing out the series before it goes its whole length.

Game One of the women’s final play-offs will start at 2pm while that of the men will tip off at 4pm. Games three of Division One will get the action rolling - KDF Morans versus Emyba in men and Footprints against Masaku Sparks in women’s race for the top flight.