Kenya Ports Authority men’s team has one hand on this year’s Premier League trophy after humiliating Blades 68-37 at Africa Nazarene University on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five finals play-offs series.
Blades, composed of Strathmore University students, have a mountain to climb when the series shifts to Mombasa next weekend knowing a loss will end the play-offs.
Home side Lakeside clinched the men’s Division One crown after defeating World Hope from Nairobi 78-50 at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground in Kisumu to finish the series 3-1 victors.
Emyba outlasted KDF Morans 65-59 to win the men’s Division Two title with a 3-1 series romp.
In the men’s Premier League, Blades started with a 4-0 run courtesy of Samuel Mogoko and Shilton Ochieng who penetrated the coastal sides’ defence for easy lay-ups but that was the best the students could do in that half.
KPA responded strongly with a Victor Odendo four-point play, ably assisted by Evans Leting, Dan Omondi and Frank Omondi on the offensive end to lead the quarter 20-9.
The dry run by the students continued in the second quarter when they managed only five points against KPA’s 14 as the dockers went to the break with a comfortable 20 points difference, at 34-14.
“Nothing worked for us today. We were outscored out rebounded and outplayed. We have a lot of preparations to do ahead of game three in Mombasa,” said Blades coach Tony Ochieng.
His KPA counterpart Sammy Kiki was over the moon.
“We planned well for this game and executed things to perfection,” Kiki said.
Kiki is now plotting for a clean sweep as the series heads to the coast.
In the Kisumu showdown Lakeside were forced to fight from behind to scuttle World Hope’s intention of tying the series and taking it the distance.
Dismas Oketch buried a three point shot at the end of the second quarter to reduce World Hope’s lead to 30-27.
Lakeside coach George Onassis re-organised his team after the break with clear instruction to close down World Hope’s player maker Moses Ibraham. It worked as Lakerside took the lead at the end of the third quarter.
Emyba were up 29-25 at the break in the men’s Division Two game and held out against the battle hardened soldiers to wrap up the series. Thomas Kioko (15 points), Eric Odhiambo (10) and Tony Mwendwa (12) top-scored for Emyba while Steve Simiyu plundered a game high 22 points for the soldiers.