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Pirates have mountain to climb against Terrorists in play-offs final

Friday December 06 2019
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Kenyatta University "Pirates" Eddy Ariri (right) shields the ball from University of Nairobi "Terrorist" Nathaniel Mwanza during their Kenya Basketball Federation Men Division One semi-finals play-offs at Nyayo Gymnasium on November 29, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

By CAXTON APOLLO

University of Nairobi's Terrorists will be seeking to win the men's basketball Division One League title when they lock horns with Pirates in a tough play-offs final Game Four match at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday.

Terrorists are leading the best-of-five series 2-1. They now only need victory in Game Four to be crowned the new 2019 champions on a 3-1 basis.

Terrorists, who eliminated Zetech Titans 3-1 in the semi-final, were comfortably up 2-0 before Pirates halted their fellow varsity students’ celebration party by winning Game Three 53-51. Terrorists, who had finished second in regular season with 38 points, will be under intense pressure not to allow a decisive Game Five.

Pirates under head coach Waringo Gitau have gained momentum after fighting hard to escape a 3-0 humiliation. They will be looking to shock Terrorists again in Game Four. A win for Pirates will tie the series 2-2 and throw the league title wide open for Game Five to determine the winner.

Pirates, who finished the regular season in first position with 39 points, knocked out African Nazarene University 3-1 in the semi-final. Both Terrorists and Pirates are already promoted to the 2020 Premier League by virtue of reaching the play-offs final.

Eldonets beat Emyba 3-0 in last year's play-off final with both teams earning promotion to this year's Premier League.

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Pirates Coach Gitau said: "Winning Game Three to avoid a 3-0 humiliation has motivated my squad which is locked 2-2 in the series 2-2."

Aggressive Brian Ondiek, Bramwel Muchina and Mario Odhiambo will lead Pirates’ offence to score winning baskets.

Terrorists coach Eugene Genga will be under pressure to re-discover their winning formula to avoid gambling in Game Five. Consistent top scorer Sam Mwalo must avoid unnecessary fouling and team up with Pharel Adala and Ian Onyango to wrap up the series 1-3.

In the women's Division One league play-off final Game Three, Riara University will host Kisumu-based Lady Bucks.

In men's Division Two final Game Three, Riara University are favourites to be declared champions when they take on hosts Coastal Kings in Game Three.

Riara are only one match away to the crown after taking a 2-0 lead. The varsity students won Game One 56-48 and Two 61-48 in Nairobi.

In the men's Premier League play-off semi-final Game Four, Thunder were scheduled to play Emyba from Friday 8pm. The series is tied 1-1 after Thunder won Game Two 80-71.

Emyba had won Game One 83-80. Defending champions KPA were to meet Ulinzi Warriors in Game Three starting at 6pm.

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