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Struggling USIU Tigers hunt for elusive points

Friday May 10 2019

USIU-A Tigers Ariel Ortega dribbles past Umoja's Alphonce Muchiri during their Kenya Basketball Federation men's Premier League match at USIU grounds on October 21, 2018. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO |

USIU-A Tigers Ariel Ortega dribbles past Umoja's Alphonce Muchiri during their Kenya Basketball Federation men's Premier League match at USIU grounds on October 21, 2018. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

CAXTON APOLLO
By CAXTON APOLLO
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United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Tigers will return to the Kenya Basketball Federation men’s Premier League action with two tough matches at Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium this weekend.

The Tigers, who are handled by Kenya’s men’s national team coach Cliffe Owuor take on Kenya College of Accountancy-University on Saturday at 4pm before walking a tight rope against fellow varsity students Strathmore University Blades on Sunday at 4pm. Before facing the Tigers, the Blades will have a date with Umoja today at 2:30pm.

Thirty-two first leg matches are lined up at four venues; Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu and Kakamega as teams battle to garner crucial points to earn them a slot in the top eight play-offs at the end of regular season.

Ulinzi Warriors were the first team to end their 11 matches of the men’s Premier League first leg last weekend. The soldiers top the table standings with 21 points after winning 10 matches and losing only one.

Pressure will be on the USIU-A Tigers, who are bottom on the 12-team table standings with five points, to regain their fast fading glory having only won one match and lost three.

They beat stubborn Umoja 65-62 in their last assignment after losing 50-55 to Ulinzi Warriors. Blades, on the other hand, have won three matches and lost three. They will be battling to register victory to improve on their current eighth position with nine points.

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In the women’s Premier League highlight, Storms, who lost two matches last weekend, face a tall order again when they meet newcomers University of Nairobi’s Dynamites today and Eagle Wings on Sunday.

Storms, who finished third last year, were humiliated 63-13 by champions and league leaders Equity Bank last weekend. They again went down fighting 31-32 against Kenyatta University Oryx, who garnered maximum four points last weekend.

After returning home empty-handed from their two away matches in Nairobi last weekend, Kisumu-based Lakeside will again face baptism of fire at home when they host giants Equity Bank on Saturday.

In Kakamega, Western Delight will host women’s Premier League champions Equity Bank at Kakamega Police Canteen from 10am.

Weekend fixtures:

Saturday: ANU v Trailblazers (8.30am), Zetech University v Tangit Sparks (10am), ANU v Eagle Wings (11.30am), Storms v Dynamites (1pm), Umoja v Blades (3pm), KCA-U v USIU-A Tigers (4pm). USIU-A Out Door Courts: MKU Thika v Coastal Kings (8.30am), Neosasa v Little Prince (1Oam), JKUAT v Eldonets (11.30am), Upper Hill School v Riara University (1pm), KDF Morans v Blazers (2.30pm), KAA v Lions (4pm). Menengai High School: Egerton University v Mustangs (8.30am), Nakuru Club v Barclays Bank (1Oam), Renegades v Mustangs (12pm). Kakamega Police Canteen: Nebulas v Boabab (8.30am), Western Delight v Equity Bank (10am). Kenyatta Sports Ground-Kisumu: Lakeside v Equity Bank (10am).

Sunday: at Menengai High School: Egerton University v Baobab Blazers (8.30am), Renegades v Baobab Blazers (12pm). USIU-A Out Door Courts: Neosasa v Upper Hill School (8.30am), Footprints v Eldonets (10am), KAA v Nakuru Club (11.30am), NIBS v Coastal Kings (1pm), ANU v Zetech Titans (2.30pm), Terrorists v Trailblazers (4pm). Nyayo: Strathmore University v KDF Morans (8.30am), USIU-A v Zetech University (11.30am), Strathmore University v Dynamites (1pm), ANU v Tangit Sparks (2.30pm), USIU-A Tigers v Blades (4pm)

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