Ulinzi Warriors are 48 minutes away from being declared the National Classic Basketball League champions.
The soldiers put Thunder to the sword with a thumping 99-51 win in Game Three of the playoff finals at the Nyayo National Stadium Friday night to take a 2-1 lead ahead of Saturday's Game Four at the same venue.
A win for Ulinzi will all but seal the title they are seeking to reclaim for the first time since 2015.
Ulinzi had to come from behind to tie the series 1-1 after losing Game One 73-75 to Thunder, and were stronger in Game Three. The soldiers took full advantage of the injury on Thunder forward Kevin Chogo to punish them inside the paint.
After taking the first quarter 20-19, Ulinzi who had Victor Bosire tightly kept at bay, shifted their attention to Joseph Khaemba and Tiberius Menya who together with evergreen Eric Mutoro ran rings around their opponents to take the second quarter 29-13 for a comfortable 49-32 half time score.
The rains started beating Thunder when star forward Chogo was stretchered off with a suspected Achilles tendon injury. Ulinzi then dominated the boards, controlling both offensive and defensive rebounds in the second half.
With Bosire, who top scored in game two with a record 37 points having a quiet evening, Mutoro took over the mantle with 19 points while James Mwangi, Khaemba and William Ochieng contributed 17, 14 and 12 points respectively.
Workhorse Griffin Ligare had 20 points and Faheem Juma contributed 14 for Thunder who have to win Game 4 on Saturday at the Nyayo Stadium gymnasium to stay alive. The match kicks off at 4pm.