Warriors and Thunder title charges gather pace

Wednesday March 18 2020

KDF Morans' Elvis Akoyi tries to go past Lions' Joel Muhanda (left) during their Kenya Basketball Federation Men Division One league match on April 13, 2019 at USIU Basketball Court. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |


Ulinzi Warriors and Thunder intensified their campaign to secure the men’s Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League leadership with convincing victories in their weekend outings in Nairobi.

Ulinzi maintained their winning streak as they silenced World Hope 63-51 at USIU-A outdoor courts on Saturday.

The victory saw the title chasing soldiers increase their points tally to 15 from seven matches won and one lost.

Eastleigh-based Ulinzi with four matches to go to the end of the first leg, will travel to Mombasa this weekend to meet defending champions KPA.

They also have first leg fixtures against inexperienced Emyba, Eldonets and Kisumu-based Lakeside.

World Hope fell into trouble from the first whistle as Ulinzi led by Joseph Khaemba and Byron Mabonga, ran riot from start for an 18-4 first quarter run.

The soldiers encountered little resistance leading 32-15 and never looking back. Khaemba was Warriors top scorer with 13 points while Mabonga contributed 11. Warriors coach William Balozi said: "We play as a team and we are focused on defeating our rivals KPA at their backyard.’’

Thunder, who shattered Ulinzi’s unbeaten record beating them 68-55, still proved to be a force to reckon with this season by escaping with a narrow 66-65 win over newly promoted Emyba.

Thunder exploded into a deserved 24-15 first quarter advantage.

Emyba, who had earlier lost 64-71 to Equity Bank, fought back to reduce the deficit to five points on a 33-38 half time score-line.

Emyba outscored Thunder 21-11 in the third quarter as they threatened to register an upset only to falter in the crucial last quarter.

They however recovered to rock Kisumu-based Lakeside 80-68 a day later.

Women’s Premier League champions Equity Bank demolished newly-formed Tangit Sparks, formerly Masaku Sparks 91-26 after leading 46-13 at the breather.

The bankers' strength was in second and third quarters in which they piled pressure on their opponents to humiliate them 31-6 and 31-10. In another women’s showdown, Strathmore University Swords, who were beaten 53-41 by Storms in their third spot play-offs last year, kept their good run after beating Footprints 51-11.

Lions had mixed luck in their men’s Division One league matches when they collected three points from two outings.

After having won 49-47 against KDF Morans 49-47 on Saturday, Blazers ended Lions' celebration defeating them 54-46 on Sunday.