Ulinzi Warriors have made a bright start in their campaign for Kenya Basketball Federation men’s Premier League title, winning two consecutive matches as the first leg entered its second week in Nairobi and Mombasa at the weekend.
Eastleigh-based Ulinzi, who lost last year’s play-offs final to Kenya Ports Authority, defeated Blades 71-53 in their second match at Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium on Sunday.
Last week, Ulinzi, coached by William Balozi, had opened the new season with resounding 51-38 victory over Kenya College of Accountancy - University.
Blades had given Ulinzi an early scare, racing to a 17-12 first-quarter lead but the soldiers recovered quickly to lead 36-30 at the break. Ulinzi, who signed up shooting guard Victor Bosire from KPA, were boosted by forward John Washika’s 17 points, and James Mwangi’s 16 against Blades, who beat KCA-U 66-52 on Saturday.
After losing their opening match 62-65 to experienced USIU-A Tigers on Saturday, Umoja bounced back to beat newly-promoted Emyba 65-57.
Emyba, promoted to the top league after finishing runners-up in Division One league last year, started off well by beating World Hope 61-49 on Saturday.
Umoja’s guard Allan Ouma and Nick Ogol stood out, each scoring game-high 25 points as their team recovered from behind 23-27 at half-time to bag two morale-boosting first leg points.
Umoja proved too strong for Emyba in the last two quarters of the match in which they dictated terms to comfortably lead 26-18 and 16-12.
Equity Bank men and women’s teams registered convincing victories in their opening first leg matches on Sunday.
Reigning women’s champions Equity beat United States International University - Africa (USIU-A) Flames 82-27, while their male counterparts demolished Kenya College of Accountancy - University (KCA-U) 67-32.
Flames, who survived relegation by a whisker last season, trailed 14-47 at half-time, thanks to Belinda Okoth, who led the winners with 17 points.
Men’s Premier League champions KPA had mixed luck in their two opening fixtures at their KPA Makande Gymnasium backyard, where they harvested three points.