Top teams get a bye to play-off semi finals

By francis marangu
Oct 24, 2016
  • Masaku Sparks Linda Alando against Kenyatta University Oryx players. They are second to Eagle Wings. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

The top two teams across all the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) leagues will enjoy a bye to the 2016 playoffs semifinals.

Only six teams will make it to the playoffs from the usual eight. Under the new arrangement, the third placed teams will play those that finish sixth with fourth-place finishers playing teams ranked fifth after the regular season.

All quarterfinal games will be played in a best-of-three series. Playoffs are slated to start on November 15 and the new format has heightened competition as the regular season hits its homestretch.

In the men’s Premier League, leaders Co-operative Bank who have a game to play and on 39 points are poised to finish top leaving Ulinzi Warriors and Nairobi City Thunder to fight for the second spot.

Ulinzi and Thunder have to play one game each with the soldiers sitting second on 36 points and Thunder comes in third on 35. One of the teams, among them Strathmore University Blades, Equity Bank, United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) could miss theplayoffs.

After the weekend's action, KPA sits at seventh on 30 points but have more games to play than the other three teams. They will host Equity Bank, Co-op Bank, Trailblazers and Lions in the remaining games.

At they weekend, KPA beat Ulinzi 79-56 at home. A win in all the games could as well see KPA end up second depending on the outcomes from the Thunder and Ulinzi games.

USIU-A and Equity Bank have three games each left with the students on 33 points and the bankers on 31. Save for a forfeiture, the minimum points each team can get from the games is three taking USIU-A to 36 and Equity to 34. T

hat complicates arithmetic for Strathmore University Blades who are remaining with one game and can accumulate a maximum of 35 points. They have a must-win encounter against USIU-A this weekend whose result will be of great interest to Equity as well.

Eagle Wings soar to playoffs

In the women’s Premier League, Eagle Wings sealed their playoffs spot over the weekend after getting a point against KPA to take their tally to 22 points with a game to play against Western Delight.

Masaku Sparks, their closest challenger have two games to play and the maximum points they can garner is 22.

At the top, KPA has three games to play and remain unbeaten. They host Equity Bank this weekend with two other games against Co-op Bank and KU Oryx all at home. Strathmore University will play USIU-A in their last game on Sunday.

Equity Bank has 34 points and assured of a top two finish while Strathmore will finish third if they beat USIU-A to play Eagle Wings in the playoffs. A loss to USIU-A could see them finish fourth and play Co-op Bank in the playoffs for yet another season in as many years.

Co-op Bank who have an away fixture to KPA and can amass a maximum of 30 points while Strathmore is assured of 31.

Strathmore beat Kenyatta University Oryx 57-38 on Sunday winning the first two quarters 21-8 and 8-4. Oryx won the third 14-13 and Strathore the fourth 15-12.

Barbra Samba scored 14 points for Strathmore and Melvin Iminza had 10. Berine Okoth top scored for Oryx with 13 points and Brenda Mwaniki added eight.

Equity Bank did justice to their push over the weekend with double wins. After beating USIU-A on Saturday, they hit a century against Western Delight on Sunday winning 103-26 win.

Equity Bank had quarterly scores of 17-8, 28-2, 26-6 and 32-10 respectively. Susan Akinyi top scored for Equity with 23 points, Mercy Wanyama scored 20 and Esther Butali finished with 15. Hillavi Ayodi scored 12 points for Western Delight.

USIU-A bounced back to beat Storms 68-43. The students won first and second quarters 17-4 and 18-8 with Storms taking the third 21-17. USIU-A won the fourth 16-10.

Cynthia Irankunda had a game high 25 points while Sarah Chan scored 17. Valerie Akoth and Irene Mulemia scored 10 points each for Storms.

Weekend Results

Saturday: Nebulas 74 Blazers 62, KPA 57 Eagle Wings 32, KPA 79 Ulinzi Warriors 56, Strathmore University 37 Egerton University 28, EMYBA 65 Egerton University 69, Storms 38 Western Delight 31, World Hope 77 Egerton University 64, Equity Bank 67 USIU-A Flames 49, Thunder 60 USIU-A Tigers 70; Sunday: Kenyatta University Oryx 38 Strathmore University 57, Baraka Xtreme 66 Egerton University 73, Equity Bank 103 Western Delight 26, USIU-A Flames 68 Storms 43, Riara University 55 USIU-A Marines 57.