Former champs Co-op Bank face Thunder test

By francis marangu
Aug 20, 2021
  • Griffin Ligare is capable of easily turning the game in Thunder's favor. Carey Odhiambo, the Co-Op bank coach relies on team performance. (SNA: File Photo)

Co-operative Bank have had a poor run of two straight losses before this weekend's fixtures but hope to turn that around when they play Nairobi City Thunder on Sunday.

The men's Premier League’s Eastern Conference tie will be played at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.

The former champions suffered back-to-back losses to Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Lions. They also lost to Thunder in the first leg and have a total of four losses.

On the log, it’s a tight battle at the top. KPA leads with 23 points, Thunder are second with 21 points while Co-op Bank have 20. The three teams have played 12 games each.

Carey Odhiambo, the Co-operative Bank head coach says blending new players with old ones has taken more time which has resulted to the poor showing. The game on Sunday is a must-win for the bankers.

“It’s a game that we really need to get good results. We have not been performing well because of transition as new players fit into the team. It's the cycle of the game that we must do with,” he explained.

Evans Ochieng signed from Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has had some positive contribution to the team.

Griffin Ligare is one player from Thunder with the capability of bringing the bankers down with his individual performance. His three-pointers, jump shots and lay ups are a trade mark against every opponent.

He recently scored 47 points as Thunder beat Ulinzi Warriors but Odhiambo is not awed by his individual brilliance. “We don't plan our games around an individual player but team. He is not a bother at all.”

KAA playing under pressure

Thunder have a second game against bottom side KAA on Saturday. With seven losses and two wins, KAA will be under pressure to avoid being relegated.

KAA will also have a second chance of collecting more points when they face Zetech University on Sunday. They will come up against their former player Shem Otieno who signed for Zetech in June.

In Western Conference, University of Nairobi’s Terrorist have two games. They play Lions on Saturday and Mennonites on Sunday.

After a long break, Eagle Wings return to action this weekend in women's Premier League’s Western Conference with a game against Mennonite on Sunday. Mennonites are still looking for their first win of the season.

Masaku Sparks have an opportunity to stretch their unbeaten run to six games when they play Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U) on Saturday.

In Division one, Trailblazers have two games against 4-Christ and Baraka Xtreme. Other matchups involve World Hope against Parklands Baptist, Barclays Bank against Blazers and Little Prince up against EMYBA.

KBF Weekend Fixtures

Saturday: World Hope vs Parklands Baptist (2 p.m., Upper Hill), 4-Christ vs Trailblazers (9 a.m., Nyayo gymnasium), Masaku Sparks vs KCA-U (10:30 a.m.), Barclays Bank vs Blazers (12 p.m.), Lions vs Terror (2 p.m.), Thunder vs KAA (4 p.m.); Sunday: Little Prince vs EMYBA (12 p.m., Upper Hill), Baraka Xtreme vs Trailblazers (2 p.m.), Eagle Wings vs Mennonite (9 a.m., Nyayo gymnasium), Blazers vs Don Bosco (10:30 a.m.), KAA vs Zetech University (12 p.m.), Terror vs Mennonite (2 p.m.), Co-op Bank vs Thunder (4 p.m.).