League title is for Ulinzi to lose

By francis marangu
Dec 18, 2021
  • Ancet Wafula of Ulinzi comes up against Kevin Kigotho of USIU-A in game two of the men's plaoff. Ulinzi won and are just one game away from claiming the title. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Ulinzi Warriors are in a strong position to clinch the Kenya Basketball Federation men's Premier League title when the playoffs final enters game three on Friday night.

The soldiers who are two games up against ther opponents United States International University- Africa need a win on Friday night to bag the title.  

For USIU-A, they have to give their best and dig deep to revive title chances that have been complicated by the two losses. USIU-A lost both games in second half after holding their breath in first half.

In game one, William Ochieng and Eric Mutoro scored 25 points each to guide Ulinzi to a 81-67 win. Both teams tied 27-27 at halftime with Yoni Wanambiro scoring 14 points for USIU-A and Kevin Kigotho adding 11.

Game two was not different as USIU-A dominated in the first half only to fade in the second half. Ulinzi won 68-58 after leading 38-34 at halftime.

Wanambiro hit a three-pointer and a basket with Kigotho adding a basket for the students to lead 7-0 within three minutes of first quarter play. They then stretched their lead to 11 points at 15-4 and won the quarter 22-13.

Captain Victor Odendo who finished the half with 13 points led from the front as Ulinzi staged a comeback. In the second quarter, USIU-A had the biggest lead of 10 points leading 25-15 but Ulinzi tied the scores 31-31 with 1:40 to play.

USIU-A then led 33-31 before a 33-33 tie. Ulinzi assumed the lead at 35-33 to win the quarter 25-12. The soldiers won third quarter 17-14 to extend the lead to 55-48. Poor rebounding was the main undoing for USIU-A as Ulinzi enjoyed the biggest lead of 11 points leading 55-44.

Ulinzi pressed hard in fourth quarter to extend the lead to 14 points at 62-48 and not even successive turnovers could hand the advantage to USIU-A. The soldiers won the quarter 13-10 as Odendo top scored with 25 points. Kigotho scored 19 points for the students and Wanambiro added 15.

In division one, the series is tied at 1-1 after Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U) won game one and Upper Hill won the second.

Lawrence Wandera scored 19 points in game one to help KCA-U win 62-41. Isaiah Ater had 12 points for Upper Hill and David Ouma added 11.

In game two, Upper Hill survived a late comeback by KCA-U in fourth quarter to win 62-60. From the onset, Upper Hill enjoyed the lead winning first quarter 14-9 and the second 15-13 for 29-22 at halftime.

In the third quarter, they had a 12 points lead but KCA-U fought back as Upper Hill won 18-17. KCA-U carried home the fourth 21-15 and had Victor Okello top score with 11 points. David Ouma scored 17 points for Upper Hill and Derrick Olang added 16.