NBA, ZUBL leagues head to playoffs

By francis marangu
Oct 03, 2021

Nairobi Basketball Association, NBA, and Zuku University Basketball League, ZUBL, will enter a crucial stage this weekend when their playoffs get underway.

The NBA knockouts will begin on Saturday at the Railways Club with a total of twenty four quarterfinal matches on card in both the men and women leagues.

The first round of matches will be played Saturday and second one Sunday.

The winners of the best-of-three series will proceed to the semifinals that will be played on a best-of-five series the same as finals in both categories.

Barclays Bank of Kenya Eagles for men and Ulinzi Blades for ladies were the only unbeaten sides in the league that had two zones for each category.

Eagles topped men’s Zone A with maximum 40 points while Africa Nazarene University, ANU, emerged tops in Zone B with 43 points after losing one match in the twelve team zone. Blades, which played for its first season after reassembling this year, had 36 points from Zone B of the ladies category.

Gladiators, who were relegated from the top tier women premier last season, put a strong claim for promotion after topping Zone A with 26 points; winning 12 matches, losing 2 and forfeiting one.

Eagles will now play Friends of Basketball in Kenya while ANU has been paired with Upperhill School in arguably the toughest match of the series.

Other matches in the men category will see Mount Kenya University- Nairobi face off with Dankid Academy as JKUAT Juja squares it out with Daystar University.

Ulinzi Blades have an easy match against Mount Kenya University- Thika as Barclays Bank of Kenya Eaglets meet with Footprints.

Gladiators have a date with ANU while Parklands Arya School face off with Strathmore University.

Separately, the last round of the ZUBLs road to playoffs will take place at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium on Friday night when the finalists from the Nairobi Conference will be known.

The winners will join six qualifiers from the other three conferences for the national playoffs to be played at the Kasarani Gymnasium on October 11-12.

Technical University of Kenya, TUK, will battle it out with United States International University- Africa for the sole men’s ticket to represent Nairobi at the finals.

USIU face Nairobi 

In the women category, unbeaten USIU-A has a date with University of Nairobi’s Dynamites.

USIU-A, defending champions in both categories, are on course to defending their titles they won last year in Mombasa.

The match pitting USIU-A and TUK will be broadcast live on Zuku Sports in HD quality and this follows similar broadcast for the Western Conference finals last weekend.

Zuku Head of Sports Gary Rathbone confirmed this acknowledging that the league has grown tremendously raising the profile of local university basketball.

“It is very encouraging to be part of the growth of local sports in this country. Participating teams have shown great talent and commitment as the league progressed and it truly looks to be an exhilarating Nairobi final,” He said. Winners of the ZUBL 2013 season in both categories will pocket Shs. 20,000 each with the first and second runners-up taking home Shs. 10,000 and Shs. 5,000 respectively.

NBA Quarterfinal Playoffs Matches: Saturday- Dankid Academy vs MKU Nairobi (Men, 9am), Daystar University vs JKUAT Thika (Men, 9am), Gladiators vs ANU (Ladies, 10:30am), BBK Eaglets vs Footprints (Ladies, 10:30am), MKU Thika vs Ulinzi Blades (Ladies, 12pm), Strathmore University vs Parklands Arya School (Ladies, 12pm), Legacy vs Multimedia University (Men, 1:30pm), Upperhill School vs ANU (Men, 1:30pm), Our Lady QP vs Don Bosco (Men, 3pm), MKU Thika vs Old Pirates (Men, 3pm), Baraka XTreme vs TUK (Men, 4:15pm), BBK Eagles vs FOB Kenya (4:15pm); Sunday- Parklands Arya School vs Strathmore University (Ladies, 9am), Ulinzi Blades vs MKU Thika (Ladies, 9am), Multimedia University vs Legacy (Men, 10:30am), ANU vs Gladiators (Ladies, 10:30am), Footprints vs BBK Eaglets (Ladies, 12pm), MKU Nairobi vs Dankid Academy (Men, 12pm), Old Pirates vs MKU Thika (Men, 1:30pm), ANU vs Upperhill School(Men, 1:30pm), JKUAT Juja vs Daystar University (Men, 3pm), TUK vs Baraka XTreme (Men, 3pm), FOB Kenya vs BBK Eagles (Men, 4:15pm), Don Bosco vs Our Lady QP (Men, 4:15pm); ZUBL Nairobi Conference Fixtures: USIU-A vs UoN Dynamites (4:30pm), USIU-A vs TUK (6pm).