Trailblazers determined to escape the chop

By francis marangu
Sep 03, 2021
  • Equity's Susan Akinyi exerts pressure on Storms' Cellestine Isabwa. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Trailblazers made a huge step in their fight against relegation from the men’s Premier League with a 58-49 win over Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U) on Saturday.

It was their fourth win and head coach Edwin Matara said they are determined to escape the chop. “This win was very important because we are now pushing pressure to the others since we are five teams fighting relegation. We are not going down.”

Trailblazers took good control of the game in the closing three minutes of the fourth quarter. They opened a 12-point lead and held on.

In the first quarter, Trailblazers won 11-8 after taking a 6-0 lead then led for seven points at 9-2. KCA-U won the second quarter 20-12 as they led 28-23 at halftime. Brian Ondari fired a three-pointer with 7:22 on the clock to tie 15-15 for the students.

Bobby Onyango then made a free shot with 5:20 to give KCA-U their first lead at 16-15 and went on to open a 10-point lead of 25-15.

With 8:02 played in the third quarter, Lenson Kisia made one free shot after going to the line twice for Trailblazers to tie scores 28-28. Victor Okello made the basket that gave KCA-U a 30-28 lead but Alex Onguso changed the lead with a basket for 31-30 to Trailblazers.

The teams were changing leads at short intervals as the quarter turned out to be competitive. Ondari’s basket gave KCA-U the lead at 33-31 before Christopher Katibwa leveled 33-33 with two free shots for Trailblazers.

Alphonce Muchiri made a basket for KCA-U to break the tie but Onguso tied again 35-35. Trailblazers took a 37-35 lead and went on to win the quarter 16-7.

The fourth quarter was all for Trailblazers as they won 19-14 and stretched their lead to 12 points at 52-40. Kisia and Onguso scored 10 points each for Trailblazers while Ondari top scored for KCA-U with 13 points and Lawrence Wandera added 11.

Dominant Unlinzi Warriors

In the other men’s game, Ulinzi Warriors hit the century mark in their 102-42 thrashing of Nakuru Club.

It was a one-sided affair as Ulinzi claimed all quarters 19-8, 15-8, 31-7 and 36-19 respectively. Eric Mutoro scored a game-high 30 points for Ulinzi with William Ochieng adding 22 all in second half. Evans Ochieng scored 14 points for Nakuru and Dan Montet added 10.

Equity Bank beat Storms 46-36 in the only women’s Premier League game played. The first two quarters were tight. Equity had a narrow 12-11 win in the first quarter leading for five times at 2-0, 4-2, 8-6, 10-8 and 12-11.

Storms led twice at 6-5 and 11-10 with ties of 2-2 and 8-8. Equity claimed second quarter 13-6 having opened a 10-point lead of 25-15. The bankers led 15-13 and 17-15 with Storms leading 13-12 and a tie of 15-15.

Equity made all the difference in the third quarter winning 13-2 and had a lead of 19 points at 38-19. They enjoyed much of the possession from steals and turnovers. In the fourth quarter, Equity opened a 21-point lead at 42-21 but Storms won 17-8.

Evelyne Nora scored 12 points and Susan Akinyi added 11 for Equity. Celestine Isabwa top scored for Storms with 16 points. Umoja continued with their push for promotion with a 51-40 win over Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) in division one.

KAA never scored in the second quarter won 12-0 by Umoja who also claimed the first 17-3. KAA dominated in the second half winning 15-6 and 22-16. Rodgers Ombati scored 12 points for Umoja and Gilbert Obiero added 10. Steve McOdongo made six three-pointers in second half to top score for KAA with 22 points.

In division two, Little Prince beat Zetech University 54-49. Elvis Mwangi top scored with 16 points, William Maundu fired four three-pointers to finish with 14 points while Victor Okoth made eight free shots for 12 points.

Jefferson Obanda scored 12 points for Zetech with Derrick Ochieng and Reagan Brian scoring nine each. EMYBA beat Blazers 47-36 with Collins Ochillo scoring 14 points and Emmanuel Ekai adding 12. Joe Koech scored eight points for Blazers and Joel Wafula added seven.

Saturday Results: Trailblazers 58 KCA-U 49, Ulinzi Warriors 102 Nakuru Club 42, Blazers 36 EMYBA 47, Little Prince 54 Zetech University 49, Umoja 51 KAA 40, Equity Bank 46 Storms 36.