Trailblazers halt KCA-U's run to finals

By francis marangu
Dec 12, 2021
  • Barclays' Delano Frank dribbles away from Upper Hill Martin Buluma. Upper Hill lead 2-0. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Co-op Bank's Grac Wanjiku is tackled by KPA Natalie Akinyi. KPA leads 2-0. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U) had hoped to seal their place in the division one playoffs final and qualify to the Premier League next season on Thursday when they played Trailblazers in semifinals of game three.

A win would have granted their wish since they led the series 2-0 but Trailblazers won 47-39 for 2-1 and push the series to game four. Trailblazers was so determined to get a win that they led 21-12 at halftime after winning opening quarters 15-8 and 6-4.

A 16-10 win in third quarter gave them good cushion and KCA-U could do nothing even after winning fourth quarter 17-10. Alex Oguso scored a game high 19 points for Trailblazers with Brian Odari scoring 16 for the students.

Game four is slated for Sunday and a win for KCA-U will close the series but a win for Trailblazers will occasion game five.

Upper Hill is equally well poised to qualify after winning game two 64-52 against Barclays Bank to lead 2-0. The students took a 35-21 halftime lead with wins of 15-5 and 20-16. Barclays won third quarter 19-14 and Upper Hill the fourth 15-12.

David Ouma scored 17 points for Upper Hill and Isaiah Ater added 15 while Abel Kimondo top scored for Barclays with 10 points and Raphael Otieno added 9. Upper Hill can wrap the series by winning game three on Sunday while Barclays must win the remaining three games to qualify.

Playoffs in Nairobi resume Sunday

Playoffs in Nairobi will take a break on Saturday to pave way for Jamhuri Day celebrations and resume on Sunday. The only game on Saturday will be in Mombasa when Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) ladies welcome Co-operative Bank for game three. KPA leads 2-0.

On Sunday, KPA men’s team will be in Nairobi to try and salvage the series after going down 2-0 in Mombasa against Ulinzi Warriors.

The second semifinal will be a do-or-die affair as United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) tackle Nairobi City Thunder who lead 2-1. The slim 72-69 win by Thunder in game three showed that the series is for any team to take but Thunder has the advantage on their court.

Finals for both men's Premier League and division one will begin on Wednesday at Kasarani Indoor Arena.

Kenya Basketball Federation through fixtures secretary Joseph Amoko has warned all teams to observe the rules by having only members who are allowed on their technical benches.

He said there is nobody who will be allowed on the benches unless he or she is a FIBA certified head coach and assistant coach, team manager, doctor/physiotherapist, statistician, interpreter and the twelve players eligible to play.

Weekend Fixtures

Saturday: KPA Ladies vs Co-op Bank (Mombasa, 4 p.m.); Sunday: JKUAT vs 4-Christ (Nyayo gymnasium, 9 a.m.), Trailblazers vs KCA-U (10:30), Upper Hill vs Barclays Bank (12 p.m.), Ulinzi Warriors vs KPA (2 p.m.). Thunder vs USIU-A (4 p.m.), Co-op Bank vs KPA (Mombasa, 4 p.m.); Monday: KCA-U vs Trailblazers (Nyayo gymnasium, 5 p.m.), Barclays Bank vs Upper Hill (6:30 p.m.), USIU-A vs Thunder (8 p.m.), KPA vs Ulinzi Warriors (9.30 p.m.); Tuesday: Upper Hill vs Barclays Bank (6 p.m.), Ulinzi Warriors vs KPA (7:30 p.m.).