Basketball: Ulinzi Warriors firing from all cylinders

Victor Bwire of Ulinzi Warriors in a past KBF league match against Thunder at Nyayo Gymnasium. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]
Former Kenya Basketball Federation men’s Premier League champions Ulinzi Warriors opened a four-point lead at the summit of the standings following a 57-42 win over Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCAU) at the weekend.

The Soldiers top the log with 31 points while defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) are second with 27 from 15 outings.

Last season’s semi-finalists Thunder are third with 25 but have two matches in hand.

KPA and Thunder did not have any assignments over the weekend. The three are pushing for the top spot that guarantee’s them an easier passage to the quarters' play-off.

The winner is set to play the side that finishes eighth.

KPA have lost three matches, while Ulinzi and Thunder have lost one each. Rookies Emyba, who had a fantastic weekend out bagging two victories, have moved to fourth place from sixth, consolidating their place in the play-offs.

Emyba, who were promoted alongside Eldonets after excelling last season, are on course to making the top eight cut.

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They are tied on 25 points with Thunder from eight wins and nine losses. They beat World Hope 72-59 before crowing a successful weekend out with a thrilling 57-54 win over Umoja.

Umoja on the other hand, were twice unlucky after they lost 43-48 to KCAU on Saturday. The losses mean they must win their remaining matches to increase their chances of sealing a top eight slot.

KCAU students revived their hopes of reaching the knockout stage with the three points earned at the weekend. KCAU coach Charles Goro said his charges failed to rise to the occasion against Ulinzi.

“We had a good game on Saturday and we played very well but against Ulinzi, my players played with fear and rarely did they show a fighting mentality. Ulinzi were missing some of their key players but still, we could still not capitalise on that,” Goro said.

In the women’s Premier League, Storms maintained their second place in the standings after beating struggling Eagle Wings 67-58.

They are second behind defending champions Equity Bank Hawks, who also have 27 points.

Storms, who were eliminated in the semis last season, have played 17 matches, won 10 and lost seven.

The bankers have played 14 matches, losing one to rivals and former champions KPA, away in Mombasa.

Strathmore University Swords are third with 25 points while Zetech University are fourth with 23.

Zetech beat their African Nazarene University counterparts 79-52 to maintain their fourth place. Western Delight returned to Kakamega a dejected lot after suffering double losses.

They lost to University of Nairobi's Dynamites and Tangit Sparks.

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Kenya Basketball Federation men’s Premier LeagueUlinzi WarriorsKenya College of Accountancy University (KCAU)