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Ulinzi Warriors ready to lay down marker with win over Eldonets

KPA's Tobias Odhiambo (left) and Eric Mutoro of Ulinzi Warriors during their KBF Premier League playoff final match at Nyayo Stadium in April. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Former champions Ulinzi Warriors will be keen to build up on their opening season victory when they host Eldonets today (4pm) at Nyayo Gymnasium as the 2022 Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Men’s Premier League enters week two.

The soldiers thrashed newly promoted Zetech Titans 71-51 last weekend to kick off the new season on a high note as they begin the hunt to recapture the league title.

Warriors, who lost the Premier League title to rivals Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) after a 3-2 defeat in the finals two months ago, are on a mission to reclaim their lost glory despite losing head coach William Balozi.

Warriors team manager Stephen Bartilol said Balozi left for further military studies but they still have a strong team ready to compete for the title.

“The goal is getting back the KBF title we lost last season. We respect every team because we know everyone has beefed up their squads,” said Bartilol.

“We are also training for military games; both regional and continental.”

Warriors are currently second on the log with two points behind leaders Strathmore University Blades (four points).

Blades saw off Umoja 73-65 before thrashing Nairobi City Thunder 76-69 last week.

Before the Ulinzi v Eldonets clash, Kenyatta University Pirates will host Terrors from 2pm at the same venue.

In the women’s league, defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) will kick off their title defense against Eagle Wings at Makande Gymnasium, Mombasa.

The dockers won their 15th league title after dethroning holders Equity Hawks 3-1 in the best-of-five series final in February. The dockers had last clinched the trophy in 2018.

KPA, who returned to the country a few days ago from an intensive training in Rwanda, will face Storms in their second match of the season tomorrow.

They have acquired the services of Belinda Okoth from Equity Hawks and Storm’s Jemimah Omondi with no players leaving.

Other matches today will see Zetech University take on Strathmore Sword at Nyayo Gymnasium as African Nazarene University tackle Eldonets.