Thunder ambush Ulinzi Warriors in playoffs tie

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Monday, November 19th 2018 at 23:25 GMT +3 | Basketball
KPA's Victor Ochieng play against Blades during KBF Playoffs at Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasym on Saturday Nov 17, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Thunder closed in on a Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League final slot following double victory against former champions Ulinzi Warriors at the weekend.

Lowly-Thunder stunned the soldiers at Nyayo Gymnasium subjecting them to two straight defeats in the ongoing 2018 league playoffs. 

Contesting in the best-of-five, Shauri Moyo-based Thunder now need one more win to advance to the final.

Thunder had everything going for them including die-hard fans who rallied behind them as they disarmed the soldiers to take a commanding 2-0 and inch closer to the final.

In Game One, Thunder made a step into the last two with a convincing five-basket win against Warriors in a high-scoring clash that ended 80-70.

In the second tie, unstoppable Thunder crashed the soldiers 70-57 to increase their chances of winning this season’s title.

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Evergreen Kevin Chogo was Thunder’s top scorer with 17 points while Faheem Juma scored 16. 

Eric Mutoro sunk 18 points but his effort went to waste as his side succumbed to their second defeat thus dimming their hopes of reclaiming their trophy.

Just like they did in Game One, Thunder won the match in the first quarter as they scored an impressive 20 points against Warriors’ 14.

In the first encounter, Thunder took a 22-11 lead and fought all the way to win even as the soldiers laboured to bounce back and take charge of the game, but all that was in vain. 

There was no looking back for Thunder as they surged on to take a 38-25 lead at half-time.

However, they slowed down in the third quarter allowing Ulinzi to take it 14-11 but regained control of the game and completed the job 21-18 to make another step towards the final. 

In another semis tie, Strathmore University Blades slowed down defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in battle for a slot to the final after winning the second match.

Blades beat KPA 69-56 to level matters 1-1 and revive their hopes of reaching the final.

KPA, who beat Blades last season to be crowned champions, had won Game One 64-50.

In women’s Premier League contest, Strathmore Swords beat Zetech University 53-47 to book the remaining slot after winning the quarter-final 2-1.

They joined champions KPA, Equity Bank and Storms in the last four.

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