Basketball: Thunder run Ulinzi Warriors out of log summit

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Tuesday, June 4th 2019 at 00:10 GMT +3 | Sports
Thunder’s Griffin Ligare in a KBF League match at Nyayo Gymnasium. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Last season’s Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s Premier League semi-finalists Thunder returned to the summit of the league standings following their successful outing.

Thunder beat struggling United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Tigers 69-49 to end their first leg campaign on a high and topple the soldiers from the top of the standings.

The two sides are tied on 21 points but Thunder have a better head-to-head record over the Warriors.

Thunder, who finished third last season after losing 3-2 to Ulinzi in the semis playoffs, have been brilliant and will be seeking to maintain their good run in the second leg.

Against Tigers, Ancette Wafula was superb sinking 17 points while Griffin Ligare and Shem Atieno scored 11 each.

Ariel Ortega and Fred Onono’s hopes of lifting Tigers from the relegation zone were thwarted despite scoring 13 and 11 points as they succumbed to their eighth loss.

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Thunder were home and dry by half-time as their 38-18 lead left the students with minimal chances of recovering.

They regained their footing in the second half to contain the victory-hungry Thunder but could not avoid defeat.

USIU-A scored 31 points, same as their opponent, who bagged their 10th victory with a 20-point difference. Tigers had on Saturday lost 36-44 to Kenya College of Accountancy University.

Second from bottom, Tigers’ troubles continue and they must win their remaining two matches and build a brilliant winning strategy for the second leg.

Emyba maintained their third spot with 16 points, one more than fourth-placed defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

KPA, who lost at the weekend to Equity Bank, are tied on 15 points with fifth-placed Eldonets, who were not in action at the weekend.

In the women’s Premier League contest, Strathmore University Swords maintained their winning streak with twin victories at the weekend.

Swords are the only side yet to be defeated after former holders KPA ended defending champions Equity Bank Hawks’ unbeaten run at Makande Hall, Mombasa. Hawks, who are hoping to retain their title, lost 50-52.  

Swords top the standings with 18 points, same as Storms, who are second, having finished their first leg duties.

The Ronny Owino coached students have played nine matches and will seek to win their remaining two rounds for them to maintain their untainted record.

However, former champions USIU-A Flames had nothing to smile about after suffering a humiliating 27-60 loss to high-flying Strathmore Swords, which reduced their chances of making it to the last eight.

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