Lakeside and USIU Flames crowned 2019 Biro Lich champions

By Washington Onyango: Tuesday, October 22nd 2019 at 16:29 GMT +3 | Basketball
Lakeside's Sila Guya in action during Biro Lich Basketball tournament in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango,Standard]

Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League sides Lakeside and USIU are the men and women's champions of the 2019 Biro Lich Basketball Tournament club edition.

In what was an all Kisumu final affair, hosts Lakeside defeated Kisumu Select 76-71 to clinch their maiden title in the match played at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports ground in Kisumu.

The triumph did not come as a surprise to many, as John Ogilo’s men had dominated the two-day tournament, winning all their group matches, before they hammered Maweni Hornets 26-8 in the quarterfinals and Stanbic Bank 26-22 in the semi-finals.

On the other hand, Kisumu Select stormed the finals of the competition in style after they beat KBF side USIU men 27-26 in the second semi-finals.

"We are very happy to bring the title back home after last year’s regional disappointments. We started the tournament well and am glad we have improved since gaining promotion to KBF,” Lakeside coach Ogilo said.

Defending champions and KBF league leaders Ulinzi Warriors were nowhere in the team lists as they failed to show up for the seventh edition of the annual tournament, which aims at fighting drugs and crime through sports.

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In the women's finals, USIU Flames successfully defended their title after defeating another Kisumu side Lady Bucks 26-16 in a repeat of last year’s finals.

The Cliff Owuor’s charges finished the tourney unbeaten despite closely edging Migori County 26-23 and Owuor has now shifted his focus back to the premier league where they are battling for survival.

“Our focus now shifts to KBF where we are looking forward to surviving and come out of the relegation zone. The win is a big buster to the girls and the team who performed at their best in the expense of our key players who were not available,” he said.

Sila Awuor of Lakeside was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player in the men’s category, while Jemimah Omondi of USIU Flames scooped the ladies' title.

Dennis Wekasa of Lakeside also scooped the best three-pointer award in the tournament sponsored by Safarilink.

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