Last updated 3 years ago | By ERICK OCHIENG'
The United States International University (USIU) have sealed a top three finish in the 2016 Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s Premier League.
The university students achieved the feat after they defeated Equity Bank by seven points in a crunch match at Strathmore University grounds over the weekend.
The win saw USIU, who have 38 points, dislodge Thunder from third place in the league standings. They now have same points as defending champions Ulinzi Warriors, although the soldiers have a better head-to-head record.
Second-placed Ulinzi and Co-op Bank, who are leading the chart with 41 points, have secured direct tickets to the playoffs semis, while USIU will battle sixth-placed Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in the quarters for a ticket to the semifinals.
The other quarterfinal matches will see fourth-placed Thunder battle Equity Bank. Thunder are on 37 points, while the bankers have 36.
“We hope to build on this good run and make it to the final as we did last year,” said USIU head coach Isaac Munyoki.
Last year, the students lost the league title to Ulinzi, who won 3-0 in the best of five final series. KPA assistant coach Phillip Onyango said they are much prepared for the playoffs and will be glad to host USIU in Mombasa for their Game One playoff this weekend.
Just like Co-op Bank and Ulinzi, KPA and Equity Bank have also bagged semifinal berths in the women’s Premier League playoffs.
Meanwhile, Neosasa Morans and Africa Nazarene University (ANU ) took a 2-1 series lead each in the Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs finals at Strathmore University.
Neosasa Morans had 23 points from Joseph Achega and Lewis Wanyoike nailed another 14 as they moved closer to clinching the NBA men’s crown with a 59-52 triumph against Kenya Methodist University (Kemu).
Thon Machuor buried 15 points that included three treys, while Clement Alesio and Gabriel Awuol shot 10 for Kemu.
On their part, ANU broke open a tight game in the third quarter, punishing Footprints with a 60-47 final score and take a giant step towards women’s NBA title.
Vyna Kush and Anne Akinyi shot 12 points, while Daisy Ayodi had 11 for ANU, but their spark-plug remained the tireless Karen Shihundu — a gem of a player.