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WHO WILL BLINK FIRST? Zetech University and Umoja in deadlock heading into Game Five

BASKETBALL By ERICK OCHIENG' | January 31st 2017
Jeremy Opiyo (right) of Zetech University tackles Martin Okwako of Umoja during their Kenya Basketball Federation League playoffs at the Nyayo national stadium on December 28, 2017. Umoja won 68-63. [SPORTPICHA.COM]

Zetech University Titans won Game Four 80-68 to force a 2-2 tie with Umoja at the ongoing Kenya Basketball Federation men’s Division One final playoff at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi on Sunday evening.

It means the two sides will now proceed to Game Five, slated for February 11 at the same venue, level in search of victory that will determine the ultimate winner of the 2016 season.

Zetech University had an upper hand in this encounter, bagging the first three quarters 16-15, 15-9, 17-12 before Umoja found their footing to win the fourth quarter 27-15.

The game proceeded to overtime with Zetech winning the fifth quarter 17-5 to set up a mouthwatering clash with the opponents in Game Five.

Gilbert Obiero (16), Kevin Sunguti (13) and Michael Munene (11) were the top scorers for Umoja.

Zetech were propelled to victory by Jeremy Opiyo (19), Joshua Kisali (17) and Benjamin Oneya (12).

Before the match, Umoja had one hand on the trophy after winning in Game Three 68-63.

Umoja head coach Martin Okwako who also doubles up as a player said his team missed him in Game Four after he picked an injury on Saturday.

“I injured my wrist in Game Three so could not play effectively in Game Four where I was reduced to cheerleader, just inspiring my players along the touchline,” said Okwako who featured for Uganda Christian University Canons before linking up with Umoja this season.

Okwako also admitted they failed to stick to their game plan during overtime where they made bad decisions in the game that they could have easily wrapped up.

Okwako went for an X-ray on his wrist hoping he will be available for the February 11 crunch tie.

“My prayer is that I heal in time to be ready for Game Five. I am sure this trophy is ours,” said Okwako whose effort has now seen Umoja back to Premier League after being relegated last season.

Zetech head coach Jacob Munene admitted his side lost Game Three on Saturday due to unbecoming behaviour in his team.

“The trouble started in the course of the week when one player failed to attend training sessions.

“Also during the game, five key players were sin binned for foul play so there was no way I could salvage the team with the remaining squad,” Munene said.

While appreciating his charges for superb display in Game Four, Munene explained that he talked to the key players who decided to follow due instructions coupled with great team work and perfect executions that Umoja could not match.

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