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KPA dock Ulinzi to be crowned KBF Premier League champions

BASKETBALL By Washington Onyango | April 26th 2022 | 3 min read
Colonel Victor Mburu (in uniform) of Physical Recreation and Sports at Defense headquarters presenting trophy to KPA after beating Ulinzi Warriors during game five of the KBF Premier League playoff match at Nyayo National Stadium on Monday. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) are the 2021-2022 Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League champions.

KPA dethroned Ulinzi Warriors after thrashing the soldiers 80-61 in game five of the best of five series played yesterday at the Nyayo Stadium Gymnasium to win the series 3-2.

Forward Job Byron dropped a game-high 21 points to lead the Mombasa-based club to victory followed by Philip Tobias with 17 points.

Point guard Lennox Wanje and small-forward Kevin Wachira also reached double digits in the win of 11 points and 12 points respectively for KPA who reclaimed the title they last won in 2018.

Wachira was voted the finals Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Speaking after the win, KPA head coach Sammy Kiki lauded his players for playing well defensively and not giving up despite many writing them off in Nairobi.

“Today was all about playing well offensively and defensively. I am glad my players showed teamwork in the way we executed our tactics and rotation.

“Congratulations to the players, coaching staff and fans.

“It was a tough match but we rectified the mistakes we made in game four on Sunday where we started the match poorly. The good start and an even better second and third quarter killed them. Squad rotation and playing with young players also boosted the team’s energy,” Kiki said.

KPA started the match on the front foot with forward Job Byron leading the offensive frontline with five quick points before Ulinzi responded through the evergreen Erick Mutoro from the three-point line.

The dockers would reply with their own three-point jump shot converted by Lennox Wanje before Byron added two more points alongside Wachira’s free throw and Martin Kitongo’s layup to lead 13-3.

David Ouma scored Ulinzi’s second basket of the match as William Balozi called for a time out trailing 13-5.

Upon resumption, Wanje lifted the spirits at the gymnasium with two quick deep-three pointers before James Mwangi replied with his own two threes.

Wanje finished the quarter with nine points as KPA led 26-19 in the opening quarter.

A tight second quarter saw KPA narrowly outplay the soldiers 15-13 to take a nine-point lead at the break with the scores at 41-32 in favour of the dockers. In the third quarter, MVP Wachira who had been kept silent in the first half where he scored only one point off a free throw exploded to life with three-three pointers with Byron adding six points as KPA opened a 20-point lead at the end of the third quarter.

KPA led 63-43 after outplaying the then defending champions 22-11.

In the final quarter, despite Kenyan Morans forward James Mwangi dropping 12 points in their 18-17 display, the damage was already done as KPA won the match 80-61 to win the series 3-2.

Mutoro scored 21 points in the defeat followed by Mwangi with 18 points.

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