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KPA, Ulinzi playoff leaves up to its billing

By Lynette Matheka
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019
Rose Mushila of Eagle Wings tries to avoid a tackle from KPA’s Nataly Akinyi during last week’s playoff. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s Premier League semi-final playoff between holders Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and top seeds Ulinzi Warriors heads to Game Three this weekend tied 1-1.

The best-of-five series christened ‘the final before the final’ saw Warriors open with a 82-69 win on Saturday before falling 92- 69 to the hosts at Makande on Sunday.

In both matches, KPA led in the first quarter but Warriors fought back from a 33-32 to win Game One. Their efforts for a comeback on Sunday were, however, fruitless.

Erick Mutoro top scored for Warriors in Game Two with 29 points while he contributed 20 in Game One. Victor Bosire, who had managed 21 in Game One, could only score 10 on Sunday.

“We just had a bad day in the office in Game Two. However, we have time to regroup and play better in Nairobi for that ticket to the final,” said Warriors coach William Balozi.

KPA coach Sammy Kiki lauded his charges for the mental strength showed to stage a comeback after falling in the series opener at home. While admitting that Warriors are a strong team and it will be no walk in the park, the tactician believes they have it within them to win Game Three and Four and avoid a decider match.

“We started well in the first match and had a comfortable lead for the better part of the first half. We, however, lost focus, had a shaky defence and poor rebounds which allowed the opponent to pick a win on our turf,” said Kiki.

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