Daggers drawn as holders Equity Hawks battle former champs KPA Women in KBF final playoffs

Saturday, February 19th, 2022 09:31 | By
Christine Akinyi of Zetech University (L) defends the ball from Denise Menya of Equity Bank during their KBF play-offs match played at Nyayo Stadium Gymnasium on February 13 2022. PHOTO/RODGERS NDEGWA

It will be literally make or break for multiple champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) men’s team when they face Equity Bank Dumas this weekend.

The grim reality is that should KPA fail to beat the bankers, they will exit the play-offs where at stake is a semifinal slot to the disappointment of their fans.

Equity will be carrying a healthy 2-0 win coming to this decisive encounter after winning the opening two playoffs and, just like KPA, need a healthy win if they are to progress in the championship.

Head Coach coach Sammy Kiki is well aware of the difficult task ahead of them.

“We have put ourselves in a difficult situation. We played very badly in both games. Our defence didn’t work well and we didn’t play together as a team on offence,” Kiki explained.

However, Kiki is least apprehensive of the tall order his charges are facing, saying he is optimistic they shall deliver the goods in game three to put them back on track.

 Above all, the tactician is overly desirous to see to it that the work put in during training will help them salvage a pride of sorts.

“The situation is a bit complicated on our side, but we are not out of the running yet. We will have to come very strong now that we’re playing at home and I believe we can turn the tables,” he said.

KPA have won the KBF men’s premier league four times with the first coming in 2014 when they saw off current champions Ulinzi Warriors 3-1.

They then emerged back-to-back champions in 2016, 2017 and 2018 after beating Co-operative Bank 3-1, Strathmore University Blades 3-1, and again Ulinzi Warriors 3-0.

 Their hopes of going for a fifth title is pegged on how they shall fare against Equity in the game of wits. On the other hand, Equity needs to win the encounter to sail through to the semifinals in what will be their first time to qualify for the playoff semis. Elsewhere, defending champions Ulinzi Warriors carry a comfortable 2-0 lead heading to game three and are favourites to against Strathmore University Blades in Game Three to qualify for the finals.

In the women’s category, defending champions Equity Bank Hawks and league regular-season winners KPA Women have one foot in the finals after winning their opening two games against Zetech University Ladies and Storms.

Hawks are keen to finish off the semifinal campaign with victories in Game Three.

The decisive games three, four, and five are scheduled to be played at Makande Hall, Mombasa with KPA Men and Women sides welcoming Equity Dumas, and Storms respectively.

 At Nyayo Stadium Gymnasium, the facility will host the other two Game Three semifinals between Ulinzi Warriors and Strathmore Blades as well as Equity Hawks against Zetech University Ladies.

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