Eight-time Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men premier league winners Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) Ulinzi Warriors are back in the country and rearing to go as they play their ninth match of the league season against champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Saturday.
The side has been out of the country participating in the inaugural Africa Masculine Basketball Championship, under the Organisation of Military Sport in Africa (OSMA), hosted in Congo in celebration of the country’s Armed Forces Day.
“We played more than 12 tough matches in the military championship and we picked valuable lessons from the competition.
The players had to push themselves to achieve set targets and the experience will go a long way in our title race in the league,” said team manager Stephen Bartilol.
The soldiers are up against KPA today and Equity Sunday but it is Saturday’s match the team manager describes as ‘do or die’ as KPA remain unbeaten in eight matches.
“We had played eight matches, before military duty, and lost one to Strathmore Blades and seeing that KPA are yet to drop points, they are out to defend their unbeaten run but we know how to pin them down,” Bartilol said adding that playing outdoor is always a challenge for the side since they train indoors but maintained that they will handle it.
The team delight in the return of Byrone Mabonga, captain William Ochieng who has recovered in time from an injury sustained during the military games and Collins Muliro, players who will be crucial in KPA’s match.
Bartilol says that Thunder do not pose as big a threat as KPA.
Their Sunday fixtures are no easier as Warriors face Equity while KPA have a hard nut to crack when they play Umoja on. KPA head coach Sammy Kiki is confident his squad has the depth and diversity to handle both matches comfortably.
In other matches Equity Bank are seeking to redeem themselves from their bitter loss to Blades when they play United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) Saturday before they engage Warriors on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Eagle Wings are hoping to continue their winning streak when they take on Western Delight Saturday in a Women’s premier league match. This before they take on Zetech University on Sunday. Before the Sundaymatch, Zetech face Masaku Sparks Saturday.