Former Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s premier league champions Ulinzi Warriors Saturday walk a tight rope as they face hard-fighting students KCA-University in one of the highlight matches of the league now in its second weekend of the second leg.
Ulinzi got off to a winning start in the second leg when they took on Equity Bank, whom they had lost to in the first leg, the match ending 62-52 in favour of the soldiers.
“We lost to Equity by six points in the first leg and we were determined to make amends by clinching the second leg points and by a higher score margin; our game plan worked. Nothing changes in the subsequent matches. We are training for wins against teams we lost to in the first leg. However, we are also keen not to drop our guard against the other teams,” said Warriors’ coach Wiliam Balozi.
Coach Balozi admits that they struggled against KCA in the first leg match due to complacency but picked themselves up in time to win the match 52-48. The students won the first half in quarters of 14-9, 10-4 for an 11 point lead to the breather. Warriors, however, regrouped to clinch the second half 16-12 and 23-12. “We underestimated them and it almost cost us points.
We know they will come hard at us but we are prepared for the encounter. They have young and paced players but we have it in us to collect maximum points,” added coach Balozi. On their part, KCA are out to avenge their weekend loss to fellow students Strathmore University Blades where they went down 55-49 overtime.
The two sides had played to a 42 all draw forcing the extra time play that was won 13-7 by Blades. KCA forcing a draw against last year’s losing finalists, Blades, should be cause for worry for the soldiers who head to this match without the services of some key players.