Former Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s league champions Ulinzi Warriors are in action this weekend where they take on students Strathmore University Blades and United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa), fixtures key to their campaign to finish second in regular season.
The soldiers are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 50-46 loss to Thunder last weekend, a loss that saw their count get to five, one less than the number of matches Blades have lost this season. The soldiers have lost the least number of matches this season among the 10 teams while holders Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) remain unbeaten.
The clash against Blades will bring back bitter memories for Warriors as the students denied the side a chance to feature in last season’s finals after seeing them off 4-1 in the best-of-five semi final playoffs.
The Tony Ochieng-coached varsity students did not leave it at that as they extended the same bolt from the blue to the first leg matches where the soldiers fell 62-53 despite leading in the first half.
“We have had a bad run against Blades but that is about to change as this is a must win match for us. I know they will come hard at us but I have trained my charges well for the weekend matches and we are ready to face both teams. A keen review of the previous losses to Blades and other teams has helped us work on areas that have been our biggest undoing,” said Warriors’ coach William Balozi.
The coach might miss the services of some key players due to military commitments but coach Balozi is hopeful the said players will be availed for the crunch fixture.
In other men’s matches Equity Bank return after a two- week break to take on Umoja, the former looking for a ninth win while the latter chase their eighth in 16 matches.
The Eastlands-based Umoja also face hard fighting Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University in a Sunday fixture, as the students seek to redeem themselves from last weekend’s loss to KPA which was their eighth loss this season. KCA play USIU in a Saturday fixture.
In the women league, leaders KPA host Masaku Sparks in Mombasa in the former’s 12th match of the season where they are gunning for their 11th win after falling to Storms last weekend.
Masaku have enjoyed victory once since being promoted to the premier league this season and have forfeited two matches.