Ulinzi Warriors made true their promise to prevail over rivals Strathmore University Blades in the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s Premier League at the weekend.
The soldiers vanquished the students by 11 points to record their 11th win of the season before beating United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) for their 12th victory.
Ulinzi were chasing a win against Blades in a clash that brought back bitter memories as the students had denied Warriors a chance to feature in last season’s finals after seeing them off 4-1 in the best-of-five semi-final playoffs as well as a 62-53 defeat in the first leg of the current season.
“It was a must-win fixture for the two sides but the team was thirsty for a win especially against Strathmore. We trained hard for the fixtures and planned for a full court press which has not been the norm for my players and our opponents have often used against us. Our game plan worked and we are still well on our way to finishing second in the regular season,” said Warriors’ coach William Balozi.
Warriors picked a 47-36 triumph over Blades, a result that motivated the players to a 68-40 effortless win against USIU. Balozi is confident Warriors will give a similar display in the remaining three fixtures against Lakeside, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and World Hope.
“We have worked on our defence which has been wanting, improved on our rebounds as well as transitioning from attack to defence. The players have a better reaction and speed for fast breaks and the difference after the adjustments is evident. I expect nothing less from the players in the remaining fixtures though we are taking one match at a time,” added Balozi.
Meanwhile Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University suffered their ninth loss in the hands of Umoja but coach Charles Goro remains hopeful that they will be in the Premier League playoffs for the first time ever in their 10-year history.
“We did not play well as my players were not settled. We started the match with six players due to a mix-up in timing and that messed our game plan. We were trailing by half a basket throughout but we handed Umoja the advantage with several turnovers in the third quarter and we could not recover,” said Goro.