United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) men’s team face Trailblazers in their penultimate Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) regular league match on Saturday with the students looking to register their ninth win and move closer to making it for the playoffs.
USIU-A have blown hot and cold in the season, registering eight wins so far and lost 10. The result has put the students’ chances of featuring in the playoffs at risk as they are fighting for the final spot against the lakesiders,
However, coach Isaac Munywoki is confident they will pick wins in their remaining fixtures, against Trailblazers Saturday and Umoja later and qualify for the final eight where they intend to fight for a final four berth.
“What is important for us is to register a win today and we have trained for that. My target for this season has been to reach the semis and nothing is lost just yet,” said Munywoki.
The Thika Road-based side that hosted the league matches this season owing to the closure of Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium have been in the finals twice in the past.
They lost to the now defunct Co-operative Bank Spartans in 2013 and again in 2016 to Ulinzi Warriors. The side will, however, have a herculean task of downing Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in the quarters if they manage to finish in eighth position.
Meanwhile, Equity Bank men face off with World Hope on Sunday with a win in the match guaranteeing the Bankers a better position as the league heads to the final-eight clash. They play Strathmore University Blades in their final regular league match.
Coach Carey Odhiambo, in his first stint with the bankers, will have a tough task ahead as the side is likely to play Ulinzi, Blades or Thunder in the quarters. However, he remains positive that reaching the final four is within reach for his relatively young squad.
In the women’s league, relegation threatened Foot Prints take on Western Delight while Kenyatta University Oryx face off with Storms who are currently third on the log. Strathmore University play USIU. Masaku Sparks are scheduled to play Western Delight as KU engage Foot Prints in another fixture.
The regular season is expected to fold up at the end of the month after which play-offs for both premier and division one leagues will jump off. Meanwhile, the Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA) playoff quarter finals are ongoing. Teams play game three today while semifinals, to be played in a best-of-five format are expected to commence on Sunday.