Thunder take on Equity Bank in Game Two of the ongoing Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s league quarterfinal playoffs at Nyayo Stadium indoor arena with a win guaranteeing them a return to the last four.
The Shauri Moyo based club head to the second match with a 1-0 advantage having downed the Bankers 70-59 in the first match. Enroute to the quarters, they had finished third on the regular league standings after 13 wins in 20 matches.
“We were shaky in Game One and that almost cost us the match as we only won it in the final quarter when we started moving the ball. We had to go back to the drawing board and rectify our mistakes and work on our fitness,” said coach Sadat Gaya.
During the regular season matches, the two sides had a 50-50 performance as Equity won the first leg match while Thunder took the second leg battle. With such a result the tables could turn on the Eastlanders.
“We have had to work on our free throws and rebounds as we lost many points on the former and the bankers out-rebounded us. They are a good team and their defence was almost too good for our offence. If we are to avoid going into Game Three we have to move the ball offensively and make sure our shots drop too,” added Gaya.
The side is seeking a return to the last four after being eliminated in the quarters in last season’s matches by Ulinzi Warriors.
“We finished eighth last season and landed a tough opponent and were eliminated. In 2016 we lost to the defunct Co-operative Spartans 3-1 in the semis while in 2015 we had lost to USIU 3-2. I am optimistic we can go the full length this time, qualify for the finals and win the title,” the tactician0cum player said.
Saturday, Warriors play Umoja in Game Two as the soldiers seek to qualify for the semis having won Game One 56-34.
Meanwhile, Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University fancy their chances of making a comeback against fellow scholars Strathmore University who clinched Game One 54-34. Holders Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) take on USIU in Mombasa.
In the women’s league, regular league leaders Equity Bank Hawks open their account against USIU today at 10.30 am in Game One while Game Two is scheduled for Sunday at 2 pm.
Defending champions KPA continue their onslaught against Kenyatta University Oryx in Mombasa while Zetech takes on Strathmore. Ulinzi out to recover from defeat and fight for the title.