Hunt for playoff spots starts

Equity Bank’s Joshua Kisali (left) and Fredrick Odongo during KBF League match at Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday, April 6, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The battle for Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) premier league playoff slots continues in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and Eldoret this weekend.

Mouthwatering clashes are on the cards as teams seek to boost their chances of securing a top-eight finish and a place in the quarter-final playoffs in their respective leagues. Women’s defending champions Equity Bank Hawks takes on former holders United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Flames at Nyayo Gymnasium tomorrow.

While Hawks will be looking to secure their 19th win and hold on their place on top of the log, Flames chase their third win in a bid to escape relegation. The former league winners have not been at their best as they have struggled throughout the season and are currently on the bottom of the table with 13 points.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), who are seeking to reclaim the crown they lost to Equity Hawks last season, will host multiple league winners Eagle Wings at Makande Hall, Mombasa today. The dockers, who are currently fifth with 30 points from 14 wins and two losses will entertain ninth-placed Kenyatta University (KU) Oryx tomorrow. A win for Oryx in Mombasa will revive their hopes of making it to the last eight.

University of Nairobi (UON) Dynamites will play Strathmore University Swords while USIU-A Flames will clash with Zetech University Sparks today. Tangit Sparks takes on novices Africa Nazarene University (ANU) tomorrow.

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Dynamites coach Juma Kent said his team, which lie eighth in the standings, will be looking for an improved performance against Swords. “The girls have gained confidence after a series of matches because they are all competing at this level for the first time. We will be looking to play better than we have done in our previous matches.”

In men’s premier league, former holders Ulinzi Warriors seeks to topple Thunder from the top when they take on Equity Bank today. They will, however, face an uphill task as they come against the bankers who will be determined to bounce back from last weekend’s 56-70 loss to champions KPA.

The bankers will also be looking to avenge their first-leg defeat to the soldiers. In other encounters, USIU-A Tigers will lock horns with last season’s semi-finalists Strathmore Blades while rookies Emyba will be away in Kisumu to take on Lakeside.

Ulinzi will play World Hope whereas Equity Bank will face off with USIU-A Tigers tomorrow.

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