27 November 2006

KENYA : Warriors take a fifth straight championship

Champions Ulinzi Warriors became the first team to win the national basketball league title for the fifth year in a row at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.
The soldiers shot down Co-op Bank 84-83 in extra-time of the Game Two of the best-of-three series men’s final.Ulinzi Warriors, who won in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, entered history books with a 2-0 run over Co-op Bank. Ulinzi had rocked the the bankers 79-73 in Game One.

In another women’s decisive Game Three, Telkom defeated champions Kenya Ports Authority 53-49. The dockwomen led 35-26 at half-time.

Telkom’s Joyce Makungu had game-high 19 points.

Interestingly, Telkom, had trailed thoughout and their first lead at a right time (44-43) through Caroline "Majeng’’ Achieng’s effort from the free-throw line.

Telkom’s coach Thomas "Smarts’’ Olumbo said: "Our strategy was to force our opponents to foul at our right time.’’

KPA men’s team emerged winners of the inter-provincial tournament when they rocked Nairobi’s Blazers 82-47. The portsmen, had Musa Odari scoring 28 points and George

Onyango 16, to lead 43-21 at half-time.

In the women’s third position play-off, Sprite Storms had to struggle to pip John Chasimba’s Yana Milele 54-53. The duel was tight from the word go with Yana stretching to a narrow 22-21 half-time lead. Coach Chasimba said" We are happy to finish fourth on our first attempt and promise fans a better show in 2007.’’

Ulinzi however had to struggle. Co-op Bank, who badly needed a win to tie the series 1-1, had the crowd behind them tying the duel 76-76 with nine seconds left.

Powerhouse George Kamau of Co-op Bank dramatically grabbed a superb pass from Wycliffe Ochieng to nail a big basket that cut shot Ulinzi’s celebration with only two seconds to go. The soldiers were up 76-74 after guard Simon Mugambi had sunk two free-throws with nine seconds left.

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