Kenya men basketball league defending champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) failed to utilize their home ground advantage when they suffered a defeat of their lifetime falling 92-65 to arch-rivals Ulinzi Warriors.
Ulinzi who last term finished second runners up in both the regular league and playoffs dominated all the quarters; starting with a narrow 14-13 win before posting a 27-26 victory in the second quarter.
In third quarter, the soldiers came out strongly winning 20-18 before humiliating the defending champions 26-13 in the last quarter.
KPA captain Samwel Ocholla blamed the defeat to the exit of key players who decamped to their opponents.
Some of the notable players that crossed from Ulinzi to KPA include Victor Bosire and James Mwangi (who featured in weekend fixture). KPA also lost Victor Ochieng, Moses Wanjala and Dan Omondi who moved to Equity Bank.
“It was a very bad weekend for us, but it’s okay since we lost about eight players and the team is rebuilding. We will be there soon,”Ocholla said.
On his part, Ulinzi acting captain John Washika, standing in for William Otieno who is away on military duties, was delighted with the win.
“KPA has been our biggest rivals for years now, it feels great to beat them having in mind the kind of recruitment we did. We have been training and working hard to get the team chemistry and to blend with each other,” Washika said.
Washika who won the Most Disciplined Player award last term attributed the victory to ball rotation, team work and good defence noting that they’re now focussing on the remaining three games of first leg.
Ulinzi signed James Mwangi, Victor Bosire, Joseph Khaemba,Alvin Nyangweso and David Kitonga who have been integral pillar of the team thus far.
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