James Mwangi (center) of Ulinzi Warrior in action during the Basketball Africa League (BAL) qualifiers in Tanzania.[Courtesy-BAL]

Defending KBF Premier League champions Ulinzi Warriors will be seeking to reclaim top spot when they face Strathmore Blades and Thunder this weekend as league nears play offs round.

Fresh from representing the country in the Basketball Africa League (BAL) qualifiers in Tanzania last weekend, Ulinzi head coach William Balozi said their focus turns to local league where they aim to ascend to the top of the log.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Equity Banks leapfrogged the champions last weekend while Ulinzi were away in Dar es Salaam where they made it to the round 16 of the BAL qualifiers after finishing second in Group D of the Eastern Division qualifiers.

Balozi said the two weekend matches is vital to them and they are looking forward to collecting maximum points ahead of the play offs.

“We have been training well since Wednesday after returning from Tanzania. Focus shifts away from the qualifiers for now since we want to solidify our place in the league ahead of the play offs.”

“KPA and Equity have played more matches than us which gives us an opportunity to reclaim top spot. We are going not only to win these matches but also use them as preparations ahead of the round of 16 of the BAL qualifiers set for next month,” said Balozi.

The soldiers will play Blades today from 1pm at Nyayo Stadium before facing Thunder at the same venue tomorrow from 4pm.

Elsewhere, leaders KPA will entertain KCA University in Mombasa today before hosting Kisumu Lakeside tomorrow in the afternoon.

Lakeside head into the match behind their defeat to Umoja and captain Basil Ogembo remains optimistic that they can shock the leaders at their own backyard.

“In basketball, anything is possible. Nobody favoured us to defeat defending champions Ulinzi Warriors. If we stick to our game plan and defend well,” said Ogembo.

Other matches will feature bottom-placed Emyba battling Kenyatta University Pirates and Thunder slugging out with Eldonets.

In Women’s Premier League, Africa Nazarene University will face third-placed Zetech University as Kisumu Lady Bucks continue with their search for their first win of the campaign when they entertain Eagle Wings at Manyatta Arabs in Kisumu.

In other matches Strathmore University will host Storms tomorrow at Nyayo Stadium as Equity Banks entertain UoN Dynamites.



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