Bosire plays as Ulinzi Warriors beat KPA in KBF Finals opener: The Standard Sports

Ulinzi Warriors Victor Bosire at the Basketball Africa League (BAL) in Tanzania.[Courtesy-BAL]

Defending champions Ulinzi Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the delayed final of the Basketball Kenya Federation (KBF) Premier League 2021-22 Premier League qualifiers after beating Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) with a basket.

The Warriors rallied twice to defeat KPA 68-66 in the opener of the best-of-five series at Makande Gymnasium, Mombasa yesterday.

The two top local basketball teams tied 15-15 in the first quarter before KPA edged them 19-13 in the second quarter to lead 34-28 at the break.

In the final half, Ulinzi showed why they are the defending champions when they won the third quarter 24-20 before sealing victory in the final quarter with a 16-12 display to win 68-66.

Kenya Morans guard Victor Bosire scored a game-high 36 points for Ulinzi.

KPA will now have to try and win Game 2 today to try to tie the series at 1-1 and stay alive ahead of Game 3, Game 4 and Game 5 in Nairobi.

On the other hand, a victory for the Ulinzi Warriors will tip the final in their favor towards Nairobi next weekend.

The defending champions started the game on the front foot with keeper Tiberous Menya’s floating shot giving Ulinzi the lead before Vincent Juma capped the start with the first three of the game as the visitors led 5-0 in the first two minutes.

KPA responded with their own three-point jump through point guard Lennox Wanje which was preceded by Brian Shivachi’s layup to level the scores at 5-5.

Juma made it 7-5 for Ulinzi with a tough layup on the glass before Victor Bosire broke in with a three to go 10-5 ups.

Just as he had done in the opening minutes, KPA guard Wanje converted his second jump three-pointer to close the gap to 10-8 before Martin Kitongo leveled the scores again.

KPA took the lead for the first time in the match thanks to Ken Wachira’s three-pointer as Job Byron made it 15-10.

Another Morans star, James Mwangi, however, ensured the scores were tied at 15-15 with a late five-point display at the end of the first quarter.