FANTASTIC JOB

Ochieng’ praises classic Blades after storming playoff semis

Ochieng, who guided the varsity side to their first national finals in 2018, is now focusing on the big prize.

In Summary

• “It was a fantastic job. We wanted to win it more. Our shots were falling and the defence was working. Our offensive execution and character was great,” said Ochieng.

• Blades took the first quarter 20-15 before trailing 23-15 in the second. They were superb in the third with a 22-7 blitz and 20-10 in the last.

JKUAT and Strathmore University players shake hands during a past match
JKUAT and Strathmore University players shake hands during a past match
Image: FILE

Strathmore University Blades coach Tony Ochieng' has hailed his players after storming the Kenya National Basketball League playoff semifinals.

Blades, sixth in the regular season, played the game of their lives to sweep the third-seed United States International University 77-55 and win the series 2-0.

Ochieng, who guided the varsity side to their first national finals in 2018, is now focusing on the big prize.

“It was a fantastic job. We wanted to win it more. Our shots were falling and the defence was working. Our offensive execution and the character was great,” said Ochieng.

“We adjusted by dominating boards and cutting off their guards which helped us make more than eight blocks. We also used our plays well on post players.”

Blades took the first quarter 20-15 before trailing 23-15 in the second. They were superb in the third with a 22-7 blitz and 20-10 in the last.

“We gave our best but it was not good enough. We did what we wanted, but our energy went down in the second half,” said USIU coach David Maina.

Jack Waweru tossed 21 points and captain Ken Dwalo, who sunk the game’s opener, added 18.

The Tigers were led by Vitumbiko Mponela, who scored a game-high 22 while Chris Lyamuya tallied another 11.

Equity Bank Dumas shut out Ulinzi Warriors 81-71 as Marol Achei and Eugene Adera shot 17 and 16 points respectively.

“We played better in this game than we did in the first. If the boys continue doing the right things, we are contenders,” said Dumas’ coach Carey Oketch.

The bankers, fourth in the regular season, will face top seed and unbeaten Nairobi City Thunder in the semis.

Zetech University Sparks dispatched Storms 2-0 with another easy 58-37 triumph to reach the semis.

The Lower Division matches saw Peninah Nthenya’s Moischers torment Hope 66-37 to keep their hopes alive. Congo Nets beat Creeks 57-39.

Moi Air Base pipped Zetech University Titans 59-58 as Safe Spaces dimmed Footprints 64-42.