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Premier League Standings
 1. Ulinzi 17-2 
 2. CoopBank 17-4 
 3. Blades 16-5 
 4. KPA 15-3 
 5. USIU 12-8 
 6. Umoja 11-9 
 7. Equity Bank 9-12 
 8. Thunder 9-12 
 9. Trail Blazers 4-15 
 10. ZETECH 4-15 
 11. KCA U 3-17 
 12. Lions 3-17 

Ligare returns from injury to inspire Thunder - Dec 12, 2016

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James Mwangi
Star guard Griffin Ligare (174-G-85) returned from injury to inspire Nairobi City Thunder to a 76-66 win over Co-operative Bank on Sunday in game three of the Kenya Basketball Federation men's Premier League playoffs seminfianls. The bankers lead the series 2-1 with game four coming today (Monday). Ligare's right-hand injury limited his shooting prowess but was crucial in creating scoring opportunities for his team. His presence in the team had a positive impact after missing out game two. Uncharacteristic of his play, Ligare made no attempts from the three-point line for the entire game but finished with 19 points to lead scoring for his team. Abel Nson, who finished with 13 points made key attempts from the three-point line scoring four. Ligare came to Thunder's rescue on several occasions defensively and had a standout block on Salim Ali inside the first quarter. Shem Otieno scored 12 points and Kevin Chogo had eight. For Co-op Bank, Allan Ouma scored the team's first two points from free shots and last eight from two three-pointers and two free shots to top score with 17. James Mwangi (198-PF-89) scored eight points in the first quarter to finish with 13 while Titus Musembi nailed two three-pointers in the second half to score 12. Thunder scored 24 points from the three-point line and 10 from free shots against 15 from three-pointers for Co-op Bank and 15 from free shots. From the onset, Thunder had come to play and win game three. They trailed by seven points in the first quarter as the bankers led 10-3. Thunder had led 2-0 and 3-2 before Co-op Bank took a 4-3 lead. There was a 2-2 tie. They managed to come back from seven points to lead 15-14 with a three-pointer from Nson. Co-op Bank then led 17-15 but a late three-pointer from Nelson Njau gave Thunder an 18-17 win in the quarter.
The second quarter belonged to Thunder as they led for the longest period and won 20-17 to lead 38-34 at halftime. In the quarter, Co-op Bank started with a 19-18 lead before Nson tied 21-21 with a three-pointer. Ligare's basket gave Thunder a 23-21 lead but Titus Musembi made two free shots for 23-23 tie. Matthew Gurton, who had good rebounding for Thunder broke the tie with a layup for 25-23 and Job Byron tied 25-25. Shem Otieno made it 27-25 for Thunder and Byron tied again 27-27. Ligare made it 29-27 before Co-op Bank led 32-31 with a basket from Allan Ouma. Shem Otieno made a free shot that tied the game 34-34 and made another one that broke the tie 35-34 heading to the breather. Thunder controlled play in the second half winning the third quarter 21-13 after taking a 13-point lead at 55-42 while Co-op Bank won the fourth 19-17. In the second semifinal, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) won game three 62-53 to lead the series 2-1 with game four on Monday. KPA won first quarter 19-14 after opening up a 9-point lead of 14-5. Ulinzi led once at 2-0 before KPA took a 3-2 lead from a three-pointer by Victor Bosire. Ulinzi won the second quarter 15-11 but trailed 29-30 at halftime. With three minutes played, Erick Mutoro nailed a three-pointer for Ulinzi to tie 19-19. The soldiers were more dominant to go for a 9-0 scoring run and lead 23-19. KPA's substitutions nearly cost them the momentum as leading scorers Evans Letting and Bosire were benched giving Ulinzi the power to dominate. Head coach Anthony Ojukwu re-introduced the duo and KPA was back to normalcy. They came back to tie 26-26 with Tobias Onyango (182-G-80) scoring three points and Letting had two. William Ochieng (200-F-85) gave Ulinzi the lead 28-26 with a basket but Letting tied 28-28. Tobias Onyango then gave KPA a 30-29 lead. The third quarter was the game's turning point as Ulinzi allowed KPA to score freely and conceded turnovers easily. KPA won 21-13 and had stretched their lead to 19 points at 51-32.
Thd fourth quarter tied 11-11 with both teams scoring 12 points from the three-point line. KPA made eight free shots against five for Ulinzi. Bosire scored four three-pointers to lead scoring with 15 points, Letting had 14 and Frank Omondi scored 11. Mutoro top scored for Ulinzi with 17 points.
In men's Division I, Umoja qualified for next season's Premier League after seeing off Eldonets 3-1 in their semifinals series. They won game two 51-35 on Saturday and game three 77-58 on Sunday.
In game three, Umoja won the first quarter 20-17, second quarter 17-11 and fourth quarter 26-16. The teams tied 14-14 in the third quarter.
Kevin Sunguti scored four three-pointers to top score for Umoja with 28 points while James Omweno nailed five three-pointers to lead scoring for Eldonets with 21 points. In the final, Umoja will play Zetech University who beat Kenyatta University Pirates 3-0 with a 62-45 win in game three. Umoja and Zetech are returning to the Premier League. In Division II, Riara University and Zetech University will play game five on Monday after the series tied 2-2. Zetech won game three 68-59 on Saturday and Riara tied on Sunday winning game four 70-69. The second semi final is tied 1-1 after Nebulas Kakamega won game one 59-56 and Morans took home game two 75-72.
Courtesy of:  

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