The USIU flames dethroned defending champions Kenya Ports Authority to be crowned the new Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Women Premier League Champions after beating KPA 3-1 in a best of five series final at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday 1st February, 2015.
The Zone 5 defending champions went through an impressive playoff run before last Sundays final, beating Safe Spaces 2-0 in a best of three series in the quarters. They went on to face Co-op Bank in the semifinals of which they cruised to a 3-0 victory to reach the finals.
The Uni side is the first Varsity side to win the KBF women’s league, avenging their loss to KPA in the 2013 finals. With the first two games played in Mombasa, The Flames managed a crucial win away in Mombasa tying 1-1 with KPA after the first two games. Game three of the series resumed on Saturday 31st January, at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi of which USIU flames beat KPA 43-77 to lead 2-1 in the series before the fourth game.
The fourth game was crucial for the Flames. One more win was enough for them to scoop the title off KPA and become the 2014 Champions. USIU made it count as they convincingly beat the former champions 81-50 on Sunday to win the series by 3-1.
USIU Flames Captain, Zipporah Odhiambo reiterated that her team was determined not to let last year’s final defeat to KPA get into their minds. She explained that they had analyzed last year’s performance and came up with a better game plan this time round.
“Everyone labeled us the underdogs in this year’s final. Even though KPA have a lot of veteran players, and players who have been in the league for a long time, we still did not let that get to us,” Zipporah said. “We knew our main strength was speed, so we maximized on that, and of course with our teamwork and desire to win, we pulled it off,” She continued.
Speaking to Capital Campus, The USIU flames coach George Mayienga, expressed his delight at finally winning the KBF Women’s League claiming it’s been long overdue.
“In 2011, we were second runners-up and first runners up twice in 2012 and 2013, I’m so happy we made it this year,” said Mayienga.
He pinned this successful season down to proper administration and the discipline observed by his girls throughout the season.
“First, I must commend the sports administration, they’ve always given us the backing we needed throughout the season,” he said. “Secondly, the girls always maintained the level of discipline required throughout the season, and through God’s grace, we have managed to come out as Champions.”
The Flames will still be looking to keep the fire burning while they continue playing in the Zuku University Basketball league, and will also be preparing to defend their title in the Zone 5 Championship that will be held later this year in Kigali, Rwanda.