Blades 11 Cap their Debut Season with Second Spot Finish
Strathmore Blades II joined the Division 1 of the Kenya Basketball Federation League this season and immediately established itself as a core side of the league brushing aside the teams that were considered bigwigs in the league. During the regular season, Blades II won a record 22 games to land a date with little Prince in the first round of the playoffs dismissing them after two games. A win over Little Prince set a meeting between them and Kenyatta Universitys whom they also brushed aside 3-1 in a best of five series played on live TV Super sport 9 EA at the Kasarani gymnasium securing a berth in the finals against Equity Bank.
The finals between Blades II and Equity provided the sort of match-up any current basketball player or fan would relish. Equity drew the first blood in game 1 snatching a late 54-60 victory in a game that saw guard Peter Shilton nail 12 points for Blades. The team then re-grouped under Coach Tony Ochieng in game 2 dominating the entire game to force a tie of the series at 1 ups.
The game that served as the tie breaker also went in Blades favour but they were forced to endure tensed moment trailing by a basket with 2 seconds to wrap up the game. Guard Shilton turned up again for his side drawing a foul at the buzzer to go to the line. Blades hopes of staying in the game hang on his pair of free throws as the team was trailing against Equity by two points. He canned both to force the series first overtime play that Blades used to take control of the series with a 69-64 win.
Fatigue sneaked in during game four as a result of triple play from Blades losing out to Equity 80-55 to set stage for a thrilling game five that would crown either sides the new division 1 Champions. Both sides exchanged narrow leads not exceeding three during the entire game with Blades taking a halftime breather with a 25-26 lead.
The first half scores between the two sides were again replicated in the second half with neither side seeming to budge to the other. Equity had the last laugh when Blades missed back- to-back clutch shots that would have tied the game or even handed them a one-point lead. Equity team was the smiling team, at the end of the five-game series with a 59-54 win at the final whistle.
This however does not take away from the young lads of Coach Tony Ochieng as they earn a promotion to the National Classic Premiere League in the 2014 season which will be played live in the World of Champions Super Sport 9 EA.
By Robert Noel