The Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League playoffs kick off on January 22nd. The road to crowning the KBF Women’s Premier League champion begins on Saturday. Battle lines have already been drawn and here at Th3 Doctor’s Report we dig deeper into the matchups, teams vs teams and players vs players. Who will lift the 2021/2022 Trophy?
4: Storms vs UON Dynamites
This is a matchup that might go down to the wire. We foresee a game 3. Storms are coming in as favorites due to their massive playoffs experience. Storms have been there the last couple of seasons but haven’t been able to give us the playoffs finals appearance we all want. Coach Abel Nson’s side will want to use its young legs for this match up to counter the youth in the Dynamites camp. Kenya Lioness guard Jemimah Omondi will have to be at her level best on both ends of the floor as she will be matching up against Liz Okumu another solid ball handler. The battle of the front court might also lean towards Storms. Storms’ secret to this game should be control of tempo if they want to have an easy win. UON Dynamites are young and should look to push the pace right from the jump. Liz Okumu has amazing pace and can trigger fast breaks and lockdown opposing guards with her stellar defense. Shalon Gaceri on the front will have to overwork herself and deal with Storms’ size down low. Winnie Chebet should be consistent and offer great ball security. If UON can do just that the series will be a walk in the park for them.
3: Zetech Sparks vs Eagle Wings
Zetech Sparks, a team that heavily recruited during the offseason will start their trophy hunt against old timers Eagle Wings. The Sparks are by far the favorites in this matchup. The key will be to take care of the ball and limit turnovers. They should be able to utilize the depth they have in their front court. With Christine Akinyi Leading the way as one of the best bigs in the country, it should be easy for Sparks to control the boards and protect the rim. They should be able to limit Eagle Wings to one possession offensively if they want to take care of business early in the series. Sparks backcourt is solid. Carol Njeri and Debra Obunga are battle tested. Eagle Wings, the veterans side, must understand that the pace of the game will not be in their favor. They should look to control the tempo and limit the young legs of Sparks from running the floor. They should look to playing Zetech in the half court. From their experience that should be easy since the have patience in execution. Silalei Shani is their weapon down low. She has to bring experience because we all know her game IQ is top notch. Lucy Machuma is an aggressive player and Eagle Wings need just that to neutralize the talent on the opposing side. This series might end early in game two. Zetech Sparks should close it early. If they allow a game 3, Eagle Wings might just steal it.
2: Equity Hawks vs ANU
The defending champions, Equity Hawks are looking to take care of business against Africa Nazarene University early. With the squad they have that would be a curtain raiser for the semifinal game. Equity have the personnel to execute at a very high level. Their backcourt of Samba Mjomba and Hilda Ndegwa is too lethal for any opposing defenders. The front court is not easy either they have some size down low that will give them good rebounding and rim protection. On the wings, they have Melissa Otieno, Betty Kananu and Linda Alondo who are good scorers and good defenders too. Nazarene University must protect the three point line as Hawks will look to light up early. They must box out well and limit turnovers. They have to be very clinical in executing their offense. Any mistake will give Equity an advantage and the worst thing they could do is allow Equity to run the floor. They are dangerous in that department. This series will end early in favor of Equity Hawks.
1: KPA vs Strathmore Swords
Red hot KPA are coming into this matchup as favorites to win it all. They are well coached, they have great personnel in every position. KPA has some of the best front court in the league. Vilma Akinyi, Madina Okot and Ritah Aluoch are all battle tested and ranked top in the country. The trio has to be active on the boards and protect the rim to limit second chance opportunities for the Swords. The backcourt is also solid. Natalie Akinyi, Carol Akinyi, Rachael Wandago and the evergreen Hilda Luvandwa, are just some of the weapons coach Anthony Ojukwu will look to use in this game. KPA have a lot of options offensively but they have to be a team defensively to set the tone for a much tougher series later on.
Strathmore Swords are the underdogs in this matchup. A young team and well coached too. The key to success in the series is limiting turnovers and patience in execution. Their guards must expect pressure from KPA defenders and should be calm under pressure. Their are not well matched up in the bigman department so boxing out is something they should stick to all game. With that being said, underdogs cause the biggest upsets. They might steal a game or two or even steal the whole set. Will this be an early exit for Swords?