Bosire, Mutoro catalyst of Ulinzi’s title triumph
After years of stellar performances that went unnoticed by the league organisers, Victor Bosire was on Saturday night crowned the Most Valuable Player (MVP) as curtains came down on the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s Premier League.
It was double delight for Bosire as his team, Ulinzi Warriors, won the league title in style, ending their four-year wait.
Bosire’s team-mate, Eric Mutoro added to the soldiers’ joy as he clinched the playoff top scorer award for the second year in a row.
Warriors, who had lost just one match in the regular season to be seeded top, were up against second seeded Nairobi City Thunder in the final series, coming from one match down to beat their Shauri Moyo-based opponents 3-1.
“It has been an amazing season for us as a team and this personal accolade is all thanks to the teamwork displayed throughout the season.
When the season started, we had our eyes set on excelling at the regional and continental front and I am glad we have qualified for the next edition.
The title did not come easy but we played as a team and believed in each other to deliver in each match,” said an elated Bosire.
The 30-year old says it took patience for the team to fight for the KBF title after FIBA changed the men’s regional competition rules to include only the champions thus locking them out.
“We really hoped to get a chance to be part of the inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL) qualifiers but after the changes, we knew only the title will put us on that stage for the next edition and had to be patient.
Winning the title in our first season with the squad, having been signed as the beginning of the season, goes to show the tactical capability of this team,” Bosire added.
After losing Game One 75-73, the soldiers had everything to lose in Game Two and they overcame a double overtime to thrash Thunder 123-106 in what could easily pass as the match of the season.
The battle hardened Warriors made easy work of Thunder in Game Three, winning 99-51 to move closer to the elusive title.
The latter suffered a blow after Kevin Chogo picked an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear thus missing the all important Game Four.
Real drama unfolded in Saturday’s Game Four as Warriors came from 19 points down in the final quarter to beat Thunder 67-63 for the title.
“I take the blame for losing such a lead. My rotation in that final quarter was wanting and unfortunately we do not get a chance to correct our mistakes,” said Thunder head coach Sadat Gaya.