History makers Eldonets ready to scalp USIU in basketball season opener

Eldonets has made history, becoming the first team from North Rift to play at the Kenya Basketball Federation Premier (KBF) league.

The Division One champions, who thrashed their opponents Emyba in the national playoffs will start their league this weekend against United States International University (USIU) side The Tigers at their home ground, Uasin Gishu High school.

Head coach Maurice Ouma said they have signed three players, Neville Erick Otieno, Kelvin Oyugi and Edwin Akach Otieno to beef up the squad ahead of the league kick off.

Ouma said they are well prepared for the new challenge after securing a sponsorship deal from Platinum Credit.

“The team is now fit to face top-notch teams from across the country. We want to win the first match against Tigers to boost our moral for the season. Winning the opening match is greater than any other thing you can do to home fans,” said Ouma who used to play for the team before graduating into a coach.  

Eldonets won three out of five play-offs against Emyba to be crowned Division One Champions in the matches played at Uasin Gishu High school ground and Nyayo stadium last year.

Coming from Eldoret, Eldoret defeated Kenyatta University’s Pirates 3-0 to book for Division One play-offs which they won by a similar margin.

Before playing in a playoff, both teams having qualified for Premier League where they played in the best of five series, where they played two in Eldoret, winning in before traveling to Nairobi for two more matches. In case of a tie, the deciding game will be played at Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium.

In the first match, Eldonet won 98-89 followed by 85-88 and 64-73 to be crowned champions.

They were in the fourth position with 4 points in the regular season to set up a quarterfinal clash with Barclays Bank and won in 82-69 in Game One in Eldoret before stamping their authority with an 83-67 win in Game Two in Nairobi to wrap up the three-game series.

The win propelled them to play Pirates in the semis, where they won with a 92-86 win in Game One followed it up with a close 74-70 triumph in Game Two before emphatically clinching the tie with a 74-62 victory in Game Three.

Through such struggles, they were promoted to Premier League becoming the first team from North Rift to have a chance to play premier basketball in their backyard.

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