REIGNING national champions Co-operative Bank of Kenya got their title defense off with a close call 60-59 win over Ulinzi Warriors at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
The bankers, who were down 26-33 at the break trailed the soldiers for a long time and only managed to sneak in a last minute shot that did the damage in this match whose result will be decided this weekend.
The matches are played on a home and away basis. Forward Bobby Okwako posted 21 points and Allan Ouma added 12 for Co-op who have not produced their best form this year having lost six games.
For Ulinzi, who made a late return to the to league, new signing James Omune nailed 14 and William Otieno picked up 13. KCB Lions rocked Masinde Muliro University of Agriculture and Technology 87-54 after taking a 48-32 half time lead.
In the lower division quarters, Nairobi Aviation College (NAC), Upper Hill and Kenya Airport won their matches. Authority (KAA) all made it to the semi finals.
The winner completed the two game series on a 2-0 basis. NAC beat Kenyatta University "Pirates" 61-55, Upper Hill torched Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University 55-33 and KAA beat Umoja 44-37.