20 October 2006
UGANDA : Marines fight back strongly to level series
NEVER say die, so goes the saying and Marines' players seem to have rehearsed it thoroughly before facing Falcons in game two of the MTN Basketball League semi-final play-off series Wednesday night at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.
Marines were trailing 71-78 with just about a minute left on the clock but the way they hit back to win the game was a clear indication of self belief, determination and great resilience.
The champions closed the gap to two points but with their best player Norman Blick fouled out many thought Marines had surrendered their title and it seemed more obvious when Falcons' Sam Obol (28pts) found his way to the free throw line with 20 seconds left.
Obol however missed both shots and Marines played a full court press game and eventually Carrol Bisereko squeezed in the equalising shot. In the last eight seconds Salim Ali was fouled and managed to establish a lead for Marines by converting one of the two shots. The hero of the day however was Boniface Okello, who completed a three-point play after being fouled by Falcons' substitute Larry Orumu in the last second.
The tension-packed fourth quarter also saw Falcons' stars Charles Suubi, Henry Malinga (18), Tony Oluka (7) and Eric Malinga (17) ejected, Marines' Donald Blick also followed suit. Norman 22pts, Okello 21 and Donald 15 top scored for Marines to set up a decisive game three due Monday 7pm at Lugogo.
Earlier on, Hadija Kizza (19 pts) had propelled KIU Rangers to a 55-52 win over ladies record champions Lady Bucks. The last game of the series for the two teams will also be played Monday evening at Lugogo.
Lady Bucks 52 KIU Rangers 55
Nkumba Marines 82 Falcons 78