21 June 2007
UGANDA : Rhino, Heaters Pick Shock Wins
By Sande Bashaija
THE National Basketball League has taken a new twist with teams that started off on a dreadful note, finally stepping up their efforts with vital wins last weekend.
1997 champions Charging Rhino, who had been branded relegation candidates after winning only once in seven outings finally broke the jinx with a shock 57-50 victory over Kampala International University (KIU) on Saturday at YMCA Wandegeya while Makerere-based Youth Heaters rallied past last year's finalists Sadolin Power (60-59) on Sunday.
Second division outfit Crane High tamed an experienced Gulu Hawks side 61-42 while Livingstone also registered their second win over stubborn Najja High (72-66).
It was KIU's third consecutive loss, after a good start that saw them register four straight wins. Rhino's David Kiberu collected a season high 10 blocks and capped the excellent show with 14 points for his team's second win.
Experienced Rhino guards Mande Juruni and Ronnie Kalule killed off KIU's late charge with 19 points and made sure Afidra (14) fouled out with three minutes to play.
The losses to KIU and Power, give defending champions Nkumba Marines hope of staying in play-off contention despite losing to Warriors last Friday.
KIU, Power and Marines all have four losses but UCU Canons are still unbeaten.
Livingstone 72- 66 Najja
Crane High 61 - 42 Hawks
Amazon 37- 63 Leopards
Makerere 33- 61 UCU
Rhino 57 -50 KIU
Lakers 22-74 A-1
KIU 57- 56 L. Bucks
Jammers 61- 52 MBC Rocks
Lubiri 51- 52 Bushcourts
Power 59-60 Heaters
Tomorrow at Lugogo
Mak Sparks v KIU Rangers 5:30p.m.
Miracle v UCU Canons 7:00p.m.