31 July 2007
UGANDA : Nkumba Marines edge thrilling finale
By Aloysius Byamukama
Marines 104 UCU 94
Sparks 65 Gazzelles 46
Miracle 94 Warriors 81 (Men)
Lady Bucks 100 UCU 62
LOCAL basketball league champions Nkumba University Marines pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the Falcons Invitational Tournament to beat UCU Canons in an entertaining final.
The remarkable 104-94 victory at the Lugogo Indoor Stadium on Sunday secured Marines their maiden title in the annual tournament.
The Mukono side had taken an early 29-13 first quarter lead with four consecutive trademark dunks and a triple three pointers from Phillip Odour and Jeff Omondi (31 points) respectively.
Marines were however not to be outdone, and came back strongly to reduce the deficit to nine points at half-time.
In the third quarter, Carol Bisereko, Boniface Okello, and foul-troubled star Norman Blick dominated the paint for a 25-13 score, instigating wild cheers from the fans.
Bisereko collected 9 rebounds and 24 points, MVP Salim Ali had 5 steals, 6 assists and 13 points, while Blick had made 5 assists and 23 points before he fouled out in the last minute.
UCU faded as Eric Nyamai, Robert Mugabe and Ivan Enabu fouled out in the last two minutes as Marines hanged on.
The ladies’ final turned out to be a more straightforward affair.
Olivia Mulwana (10 points) and Vick Nassolo (19 points) inspired Makerere Sparks to a 65-46 win over Burundi’s Les Gazzelles to win their maiden women’s accolade.
However, Gazzelles’ Florence Kalume (22 points) was the biggest winner.
Voted MVP, she also won an air ticket to Addis Ababa for a holiday from sponsors’ Ethiopian Airlines, who were represented at the closing ceremony by reservation officer Minah Ssali.
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