27 August 2007
UGANDA : Marines Edge Falcons to Move Into Fourth
Sande Bashaija and Jemimah Lulu
NKUMBA University Marines moved into fourth position on the National Basketball League first division table following a 63-59 hard fought win over record champions Mogas Falcons on Friday night at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.
The defending champions have now accumulated 21 points from 14 games while Falcons remain 5th with 20 points after 13 outings. Marines had a fantastic start to the game, leading 40-17 three minutes inside second quarter but had to hold their nerves in the dying minutes.Falcons mounted a comeback challenge masterminded by Eric Malinga (14 points) and Brian Ssentongo (10) but it wasn't their game to win. Norman Blick scored a game high 15 points while Moses Olobo (13) was the most impressive player on the night.
With two minutes in second quarter, Falcons' Charles Ssuubi went clear on a fast break but Olobo 'swept' him off the board, sending the crowd into frenzy. Just seconds later Olobo registered a four-point play after a foul by the same opponent.
Despite the victory, Marines can't afford any slip-ups in their remaining four games if they are to make play-offs. Herbert Akita and Geoffrey Omondi scored 15 points apiece as Uganda Christian University (UCU) Canons registered their 14th win of the season to stay clear on top of the table with 28 points. But their female counterparts went down 63-80 to table leaders KCC Leopards.
Kampala International University (KIU) could slip into relegation zone should they fail to beat fellow strugglers Makerere Youth Heaters. KIU won their opening four games but are now fourth from bottom, just one place above Heaters on the table.