22 April 2008

UGANDA : Hoops Miracles At Ymca

by Sande Bashaija

Miracle registered a rare victory over Kyambogo Warriors, beating last season's losing finalists, 44-38 in an MTN-Fuba Basketball League game played Sunday evening at YMCA courts Wandegeya.

The Rubaga-based side lost their matchmaker Ben Komakech to Sadolin Power in the pre-season and many a pundit expect them to struggle against the giants. But Miracle disproved the pundits, registering one of the biggest upsets in the league on a night that depleted Makerere Sparks also shocked Ugandan Christian University (UCU) Mukono women 46-32.

Raymond Bukenya was the architect of the Miracle win, sinking in early triple three-pointers as they cruised to an 18-12 first quarter lead. Miracle then went ahead to outscore Warriors 10-6 in the second session but the second half couldn't get underway for about 10 minutes due to a power black out.

With officials discussing a new date for the game and most fans on their way out, power came back and Warriors must have cursed their gods. Miracle's new acquisition Robert Mubiru (Youth Heaters) troubled Warriors and his eight points told half the story. Without their playmaker Ronnie Kasewu (sickness), Warriors failed to score enough points to cover the gap in third quarter (9-6) and a resilient Miracle defence managed to hold them off in the last session.

Stephen Okias registered 11 points and seemed to bring Warriors into touching distance of the game with four minutes left when he scored to make it 34-36 but Edward Bongomin (11) fired in a three-pointer to recover Miracle's advantage. The Warriors were though unlucky, losing new recruit Denis Oporia (Falcons) to injury in first quarter after he had scored four points.
Despite losing most of their stars to several top clubs, 2003 women champions Makerere Sparks comfortably defeated UCU 46-32. Sandra Munduru and Rebecca Ndibalekara collected 10 points apiece as Sparks gained revenge on the team that denied them a play-offs slot last season. Former Lady Bucks star Frances Nabulobi led UCU with 13 points albeit on a losing debut while Brenda Mbone and Loraine Akinyi added 8 apiece.
It was the team display of Sparks that nonetheless left fans convinced that the Makerere side means business.

MTN-Fuba League results

Warriors 38-44 Miracle
Riders 63-38 Ndejje
Berkley 75-74 Heaters
Rhino 55-57 Vegetarian
UCU JV 61-51 Sharing

Crane High 52-43 Lakers
UCU 32-46 Mak Sparks

Tomorrow at Lugogo
Vegetarian v MBC Rocks
Cubs v A-1 Challenge
KIU v Crane High

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