26 September 2008

RWANDA : Kampala International University Halt Warriors' Unbeaten Sequence

by Sande Bashaija

Kampala International University (KIU) became only the second team to defeat men's topflight table leaders Warriors this season, outclassing the Kyambogo side 59-46 in an MTN-Fuba League clash on Wednesday night at Lugogo Indoor Stadium. Warriors had last lost in their season-opening encounter against Miracle way back in April and looked on course to complete the second round unbeaten.
But having suffered two second round defeats to Falcons and Sadolin Power, KIU totally outplayed Warriors and revived their hopes of making a maiden appearance in the play-offs.
With a perfect first quarter 17-9 lead, KIU frustrated Warriors in the following session 11-5 and sealed off the game 18-14 in the third.
A fourth quarter 18-13 Warriors rally made no impact.
The towering Michael Karuiki collected a game high 19 points and helped lock out Warriors' Stephen Okias (9 points) and Joshua Etalu (5) while Markmot Orom added 13 for the Kansaga-based university team.
Mande Juruni (14) and Henry Mwinuki (7) orchestrated KIU's victory, outplaying Warriors' star guards Ronnie Kasewu and Jude Ochen. Only Nelson Wafula recorded double figures for Warriors with 13 points.

Two-time champions Nkumba Marines suffered a heartbreaking 80-81 loss to the unpredictable Miracle Eagles. So painful was the loss that a crestfallen Boniface Okello had to be supported off the court at the end of the game. Marines, who are now out of the play-offs, had recovered from a ten-point first quarter deficit to go into the last three minutes leading by six points.

But Miracle's Moses Wasswa (18 points) and Isaac Bwire (20) led a tenacious comeback that saw Marines' Julius Lutwama (19) miss a free throw with a few seconds left that would have given the Nkumba side victory. "It's very heartbreaking. I feel tired of playing basketball," former Most Valuable Player (MVP) Okello stated.

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