27 November 2009

UGANDA : Warriors, Leopards level play-off series

Sande Bashaija

Warriors 104-84 Power
Leopards 79-68 A-1

Today at YMCA (Game 3)
KCC v A-1 Challenge 6pm
Power v Warriors 8pm

DMark Power technical director Peter Mubanda had predicted a double-figure victory for his side going into Game Two of the MTN-Fuba League final play-off series on Wednesday night.

How interesting this series is shaping up? Power were instead on the receiving end, suffering only their second league defeat this season and arguably the worst in four years. “Things went wrong technically,” is all Mubanda could say after watching Warriors overrun the champions 104-84 at YMCA, Wandegeya.

The victory, Warriors’ first over Power in five games this season, levelled the best-of-seven series at 1-all, setting the stage for an intriguing Game Three tonight. “We are not getting excited,” Warriors coach Gad Eteu warned. “There is still a lot of work to do,” he added disregarding the ease with which his charges put Power to the sword in the second half despite a poor start.

Power skipper Norman Blick guided home a stunning slam-dunk from a very tight baseline angle as his side stormed to a 17-6 lead inside three minutes but that’s the last time the former MVP threatened to keep down the fired up Warriors.

By the end of first quarter, Warriors were trailing by only two points (22-24) and took charge of the game thereafter. Scarcely did the ball leave Power’s paint in the second quarter with Warriors raining in baskets and making steals in quick succession. Power looked completely lost in the session and Warriors made every move count with Brian Gumisiriza (16 points) sinking in double three-pointers and Steven Okias (24) adding a three-point play for the Kyambogo side to triumph 33-16.

Halftime score: 55-40 for Warriors but there was always hope for a Power recovery. But Carrol Bisereko (18) came off the bench to take the game out of Power’s reach with triple three-pointers for the Warriors to finish third quarter leading 74-58. “Our team rotation wasn’t the best today,” Power’s Isaac Afidra, who scored a team high 23 points said. Kenyan Martin Okwako produced one of his best performances this season, pulling down 19 points while Tanzanian Abudullahi Ramadhan added 11 for Warriors. Ben Komakech had 22 for the out-of-sorts Power.

KCC Leopards also overcame A-1 Challenge 79-68 to level the series at 1-all.
Reigning MVP Flavia Oketcho led the scoring for KCC with 20 points.

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