16 November 2010
UGANDA :UCU stay alive
Warriors 68-74 UCU
KCC 55-61 A1
(Both series tied 2-2)
Gulu 64-78 Heaters
(Heaters win series 2-1)
Even in their more dominant times, UCU Canons have been at fault for lacking fighting spirit that has barred the university side from a maiden appearance in the MTN-Fuba League final.
On Sunday night, UCU found a timely answer to erase two successive losses to Kyambogo Warriors thereby forcing a decisive game five in the semifinal series with a gritty 74-68 victory.
Unlike on many occasions where entertainment defined them, they needed to sacrifice skill for the ultimate goal in a game that hardly had anything to separate the two sides. This translated into centre Robert Ogweno leading the way with 13 points and 12 rebounds. “Our performance came from deep down in our hearts,” shooting guard Jimmy Enabu (12) told Daily Monitor.
His consistency has kept UCU alive even as his elder brother Ivan Enabu laboured to five points and eight turnovers. Forward Robert Mugabe returned from his one-match ban to add 13 to the fruitful cause. UCU made 27 of 52 from the field whereas Warriors, for whom Abdullahi Ramadhan (3) lost the ball cheaply on nine occasions, only converted 13 from 27.
The Tanzanian arguably had his worst game this season but Warriors succeeded in making the contest very close. They trailed 15-16 at the end of the first period and took the second 20-19 for a 35-all halftime score.
UCU edged the final two 20-18 and 19-15 respectively when Michael Kariuki succumbed to a muscle strain in his leg. The Kenyan’s departure brought an end to his forays that yielded 11 points and seven rebounds. Warriors’ chance waned from then onwards.
MVP Ronnie Kasewu walked a tight rope on four fouls throughout the final two quarters which restricted him to 14 points and six boards. Steven Okias overcame troublesome injuries to his knee and ankle to add 10.
In the women’s division, A1 Challenge leveled their series 2-2 with a 61-55 win over KCC Leopards. Hatima Kassim (19) and her sister Mavita Ali (13) forced a decisive game five due this Friday.