23 November 2011
UGANDA : Warriors ready to go physical
Today at YMCA
M: Warriors v UCU (9pm)
(Series tied 1-1)
W: UCU v Stormers (7pm)
(UCU lead series 2-0)
Div. 2: UCU JV 51-64 Rez Life
(Series tied 1-1)
Div. 3: Bush Court 91-85 K’la Univ.
(Bush Court win series 2-0)
On an evening when UCU Lady Canons can seal their place in the MTN-Fuba League finals, their male counterparts, UCU Canons, will be jostling for control of their own series with Warriors.
The women’s champions are on the brink of sweeping playoff debutants Magic Stormers. UCU comprehensively won the opening two games, 66-36 and 75-35, to assume a 2-0 lead in the five-match semifinal series.
Size has greatly contributed to the gulf between the two sides. The UCU ladies’ trio of Purity Odhiambo, Lorraine Akinyi and Peace Proscovia has dominated the inside so much.
Neither Warriors nor UCU can claim the same ahead of Game Three at YMCA court today (Wednesday). “The physicality of the games is proving to be key,” Warriors coach Mandy Juruni said after his side tied the series at 1-1 in a brutal contest on Sunday night.
“If they (UCU) get physical, we should also do the same.” Jachin Wettstone, Desmond Owili and Robert Ogweno have matched Warriors’ Malinga brothers, Eric and Henry, and Michael Kariuki leap-for-leap.
Nick Natuhereza, the UCU coach, is not passing any message of caution to his big men even though Ogweno and Wettstone fouled out in losing Game Two 74-84. Ogweno had scored 23 points, two less than Eric’s game-high score.
“We are definitely bigger than them so whenever a small and big man fight (for possession), the referee will favour the small player,” Natuhereza reasoned. “We must keep playing aggressive and only avoid the fouls we can avoid.”
It’s been this kind of story for them in games against Warriors this season with the exception of the 65-52 victory in Game One with Sande Okot and Desmond Owili being the other regular culprits.
The guards’ roles have been greatly lessened with Ivan Enabu, Ronnie Kasewu Jude Ochen and Pascal Alule combining for 39 points and 18 assists for Warriors in the playoffs so far. UCU’s Sudi Ulanga, Okot and Geoff Omondi have a grand total of 52 points and 14 assists.