01 May 2012

UGANDA : Kampala, Mukono falter in inter-cities showpiece

RESULTS (SATURDAY)Third place play-offs
M: Kampala 94-81 Juba
W: Mukono 66-50 Moyo
M: Mombasa 80-57 Mukono
W: Nairobi 67-48 Kamapla

Not even home ground advantage could spur Kampala to victory against a hugely impressive Nairobi team in the women’s East and Central Africa Inter-cities Championship final at YMCA on Saturday.
Kampala, fielding almost the entire squad that features for KCC in the national league, were humbled 67-48 in front of a small crowd as the week-long regional showpiece climaxed.
Nairobi team captain Hilda Indasi nailed 13 points and deservedly won the MVP award while Kampala’s Martha Soigi took the Best Defensive Player’s award. “Nairobi is a good team,” said Flavia Oketcho, who scored 17 points for Kampala. “They deserved to win and we can’t feel bad that we have lost.’’
The men’s final was equally an ugly affair for Ugandan fans as Mukono were subjected to an 80-57 thumping by a ruthless Mombasa side.Mombasa, led by eventual MVP Chris Abujo, dominated all the quarters, sailing 24-13, 19-6, 16-12 and 25-22. Abujo garnered 17 points while Mukono’s Naftali Msongoti grabbed 12 and was voted the best defensive player. Sudi Ulanga’s game-high 25 points made little difference for Mukono. Somali’s Hargeisa City got the Most Disciplined Team award.
Besides being poorly attended, the tournament was blighted by some controversies. The star-studded Kampala men’s team which had been tipped to reach the finals cried foul after narrowly losing to Mukono 68-71 in the semis.
Kampala’s Joseph Ikong claimed Kenyan referee Kent Juma made several controversial calls that favoured Mukono. “Basketball is a game that should be run fairly,” said a discontented Ikong. “People (referees) should not give out intentional fouls and undeserved free throws.” ‘‘Mukono is dominated by Kenyan players and the referee wanted them in the final.” Arusha will host next year’s edition.

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