17 June 2012

UGANDA : Gutsy KIU present huge challenge for Warriors

KIU Titans blew their own cover by beating Airtel National Basketball League champions DMark Power 71-67 last SundayA similar performance is needed against Warriors, finalists in each of the last three seasons, to cement KIU’s credentials as title contenders.
The victory over Power might just be the platform KIU can build upon. However, their major strength lies elsewhere – defence.
This is among the primary ethos of coach Nimrod Kaboha. Enroute a 7-1 start to the season, KIU have let in 398 points, over 100 less than Falcons, the next best thing.
That has not come at the expense of execution on offense. Kenyan guard Salim Ali is coming into his element after a slow start since joining from Heaters.
He had 17 and nine rebounds last Sunday. Ali’s former teammate at Heaters, Michael Makiadi, also found his range for 12 points and 10 boards.
Forward Richard Omondi, who defended guard Ben Komakech, a two-time MVP, might be asked to do the same against either Ronnie Kasewu or Cyrus Kiviri.“One game at a time,” said Omondi, perhaps relishing the task. The injury to Ivan Enabu and less minutes for Jude Ochen has heralded Kiviri into the spotlight.
The off-season signing from Ndejje scored a game-high 25 points and nine rebounds to beat UCU Canons 78-64 and bury the narrow 71-68 loss to Power.
Some fans even found the audacity to forget Ivan, arguably the most cheered player locally. “Who needs Enabu? Cyrus Cyrus…,” a section of the fans chanted.
“This is my best game on the big stage. We were so determined not to lose after the Power result,” Kiviri, wearing a bright smile, said.
Doing the same every week is the challenge now. Centre Sam Gombya remains the wall between opposing teams and the Warriors’ hoop.
Gombya’s 19 points and 18 rebounds enabled them out-rebound UCU 48-34. Omondi, Brian Wati, Makiadi and Moses Olobo will pose bigger questions than UCU.

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