16 September 2012

UGANDA : Osano keeps KIU in hunt for third place

Isaac Afidra had an idea of how to stop Richard Osano. In retrospect, his flagrant foul in the second quarter was not the most brilliant of decisions. The DMark Power skipper shoved Osano in mid-air as he attempted a lay-up. The forward tumbled into the YMCA courtside mattresses.
There was a huge uproar. Only luck kept Afidra on as an ejection would have been the most appropriate punishment. “That was an intentional foul but in the end, the decision is for the umpire,” a livid Nimrod Kaboha, the KIU coach, said.
Osano didn’t lose his gloss, going 7 for 8 from the field and missing only one of his 14 free throws. His 30 points gave KIU Titans an Airtel National Basketball League season double over the champions, winning 73-63. The first encounter in June ended 71-67.
The latest included an 11-0 run inside the final three minutes to dig them from a 60-61 score moments after a fan threw a missile at the referee over a contentious call.
KIU made their biggest statement as title contenders. No wonder Power held a longer than usual postmortem. The result also resuscitated the thrilling fight for third as both are now tied at 14-5. Both still have to play second-placed Falcons (16-2) in the final three games.
KIU’s stingy defence kept point guard Ben Komakech and Joseph Ikong to 12 points apiece and Richard Balemwa threatened to steal the game with a quick 10 off the bench. Osano got support from Nelson Njau (12 points) but he didn’t need much more.
The unit played much better than usual down the stretch, something they desperately needed.
Power will be definitely improve come playoffs next month but a third successive title would be the biggest coup in coach Bernice Ankunda’s lifetime.
The champions have not played well all season and the questions will continue if they finish below Warriors, Falcons and KIU Titans. “To win the title, you have to beat all the teams,” Afidra, the Most Valuable Player (MVP), often reasons. Over to you Power.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?