30 October 2012

UGANDA : Big sides stroll in playoffs

Falcons power forward Ameny (right) dunking over Ndejje’s Jonah Otim at the Lugogo MTN Arena on Sunday evening.
Falcons power forward Ameny (right) dunking over Ndejje’s Jonah Otim at the Lugogo MTN Arena on Sunday evening. Falcons triumphed in Game 1. Photo by ISMAIL KEZAALA.
Sunday ResultsWarriors 79-53 Heaters
Falcons 70-40 Ndejje
W: KCCA 57-36 Mak Sparks
(Warriors, Falcons and KCCA lead series 1-0)
Div. 2: Shooters 42-71 Rhino
Gulu 52-54 UCU JV
(Rhino and UCU JV win series 2-0)
Diamonds 77-65 City Oil
Sharing 77-65 Bush Court
(Both series tied 1-1)
Div. 3: B. Jackets 27-52 Emperors
UMU Flames 68-66 Stone
Phenoms 40-47 Silver Force
(All three series tied 1-1)
LC Hovers 42-49 Ssaku
(Ssaku win series 2-0)
Three former champions - KCCA Leopards, Falcons and Warriors - made predictable starts to postseason, easily winning to take 1-0 leads in the best-of-three quarterfinals at the Lugogo MTN Arena on Sunday. Two-time women’s champions KCCA, seeded second at the end of the regular season, set the tone with a 57-36 rout of Makerere Sparks, who finished seventh.
Former MVP Flavia Oketcho scored a game-high 13 points, Martha Soigi had 10 points and 10 rebounds while Carol Badaru dropped 10 in a one-sided contest. The pattern continued as Warriors, the 2009 champions, beat Victoria Univerity Heaters 79-53 inside a near-empty venue.
Coach Mandy Juruni’s side, top seeds for two years running now, had four players in double figures including Henry Malinga (13), Norman Blick (12), Michael Kariuki (11) and Jude Ochen (10). Derrick Mbusi staged a one-man brigade to make it a contest with 15 points for the eighth seeded Heaters whose postseason debut is headed for a rather forgettable clean sweep.

As Lugogo emptied further, record champions Falcons, chasing their first crown since 2007, gave the few fans little reason to stay. Their 70-40 win over Ndejje University Angels felt like practice.
Stephen Omony led with 16 points and Abdullahi Ramadhan, only cleared to play following the suspension of a controversial rule on eligibility, added 12 points. “I loved the way we played as a team but in playoffs you want to leave room for improvement,” Dulah said after the game. Falcons rotated all 12 players who made the team.
The injury to Geoffrey Soro last month, that ruled him out of the playoffs, made Ndejje’s hill a mountain. They never really competed after a timid start and found themselves 6-19 down at the end of the first period. Falcons, Warriors and KCCA should complete their sweeps this weekend.
In Division Two, Charging Rhino and UCU JV advanced to the semifinals with 2-0 series’ victories.

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