22 November 2012
UGANDA : Offensive inconsistency worries hopefuls
By ISMAIL DHAKABA KIGONGO
Warriors and UCU Canons head into Game Five of their Fuba League best-of-five semifinal playoff series decider with similar concerns.
Some of their leading players have faded with each passing game. The Warriors’ pair of Norman Blick and Ivan Enabu and UCU skipper Martin Okwako are the biggest culprits.
Forward Okwako started the series productively having stood out in the 2-1 quarterfinal win over DMark Power.
In the 74-68 Game One victory, he had 12 points and four rebounds to go with five turnovers. Since then, his highest tally has been three points in Game Three.
This has greatly increased the offensive burden on Sudi Ulanga and Desmond Owili who have bagged double figures in all but one game, the 66-56 loss in Game Two. “It’s clear our biggest problem now is to get Martin scoring again. If we get that right, then everything will be fine,” UCU coach Nicholas Natuhereza admitted.
Okwako’s slump has coincided with sixth man Brian Namake’s. His six points in the 65-51 Game Four loss, a series-high, came with 12 rebounds at the cost of six turnovers.
Mandy Juruni, the Warriors coach, is not any better. Blick has declined from 19 points in the Game One loss to two 10-point games and a two-point return as they tied the series 2-2. The 19-point show also had 10 turnovers. Enabu, who has had a poor season, is much worse. His stats started with two points and two assists.
Thereafter, he contributed three points and five assists. That was the last of Enabu’s contributions. The guard has had two successive scoreless games.
Enabu also had four assists in Game Three and none in the Sunday victory. “In Game Four, they (Blick and Enabu) were not up for it. They put themselves under too much pressure,” Juruni, hoping to beat UCU 3-2 for a third year running, said.
Even Cyrus Kiviri, Warriors’ top scorer with 16 points to force a decider, is not being spared as that’s the only game he has stood out, something Juruni has acknowledged.
“If one player doesn’t show up, I will go with whoever is ready on the day,” Juruni said. Whereas Ulanga and Owili have been consistent for UCU, Juruni cannot even single out one who has been.