16 November 2012

UGANDA : Warriors, UCU Canons hope to seize advantage

Warriors’ Henry Malinga  (R) attacks the basket as UCU Canons centre Desmond Owili tries to block him in Game Two last Sunday.
Warriors’ Henry Malinga (R) attacks the basket as UCU Canons centre Desmond Owili tries to block him in Game Two last Sunday. Photo by Ismail Kezaala
By Ismail D. Kigongo
Sunday is now water under the bridge as Warriors and UCU Canons face-off in Game Three of the Fuba League playoff semifinals today hoping to seize control of the series.
The best-of-five series is tied at 1-1 after the physical or rather dirty contest that had a player throw a punch and another in need of medical attention.
The two return to the Lugogo MTN Arena with changed minds. “We were one game down so I think the players played hard,” Warriors coach Mandy Juruni said after his team won 66-56. Ivan Enabu would love to forget the moment when he punched UCU’s Sande Okot.
“I am very sorry to everyone. That wasn’t me,” the guard, his dazzling display almost forgotten, said. The poor showing from both teams must have fueled the frustration and the correction should start there. Besides Warriors’ Henry Malinga and Michael Kariuki, who had 17 points apiece, the latter adding six rebounds and three blocks, the rest struggled.
Half of Norman Blick’s 10 points came in the second quarter. Cyrus Kiviri is expected to play despite a mild concussion after UCU centre Desmond Owili elbowed him.
UCU, who returned to the old habit of losing their heads, were even worse in last week’s encounter. Sudi Ulanga’s 10 points were a team-high. Owili, Martin Okwako and impressive reserve Brian Namake hardly contributed. “We have taken all the lessons,” Ulanga, a victim of a punch from Jude Ochen, said.
Earlier, two-time women’s defending champions UCU Lady Canons will advance to the finals with victory over A1 Challenge as they lead that series 2-0. The other semifinal series are tied at 1-up following narrow wins for KIU Titans and Magic Stormers over Falcons and KCCA Leopards on Wednesday night respectively.
KIU watched with joy as Steven Mwesigye’s shot hit the rim just before the buzzer sounded in their 54-52 victory. The women’s clash was even more intriguing with Stormers needing over time to beat KCAA 62-59. The four quarters had ended with the scores tied at 53-all.

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