05 December 2012

UGANDA : Final playoff series takes crucial turn for Warriors

Phillip Ameny of Falcons close down Warriors’ Cyrus Kiviri
Julius Lutwama (L) and Phillip Ameny of Falcons close down Warriors’ Cyrus Kiviri (with ball) during the regular season at YMCA Court in Wandegeya. The two sides square off in Game 2 of the finals at Lugogo tonight. 

Warriors are not in trouble just yet. However, they are in a position of relative discomfort ahead of Game Two of best-of-seven Fuba League playoff finals.
The 75-62 loss to Falcons means that Warriors can ill-afford a performance as insipid as last Sunday’s when the series moves to the Lugogo MTN Arena today.
Game One at YMCA court was characterised by late coming. Both sides didn’t seem to treat this like a final – the climax to the season. Hopefully, they will from today onwards.
The bigger worry for Warriors could be that Falcons weren’t in demolition mode while taking a 1-0 lead. “I think we play better when down in any series,” Warriors’ skipper Ronnie Kasewu warned.
Having come towards the end of the first quarter on Sunday, the fight back may only count if the 2009 MVP is among the ‘early birds’
Coach Mandy Juruni will demand a change in attitude and game plan from the losing finalists of the past two years on their fourth appearance in the finals in as many years.
They restricted themselves to a shooting team, making only eight of 38 from outside the arc and 26 visits to the foul line. Falcons lived with it, rather comfortably.
Despite Norman Blick and Ivan Enabu scoring 12 and 10 points each, the entire team faded in the second half.
Falcons expect the inevitable backlash.
Is it just three games to the championship? “Wow! I wish I could say that. It’s not that easy,” assistant coach Gad Eteu said.
Stephen Omony, whose late coming was worth 10 points, six rebounds and seven turnovers before ejection, still holds the opponents in high regard.
“We cannot underestimate Warriors. Four successive finals shows how good they are,” Omony said. Riding on each other’s back was key for Falcons. Reserve Steven Mwesigye epitomised it with nine points and Warriors must hope for the same from their bench to even this series before the hole gets deeper.
Like Warriors, former women’s champions KCCA Leopards will attempt to turn the tide on UCU Lady Canons in the women’s final.
UCU took Game One 48-41 and a 2-0 lead will move them closer to a repeat of last year’s final when they swept KCCA in the best-of-seven series

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