16 December 2012

UGANDA : Warriors, KCCA one game away

Warriors’ talisman Blick (L) shoots over Omondi on Friday night.
Warriors’ talisman Blick (L) shoots over Omondi on Friday night. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA
By ISMAIL DHAKABA KIGONGO     
 
TODAY AT LUGOGO
W: KCCA vs. UCU (5.30pm)
(KCCA lead series 3-2)
M: Falcons vs. Warriors (7.30pm)
(Falcons lead series 3-2)
DIVISION II
City Oilers vs. Rhino (3.30pm)
(Rhinos lead series 2-1)
Falcons and UCU Lady Canons lost their grip on the Fuba League best-of-seven playoff finals on Friday night.The former also lost their heads after Warriors beat them 62-57.
UCU know a big chance has been squandered as KCCA Leopards held on for a 54-53 overtime victory at the Lugogo MTN Arena. Warriors have turned a 0-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead, winning the last two games. KCCA hold the same advantage having won three games in a row after losing the first two.
Though Falcons are now sour, Warriors won’t relent. They could clinch their second championship with victory in Game Six today at the same venue. An unseen side of legend Stephen Omony, who scored a game-high 17 points and nine rebounds, came to fore. After the buzzer, he verbally attacked the umpires and needed restraining.
Those who held him back felt worse. “Right from Game One, there have been errors. We have controlled our players but we are human,” Gad Eteu, the Falcons’ assistant, said.
The sour-grapping continued as guard Geoff Omondi played victim despite himself sending Cyrus Kiviri and Henry Malinga tumbling.
“The umpires are Warriors. We are being hacked and that is not called. Any small touch is being called.“It’s them and the federation. The calls are affecting us individually,” said Omondi, 10 points on the night.
He then launched his defence. “This is a final. I have to protect my D. In basketball, you have to play aggressive. This is not friendship.” After Falcons took a 20-12 lead at the end of the first, Warriors closed them out to take the next three quarters 17-10, 15-14 and 18-13 respectively.
Norman Blick, 16 points and five rebounds, shot a three for 55-51 lead with five minutes and 14 seconds to play, to give Warriors breathing space. Controversy came at 58-54 with 50 seconds to play. Omony drove to the hoop and attempted to dunk. He missed it amid several hands. Umpires gave it as a legitimate block.
“It’s just a game away. We need a keep focus,” Warriors’ skipper Ronnie Kasewu noted.
Malinga, a member of the Falcons’ team that beat Warriors 3-2 in the 2007 finals, had 12 points and 11 rebounds against his former team.
The earlier women’s game was even more thrilling. Martha Soigi scored 20 points and 13 rebounds.
ikigongo@ug.nationmedia.com

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