19 April 2013

UGANDA : Power start ‘revival’ phase

Blick will be one of the star attractions in Pow
Blick will be one of the star attractions in Power’s squad when they face an equally star-studded City Oilers, who are on debut in the topflight. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA This week, the DMark Power family was blessed with a new ‘fan’. Congratulatory messages poured in for their coach Bernes Ankunda whose wife gave birth to a baby boy.
Ankunda’s happy face was even visible in their final practice sessions ahead of the start of the National Basketball League today at the Lugogo MTN Arena.
“With the baby here, this is going to be a good year,” Ankunda said. On the floor, Power, who face newly-promoted City Oilers, have so many wrongs to make right following a rather forgettable 2012. The five-time champions lost 2-1 to UCU Canons in the inaugural quarterfinals and reached the semifinals of the Fiba Africa Zone V Basketball tournament here.
A backlash is inevitable. In response, Jimmy Enabu moved to the Oilers, Colin Mukiza rejoined Knight Riders and Richard Balemwa left in search of minutes they never got at Power.
Three-time MVP Norman Blick has since rejoined having left Power two years ago for Miracle Eagles and Warriors, winning his fifth title with the latter last year.
Guard Paul Odong has also stepped up from Division Two side Bush Court. “Our target is to get back to Zone V and do well,” Ankunda added. Oilers, though desperate to keep their feet on the ground, are no ordinary newcomers and have already won the UCU Open. Backed by City Oil, Enabu is the only star they have in their ranks.
Besides acquiring coach Mandy Juruni from Warriors, he is equipped him with guard Mohammed Yusuf and forward Andrew Opio (both Miracle) and former Falcons’ big-man Kami Kabange (Espoir, Rwanda). “Building a team is a process,” Juruni warned. Today is only their first step towards the bigger goal of making the playoffs at the first time of asking.
Prior to the men’s game, champions KCCA Leopards face former winners A1 Challenge in the women’s division hoping to build on their come-from-behind 4-2 win over UCU Lady Canons last December.

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