12 May 2013

UGANDA : Canons hold off Warriors

UCU’s Kiviiri (9) finds his way past Warriors defence to lay up on Friday.
UCU’s Kiviiri (9) finds his way past Warriors defence to lay up on Friday. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 
By ISMAIL DHAKABA KIGONGO
In the early game, UCU Lady Canons ensured double delight, thrashing Makerere Sparks 101-31 courtesy of 43 points and 24 rebounds from centre Peace Proscovia.Victory over champions Warriors on Friday night really meant something for UCU Canons even if the 63-58 margin left more questions for the latter than the former. Sudi Ulanga scored 20 and six rebounds and Desmond Owili had 14 points and 14 rebounds, including a catalogue of dunks, to earn a slice of revenge for three semifinal defeats to Warriors in the past four years.The celebrations inside the Lugogo MTN Arena at the end showed their satisfaction. However, the win is insufficient in wiping away the pain of losing to Warriors 3-2 thrice in the past when it mattered most.

Owili jumped and touched shoulders with Martin Okwako, and then Cyrus Kiviri. The celebration is synonymous with NBA star Lebron James and his teammates over the years. “Of course, it’s good,” Kiviri, who scored nine points and committed seven turnovers against the team he left last season, said. “We just beat the champions.” This wasn’t the Warriors who won the title last year. Besides Kiviri, Norman Blick rejoined DMark Power. Henry Malinga remains injured. Coach Mandy Juruni is now at City Oilers. Steven Okias is in ‘transit’ to another National Basketball League side in Ndejje University Angels. If those weren’t big enough dampeners, then the absence of coach Sam Samanya, currently at the national schools’ championships in Mbarara, sealed them as underdogs heading into the game.
In fact, Warriors should be pleased they gave it a real go and perhaps UCU had a chance to hammer them. They didn’t.This was far from their best team though the game was tied at 29-up after the first two periods.
Despite Ronnie Kasewu leading them with 13 points and six rebounds, UCU bossed the third period 21-14 and while the seven-point periphery seemed minimal at the end of the third, Warriors never fought back.

No one else crossed the 10-point mark. Ivan Enabu entertained the crowd, not far from capacity, for his eight points and 11 steals. “Truth be told, we were not ready to play,” Enabu lamented. “Everyone has been busy this week with something but we will look ahead to the next game.” Warriors have now won one and lost one whereas this was UCU’s second successive victory following their success against KIU Titans in the opener.

ikigongo@ug.nationmedia.com

FRIDAY RESULTS
M: Warriors 58-63 UCU
W: UCU 101-31 Mak Sparks
TODAY AT LUGOGO
M: Miracle vs. Power (7.30pm)
M: Ndejje vs. Rhino (3.30pm)
W: KCC vs. Gladiators (5.30pm)

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