05 July 2013

UGANDA : Trapped giants Falcons, Riham Warriors left to play catch-up

Warriors star point guard Ivan Enabu (L) on the dribble
Warriors star point guard Ivan Enabu (L) on the dribble against UCU Canons recently. Despite their struggles on court, Warriors’ financial stand is now stronger after signing up with Riham. PHOTO BY Ismail Kezaala  
By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo

Posted  Friday, July 5
KAMPALA-Warriors are finally moving in the direction that DMark Power and Falcons have treaded for years with relative success by acquiring sponsorship.
Yesterday, they became Riham Warriors to add to their partnerships with smsempire and NBS TV.
It changes their outlook significantly as they have significantly depended on club patron AmbroseTashobya for eternity.But, the champions from last year are yet to show the same brilliance and grit that won them their second Airtel National Basketball League title. A repeat date with Falcons, a first meeting since that 4-2 series victory last December, today at the Lugogo MTN Arena, is probably the best way to jumpstart their seaso
Neither team has done much so far but it’s too early to count any of the top six out of the running for the championship. “This team is capable of winning the championship because we are balanced,” Warriors’ coach Sam Samanya says, defiantly.
He completely ignored the departures of guard Cyrus Kiviri (UCU Canons), Norman Blick (Power) and coach Mandy Juruni (City Oilers) to translate what Tashobya called “positive energy” to this roster.Plenty of that energy will be needed as Warriors have beaten just one of the top six teams in KIU Titans and are yet to face Power.
On the sidelines of the media briefing to unveil Riham, Tashobya confirmed the addiion of Tanzanian small forward Sylvian Yunzu Maige (Savio), former Charging Rhino guard Mark Opio (back from studies in India) and Rwandese point guard Aristide Mugabe (Espoir). “Maige and Opio have been cleared to play tomorrow (today) but Mugabe will join us in August,” Tashobya reveals.
 Kenyan big man Michael Kariuki could also make his first appearance today to aid Sam Gombya and Henry Malinga. Warriors aren’t at peace though there seems to be a concerted effort to be organised.
Just like National Council of Sports (NCS) had not fixed the promised hoops valued at Shs76m by press time, Falcons are not at peace either.
Tonight at Lugogo

MEN: Falcons vs. Warriors (8.30pm)
WOMEN:Gladiators vs. UCU (6.30pm)

MEN: Miracle 51-63 Nkumba
WOMEN: Mak Sparks 23-77 KCCA Leopards

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