18 July 2013

UGANDA : Uganda Basketball First Round Scorecard

Kampala — The official fixture of the first round of the airtel National Basketball League comes to an end this weekend with a crack between title contenders, D-Mark Power and Riham Warriors on Friday.
A few games that were postponed in the first division and development leagues will be carried into next week but the main activities especially for the big teams climax this weekend.
It has been a normal run of events the same teams are taking command of business on court except for the drop in performance of Miracle Eagles and A1 Challenge who are big names in Uganda's basketball.
Miracle has failed to replace players they lost in last two years leaving them with inexperienced players who are not doing the job. They have been an embarrassment to their former self who played in their maiden play offs two seasons ago.
A1 Challenge, a powerhouse in Uganda women basketball, has had a slow start suffering defeats they would not afford to lose three years ago. This posts a dark cloud over their ambitions of playing the playoff this season.
Mavita Ali the team manager at A1 is not worried though, she believes they will do the job in the second round using their new young team.
"It's true we have had a slow start but the season is a long one. We have brought in young girls who are get acclimatized to the high tempo of the league. We are going to improve," a hopeful Mavita said.
The unconvincing under performance of A1 young ladies is a replicate of the undesired development of women basketball in Uganda as compared to Kenya and Rwanda. This also explains the continued dominance of UCU Lady Canons, KCCA Leopards and the stalling of KIU Rangers and MAK Sparks. We remain to see the same mediocrity in women basketball.
However it has not been only a frail story, reigning champions Warriors are doing thing differently off court. They have attracted team sponsorship, a relatively a new thing except for D-Mark Power and Falcons whose sponsorship from Galaxy FM is documented.
Warriors have earned partnerships with television broadcaster NBS who airs their Friday games live and brought on board soft drink makers Riham to whom they surrendered their naming rights to move from being Kyambogo Warriors to Riham Warriors. Ali Balunywa the federation of Uganda basketball association publicist says the coming of live games changed the dynamics of the games this season which has seen "a good fans attendance and exciting games so far."
The emergency of City Oilers has added to the fairytale of Uganda Christian University whose men and ladies teams have remained unbeaten since start of season and don't look like they are going to falter anytime until a they main test in the playoffs. In all, giants Power, Canons, Warriors, City Oilers and Falcons remain in charge of the league well as Lady Canons, Leopards, KIU Rangers command the ladies table.

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