23 August 2013
UGANDA : Old foes Falcons, Power seek to reverse fortunes
The two most successful sides in the history of the Airtel National Basketball League clash at YMCA court today. “This is the game we always look forward to most,” Isaac Afidra, a Power player since 2000, said.
Besides the history, these two teams are in a similar situation. Power, who started the season with a 10-match winning streak, have lost their previous two games against play-off bound teams.
Warriors thrashed Power 91-65. Thereafter, City Oilers found the legs to outlast the five-time champions 82-69 in overtime on the back of Kami Kabangu’s 27 points and 13 rebounds. They have failed to compensate for their lack of size by boxing out on the inside. Now, coach Bernes Ankunda must also fast-track the return of Ben Komakech from injury.
The point guard – a two-time MVP - lost Emmanuel Enabu - forever his understudy - this week; the latter moving to Canada for family reasons. It hardly matters that Komakech has barely had glimpses of his best form this season. Without Komakech, Power have struggled to manage their ball. Falcons might look at Power’s problems as a drop in the ocean and not the splash they are facing. Talk of strife over the lack of money has been the song since the league tipped.
The record league winners - currently seventh - have only beaten one side in the top six. Power beat them 87-78 in the first round despite Stephen Omony’s 28 points for Falcons.
Lately, Kenyans Philip Ameny and Geoff Omondi, and Serge Kabangu have absconded from playing with reports indicating the former is in West Africa scavenging for a team.
Coach Gad Eteu, once reportedly sacked, Stephen Omony, skipper Peter Elungat and Abdullahi Ramadhan are holding the team together.