15 September 2013

UGANDA : Falcons finally break even, beat City Oilers

Falcons finally break even, beat City Oilers
Falcons players listen to their coach Gad Eteu during a time-out as they plan for the next play. Photo by Ismail Kezaala.  
By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo     
That winning feeling is something Falcons hadn’t felt in sometime especially in the big games and translated into even losing the so-called small games too.
They hardly knew how to celebrate on Friday night at YMCA court. Their 83-80 win over City Oilers is the first time they managed to beat a team in the top five of the Airtel National Basketball League.
It has taken Falcons over five months to do so. “It’s absolutely important,” a smiling Stephen Omony, scorer of a team-high 25 points on his return from a broken nose, said.
To show how poor Falcons have been, they almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory despite Oilers playing catch up.
Up 81-80 with 23 seconds on the clock, Omony missed two free throws. Oilers, third with 13-5 record, could have punished him, and Falcons. Kami Kabangu’s travel handed possession back to falcons.
Omony rectified his first mistake nailing the next two foul shots. No, it wasn’t done. Guard Mohammed Yusuf’s jerked shot hit the rim.
A close shave indeed to get Falcons their eighth victory in 16 games! The six-time champions just broke even (literally) having ended a three-game skid in which they lost to lowly Vegetarian.
Peter Elungat and Philip Ameny tormented Oilers on the inside, scoring 19 and 17, the latter also picking eight rebounds to cover up for a poor show on the defensive end.
“I think we are in transition,” Omonoy said. Falcons have been in ‘crisis’ over non-payment of players since the league tipped off back in April. “This is the beginning so we shouldn’t be too excited by the win,” he added. And they really shouldn’t be as Kabangu scored 32 points and 10 rebounds, going 12 for 16 from two-point range against them.

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