28 October 2013

UGANDA : ANBL Playoffs: Riham Warriors – Ndejje Angels preview

Game 1 – Sunday, November 3 at 5:30pm
Game 2 – Friday, November 8 at 7:30pm
Game 3 – Sunday, November 10 at 3:30pm (If necessary)
This is Ndejje’s prime-time introduction. The team enjoyed playing basketball throughout the regular season, squaring regular season series with last year’s finalists, Riham Warriors and Falcons as well as Dmark Power, something the university side had not done in four years of playing in the premier division.
Does this mean the Angels are ready for their comeuppance? Probably not... Let’s try to take a close look and break into Ndejje University Angels.
Ndejje’s style, super-fast energetic drives and ball transition with at times some emphasis on interior play with Soro or Jeje at the end of it, is well-known.
If the second round matchup between these two sides is anything to go by, Geoffrey Soro’s chances at overwhelming Henry Malinga should be in place, but nobody knows what sort of Malinga will show up, or how much Soro will address the team’s need for fourth-quarter scoring especially when the pressure is on.
Brian Odur has carried Ndejje offensively through the regular season and has probably been the teams’ best player. The Angels wingman has enjoyed a light and breezy season. Can he carry that to the post season? Yeah! Can he thrive under the pressure from one the league’s best defenders in Ronnie Kasewu? Not sure he will.
The Angels are short on passers, reliable long-range shooters and quick decision-makers. Want to ask me if i know that Francis Tumusiime, Steven Okias and Gahuranyi feature for Ndejje? Of course i do! Ndejje’s explosive wing players in, Odur and Jonah Otim somewhat shaky handles under pressure. Their bench boasts no real offensive game-changers... or, at least, none who can change the game in a positive way – not even the coach who calls for wader timeouts and makes substitutions difficult to understand.
Now, from his first game in charge of Riham Warriors, you could tell that Ivan Enabu, Jude Ochen, Ronnie Kasewu, Henry Malinga and Sam Gombya are Ronnie Owino’s preferred five not that that there are any other real options because his bench is only as good as Ndejje’s at most. So without doubt the ball game will be between starters will very little contribution from the benches.
Gombya’s awareness has greatly improved and is an integral part of Owino’s offensive set up. If that is not scaring, his height advantage should. Like one of the coaches said “you can’t teach player to be seven feet”. Jeje Chaka and Brian Sentongo have some work on their hands in trying to stop Gombya from making an offensive impact.
Did i say Soro’s chances of overwhelming Malinga should be in place? One thing i didn’t say yet i have to, is that Malinga has been here for ages and he’s got loads of experience. He should be (and actually will be) able to make it difficult for Soro to find a position at the post and will make Ndejje pay on the other end.
If there is any major weakness to Ivan Enabu’s game is at times carelessness with the ball yet he is Warriors’ primary ball handler. When the crowd gets him going he sometimes does too much and fails to make a simple pass or create simple plays giving away the ball. It looks like a small issue but giving away the ball to a running side may result into a few points out of break ways. That aside the point guard will trouble Ndejje with hid drives.
Prediction: Warriors 2-1. Experience over speed any day but there are one offs, right? 

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