23 October 2013

UGANDA : Power Is the Team to Beat

The men have been separated from the boys and it is that time of the season when tension sets in as the top eight teams battle for the ultimate supremacy, writes Collins Kakwezi.
The play-off matchups for the Airtel national basketball league were settled yesterday, after six months of the regular season. Amid the anxiety and drama that unfolded, Dmark Power had long been assured of the top billing after defeating UCU Canons a week ago.
For their efforts, Power also knew their quarterfinal opponents would be eighth-seeded Charging Rhino. Therefore, Power has had a full week of preparation against the weakest team in the play-offs as the rest of the opposition remained uncertain of who to face.
The one-week break puts Power in great shape ahead of Friday's opening round of the play-offs and barring an upset of epic proportions, Power will enjoy a walk in the park. Interestingly, the other remaining quarterfinal clashes are evenly balanced and will most likely push the top teams to the limit.
Without doubt, Power is the team to beat and in Norman Blick, Isaac Afidra, Ben Komakech and Joseph Ikong, they possess the strongest individual lineup. However, their biggest undoing is teamwork and can be rattled on a poor outing like the 65-91 blowout loss to Warriors earlier in the season.
That said, such off-days are a rarity and Nick Natuhereza's charges play with such gusto that neutrals always root for them. Not even the recent tragedy of Natuhereza's wife could derail them against Canons and it will take a mighty effort for any team to halt the Power juggernaut.
In the ladies category, the title is Lady Canons to lose. The university outfit eked out a perfect record of 21 straight wins in the regular season and in a clash of opposites, will take on a winless Nabisunsa.
With KCCA Leopards the only realistic challengers, the Lady Canons will surely steamroll through the opposition.

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