22 October 2013

UGANDA : Warriors, Oilers in direct shoot-out for third place

Warriors forward Andrew Okot (with ball) tries to find his way past a double-teaming
Warriors forward Andrew Okot (with ball) tries to find his way past a double-teaming defence act of City Oilers in the first round. Photo by Ismail Kezaala 

 It was always bound to come down to this: Riham Warriors versus City Oilers to decide who gets third place in the Airtel National Basketball League. Oilers ensured that by routing eighth-placed Charging Rhino 95-67 at the Lugogo MTN Arena on Sunday night to match Warriors’ record at 15-6.                 
Kami Kabangu poured 30 points and 10 rebounds to further enhance his acclaim as a leading candidate for regular season MVP and keep Oilers in the running for third place.
The winner of today’s game at Lugogo will finish third.
The beaten side will fall into a puzzle along with Kampala International University (KIU) Titans and Ndejje University Angels to decide position four to six.
This takes into account the assumption that KIU will also be at 15-7 after tonight. KIU should beat Nkumba Marines, in ninth and nothing to fight for, in the early game. Two of Ndejje, KIU, Warriors and Oilers will definitely play each other in the quarterfinals and those match ups involving 3 versus 6 and 4 against 5 will be known after the latter two play.

Postseason thoughts
Factor in the playoffs starting in three days’ time and you know momentum to take into the postseason is on everyone’s mind.
Oilers will even want to complete a season double over the champions having won the first encounter 83-71 to enhance their belief
Oilers’ coach Mandy Juruni, a champion with Warriors, even sees a shining diamond in regard to the possibility of winning the title in their first season of topflight basketball
“If my best or influential players show up, then we have a chance of going deep in the playoffs.
“If the players are true to themselves that they are up for winning then they will. It’s not just saying we can for (the sake of) it. You have to be true to yourself.“If the core team is playing well then the players from the bench will equally be good,” Juruni concluded.
Kenyan Ronnie Owino takes charge of his first game at Warriors after replacing Emmanuel Samanya until the end of the year.
Samanya should offer Owino the stat sheet that had Jimmy Enabu and Kabangu score 32 and 23 points plus 10 and 13 rebounds against Warriors.
Stop those two and also get the trio of Henry Malinga, Ronnie Kasewu and Ivan Enabu going offensively and Warriors could retain their crown.


M: Warriors vs. City Oilers (8.30pm)
M: Nkumba vs. KIU Titans (6.30pm)
M: Nkumba 52-83 UCU Canons
M: Rhino 67-95 City Oilers
M: Vegetarian 98-76 Miracle
W: KIU 44-63 A1 Challenge
W: Mak Sparks 86-76 Nabisunsa

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