28 November 2013

UGANDA : A final series of thin margins

A final series of thin margins
Leopards’ star player Flavia Oketcho (R) is fouled as she tries to shoot against her former side UCU in last year’s final series. Oketcho will again have a big say in this year’s final series starting tomorrow. Photo by Ismail Kezaala.

UCU Lady Canons and KCCA Leopards are oases in the desert that is women’s basketball as they hardly find competition.
On three occasions this season, UCU beat KCCA, a team who guarantee that purple perch every season thanks to unpaid allowances from management.But, that hasn’t deterred them from booking a third successive appearance in the seven-game final starting tomorrow.
Last year, UCU led 2-0 only to lose 4-3. UCU coach Boniface Okello, unbeaten this year, and his opposite Ronnie Owino will have to get these matchups right to snatch what promises to be a close series.

‘Big men’
Peace Proscovia and Martha Soigi define everything the best rebounders should have – height, anticipation and unrelenting appetite to fight.
You are almost guaranteed double figures for both. However, UCU’s Proscovia could edge it with scoring as seen in her 49-point and 23-rebound show against feeble Nabisunsa. Limiting is one thing Soigi will do and the support of Mahayimina Namuwaya will be crucial. EVENLamunu vs. Odhiambo
Claire Lamunu (KCCA) is an upstart in comparison to UCU’s Purity Odhiambo, the 2011 MVP.
The latter’s absence following the death of her mother contributed greatly to UCU losing last year. Odhiambo has bullied Lamunu thrice already on both ends of the floor and expect her to be as smart as ever. ADVANTAGE UCU

Amoding vs. Oketcho
Together, Maureen Amoding and Flavia Oketcho start for the national women’s team on the backcourt and share two of the last three MVP titles.
Oketcho is slightly smarter with the ball whereas Amoding prefers to take the scoring burden. Both coaches will be smart enough to keep them apart for as long as possible but they will clash in phases. EVEN

Akullo factor
Becky Akullo’s return to the KCCA roster changes the dimensions entirely as she is a reliable scoring option who bagged 20 points to sweep Magic Stormers 80-72. Her left hand is both a strength and weakness as it’s an extra facet for the team but also bares a mark of predictability. Ruth Kirungi and Brenda Mboine will come off the bench to stop her drive. MY VERDICT: UCU TO WIN SERIES 4-2

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