07 November 2013

UGANDA : KIU suffer double loss as Oilers make semis

KIU’s Joshua Etalu (R) and Francis Kasekende (L) try to stop City Oil’s
KIU’s Joshua Etalu (R) and Francis Kasekende (L) try to stop City Oil’s Henry Mulira in Game One of the quarterfinals. City Oil made the semis on Tuesday. Photo by Ismail Kezaala KAMPALA- Both KIU sides – Titans and Rangers – can claim they played better than they did in Game One of the Castle Lite quarterfinal playoffs series.
But, their exit was never in doubt. First the women’s side – Rangers – squandered a 19-point lead they held in the second period – to lose 58-48 to former champions A1 Challenge.

Then, the men – Titans – were swept by newcomers City Oilers whose 70-56 victory margin for a 2-0 result was earned in the final two minutes after they had pulled within two.
 Early   nacional captain Victoria Ntale scored 12 points, all in the second half, and eight rebounds, to ensure that A1 swept the three-game series 2-0 and advance to the semifinals.                 
It was a collapse of gigantic proportions and coach Nimrod Kaboha will have to take a hard look in the mirror as Hatima Kassim, 10, was the only other A1 player in double figures.
Florence Nanyonga had put KIU on course to force a decider with 25 points and 10 rebounds only to fade as they scored only 14 second half points.
A lot of credit should perhaps go to A1 coach Geoff Omondi and his assistant Ali Mavita as they have completely turned this team around after failing to make the final four for two years.

Now, they are likely to face the reigning champions KCCA Leopards in the five-game series as they lead lowly Gladiators 1-0. Rangers’ defeat spelt bad omen for their male counterparts – KIU Titans.
Unlike the spineless 76-56 loss in Game One, this time Titans gave it a real go.
Though they restricted Kami Kabangu to 11 points, to match his least for the season, also against KIU, their offense remains among the weakest of all the top eight. 

Suicidal turnovers
Perhaps, more disheartening was the way they finished the game. Having played catchup all night, KIU pulled within two (58-56) with 1.47 to play.
Then, they committed two suicidal turnovers that ended with forward Ramadhan Arou, 17 points and 11 rebounds to add to his 21 in the Game One victory, dunking to erase any doubts.
Add four free throws – given for Michael Makiadi’s flagrant foul and subsequent ejection for threatening anyone close to him – and Oilers had their business sown up, ea
Jimmy Enabu matched his Game One tally with 19 to raise the ambitions of his coach Mandy Jurun
“I am happy and have the belief we can go far,” Juruni said.
Makiadi’s 14 point-collection was the only glitter among rust.

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