04 November 2013

UGANDA : Ladies basketball struggles after playoffs go live on TV

Kasssim Hatima of A1 Challenge powers to the basket during Game One of the women’s quarterfinal
Kasssim Hatima of A1 Challenge powers to the basket during Game One of the women’s quarterfinal play-off series against KIU Rangers on Friday night. A1 Challenge won the encounter 54-46. PHOTO BY Ismail Kezaala 

KAMPALA- In an unprecedented move, the basketball federation elected to switch tip-off of the men’s playoff games before the ladies’ matches for the 2013 postseason. At first glance, it appeared a decision that barely made reason.

The ladies game with all due respect remains miles apart from that of men in terms of appeal of intensity.Basketball fans love to see crossovers, no-look passes, monster dunks, blocks and immense tension. The men’s game commands those qualities in abundance. The ladies game not quite.
But the power of television is such that nothing can’t be changed.

Prime time
With NBS reaching a deal to air the 2013 playoffs and 9pm being their prime time for news, it logically forced the federation to schedule the televised game for 7pm.

The plan is to have the televised game concluded in time for news. It remains to be seen whether the possibility of overtime and double overtime was factored in during the planning.
Only men’s playoff games will be shown live on television and thus the ladies have to go on the court after.
On Friday, KIU Rangers and A1 Challenge played before a virtually empty Lugogo Indoor Aren
It wouldn’t have been as odd; the ladies game isn’t as popular as that of their male counterparts.
The key difference was that usually crowds swell during the ladies game in anticipation for the subsequent men’s action.
But once City Oilers and KIU finished their business, droves of fans made their way to the exit.

The Arena shrunk in numbers with many acting oblivious of the KIU-A1 game.
The federation has gone a decent job of growing ladies basketball, it must be noted. But no way will playing the women’s playoff games after their male counterparts grow ladies basketball.

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