01 December 2013

UGANDA : Enabu and Kabangu give City Oil Finals lead

 By Charles Mutebi

NBL Finals
Best-of-seven series
Men: City Oil 74 Falcons 72
(City Oil lead series 1-0)
Women: KCCA 56 UCU 52
(KCCA lead series 1-0)
Today, Game 2 at Lugogo
Third-place playoff result
Women: Stormers 54 A1 50

Jimmy Enabu and Kami Kabangu have already led City Oil past two favoured opponents in the 2013 National Basketball League (NBL) playoffs.

On Friday at Lugogo, the duet called the tune as City Oil hit the first note in the long and hard process of dismantling the highly-fancied Falcons in the NBL Finals.
  Kabangu snatched 21 points and 11 rebounds and Enabu added 18 points to lead City Oil to a dramatic 74-72 win in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Finals. The second game is on today at Lugogo and if the delicious unpredictability of Game 1 is anything to go by, the fans (who crammed into the indoor stadium on Friday) are in for a real treat .
 With 1:42 seconds left in regulation time, the Falcons were up 71-64 and coasting to a well deserved win but Daniel Juuko scored four of his 10 points as City Oil rallied before tying the game at 72 apiece with 22 seconds left on the clock.
 The Falcons had the chance to regain the lead when Abdullah Ramadan was fouled three seconds later but he missed both on the line. James Okello made the Falcons pay by scoring two on the line to put City Oil 74-72 up with eight seconds on the clock. Ramadan’s attempted three-pointer with five seconds left was blocked by Enabu and City Oil, playing their maiden season in the top-flight, went away with a historic win.
 Stephen Omony grabbed a game-high 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Falcons but the best player in the NBL Playoffs was guilty of missing 11 free throws. In total, the Falcons missed 26 free throws while City Oil missed only 11. Geoff Omondi and Phillip Amweny made 14 and 10 points respectively for the Falcons.

Meanwhile, defending women champions KCCA Leopards condemned the UCU Canons to their first defeat of the season with a 56-52 win in Game 1 of their respective NBL Finals.
 UCU had won 26 in a row but Claire Lamunu had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Martha Soigi added 17 points and 10 boards to help KCCA underline their title aspirations. Maureen Amoding rained in a game-high 25 points and Peace Proscovia made 10 points and 11 rebounds for UCU, who could not have chosen a worse time to lose their first game of 2013.
 Then again, this might be the best medicine for UCU’s rumoured sense of complacency, which is inevitable after going months without losing.

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