06 December 2013

UGANDA : Falcons’ margin for error lessens

Basketball: Falcons’ margin for error lessens
Kabange (R) shoots over Falcons’ Herbert Arkhita (L) on Wednesday. Photo by Ismail Kezaala. 

A team of Falcons’ experience should not flinch at going 2-1 down in a best-of-seven series against newcomers City Oilers.
But after a listless show in Game Three of the 2013 finals at YMCA on Wednesday night, Falcons find themselves teetering on the brink.
It was apparent after the opening quarter that Gad Eteu’s side were not up for the challenge.
And once Oilers stretched the margin to 28-12, itwas clear that the game had the markings of a blowout.                
Falcons were out of their depth. If you flip the coin, Oilers were certainly immense. And they deserve their due credit.
However, it was mostly a Falcons no-show.
After two close games that were split, Game Three was anything but.
Abdullahi ‘Dulah’ Ramadhan was at his most infuriating for Falcons fans, turning over the ball six times at critical momemts and duly getting punished by Oilers breaks.
When a team has players with the intelligence and speed of mind of Jimmy Enabu (19 points) and Kami Kabange (31 points), you can’t afford to turn over the ball as much as Falcons did. Oilers controlled both boards, rebounding strongly and dominating second chance points.Oilers’ screening has arguably been one of their strongest weapons, together with their rotation of the ball.
 All through, Falcons rarely cut the deficit to a single digit.

Fouling out
At the close of the third quarter, it was 56-42 in Oilers’ favour. Then early in the fourth, Philip Ameny picked his fourth foul. He later fouled out.
Shortly after, up stepped Daniel ‘Najja’ Juuko with two threes to effectively end any hopes Falcons had of mounting a comeback.
Point Guard Juuko has been Oilers’ silent weapon, running the offense astutely and facilitating teammates.
By the time the game ended 83-73, Steve Omony had fouled out too. Game Four today will be far more important for Falcons than Oilers. Lose and they will be one defeat away from handing Oilers their first title. Win and the series will guarantee a minimum of six games.

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