08 February 2014

UGANDA : Fuba awards: Oilers, UCU star players expected to dominate

Kampala- It’s the night which basketball missed last year. The reasons were obvious – Fuba just couldn’t afford it.
The outstanding performers from 2012 received their plaques on the Lugogo MTN Arena floor. That didn’t make the winners less deserving but a culture was tampered with.
Dinner wasn’t served. It will be served in a glamorous ceremony tonight at the Imperial Royale Hotel with the 2013 playoffs Most Valuable Player (MVP) award attracting the most attention. Every basketball league or culture is defined by this award. The City Oilers’ pair of Kami Kabange and Jimmy Enabu should be the only ones in the running in the men’s category.Kabange, a centre, and shooting guard Enabu led the topflight league’s newest team to their maiden championship on the first attempt, beating Falcons 72-64 in Game 7 for a 4-3 series victory.Kabange averaged 18.4 points and 10.5 rebounds through the seven games. Enabu missed Game One of the finals but had an average of 17.6 points in the six he featured in.
Fans even chanted “MVP MVP MVP” as Enabu took free throws in the dying stages of the ultimate clash against Falcons last December. Had it been Kabange in that position, the same chants would be appropriate. Doesn’t that feel like a one-horse race, at least as per the numbers? The Fuba technical committee will decide that well aware of Enabu having won the journalists’ gong as basketball player of the year.
Losing finalist
Falcons’ Stephen Omony would have shared the stage had he ended up on the right side of history and not as a losing finalist for two years running.Similarly, the women’s award seems destined to a UCU Lady Canon as their team reclaimed the crown in six games, beating KCCA Leopards. Teammates Peace Proscovia, Maureen Amoding and Purity Odhiambo will compete for the women’s equivalent.Besides the postseason accolades, there are regular season awards too. UCU Canons’ Suudi Ulanga could give the Oilers’ duo a fight for the regular season gong. KCCA’s Claire Lamunu should be favourite for the regular season accolade.
Top scorers, best coaches, best defenses and most disciplined teams across the four divisions of basketball will also be recognized superseding an Annual General Meeting at Kati Kati Restaurant this morning.By the end of the night, the raging transfer rumours and the start of the annual Friday Night Lights Basketball Season Four will be temporarily forgotten.The debate will shift to whether the winners actually deserved their recognition.
2012: Norman Blick (Warriors, men) Flavia Oketcho (KCCA, women)
2011: Isaac Afidra (Power) Purity Odhiambo (UCU Lady Canons) 
2010: Ben Komakech (Power) Maureen Amoding (UCU) 
2009: Ronnie Kasewu (Warriors) Miriam Hamala (KCCA) 
2008: Ben Komakech (Power) Flavia Oketcho (UCU)
2007: Henry Malinga (Falcons) Linda Tamale (KCCA)

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