09 May 2014

UGANDA : Contenders clash

BASKETBALL: Contenders clash
Power coach Bernes Ankuda.
By Charles Mutebi
National Basketball League
Women: UCU 66 Sparks 49
Men: Warriors 69 Nkumba 57
Women: KIU v A1
Men: Power v City Oil
TIGER Head Power meet City Oil Friday at the YMCA in what is the most eagerly anticipated match of the new National Basketball League (NBL) season.
City Oil are champions and Power the team most likely to dethrone them.
This contest will provide some early clues about Power’s title credentials, which soared after the five-time champions splashed the cash on five signings in March. Bernes Ankuda’s ranks have been beefed up with Phillip Ameny, Ramadan Dullah, Moses Olobo and Francis Odom.
Ivan Enabu is the fifth signing Power made but the skilful point guard has made a dramatic about-face and wants to return to the Warriors. Power say they will not release him without adequate compensation but with or without Enabu, Ankuda’s squad is arguably the best on paper in the NBL.
The signings have more than made up for the emotional loss of all-star guard Ben Komakech to City Oil. Koma has quickly settled into the calm habitat provided by City Oil, a process largely abetted by the team’s big stars.
“All of City Oil’s so-called big players are humble guys and they have all welcomed me,” said Komakech.
The mercurial player led Power to three championships during his six-year stint before electing to join the new champions in the offseason.
Meanwhile, former women champions A1 Challenge take on the KIU Rangers in what they hope will be the first of many victories ahead of a return to the Finals.
“We have signed five girls with a lot of energy so we are targeting the finals this year,” said A1 coach Mavita Ali.

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