15 October 2014

UGANDA : UCU, Falcons in Dicey Clash

The Airtel basketball league resumes tonight with an intriguing encounter.
UCU Canons always win the regular season encounters but Falcons has a habit of triumphing when the two teams meet in the play-offs, writes Felix Eupal.
The Canons made a big statement last Friday when they defeated defending champions City Oilers for the fourth time in row. Nick Natuhereza's UCU charges had started the season with a number of cracks. Not only did they lose key matches to giants such as Power and Warriors, they were shocked by new entrants Diamonds In The Sun.
However, Natuhereza wasn't in any way fazed and he believed that his team would be able to turn around fortunes and all that mattered was making the eight-team play-offs. Now that they have two back-to-back wins over Ndejje Angels and Oilers, Canons have shown they will be a hard nut to crack in the post season. Their record now stands at five losses in 15 outings.
They have been disciplined on defence and are exhibiting a high level of concentration. Those are the attributes that enabled them claw back a 14-point deficit to beat the Oilers. This evening, they go up against the record champions Falcons in what promises to be a tricky tie.
Falcons were on a roll in the first round but haven't been the same in the last few games. Charging Rhino pushed them to the limit and they struggled against Ndejje Angels. They will also have to do without influential forward Emmanuel Ateng, who went to India for studies. Ateng would have given them options outside of the ark and inside the paint.
Falcons head coach Sam Obol is optimistic about his side's chances: "Every game is different and we just have to change our approach because they [Canons] play both an inside and outside game."
For Natuhereza, he will rely on his big men to get the job done.
"In our league, you can't expect a team to shoot all day. So, as long we get them out of the paint, we will have a chance," he told The Observer.
Indeed, Canons' Francis Ogola, Ivan Lumanyika and Joseph Chuma will all have to bring their A game if they are to overcome Falcons. Canons have to consider that they have no time to rest since they play KIU Titans on Sunday and Tiger Head Power next Thursday.
Meanwhile, Fuba signed a partnership deal with national broadcaster UBC, which will air the play-offs live. The deal was signed on Tuesday morning at Mount Zion hotel.

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