16 November 2014

UGANDA : UCU seek to defy history on return of centre Owili

Omony (left foreground) and Rumanyika will face off tonight.
Omony (left foreground) and Rumanyika will face off tonight. PHOTO BY Ismail Kezaala. 
By Ismail Dhakaba KigongoKAMPALA
Only one of the eight semifinal slots in the National Basketball League remains. Predictably, it comes down to UCU Canons and Falcons, seeds four and five in the men’s top tier.
The short three-match series has the two level at 1-all with a decisive Game Three at the Lugogo MTN Arena today. History points in one direction.
That Falcons have never lost to UCU in a series is a fact. The record champions beat the university side 2-1 in the 2007 semi-finals and by the same margin at this round last season.
While that history will ring a bell in everyone’s mind, it’s the return of Kenyan centre Desmond Owili from a one-year ban for an altercation with an umpire that will be the headlining act.
Fitting Owili
While Owili was way, Ivan Lumanyika has grown as coach Nicholas Natuhereza’s centre and a contributor with the national team.
Could he use two rim protectors at the same time for long spells? That’s highly unlikely.
The last time Owili played for his side, he scored 18 points but they lost 82-76. Stephen Omony has a message for him: “We have beaten UCU with Desmond there so we can do it again.”
Elungat factor
Of course this series is different from the ones Omony cites especially as Peter Elungat has awoken from his year-long slumber to carry Falcons’ cross.
The forward scored 21 points and 10 rebounds in the 67-63 Game One victory and 14 in the Game Two 80-76 overtime loss.
Ulanga holds aces
UCU may not have that luxury of rotating scoring options. Guard Sudi Ulanga must rise to the occasion.
His series-high 51 points covers up for his conversion rate of 6 for 13 from the field, 4 for 14 from behind the arc and 2 for 8 at the charity line in Game Two.
“What’s better, scoring eight points and we win or 40 and we lose?” he joked. His coach thinks there is more to come.
“We still haven’t played a great game in my opinion. We still need better,” Natuhereza said.
Resurgent Kiviri
Sam Obol maybe a rookie as a coach. His major task is to transfer his wisdom and calm on to Syrus Kiviri in what has been an average for the ex-UCU guard.
Like a man desperate to respond, Kiviri scored 20 points on Tuesday and more of the same from him might validate the old adage: history repeats itself.
Basketball League playoffs
Today at Lugogo
UCU vs Falcons
Game Three at 7pm

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?