10 December 2014

UGANDA : Dulah vows to fight to the end

Dullah (L), one of few standout performers in the struggling Tiger Power side, rises to lay up past Oilers guard Jeff Omondi recently. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZALA 
By Andrew Mwanguhya
If playing basketball is his forte, play-acting - he loves to call it ‘entertainment; is his specialty.
One moment he will infuriate his opponents by going down holding his leg at an arm’s scratch, and the other; he will have his admirers applaud in awe his spell-binding no-look passes and amusing celebrations. But there was no play-acting when Daily Monitor brought it up to the Tiger Head Power guard Abdallahi Ramadhan aka Dulah that tonight could mark his fourth straight finals without a title.
Power go into tonight’s Game Four of the best-of-seven Pepsi National Basketball League final series trailing City Oilers 3-0. They must win. And having won his only ring in 2009, then with Warriors as they saw off Power 3-1 in the best-of-five final series, Dulah has gone on to lose finales in 2010 with Warriors, plus 2012 and last year with Falcons.
“Sometimes you do your best but it’s important that every player contributes,” says Dulah, 41, “We have let each other down so far but we have talked about it. I really pray to God to give us just this one game. After that, something can happen.”
Power have been pedestrian thus far, with Norman Blick struggling to get into the groove and the rest of coach Bernice Ankunda’s men failing to step up when Paul Odong, Joseph Ikong and Dulah - the few shining stars - have had off-days.
“That’s basketball,” adds Dulah, scorer of 32 points in his last two games, “You can’t light up every time. When you are off, your teammates should stand up. But even when you have an off day, you contribute in different ways, which we haven’t done.”
“When you fail to shoot, do something else… pass and bring your teammates into play, drive in, do something.”
Kami desperate to wrap it
Oilers centre Kami Kabange, alongside Geoff Omondi, Ben Komakech and Jimmy Enabu will be determined to kill it off.
“We have failed to mark Kami (Kabange),” admits Dulah, “You give Kami space and he will kill you with his shooting and rebounds. We have to improve our defence and we must fight to the end.” Kabange, averaging 20 points and eight rebounds in the finals, knows too well the dangers of giving Power another chance at life.
“We have to limit our mistakes because Power know how to capitalise on mistakes,” says the man with one of the cleanest jump shots around. “We must win because momentum can change if we let Power off.”

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