02 December 2014

UGANDA : Ikong’s Power outlasts Warriors to storm final

Henry Malinga of Warriors blocks Philip Ameny of Tiger Head Power during game four of the Fuba League semi-finals playoffs at YMCA Wandegeya. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 
By Elvis SenonoKAMPALA. At a time they needed it the most, Warriors failed to summon enough strength in the final quarter to hand Tiger Head Power a 3-2 series victory and a place in the finals of the National Basketball League.
Warriors managed a measly six points in the final period as Power led by Joseph Ikong’s 22 points won the final game of the best of five series 70-65 at the Lugogo MTN Arena on Sunday.
Michael Kojo instigated a fast start for Power, scoring 13 points, eight in the first quarter as well as picking 17 rebounds against Warriors whose lack of inside presence was glaring.
Ikong also added 10 rebounds for Bernes Ankunda’s team as they out rebounded their opponents 55-42.
Mark Opio scored a game high 25 points and together with Steven Okias (12) steered the fight back for Warriors, who led 59-53 going into the final period.
No other Warriors player managed double figures for Gad Eteu’s team which made 26 turnovers compared to Power’s 20 with Ivan Enabu contributing eight, and a series low three points in nearly 13 minutes.
Old guard Abdulahi Ramadhan also chipped in with 13 points as Power returned to the first final since 2011 when they won the series a 4-3 over the same opponents.
Only Sudi Ulanga took time to tap the hands of City Oilers before Game Four of UCU Canons’ semifinal series with champions City Oilers.
It was a total snub, similar to Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi, Wayne Bridge vs John Terry and Luis Suarez vs Patrice Evra, to mention but a few.
With UCU-Oilers bordering hatred, that handshake, underrated or overrated, hasn’t happened for four games as the latter have clawed back from a 2-0 deficit to level the series at 2-all.
How important is a handshake to sportsmen? “Well, it depends,” Nicholas Natuhereza, the UCU coach said. “If the game is played in good spirit, then the handshake is fine.”
“Teams should congratulate each other but we shouldn’t force teams to shake hands after the game. Sportsmanship should be either away, not only for the team that has won to walk across.
“The handshake shows a good spirit in the game but should be earned but if the game is not played in good spirit then the essence is lost. The rest is pretence which I am not good at.”
Coach Mandy Juruni’s opines. “They won’t accept (the handshake).” Does is bother him now? “No, as long we do what is right (on the floor.
Natuhereza has an explanation as to why they walked away as Oilers approached.
“We left the court to avoid any situations that I know Fuba has no capacity to handle,” he responded

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