18 December 2014

UGANDA : Odeke hails KCCA resilience after clinching fourth crown

Akullo (R), the 2007 MVP, sunk Leopards’ winning basket. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA
Akullo (R), the 2007 MVP, sunk Leopards’ winning basket. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 
By Elvis Senono

National basketball league women’s finals
Game 7: KCCA 62-60 UCU Lady Canons
(KCCA win series 4-3)

And so it ended like it began. KCCA Leopards beat UCU Lady Canons 62-60 in Game Seven of the National Basketball League final series to clinch their fourth title on Tuesday night at YMCA.
62-60 was the same score in Game One of the series, which Leopards won before falling 3-1 in the series as Lady Canons threatened to easily run away with a second straight title. But Leopards, champions in 2007, 2009 and 2012, made a remarkable recovery to win three straight games of the series.
“You could say we deserved to win for the courage we showed in coming from 3-1 down,” KCCA coach Timothy Odeke, who has now won three titles with the team said after the decisive game. “After going 3-1 down, some of my players stopped believing but I told them to take it one game at time,” he explained.
UCU bossed the first half of the Tuesday encounter, winning the opening two quarters 19-14 and 20-13. There were huge doubts KCCA could close the 12-point gap at half time. “Their big men bullied us at the start of the game but they were using a lot of energy and in the process tired out,” Odeke explained about his team’s slow start.
Gladly for Odeke, three players, particularly Rebecca Akullo stepped up. The guard scored 21 points on the night including the final shot that sealed the title. KCCA are now level with UCU on four titles but three behind record champions Lady Bucks. “She (Akullo) took charge of the offence while Muhayimina Namuwaya and Jackie Basemera limited them defensively,” Odeke said, picking out the trio for praise.
Claire Lamunu, who averaged a series high 21 points again topped the charts with 24 and picked 12 rebounds complimented by five assists. “I would not be surprised if one of Lamunu or Akullo is chosen as MVP,” Odeke predicted. For UCU, Maureen Amoding scored a team high 18 points with Purity Odhiambo adding 14 while Judith Naansobya was restricted to 11 points.“
We just seemed to run out of steam. This was probably not our time to win,” UCU coach Boniface Okello said in reference to the measly five points that his team managed in the fourth quarter.
2014 - KCCA Leopards
2013 – UCU Lady Canons
2012 – KCCA Leopards
2011 - UCU Lady Canons
2010 – UCU Lady Canons
2009 – KCCA Leopards
2008 – UCU Lady Canons
2007 – KCCA Leopards
2006 – Lady Bucks
2005 – A1 Challenge
2004 – Lady Bucks
2003 – Makerere Sparks
2002 – Lady Bucks
2001 – Lady Bucks
2000 – Lady Bucks
1999 – Lady Bucks
1998 – Lady Bucks

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