04 December 2014

UGANDA : UCU Canons choke again

UCU Canons are not made for finals, are they? For a team that has lost six semifinal series in eight years, collapsing at this time of the year seems inevitable. “You cannot say that,” their coach Nicholas Natuhereza, looking disappointed but tough to the bone, said. “Perhaps, we thought it would be easier.”
UCU took a 2-0 series lead. They had three chances and only needed one. Faced with a seven-match losing streak to UCU, champions City Oilers trimmed that with a gritty 70-58 result.
They showed the gulf in a 72-50 rout in Game Four and completed the job with a controlled 71-61 win. Oilers just had too many options as UCU succumbed 3-2.
It may not be wrong to say UCU won seven irrelevant games and Oilers took the three most important ones. “You know basketball is a game of momentum so it’s not done,” shooting guard Sudi Ulanga had warned. The prognosis starts with him.
Ulanga was averaging 22.5 points in the 69-66 and 61-56 victories. Some good defence and poor offense reduced him to 10, 11 and 16 in the defeats. He choked too. “Their options on offense made it hard,” Natuhereza said. “We probably didn’t have as many options on offense as they do.” For Oilers, Kami Kabange started the series averaging 25 points in the first two games with Ben Komakech on 10.
In the final two elimination games, Jimmy Enabu made 46. Komakech finished the series on 10, 20 and 17, the latter coming with 10 rebounds and nine assists. That depth told.
Besides Ulanga, Desmond Owili and Ivan Lumanyika faded when the going got tough.

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