Tiger Head Power matched City Oilers in every sense but fell short in the low scoring first game of the playoffs semifinal on Friday night at YMCA.
Power’s coach Bernes Akunda couldn’t hide his disappointment as they had the champions on the ropes – saying they gave away the game.
Generally it was a good game. I have played against them (City Oilers) and I will give them credit, they win but this one we gave it awayPower game plan was to suffocate the inside and force City Oilers’ big men outside into taking tough shots. With Oilers frontcourt shot a combined 16-of-48 from the floor and it had a lot to do with Power’s interior defense.
“Power were suffocating us on the inside so we need to open up the game but the shots were not falling and we had to find another strategy to try and score. It was not easy scoring against them tonight they came with a lot of energy and I think that played really well for them” Oilers’ coach Mandy Juruni said.
Power were edged 13-11 in the first quarter but responded with a 15-10 second quarter to lead 26-23 at halftime. Power stretched the lead up to 9 points (41-32) midway through the third frame but couldn’t sustain it as Oilers scored 11 unanswered points to close the quarter.
Joseph Ikong (10 points) opened the third quarter with four points as Power take the lead couldn’t sustain it as it was a sea saw through the quarter with game tying four times.
With City Oilers leading 57-56 with under a minute to play, Landry Ndikumana drew the defense to the stripe and threaded a pass to wide open Geoffrey Omondi at the corner and knocked down a big three. Akunda called for a Power time out but Micheal Kojo’s And 1 on return was too little to late.
I am happy for the win but not the performance. Our big players struggled offensively, Jimmy (Enabu), Kami (Kabange), Jeff and Landry but with big players you always expect something from them any time and am glad in the fourth quarter they gave us some crucial points.Sudi Ulanga had team high 17 points for Power and Micheal Makiadi contributed 10 points and game high 14 rebounds. Kojo had 9 points.
Despite the tough night, Kami Kabange scored game high 22 points from 23 shots and picked 13 rebounds. Landry Ndikumana contributed 16 points picked 10 rebounds and assisted 5 baskets