20 October 2009

UGANDA : Sparks, Angels give up

by Sande Bashaija

Sunday results
Mak Cubs 52-65 Rangers
Rangers 81-74 Sparks
Crane High 78-99 Rhino
Ndejje 90-107 Marines

Former women champions Makerere Sparks will have to wait for yet another year before they can play in the MTN-Fuba League play-offs.

Winners in 2003, Sparks have not made the postseason since 2006. Under Sam Obol’s watchful eye, Sparks looked rejuvenated and hopes were high in their camp that finally, they would rub shoulders with the big three.

That hope was washed away over the weekend when they failed to beat KIU Rangers at YMCA Wandegeya. Victory would have kept Obol’s side in line to finish fourth but a big crowd watched helplessly as they went down 74-81.

Their fighting spirit, however, didn’t go unnoticed. Outplayed 41-21 in the first half, Sparks rallied to cut Rangers’ lead to one point (62-63) at some stage but a couple of errors curtailed their efforts. Sparks will thus be relegated to a cheering role as KCC Leopards, A-1 Challenge, Rangers and champions UCU Canons battle it out for the championship.

Same with men’s side Ndejje Angels, whose pursuit for a play-offs slot was shattered by a 107-90 loss to Marines. “Its disappointing but since its our first season in the topflight, there is hope that we can do better next year,” Angels coach Walker Obedi said.

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