21 April 2011

UGANDA : UCU Canons left in a deep hole

Written by Felix Eupal

When news filtered in last week that the Enabu brothers Ivan and Jimmy had parted ways with UCU Canons and moved to join Kyambogo Warriors and Dmark Power respectively, most basketball enthusiasts were astounded.

Viewed as the glue that held the Canons, basketball enthusiasts never envisaged the Enabus leaving the Mukono-based side. Well, they now have, leaving many Canons fans distraught. But as they cry, Warriors fans are over the moon as typified by their team’s CEO Amborse Tashobya who reckons “no team will be able to stop us with Ivan on our side”.

Last season, Warriors struggled to bring the ball down court because it didn’t have a point guard of substance. They do now. Ivan’s ability to deliver has never been in question. Right from 2002 when he was a teenager with the now defunct Kaboja Secondary School, Ivan always did crazy things with the ball in his hands. He led the school to several championships.

The Enabus’ entire lineage has been basketball marvels. No-one was therefore surprised when Ivan’s younger brother, Jimmy acquitted himself whilst on the court. Together with his big brother, Jimmy picked an average Knight Riders team from the streets of Entebbe and led it to Fuba division one.

That was testament enough for the Canons to grant the pair scholarships, Ivan in 2007 and Jimmy last year. But with this talent and award cabinet filled with so many accolades, the one most important medal missing was the Fuba league winner’s medal.

It is because of that that the Enabus parted ways with the varsity side. “UCU have many players who can win them a title, I’m not saying I will not miss playing for them but with Warriors I have a better chance of winning the title,” Ivan confesses.

A title medal could just be one of the reasons. Despite both club and player being tightlipped about the details of the two-year contract, sources at the Warriors confirm that Tashobya almost had to break a bank to get Ivan’s services. Is it true? Was money a big factor? “All I can tell you is that the deal was so good I couldn’t turn it down,” he says.
The combination of Enabu and Ronnie Kasewu will definitely give Warriors the most explosive guarding force in the league. Whether new coach Mandy Juruni can harness the resources available remains to be seen though.
Warriors have always struggled to make their sixth man count, and Juruni doesn’t look likely to stop this. Elsewhere, Power with coaching problems of its own will be hoping Jimmy’s combination with the youngest of the Enabus – Emmanuel – pays dividends. Last season, Emmanuel dismantled defenses with his lightning speed.

In Jimmy, Power believes that they have the perfect replacement for Norman Blick who walked out on the club last month.

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