25 August 2012

UGANDA : Warriors swallow bitter Zone V pill

Bako Blick
By ISMAIL DHAKABA KIGONGO (email the author)

Posted Saturday, August 25 2012 at 01:00
In Summary
The disappointments of the past two Airtel National Basketball League finals forced Warriors to do something fundmental about their roster.
Warriors 85-82 Urunani (OT)
Power 76-86 KCB
5/6: Warriors vs. ABC (6pm)
7/8: Savio vs. S. Sudan (2pm)
5/6: Berco vs. Donbosco (4pm)
7th PLACE: Jeshi Stars KAMPALA. Norman Blick (Miracle Eagles) and Cyrus Kiviiri (Ndejje University Angels) were acquired not do more than stem the rot. “We want to build a team that can qualify for the Afrobasket,” Ambrose Tashobya, the Warriors patron, told this newspaper back in April.
That dream required winning the ongoing Fiba Africa Zone V Club Championship. It was crashed inside just four days at the Lugogo MTN Arena. Warriors, Zone V finalists from 2009 here, were knocked despite winning two pool games. They had a tough draw but the problem is bigger than that.
An abysmal 72-56 loss to Rwanda’s Espoir on Monday crowned a very slow start. A 71-59 win over Savio was expected since the Tanzanians lost all their games. Up-stepped the champions Urunani and Warriors edged them 85-82 in overtime, falling seven points short of the needed margin.
Blick sunk two free throws with 3.2 seconds to play to mask his seven points, nine rebounds and 10 turnovers to hand Warriors a lifeline. Thereafter, he fouled out.
Coach Mandy Juruni knows they fell way short of their minimum standards especially in the opener.
“The hoops were alien to us. Practice there prior to the tournament would have made a difference,” Kiviiri, scorer of 25 points against Urunani, noted. The soul searching for Juruni is multi-faceted.

Centre Sam Gombya is far from the finished product. Blick remains off-colour and Ivan Enabu, 18 points on Thursday, still needs work. The absence of Eric Malinga is being felt too. Zone V is playoffs come early. Kiviiri showed his ready but Juruni seems far from prepared.

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