16 November 2013

UGANDA : Warriors, Power look to stretch advantages

Warriors, Power look to stretch advantages
Henry Malinga snatched a game-high 26 points. Photo by Michael Nsubuga
 By Charles Mutebi
National Basketball League Playoffs
Women: KCCA 58 Gladiators 32 (KCCA lead series 1-0)
Men: Warriors 76 Falcons 75 (Warriors lead series 1-0)
Game 2 (Sunday)
UCU v A1
KCCA v Gladiators
Power v City Oil
Falcons v Warriors
FUBA Div 1
Women: Crane High v YMCA
Men: Gulu v Diamond
THE Riham Warriors and D’Mark Power can move 2-0 ahead in their respective National Basketball League semi-final playoff series on Sunday at Lugogo.
The Warriors face the Falcons while Power battle City Oil in Game 2 of the two best-of-five semi-finals, which look capable of going the distance. The Warriors took the series lead after rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat the Falcons 76-75 in Game 1.
Henry Malinga snatched a game-high 26 points, including an offensive rebound with nine seconds left in regulation time, which he converted into a three-point play that won the game.
The Falcons had the chance to win it at the death but Steven Tumwesigye’s desperate attempt was blocked by Malinga before time expired.
Ivan Enabu nailed 16 points for the Warriors while Tumwesigye with 12, was one of four Falcons in double digits. Abdullah Ramadan, Steven Omony and Phillip Ameny were the others, with 18, 14 and 13 points respectively.
Defending champions Warriors showed great character in, not only overturning the halftime deficit, but closing a five-point hole in the last minute of regulation. It is that sort of character needed by the Falcons and for that matter City Oil if they are to avoid losing control of the semi-finals.
City Oil lost Game 1 to Power on Wednesday 79-72 but they were without talismanic guard Jimmy Enabu, who was sidelined with illness but will be back for Game 2.
In the women’s semis, defending champions KCCA Leopards and UCU Canons seem bound to meet in the finals for the third successive year after bagging commanding victories in Game 1 of their respective series.
On Sunday, UCU are huge favourites to beat A1 and take a 2-0 series lead while KCCA, who hammered the Gladiators 58-32, in Game 1 on Friday should similarly strengthen their grip with a Game 2 triumph.

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