25 November 2014

UGANDA : Oilers reeling as Canons extend lead

UCU’s Sudi Ulanga evades Jimmy Enabu of City Oil during the second semi-final playoffs at the MTN Arena Lugogo on Sunday. Photo by Ismail Kezaala 
It’s not the 2-0 margin that must cause Mandy Juruni anxiety. It’s the manner of those defeats that must raise grave concerns for the City Oilers coach.
In two semifinal games, champions City Oilers have looked like a team in a rush to find the exit door. An unrelenting UCU Canons want to tear their carcass apart.
They will get that chance tomorrow after Sunday’s wire-to-wire 61-56 win at the Lugogo MTN Arena on the back of Sudi Ulanga’s 21 points. Not even a late flurry of baskets to cut into UCU’s 49-25 periphery at the start of the fourth will be a cause of optimism for Oilers.
A sweep looks a certainty after handing Oilers a sixth successive league loss and seventh in all.
“It’s not going our way,” Oilers coach Juruni said. “We will keep fighting.”
Despite only five Oilers scoring, they punched UCU into a corner. But, calling most of the latter’s scoring ‘garbage time points’ wouldn’t be farfetched.
Their offense has collapsed and Kami Kabenge looks like a lone ranger for long periods with the UCU inside players making it as hard as they can for the reigning MVP.
After his 27 points and nine rebounds in 69-66 Game One loss on Saturday, Kabange had 23 in Game Two 24 hours later. He is averaging 25 whereas Ulanga is on 22.5.
Ulanga has received support from ther entire cast.
A returning Desmond Owili had 15 points and seven rebounds on Sunday, just after Ivan Lumanyika’s 11 and 18 a day earlier.
Owili and Lumanyika have sparked a 91-53 rebound advantage! Also in stark contrast, Jimmy Enabu’s 15 points, two more than he managed in Game One, are too few to beat a good team.
Besides Enabu’s 28, Geoff Omondi has six and Ben Komakech is on 10 for the series. No wonder most fans left after this game as Tiger Head Power’s fight back was watched by a handful. Power defied Henry Malinga’s 29 points to beat Warriors 71-65 and level the other men’s semifinal series at 1-all.
In the women’s division, another KCCA Leopards-UCU Lady Canons final is almost certain even if the latter were made to work for their 68-65 win over Magic Stormers. They lead 2-0 with former MVP Maureen Amoding averaging 19.5 points. Power-Warriors and UCU-A1 resume their exchanges today at YMCA.
Power 71-65 Warriors
(Series tied 1-all)
UCU 61-56 Oilers
(UCU lead series 2-0)
KCCA 66-36 A1
Stormers 65-68 UCU
(KCCA and UCU lead series 2-0)
Warriors vs Power
UCU vs Stormers

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