21 November 2014

UGANDA : UCU-Oilers rivalry blows up into near ‘me-lee’

Kami Kabange of City Oilers blocks Canons’ Brian
Kami Kabange of City Oilers blocks Canons’ Brian Namake during their semi final playoff game at YMCA Wandegeya on Wednesday. Photo by Ismail Kezaala  

KAMPALA- In the 90s, it was Blue Jackets-Charging Rhino-Tiger Head Power and then Falcons. The latter carried that rivalry to the turn of the millennium with Power.
Then Warriors-Power was born as a rivalry from the 2009 National Basketball League final which the former won 3-1. The latter earned revenge in the next two climaxes.
Today, UCU Canons versus City Oilers might just trump any series, even if Warriors and Power are facing off in the other best-of-five semifinal series.
Besides rain washing out their Game One on Wednesday night at YMCA court, the scenes that followed the cancellation point to more than just competitiveness.
It bordered on hate as the two sets of players and management traded insults and tried to get physical. Police had to restrain them.
Champions Oilers had been leading 50-39 with seven minutes to play in a contest that could have passed for a scene from the Trojan War.
You could barely pinpoint an individual from either side who can claim to be innocent except Oilers’ coach Mandy Juruni, just maybe was a saint.
Apologies have been flying back and forth. Juruni’s team must wait to clinch a first league win over UCU having lost four in four and in the final of this year’s UCU Invitational, 65-77.
Their 77-69 win in last year’s UCU Invitational final is the last time they beat the university side and they had a good chance on Wednesday. With the ‘fighting’, it’s now mental.
Today, two former champions Warriors and Tiger Head Power face off in the first Power-Warriors series in three years.
Warriors did the double over Power with two of the best games this regular season, including clawing back a 21-point deficit to beat their rivals 74-71 under a month ago. Two wins won’t be enough, three will do.
Also Boniface Okello’s UCU Lady Canons play Magic Stormers in the ladies semifinals game one.
City Oilers 50-39 UCU (ABANDONED)
KCCA leopards 64-49 A1 Challenge
(KCCA lead best of five series 1-0)
WOMEN: UCU Vs Magic Stormers
MEN: Power Vs Warriors

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