16 November 2015

UGANDA : UCU Canons vs. KIU Titans preview | NBL Playoffs

UCU Canons' Desmond Owili posts up KIU's Donat during the league duel at UCU Photo Credits: UCU Basketball UCU Canons' Desmond Owili posts up KIU's Donat during the league duel at UCU
M: UCU Canons vs. KIU Titans 8:00pm, YMCA
W: UCU Lady Canons vs. A1 Challenge 6:00pm, YMCA
In the off season, UCU Canons lost their best scorer for the past couple of seasons Sudi Ulanga to Power.
At the first look it was easy to think nearly half UCU’s scoring ability had been taken away but on reflection – when you put into perspective the two or three screens a defender had to go through to contest Ulanga’s 3-point shot, you are tempted to think otherwise.
Well, that doesn’t matter now as head coach, Nick Natuhereza spread his team’s scoring responsibility which got him a second seed finish in the normal season.
Unlike last year when they face Falcons, UCU Canons rolled over Our Saviour to make the playoffs semifinal. In sweeping aside Our Saviour, Canons set up a show down with KIU Titans who saw off Warriors in three games.
“We are ready! We wait for this every year. This is the stage we work and prepare for every year” Natuhereza said.
In UCU Canons, the Titans will face a side with fresh youthful legs and a team that scores on transition and coach Hamza Nyambogo acknowledges the strength of the Canons who will be a different ball game and believes his team will step it  
“We will step it up. UCU are a good team and it will be a good series which will be about who can handle the nerves and pressure of the games” With two very good out side shooters in Innocent Odur and Steven Wundi as well as size down low in Ivan Lumanyika, Desmond Owili and Fadir Chuma, KIU's coach has a lot to ponder about in trying to contain the offensive threat UCU posses.
Key Players
For KIU it has to be Samuel Agutu. While other players have had ups and downs, Agutu has been KIU's most consistent player. How he goes around the defense UCU's Brian Namake who has had an MVP season will go a long way in helping Titans get winning start to the series.
namake vs agutu
UCU's Brian Namake (R) takes on Samuel Agutu during the regular season game played at UCU (Photo Credits: UCU Basketball)
For UCU Canons, it certainly has to be Brian Namake. The small forward is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league and without doubt he will be in the face of Agutu and Norman Blick all night. Namake has great vision and passing abilities will go a long way in helping the Canons' bigs light up the score board.

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