UGANDA : Its Official, the PLAYOFFS are here!! Finally! -An insight by coach Brian Wathum
Ladies and Gentlemen, I gladly announce that the playoffs are finally here. On Friday 29th 2010, Lugogo Indoor Stadium will be set ablaze with the help of 2 important major games in the history of FUBA Basketball; UCU Lady Canons vs KIU Rangers for the 1st in the Women’s Semi Final, followed by a very much anticipated game in the form of Mountain Dew Falcons vs D-Mark power at 8.00 PM.
The next day (30th) will be graced with the all-important derby in Ugandan women’s basketball when KCC Leopards take on A-1 Challenge followed by UCU Canons vs Kyambogo Warriors. One must say the playoffs could not have arrived at a much better time. We will have the opening of the Lugogo Indoor Stadium and Ugandan basketball will once again be graced by the presence of the indoor structure therefore key components like player adaptation to the court and rims is going to play a major factor in whatever game that is played at the new venue. In the second division championship, Gulu Hawks picked a date with Power Heaters and Charging Rhino also matched up with MBC Rocks.
Aside from all of that, many teams are out to correct so many wrongs we talked about earlier. The resurgence of Coach Gad’s team to claw back into the post season was one highlight I must commend. It clearly goes to show you how much teams have got to work and sacrifice in order to reach that hidden goal or agenda. Then Power decided to execute the last game in style and annihilate the rivals for the top spot (UCU) and proudly take the prize at the regular season league leaders. Falcons has been hit with a series of off court issues that honestly should not be characteristic in their season they have had considering they are the team that boasts to having scored the most points and conceded the least amongst the top 4 teams.
The players to look out for; in the first of the Men’s semifinals (Power vs Falcons), this is going to be an interesting game filled with very fast transition and solid defense considering the way both teams play. My go to guys in this series in the Falcons camp have got to be the obvious; Sudi Ulanga has proved time in and time out, he just needed space and time as a guard to mature in Ugandan basketball and clearly he has improved by the turn because he is the Falcons playmaker at the moment. Then this Richie, we all know how much wealth in experience he has as a basketball player, not only does he play impeccable offense, his defense is supreme and he is such an accomplished player that he can play any position he wants on the court!! Luckily or unluckily the only rival he has for such a position belongs to Norman Blick, time in and time out he still wants to prove to us that he deserves a ring with Power and honestly, I believe he does!! His work ethic is unquestionable to at times he has appeared to jump out of his shadow and lead like the Captain he is. Then there’s the metamorphosis of Awel Enabu and the constant need for him to keep learning which has put him up there amongst the guards we have in Uganda. Koma Ben is slowly finding his happy feet and I think we have all come to the stage to which he belongs to, the playoffs. Lastly Ikong Joseph, hmnnn… Only the statistics can speak for themselves and his work ethic too can’t be questioned on court.
In the Warriors-UCU Canons match up, Okias, Ronnie, Dullah, Okwako Martin are some of the arsenal that are available to Coach Gad’s squad. From these players, he has a lot of experience that he can beckon on to bring him to the Promised Land but in the awake of all these scenarios lies one basketball family in his way; the Enabu brothers. Surrounded by the familiar cast of the Mugabe brothers and Dux, stands a UCU team that is poised to make past the semi-final stage in 4 years. The evolution of Jimmy Enabu and his cast has well over been due but that will be the matchup to see.
In the Men 2nd Division, players like Mark, Dickson, Mark (Gulu Hawks), Georgy to mention but a few will be the highlights of the second tier. But all thanks and praise go to all the regular season teams that did not get to the big stage. Now its time to support your favorite team in the playoffs, Good luck goes out to all the participating teams=, thanks for reaching this far. I remain yours;
Coach Brian Wathum