UGANDA : Warriors’ final call


Today at Lugogo
UCU v Warriors (8pm)
Women: A1 v KCC (6pm)
(Both series tied 2-2)

Months of toil and hard work in the MTN-Fuba League will come down to just 40 minutes, or rather two hours, of mental toughness to decide two finalists. A1 Challenge face champions KCC Leopards with a women’s final berth against UCU Lady Canons waiting.
Thereafter, UCU Canons and men’s reigning champions Kyambogo Warriors clash to earn the chance to aim a shot at DMark Power. Both best-of-five semifinal series set for Lugogo Indoor stadium are tied at 2-2.

There has been little to choose between the four sides with the exception of Warriors’ 96-49 blowout of UCU in game three. “This comes from deep down. It’s important that we work very hard in defence. We really want to make the final,” the UCU shooting guard Jimmy Enabu said after game four last Sunday. Since joining the university side from Knight Riders, Jimmy, a younger brother to UCU skipper Ivan Enabu, has been by far their most consistent player in the play-offs. His assertions about defence were evident as UCU returned from the brink of exit to win game four 74-68.

Just like him, another new signing in centre Michael Kariuki, who joined the champions from KIU Titans, has carried Warriors’ cross. Kariuki is expected to play despite injuring his leg in the last defeat. This has forced Warriors’ coach Gad Eteu to demand more from his other stars as UCU lead the head-to-head this season 4-2.

Fingers will definitely be pointed at MVP Ronnie Kasewu, Martin Okwako and veteran guard Abdullahi Ramadhan as the championship winning trio have blown hot and cold. “It’s taken long to have the same attitude (like last year). We must also use our experience at this stage. It’s crucial that we take it from the start and play with our hearts,” Kasewu told Daily Monitor.

In the women’s division, it’s very hard to notice who of either A1 or KCC holds the momentum even though the former have been in so many comfortable positions only to succumb in the penultimate period. Hatima Kassim and Betty Namukasa should be A1’s go-to players. Coach Timothy Odeke’s KCC have struggled in the paint with Miriam Hamala and Annet Nakiwu lacking consistency.