Power 89 Warriors 90 (OT)
(Series tied 3-3)
Champions since 2000
Hard as DMark Power strive, they are finding it almost impossible to halt the Kyambogo Warriors juggernaut.
The last two losses in the best-of-seven MTN-Fuba League finals play-offs were hard to take but last night’s at YMCA court, Wandegeya hurts the most because it ensured a decider on Saturday.
Warriors narrowly defeated Power 90-89 in overtime to level the series at 3-all, something that looked improbable last week when the latter needed only one victory to reclaim the crown.
At the end of another Ronnie Kasewu-engineered result, Power skipper Norman Blick and his deputy Isaac Afidra made their feelings known. The duo showed their disgust by verbally attacking umpires Peter Kirabo and Hamza Nyambogo over what they saw as a foul not called on point guard Ben Komakech. The 2008 MVP was attempting a shot in the final four seconds.
Kasewu collected a triple-double of 22 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to continue Warriors’ recovery which hauled them within 40 minutes of a second championship in as many years.
He and his captain Jude Ochen (14) equally shared four three-pointers in overtime when coach Gad Eteu seemed content with only shooting from outside.
It helped the champions nick the ultimate period 12-11 in a relatively even game that did no justice to Blick’s game high 24 points.
Power fell back 17-24 in the first quarter, clinched the next 16-15 and followed it up with a 34-15 blowout in the third. In between the latter two, coach Bernice Ankunda took his players out of YMCA’s noise for a quieter halftime team talk when they had a six-point deficit to make up. He was clearly borrowing from Eteu who did the same against UCU Canons during the semifinals at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.
Komakech (19-4-10) validated the talk by making a shot from the field for Power to lead 78-76 with six seconds on the clock only for Abdullahi Ramadhan (9) to reply sufficiently thereby sending the game into overtime.
Afidra scored 11 points in the losing effort. Surely, this is what dreams are made of.