UGANDA : UCU win Fuba title, Power made to wait
A1 Challenge 61-69 UCU
(UCU clinch series 4-0)
Warriors v Power (washed out)
Today at YMCA
Warriors v Power (7pm)
(Power lead series 3-0)
The rain came a little too late on Wednesday night for A1 Challenge to prolong their fight in the best-of-seven MTN-Fuba League finals.
Whereas the late men’s Division One contest between Kyambogo Warriors and DMark Power was washed out, UCU Lady Canons overcame a tardy surge from A1 Challenge to defeat the latter 69-61 at YMCA.
That result gave UCU a rare 4-0 series clean sweep and a second league title in three years. By the end of the third quarter, the champagne could have been popped with the university team holding a 10-point advantage.
“I can’t say it’s been so easy but the entire team worked hard to make it look that way,” UCU captain Frances Nabulobi said after the team danced for several minutes much to the delight of the big crowd before receiving their trophy.
Nabulobi, a former three-time league top scorer, made nine points and seven rebounds for UCU to take two of the opening three periods 11-13, 18-11, 23-19.
It was a testimony of how Mandy Juruni has improved the side in terms of speed following last year’s semifinal exit. Just like she has been all year, Lorraine Akinyi capped a memorable season with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Anastasia Njeri made 14 points and was one board short of a double-double.
Thankful to God
“Everyone in this team has made us the best. We remain thankful to God who enabled us achieve our target,” Nabulobi added in applauding the contributions of Maureen Amoding (15 points) and Brenda Mbone (13).
A1 Challenge, now losing finalists for four straight seasons, had almost reversed their familiar pattern of running out of steam in final two quarters. Coach Hamza Nyambogo’s side edged the fourth 18-17.
Hatima Kassim fought hard for her 15 points and seven rebounds. That couldn’t heal this failure though and remedies for a first crown since 2005 might be hard to find.
“After this, we prefer to look at the future and restructure the team to make it more compatible with the game now,” A1 Challenge workhorse Mavita Ali (7) said.
“We are just not doing the right things and keep making the same mistakes.” Warriors-Power will have to re-do game four this evening. Trailing 3-0 in the series, Warriors led 13-11 before rain brought about a pre-mature end.
Warriors outclassed Power 4-1 in last year’s final series but have completely failed to recoup their form this term.