By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo
Ndejje 69-63 Rhino
Sparks 104-48 Mak Cubs
KIU 71-48 Gladiators
Kings 37-42 UCU JV
Diamonds 50-67 Stormers
Sharing 59-53 Air Force
Jackets 53-58 K’la Univ
Ssaku 70-69 Livingstone
Crane High 39-45 Shooters
Playing in the MTN-Fuba League Division One for a third year running has taught Ndejje University Angels some big lessons which Charging Rhino might love to borrow soon.
There was so little to separate the two sides as they clashed on Saturday night until the former’s slight maturity enabled them prevail 69-63 over the newly-promoted side.
In a close game written in the opposing number nine jerseys, it was Cyrus Kiviri who proved decisive as Mark Opio left the game way before the final buzzer on a relatively poor night.
Kiviri scored 16 points and eight assists whereas Opio managed 15 but was betrayed by committing six turnovers.
Ndejje left YMCA court satisfied having improved their season to 4-2. Only Miracle Eagles (6-1), Kyambogo Warriors (5-1) and champions DMark Power (4-1) boast better starts.
“In all the six games we have played, we could have easily ended up 0-6 so it’s a good situation to find ourselves in,” Walker Obedi, the Ndejje coach, said. He could be forgiven for momentarily forgetting that his side still has to play Miracle, Warriors and Falcons (2-3) to wrap up their first round schedule.
It was understandable since they took the first period 16-12 only for Rhino to hit back 16-16 and 20-15 in the subsequent two.
However, like they have done almost all season, Rhino lost colour in the final period for Ndejje to close out the game 22-15.
The latter even had near-perfect shooting of free throws making 15 of 19 as opposed to Rhino managing 15 of 25. In addition, Kiviri can look back at the efforts of Crispin Biko and Jeje Chaka, who both matched his 16-point tally. Herbert Akita (10) was the only one to significantly make an offensive contribution for former champions Rhino.
In the women’s league, Monica Apaco (34) and Helen Tebyasa (22) combined for more than half the tally in Makerere Sparks’ 104-48 rout of sister club Cubs. The win healed Sparks’ nerve-wrecking 44-42 loss to A1 Challenge on Friday.