Basketball

All or nothing for Falcons as Oilers eye first title

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By Ismail D. Kigongo

Posted  Wednesday, December 18  2013 at  00:00

In Summary

Lady Canons and KCCA Leopards welcome back Peace Proscovia and Martha Soigi respectively who have been away for a week playing netball with She Cranes.

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Twelve months after Falcons failed to survive an elimination game in the Castle Lite playoffs finals, they get a chance to correct that today at the MTN Arena, Lugogo.

Trailing 3-2 to Riham Warriors, the record league winners failed to add to their six titles, losing 88-81 in Game Six as the seven-game series wound up 4-2 last year.

They are in the same situation. City Oilers hold a 3-2 series lead, heading into Game Six and Falcons’ resolve will be greatly tested.

“There will be a Game Seven,” Falcons’ talisman Stephen Omony, a series-high 91 points so far, promised.

The 80-76 Game Five loss must have really hurt as Falcons blew a 14-point lead, something that has grown into a concern for both coaches.

If a Game Seven is to happen, Falcons have to do two things: start quickly and learn how close out the game. Don’t bet on the latter as neither team has done it consistently.

Also, both have not won two games in a row and if Oilers manage to do that, a maiden league title will be all that much sweeter.

Oilers, only formed two years ago and subsequently registered in Division Three, have already written a great story.

Coach Mandy Juruni wants his team to rebound better than in the last two games as Falcons ruled the boards with margins of 44-23 and 51-41.

“We need to rebound better than them,” Juruni noted. While Kami Kabange is almost guaranteed a double-double for points and rebounds, Ramadhan Arou is hurting their inside game.

Arou suffered a hamstring problem in the 86-81 Game Four loss and barely played in Sunday’s victory. Samuel Kalwanyi was outstanding off the bench.

His 12 points and 12 rebounds provided the spark. Falcons will watch him closer than in the previous game and must also hope Philip Ameny’s renaissance is real.

After scoring 30 points through the first three games, including one where he had only one rebound, Ameny has 32 points and 12 rebounds in the past two games.

“We need to show will,” coach Gad Eteu added. Desperate to survive until Sunday, Falcons might also throw some spanners.

A less than half-fit Geoff Omondi might return to their back court to ease the burden on Abdullahi Ramadhan whose oscillation from brilliant to poor continues.

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