Kampala- Two-time National Basketball League (NBL) champions Riham Warriors watched writhingly as debutants City Oilers sorted Falcons 4-3 in the best of seven series finale to lift their first ever topflight title last year.
The Warriors’ run to what would have been a title defence was ended by resilient Falcons in the playoff semifinals. It hurt the 2012 champions deep.
To change fortunes this year, Warriors have started strengthening by returning hitherto Falcons tactician Gad Eteu, who won the 2009 league title with them, as head coach.
He will be assisted by Canadian Taylor James. “The Gad deal is completed already together with his assistant,” confirmed Warriors CEO Ivan Ntabazi, who also revealed that the coach is coming with two players from Falcons.
“Gad is coming with Philip (Ameny) and Serge (Kabange). We have agreed terms with these players but its (deal) not complete yet.”
Warriors are not done yet, according to Ntabazi. “Norman (Blick) is also back. He is happy to be back with us and with the deal we have offered him. Everything between us and Norman is complete, what is left is only finishing documentation and player registration with Fuba.”
A former Sky Jammers, Nkumba Marines and Miracle Eagles guard, Blick has moved between Warriors and Power twice recently, and has won three of his six league titles with the latter two, the latest being in 2012 with Warriors before he moved to Power.
Enabu, Kiviri, Dulah moving?
Meanwhile, Warriors and Falcons point guards Ivan Enabu and Abdullahi Ramadhan alias Dulah are said to be on their way to DMark Power. Interestingly, Ameny - who Warriors claim to be nearing a deal with, is also strongly linked with Power.
“Right now we are working to finalise our sponsorship but this time next week we will be finalising with Ivan, Dulah and Ameny,” Power coach Bernice Ankunda said. But Ntabazi has vehemently dismissed the Enabu move talk as mere speculation. “As Warriors, we are keeping our best players and strengthening. I can assure you Ivan will not join Power. We can’t stop speculation but that will not happen.”
Ntabazi, also claims UCU point guard Syrus Kiviri is rejoining Warriors and that they have already spoken to the player. But according to UCU coach Nicholas Natuhereza, Kiviri is not about to leave. “I think as of now the Warriors are trying to get a reason to be in the news,” Natuhereza told Daily Monitor.
Kiviri has spent one season with UCU after switching from Warriors in 2013. Natuhereza added: “We have not released him and Warriors has not talked to us about him. As of now he is still a UCU Canon.”
From Power - Norman Blick
Close to joining
From Falcons - Serge Kabange
From Falcons - Phillip Ameny
From UCU -
Could be leaving
To Power - Ivan Enabu
From Falcons - Gad Eteu (Head Coach)
Taylor James – From Falcons (Assistant)