Falcons wander into unknown

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Falcons’ players leave the court after losing Game 7 of this year’s series to City Oilers.

Falcons’ players leave the court after losing Game 7 of this year’s series to City Oilers. photo BY Ismail Kezaala. 


Posted  Tuesday, December 17  2013 at  02:00

Two finals in two years should feel like an achievement for any team, including Uganda’s most successful basketball team, Falcons.

After all, until last year, Falcons had not been to the final in four years, losing to Riham Warriors. The only way to rectify that was to make another run to the final.

Despite a forgettable regular season where they finished seventh thanks largely to management strife, the six-time champions picked up the pieces to return to the final.

Beating second-seeded UCU Canons and third-seeds Warriors enroute confirmed them as favourites against newcomers City Oilers only to lose 4-3 in the finals.

Unlike last year, this defeat feels different. “I am not that disappointed with all we have gone through,” coach Gad Eteu said. “Last year, I was more disappointed.”
Eteu was only describing the extremely visible mood after the buzzer. They have gone through so much over the past eight months. Eteu was reportedly sacked an re-instated.

Players not being paid was a public secret. At some point, guard Geoff Omondi and power forward Serge Kabangu even boycotted games. Club president Dennis Mbidde became less visible at games only to return in the playoffs as rumours shrouded the ownership of club with lawyer Robert Kagoro reportedly in charge.

It’s close to impossible to find someone who speaks officially on behalf of the club. Nothing is black or white and Falcons remain a club whose immediate and long term future are clouded in mystery.

Perhaps, centre Philip Ameny put it in the best way. “I don’t care what happens after today. We did our best,” the Kenyan said.