The two most supported teams in local basketball – Tiger Head Power and Warriors – have had contrasting starts to the Airtel National Basketball League.
Power’s narrow 82-81 loss to champions City Oilers early last month is fading with every victory as they look to match the hype of being title contenders.
Add Sunday’s 75-69 win over Falcons, losing finalists in the past two seasons, and you know Power are doing just fine.
Warriors are living dangerously. Defeat today, against UCU Canons at YMCA court, would be a third in a row.
That would be catastrophic even if the two-time champions are from pressing the panic button. It would be ill-advised for UCU to take them for granted.
“Those (Warriors’) stats don’t count,” UCU coach Nicholas Natuhereza said. He is perhaps aware of their only loss this season, to Charging Rhino, was totally unsighted.
They would want centre Ivan Rumanyika to continue playing as good he has recently. He scored 17 points and 13 rebounds in the 73-71 overtime victory over KIU Titans.
Joseph Chuma is also expected to continue improving as his jump-shooting has become an out-of-jail card for the team.
Warriors’ coach Gad Eteu remains adamant it’s too early to sound the emergency bells. They must continue to feed off the experience of Ronnie Kasewu, Henry Malinga and Jude Ochen.
Meanwhile, Norman Blick sunk three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter for 20 points to propel Power to a deserved victory against an impressive Falcons on Sunday night.
Syrus Kiviri scored a futile 17 before fouling out but Falcons will know the margin was bigger than it should have been even if it’s scanty consolation.
TODAY AT YMCA
Warriors vs UCU (7.30pm)
Ndejje vs Sharing (3.30pm)
A1 vs Nkumba (5.30pm)
SELECTED RESULTS FROM WEEKEND
Falcons 69-75 Power
Nkumba 48-72 Vegetarian
UCU 56-42 Stormers
KCCA 106-9 Crane High