Sombre mood as City Oilers play KIU Titans
Posted Friday, September 27 2013 at 01:00
KAMPALA- As City Oilers prepare to face off with KIU Titans and Nkumba Marines play Charging Rhino at Lugogo this evening, it will be difficult for anyone associated with basketball in the country not to spare a thought for D-Mark Power and especially their coach Bernes Ankunda.
Ankunda lost his wife at the weekend and burial is set for tomorrow in Nairobi.
Kate Wanjiku Ankunda’s demise has prompted the decision to have City Oilers and not Power play KIU today. Power played on Wednesday and won 67-51 against Vegetarians but it was clear the players’ minds were elsewhere. From missed lay-ups to the consistent turnovers, Power were just intent on seeing out the game.
“We have obviously not trained since Saturday,” Power’s forward Isaac Afidra told the Daily Monitor after the game.
Local basketball governing body, Fuba, has predictably postponed Power’s second game of the week, paving way for what should be an entertaining fixture when fourth-placed City Oilers play KIU in the last of the two fixtures at Lugogo tonight.
City Oilers coach Mande Juruni though, says his side will not be affected by the sudden change of fixtures. ‘’We have been training normally and we are not bothered about which opponent we face,” Juruni said yesterday. “The only slight worry is that Andrew Opio is down with malaria.
One player Juruni cannot afford to lose as the Oilers prepare to feature in the play-offs for the first time at this level is Kami Kabange. The big Rwandese centre who is among the favourites for the regular season MVP accolade has at times single-handedly carried Oilers. But Juruni feels general team effort has helped Oilers match the topflight division’s best.
“We are not a one-man team,” Juruni frequently argues. “You can’t underestimate the contribution of players like Arou Ramadhan and Jimmy Enabu.” KIU, with an 11-6 record will certainly be no pushovers as they aim to displace Falcons who currently occupy sixth spot.
The night’s other game (Marines and Charging Rhino) pits teams with an identical record of 4-14.
TODAY -LUGOGO FIXTURES
KIU Titans vs. City Oilers (8.30pm)
N. Marines vs. C. Rhinos (6.30pm)
Power 67-51 Vegetarians
Ndejje Angels 75- 63 Miracle Eagles