Basketball

Title contestants want to cut down on mistakes

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Title contestants want to cut down on mistakes

Falcons’ Dulah (L) tries to stop Jimmy Enabu in Game One of the final. Photo BY Ismail Kezaala. 

By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo

Posted  Wednesday, December 4   2013 at  00:00

In Summary

Despite what has happened thus far, its way too early to play the blame game.

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Today at YMCA
M: Oilers vs. Falcons (8.30pm)
W: KCCA vs. UCU (6.30pm)
(Both series tied at 1-all)

Falcons and City Oilers may not share history right now but have similar concerns ahead of Game Three of the Castle Lite Basketball Playoffs at YMCA Court in Wandegeya.

Both are failing to close out games. Record champions Falcons bossed Game One and led 71-64 with 1.42 to play only to lose 74-72. They missed 26 of 46 free throws.

Oilers, enjoying a fairytale first season in the top flight, returned the favour, throwing away Game Two after pushing Falcons to the wall. Falcons won 84-76 on the back of Abdullahi Ramadhan’s 30 points.

Right in there lies the biggest detriment – inconsistency. Dulah partly cost Falcons with seven points and 10 turnovers in the seven-game series’ opener. However, no one is playing the blame game yet.

“Our concentration on the defensive end must improve,” Falcons’ Stephen Omony said, himself having had an off-day on which he scored only eight points. He was really restricted as coach Mandy Juruni cut out his drive that has accounted for most of his 164 points in nine post-season games thus far.

Omony is far from lethal on both the inside and outside because his wrist remains a bother so shooting the ball hasn’t been an option really.

Oilers feasted on the lack of activity on defence by creating numerous one-on-one situations for the first three quarters only for the six-time champions to switch to zonal defence in the fourth period.

“We lost steam at the end which was a big mistake. We can’t do that again,” Juruni, whose team was outscored 15-30 in the loss, noted.

Most of Ramadhan Arou’s team-high 25 points came when he got an open lane on the baseline to underline how poor Falcons have been on the defensive end of the floor.

An ill Kami Kabangu also had a rare bad game, scoring 13 points and 12 rebounds while converting only 4 of 15 field goals.

Like Juruni, Falcons’ coach Gad Eteu will demand that his star players, starting with centre Philip Ameny, 20 points for the series so far, awake for their mini-slumber.

Probably the biggest worry for Eteu is the conditioning of his players going forward following two relatively tougher series physically against UCU Canons and Riham Warriors to get here.

Guard Geoff Omondi missed Game Two with a groin problem. Power forward Serge Kabangu and Ameny have their legs heavily strapped.

The women’s series also resumes today with champions KCCA leoprads and rivals UCU Lady Canons also tied at 1-apiece and both still without ‘big men’ Martha Soigi and Peace Proscovia respectively.

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