The more things change, the more they stay the same – at least in the men’s Aziz Damani National Volleyball League.
The last time the men played the final in 2015, Nemostars outlasted Sport-S to win the league despite having been written off by many pundits, as early as regular season, and lost legendary coach Anthony Ndawula.
Nemo have again crawled their way into the final, to meet a high flying Sport-S, after coach Andrew Okapis, let his captain George Aporu loose in the middle in Game Two and Three of the semis against UCU.
“It will come down to which team is more efficient throughout the series,” Okapis opined ahead of the finals that start today at MTN Arena, Lugogo.
“We will come full throttle and since we play the same game as Sport-S, our departments have to function.” Part of Okapis’s plan to make the departments work is to keep Aporu in the middle because “George opens up blocks. When he moves, someone on the other end has to move with him so it is a tactic we might have to maintain.”
Sport-S struggled with reception as they overcame Kampala Amateur Volleyball Club (KAVC) in the semis but their speed of play and blocks were exquisite – that is one other reason Okapis will want to maintain Aporu where he can dictate play and limit the opponent. “George can hurt you anywhere so we cannot prepare thinking he will only play in the middle. We need to be able to cut him and the rest of their team from anywhere,” Sport-S coach Benon Mugisha said.
Meanwhile, VVC lock horns with Nkumba University in the ladies’ final but for Hannnington Nsubuga – the series is also a huge preparation set-up ahead of next year’s Africa Women Club Championships.
“We have tried to work on our reception and blocks ahead of the final. Nkumba are one of the top teams in the league because they managed to edge every other team to make the finals.