NBL Playoffs postponement leaves clubs searching for options

Thursday October 3 2019

Games postponed. Francis Mbuyi of KCCA Men aims

Games postponed. Francis Mbuyi of KCCA Men aims for the basket against UCU Canons during a past Fuba league game at YMCA Wandegeya. Photo by Ismail Kezaala. 

By ELVIS SENONO

There will be close to two months between the quarterfinals and semifinals of the National Basketball League playoffs.

This is after domestic basketball governing body Fuba announced postponement of the playoffs owing to a number of international engagements on the calendar.

The situation is particularly expected to bite clubs without players on international duty including Warriors, KIU Rangers and Betway Power

“It is difficult to keep players in the best shape. Even the number of teams that we would have played warm up games have reduced as their respective seasons have ended,” Betway Power coach Boniface Okello opined.

Most importantly for UCU Canons coach Nicholas Natuhereza who has two teams left in the men and women’s competition, momentum will be lost.

“We are in a tough spot. Given all the activities going on it’s the only sensible thing to do.
There needs to be much better planning since some of these activities are in most cases anticipated,” Natuhereza explained.

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The playoffs were due to start this Friday but a series of activities including the 3x3 U23 FIBA World Cup that is already underway in Lanzhou, China have now led to the postponement.

UCU Lady Canons have Sarah Ageno and Abey Priscilla on the team while JKL Lady Dolphins have Ritah Imanishimwe.

These are expected to return on October 8.

They will then travel alongside a men’s team, that includes two City Oilers players (Ivan Muhwezi and Tonny Drileba) and one UCU Canons player (Fayed Bbale), for the World Beach Games (men and women) in Doha, Qatar.

The tournament will run from October 12th -16th.

City Oilers will also be engaged in the Basketball Africa League (BAL) Qualifiers slated for October 12-16 in Dar el Salaam, Tanzania.

JKL Lady Dolphins will also be travelling to Dar el Salaam for the Women’s Zone 5 tournament that runs from October 21-26

UCU will also field two teams at the 3x3 University World Championship and this means the series involving the two sides cannot go on.

Uganda will then host the FIBA 3X3 Africa Cup between November 7-11 in Kampala.

Federation president Nasser Sserunjogi revealed that the tight schedule only meant that adjustments had to be made.

“The schedule is quite tight and it is going to be very hard for us to have these games consistently so we have thought it wise to start on November 15. We expect that by then all the teams and players will be available to give the fans the most entertaining basketball action,” he said.