Namuwongo target instant NBL blaze

Friday May 1 2020

Nam Blazers hurdle at the UCU Open in March

Nam Blazers hurdle at the UCU Open in March this year. PHOTO BY ELVIS SENONO 


At least one of the two promoted teams to the National Basketball League (NBL) over the past four seasons has survived relegation.
That was the initial target for Namuwongo Blazers popularly known as ‘Nam Blazers’ after they clinched promotion after edging Old Tymers 2-1 in their best of three playoff semifinal series in October last year.

But a major shot in the arm from a soon to be announced sponsor helped raise their ambition that sees the Namuwongo-based side fancying a deep run into the playoffs when the NBL tips off after the current Covid-19 pandemic.
“At first it was fighting relegation but with the new recruitments we cannot undermine them. Our target has got to shoot up to fighting for a playoff spot,” stated Stephen Nyeko the Nam Blazers coach.

Reason for his confidence was the acquisitions of several experienced NBL players including national team Silverbacks guard Syrus Kiviiri.
Kiviiri who is also the reigning regular season MVP has linked up with former Betway Power teammates Fahmy Sebatindira and Paul Odong.
The guards are joined by veteran Michael Kojo, Derrick Katumba, Daniel Monoja, and Emmanuel Okumu.

“We were looking at discipline and the positions we were lacking in. What people don’t know is that the moment we went up we had a couple of players that left us. One of the players we had Emmanuel Makuei was on loan for a season from City Oilers. So when he left that made our frontcourt weak. The point guard Ruai Luak from Kibuli also left us for City Oilers so we had to look at the different positions and fill in the gaps,” Nyeko further explained.

He, however, dispelled the notion that the team known for a community based approach is now bound to lose their identity that has seen them use players mostly from areas around Namuwongo since they entered the lesgue structure in 2015.

“We still have several players from last season’s team and we also had plans of entering another team in the lower division. Our request is however yet to be granted,” added Nyeko. Among the long serving players still at the club include Ronnie Mureeba, John Balinya and John Bhan.