KAMPALA. There was obvious disappointment as fans slowly made their way out of the Lugogo MTN Arena on Wednesday evening.
A power outage had just denied them what was shaping up to be a competitive game one of the best-of-five semifinal series between Betway Power and JKL Dolphins.
The latter led 11-6 with 3.52 left on the clock in the first quarter moments after JKL Lady Dolphins had easily dispatched A1’s weak challenge in an 88-68 result.
The blackout which many will be hoping does not reoccur has instead set up a three-course meal with the Power-JKL fixture now rescheduled alongside the second women’s semifinal between rivals KCCA Leopards and UCU Lady Canons.
The two will tip off the day’s action of the Tusker Lite sponsored playoffs, the first time they are meeting in the playoffs before the finals since 2010.
UCU, with centre Vilma Achieng dominant, swept KCCA 4-0 in last season’s playoff final to equal Lady Bucks’ record tally of seven titles.
The two teams however split the regular season meetings with UCU winning 69-62 while KCCA triumphed 66-55.
UCU coach Nicholas Natuhereza is thus expecting a close series. “I expect the series to go down to the small details,” Natuhereza noted after his side brushed aside KIU Rangers 2-0 in the best of three quarterfinals.
Another repeat of last season’s final is on the cards in the other men’s semifinal with KIU looking to get one over City Oilers after last season’s 4-0 loss.
“If the final had happened just after the semifinals maybe we would have performed better. City Oilers were on the other hand preparing for the final by playing in the African Championship,” KIU coach Brian Wathum observed.
A lot has changed since then with City Oilers this season opting against defending their Zone V crown in Tanzania.
Both teams recorded 2-0 series wins in their respective quarterfinal games with City Oilers defeating Sharing Youth while KIU overcame UCU Canons.
JKL Lady Dolphins 88-68 A1 Challenge
(JKL lead best-of-five series 1-0)
TODAY AT LUGOGO
*Game one of best-of-five series
KCCA Leopards vs UCU Canons 5:30pm
Betway Power vs JKL Dolphins 7:30pm
City Oilers vs KIU Titans 9:30pm