Blazers start title chase

David 'Dikong' Deng Kongoror will hope to be first time lucky. PHOTO/ISMAIL KEZAALA 

What you need to know:

Blazers finished top of the regular season log with a 19-5 record while the Panthers needed UCU Canons to defeat Ndejje Angels on the last day to confirm their place in the playoffs.


Namuwongo Blazers head coach Stephen Nyeko is not oblivious to the fact that the difference between regular season and playoffs basketball is like night and day.

And as such, the team’s quarterfinal clash with KCCA Panthers is not one that will be taken lightly despite the obvious gulf in class between the two sides.

Blazers finished top of the regular season log with a 19-5 record while the Panthers needed UCU Canons to defeat Ndejje Angels on the last day to confirm their place in the playoffs.

“There is no walk in the park at this level,” Nyeko told Score.

“There is a reason why teams are sieved and we have eight in the playoffs,” he added.

In reality, though, Brian Wathum’s Panthers will be underdogs in the contest. Their 11-13 record saw them finish eighth and the best team of the regular season awaits.

“I expect resistance from them and I know they are coming hard,” Nyeko, a former Panthers player, noted.

In players like Joseph Ikong, Paul Odong, Saidi Amisi, David Deng and Ariel Okall, Blazers have both quality and depth to make light work of KCCA and the series will be expected to be short.

But, while Wathum appreciates the size of the challenge at hand, he doesn't expect to go down without a fight.

“It’s a tough match up. I mean number one vs. number eight is tough,” Wathum said.

“We have respect for our opponents and obviously our regular season match ups were totally one sided,” he added.

“But we have been practicing hard, trying to strategize and come up with a better game plan for game one.”

The Kasasiro Boys will rely on players like Emmanuel Odongkara, Daniel Gaki and Martin Buluma to attempt an upset in a David vs. Goliath affair.

Having defeated UCU Canons in the regular season second round, the Panthers will be confident of challenging another title contender. 

National Basketball League

Playoffs (Game one) -YMCA, Wandegeya

JKL vs. Nabisunsa -12pm

KIU Rangers vs. Miracle -2pm

Nam Blazers vs. KCCA -4pm

UCU Canons vs. JKL -6pm

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