What you need to know:
- Saidi Amisi, who is one of the team’s best players, started on the bench against UCU and came off to lead the Blazers with 15 points in 11 minutes.
Last week, Namuwongo Blazers head coach Stephen Nyeko told us that his charges have eyes on the prize.
Losing four games in the first round, however, is not something common with teams challenging for the championship.
The weekend that started with a 66-62 loss to fellow contenders UCU Canons on Friday night ended with a 73-67 defeat at the hands of UPDF Tomahawks.
The two games continued to expose the adjustments the Blazers must make. First, the senior players of the team struggled to execute.
Point guard Daniel Juuko knows too well his new side must do better to stop his former side from winning an eighth straight championship.
“We failed to play as a team against UCU,” he told Daily Monitor. “We moved with them neck to neck the entire game but lost it in the last 40 seconds,” he added.
When Jerry Kayanga converted two free throws to give UCU a 64-62 lead with 29 seconds on the clock, the Blazers called for a timeout to get a score.
But, when the inbound reached Juuko and he attempted to go to the right corner where Paul Odong was stationed, the small forward had a different idea.
UCU applied pressure and Sudi Ulanga got a steal, releasing Peter Sifuma who put it in to create a four-point difference with 10 seconds on the clock.
“It was a tough weekend for us but on the other hand, I think we played good defense as a team against UCU. I think the Saturday game, most guys were tired and others injured.
Saidi Amisi, who is one of the team’s best players, started on the bench against UCU and came off to lead the Blazers with 15 points in 11 minutes.
The Blazers have had Ariel Okall cleared to play and are still waiting on David Deng to return from South Sudan to beef up the squad.
The two add length and offence to the side and should make the Blazers a better side. “I know we shall be a different side in the second round,” Juuko vowed.
NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE
UCU Canons 66-62 Nam Blazers
UPDF 73-67 Nam Blazers