UCU, KIU square off in basketball league

Action in the national basketball league continues June 24, 2022. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The UCU Canons bounced back from losses to City Oilers and KCCA by defeating Power in their last game.

KIU Titans have struggled to live with the big boys this season. Teams like today’s opponents UCU Canons, City Oilers, Power and Namuwongo Blazers all ran away with wins over the Kansanga outfit in the first half of the season.

And yet, for head coach Julius Lutwama, talk about winning a first ever championship for the university side remains relevant regardless of the challenges.

“Every team wants to compete and win championships and that is what we are up to,” Lutwama told Monitor ahead of tonight’s clash.

The first round encounter might have gone to the Canons but it was far from easy for Nicholas Natuhereza’s charges, who struggled to shoot the ball in that 74-66 win at YMCA, Wandegeya.

“Preparations are very important for a team. We had just started rebuilding when we played them so it was tough,” the tactician revealed.

“We had players who hadn’t played in NBL before and were still trying to put pieces together. Former UCU Canons’ shooting guard Isaiah Ater is one of the players the Titans added for the second round. Like Henry Okoth, who was six-of-13 from three-point range, the South Sudanese is a threat from beyond the arc.

Ahmed Kassa and Edgar Munaba are the other players who stepped up to be counted in the green of KIU.

But against a Canons team looking to go on another good run following two losses to start the second round, the job doesn’t get any tougher for Lutwama and his troops.

“We are going to compete with a well structured team that has now been together for a while.
“They have a good coach too. “But we are a much better side than we were in the first round.” 

The Canons bounced back from losses to City Oilers and KCCA by defeating Power in their last game. Still without star point guard Fayed Bbale, the Canons continue to rely on Jerry Kayanga, Lwabaga Ibanda and Peter Sifuma for offense. Team captain Titus Lual has struggled to execute on offense all season while Fadhil Chuma continues to blow hot and cold.

In the ladies’ category, UCU Lady Canons will be out to end JKL Lady Dolphins’ unbeaten run. Henry Malinga’s charges have won their opening nine games of the season as they aim to win a third successive championship.

The Lady Canons were shocked by Angels and their 9-3 record has left more questions than answers as to whether they can put up a fight and beat JKL to the title this year.

NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE - PLAYING TODAY

W -JKL vs. UCU -6.30pm
M -UCU Canons  vs.  KIU Titans-8.30pm
Wednesday results 
M -Victoria 69-62 JKL
M -Power 70-65  KCCA

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