KIU Titans were dominant in their first game of the season and blew away Betway Power 91-66 to show intentions of competing for this year’s National Basketball League (NBL).
That performance, coupled with some good displays in the pre-season scrimmages and the signings made, put the Titans in position to be discussed as one of the teams to threaten City Oilers’ dominance.
That will not be a simple task for the Kansanga-based outfit and their 58-66 loss to JKL Dolphins on Sunday was a reality check and a reminder of how tough it is going to be to challenge for the championship.
The loss, according to head coach Brian Wathum, is one the team needed to stay humble and appreciate the challenge before them.
“It was a very humbling experience to lose to JKL,” Wathum said after the game.
“With the team we have I think we needed it. Sometimes you win and forget what you did wrong,” he added.
The Titans lost grip of the game in the third quarter as JKL went on a 14-0 run on the way to taking the frame 18-6.
Wathum’s charges were in control throughout the first half and recovered from losing the first quarter 11-13 to take the second 24-13 and lead 35-26 at the halfway mark.
The team offence crumbled in the second half and the 2017 finalists could only account for 25 points while JKL got 40 to seal victory.
“We need to do a much better job of sharing the basketball and we will be a good scoring team,” Wathum opined.
Guard Faisal Aden was the only Titans player to score in double figures with 11 points, Peter Obleng contributed nine points from the bench.
Time to gel
New signing Ariel Okall will need time to settle in with his teammates. His first game came before any training session with the side and he posted just five points and three rebounds.
Libe Makala got a game high 19 points and 13 rebounds while Brian Namake and Ivan Lumanyika registered 12 and 10 points for the victorious Dolphins.
Having had their game against Ndejje Angels postponed, the Titans will play their third game of the season against UCU Canons on Sunday and a response is what Wathum expects of his troops.
National B’ball League
KCCA 97-40 Nabisunsa
Blazers 51-59 KCCA Panthers
JKL 48-46 Angels
KIU 58-66 JKL Dolphins