Wednesday, May 1
*JKL Lady Dolphins 75-64 KIU Rangers
*KCCA Men 84-92 UCU Canons
*KIU Titans 62-73 Warriors
Friday, May 3
*A1 Challenge 70-63 MUK Sparks
*Betway Power 62-92 Warriors
Saturday, May 4
*KCCA Leopards 81-59 Nkumba Lady Marines
*KIU Rangers 53-42 YMCA Lady Hamsters
*KCCA Men 75-77 Ndejje University Angels
*City Oilers 95-60 Kampala University
*KIU Titans 53-42 Falcons
Sunday, May 5
*Angels 39-69 JKL Lady Dolphins
*KIU Rangers 54-56 A1 Challenge
*UCU Canons 90-82 City Oilers (after 2 overtime)
*Our Saviour 43-66 Betway Power
*JKL Dolphins 54-68 KIU Titans
The National Basketball League continues to have a different storyline each passing week.
The biggest headline happened on Sunday, yes you guessed right – City Oilers got beaten by UCU Canons! While JKL Dolphins faced reality after that loss to KIU Titans the same day to leave Warriors, UCU Canons and JKL Lady Dolphins (Women) as the only teams yet to taste defeat.
Warriors beat KIU Titans (Wednesday) and Betway Power (Friday) to reveal to everyone that they will have a big say in this year’s title race. Saturday and Sunday games, initially listed to be played at KIU Court in Kansanga were brought back to Wandegeya – Same Old FUBA.
Let’s see break this down, shall we?
Warriors Switch Off Power In Second Quarter
Betway Power lost 62-92 to Warriors on Friday night, in a game where everything that could have gone wrong did for Power.
The Betway sponsored side failed to protrude through a watertight Warriors defense, which was hugely highlighted in the second quarter.
Trailing 16-30 after the first quarter, Power who had Libe Makala, Gudi Nasser, Brian Sivachi, Syrus Kiviiri and Joseph Ikong on court was expected to put up a strong surge to chase down the game. But more was yet to come.
First forward, the third quarter ended 19-45, with Power managing three baskets (points) against Warriors 15!!! Geoffrey Soro who came off the bench, made his second free throw, after missing the first to add on Syrus’ lay up earlier that had sent the score to 18-32.
Power never recovered as Warriors, led by Mark Opiyo, Jonathan Kambala and Michael Buzangu, obliterated the five time league champions.
Later on Saturday, Power paid back Our Saviour in similar currency, closing out the winless side in the second quarter that ended 20-4!
‘Hajji Walks Out Of Oilers’
“Hajji come back” were chants that followed Oilers manager Hajji Mohammed Santur on his way out before the closing stages of UCU-Oilers epic encounter.
Hajji was all smiles on Saturday when his Oilers side destroyed Kampala University and he spent the rest of his time on his phone, I mean, who is Kampala University by Oilers standards? But the song changed the following day.
Playing under intense heat, Hajji sat just behind Oilers bench – at the away end, on the stairs of YMCA court. It was a close contest and although Oilers looked in charge from the start, an athletic UCU team kept crawling back in the tie before David Deng fired a three pointer at the buzzer to send the game in overtime.
Hajji started to look furious and at one point, he was seen (and heard) sending instructions to James Okello ‘Oxy’ who was caught off guard at his end when UCU took the lead.
In the second overtime, with about two minutes on the clock, the passionate Oilers official called it quits – He majestically and slowly moved out of YMCA with each of his step clearly symbolising an acceptance of defeat.
Landry Ndikumana and Jimmy Enabu had racked up 22 and 12 points respectively for Oilers but the efforts were not enough to stop a formidable UCU force.
Kikiri Enjoys Player of the match limelight
Guddi Nasser, Kikiri as known by many in the basketball fraternity, was ‘shockingly’ named the player of the match against Our Saviour, which Power won 66-43 on Sunday.
His performance had barely caught everyone, but stats don’t lie, the small forward who many consider to be surplus to requirements was the deserved winner.
From his 21:06 time on court, Kikiri raced up Power with six points and 10 rebounds. He shot 3/6 from the field although he missed both of his attempts when put on line, but Power shot 4/11 from the feeethrow line in total.
He had one steal and a block to his name.
The NBL player of the match is determined by Efficiency which is measured by adding up all of the production stats (points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks), subtracting all missed shots (field goals and free throws) and turnovers.
After the buzzer, Kikiri was named the player of the match and everyone was shocked including the recipient himself. Known to be a man of taking every opportunity, he capitalised on the moment and stole the show, as many would put it – He received a medal before posing with a plaque for about three minutes for a photoshoot, the photographers left but Kikiri continued to wave at the excited crowd.
Baale From Way Downtown!!!!!
This one will live for years. Believe me. Unless he goes on to break his own record.
Fayed Baale, the diminutive point guard made a buzzer-beating shot from inside his own half at the end of the third quarter of the UCU Canons’ win against KCCA Men on Wednesday.
With UCU leading with a slim advantage of 53-50 and less than five seconds remaining at the end of third quarter, Baale drove forward amidst calls from the crowd to shoot. He didn’t hesitate, despite the fact that he was some metres away from crossing the centre. He launched, and…..bang!
His shot was ascended through the air and the buzzer sounded when his attempt was rattling into the hoop to give Canon-City a six point cushion going into the last ten minutes.
He ended the game with six points, all coming from his 2/3 shots from downtown with ten minutes on court.