Friday, May 17
*A1 Challenge 57-59 Nkumba Lady Marines
*KIU Titans 64-58 UCU Canons (OT)
KIU Titans broke UCU Canons’ unbeaten run with a 64-58 overtime win in a tight National Basketball League thriller at MTN Indoor Arena in Lugogo, Kampala.
With about two seconds on the clock, UCU Canons down by two, KIU’s Brian Ssentongo fouled David Okello who later made both of his two free throws amidst tension to send the game in overtime.
KIU managed to fight back as they limited Nicholas Natuhereza’s charges to just two points, while converting, eight at the other end to seal a deserved win.
“They gave us a areal challenge,” said an excited KIU coach Brian Wathum who has now seen his side win three in a row. “We knew it was going to be tough. We prepared well and put in much of practice.”
“Its the extra push we wanted after working hard in last two weeks. We came to play hard, be aggressive because we know how good UCU are. We did good in the first half but diverted in the second though we came back and secure it in overtime.”
Denis Balungu exploded with a double double of 17 points and as many rebounds. Michael Bwanga (12 points) and Oscar Muge (10 points, 10 rebounds) also contributed highly to the score for the Kansanga based team.
David ‘Dikong’ Kongoror had a 15 points, a low game by his standards. Isaiah Mabeny managed 12 points while Fadhil Chuma had 10 points in a losing effort.
This, is UCU’s first loss this season, after five league games that had seen a fairytale story of strong wins against Betway Power and City Oilers. Warriors remain the only team yet to lose a game of basketball.
The victory was the fourth for KIU Titans who have also lost three games. The 2017 finalists welcomed back Kazungu Ethienel after missing the first six games of the season.
KIU Titans missed 14 of the 27 free throws, made 20 turnovers but out rebounded UCU Canons 60-49. The Canons also shot an ugly 2-24 from beyond the arc.
Next for KIU Titans are back to back games against Sharing Youth and Ndejje on May 25 and 26 respectively. UCU too have difficult ones against Warriors and JKL Dolphins in that same order of dates.