Featured Image: UCU’s Fayed Baale (left) leaves JKL’s Yesman Bushiri begging in afirst round encounter at YMCA. FUBA/Stone Images
Wednesday, June 12
*Kampala University Vs Ndejje University – 6:30PM
*JKL Dolphins Vs UCU Canons – 8:30PM
UCU Canons had a false start to the NBL second round with a 58-80 blowout defeat against Betway Power, and against JKL Dolphins, they will seek for resuscitation.
The Canons, league’s surprise package after ending the first round on top with 10 wins from 11 games, have set the bar high for themselves and a straight loss against JKL will now mean disaster.
After beating Kampala University in theur last first round game, Coach Nicholas Natuhereza commented that he has not thought of playoffs yet, but a better performance in the second round.
In his own words, Natuhereza who revealed that he honestly did not expect his side to be this good at the start, told Journalists at Lugogo:
“If we cut out the careless mistakes, like if you look back at the game we lost against KIU we were a little bit careless, we beat Warriors but all through the game we gave them easy points, so if we can cut that out. We can be at a convincing level I want.
“The most important thing is to create the shots, and that is a good day for us if they go in. Shooting makes the game easy. Being in the top four is our target, we want to play much better than we did in the first half.”
UCU were shadows of themselves in the defeat against Power, only Isaiah Mabeny Ater (16) and Fadhil Chuma (10) scored in double points as the team shot 23-64 from the field including an ugly 5-25 from the three-point range.
David ‘Dikong’ Deng, their main man throughout the first round was totally off by his standards – contributing just nine points and six rebounds from his 28 minutes on a frustrating night.
Facing a familiar team, a Mukono Derby, UCU will have the upper hand as they won the first round meeting 61-57 but its JKL who has the momentum and an eye for revenge. However, JKL’s must back up their desire with ability.
JKL has proved many doubters wrong, starting with everyone who wrote them off after their average transfer signings that have turned out to be the league’s best in various fields, notably Daniel ‘Dudus’ Manoja.
JKL, since that loss to UCU in May, have gone on to beat Warriors 71-64 and Sharing Youth (twice) 72-58 and 53-51. In the latter, they edged the Nasambya based team despite being without Brian Namake and Ivan Lumanyika, and the duo is expected to be back for UCU.
“We just have to go back and emphasise the importance of every game also the fact that we have to be consistent, play well and keep bringing our A game every time we go on court,” said Henry Malinga, head coach JKL Dolphins after the win against Sharing Youth.