Basket Ball

NBL Playoffs: Warriors Not Taking KIU For Granted

Friday, September 20
(Game Ones)
*Nkumba Lady Marines Vs KIU Rangers – 6:30PM
*Warriors Vs KIU Titans – 8:30PM

Warriors and KIU Titans will face off in game one of the quarter finals of the NBL Playoffs best of three at the Indoor Arena in Lugogo.

The Kyambogo based side beat KIU Titans twice in the regular season – 55-46 and 77-62 in the second and first round respectively.

Warriors finished the regular season in third place behind leaders UCU Canons and City Oilers. The two time winners won 18 and lost four games.

Warriors players before facing Betway Power at YMCA in the regular season
Warriors L-R: Mark Opiyo, Michael Buzangu, Gaaki Daniel, Stanley Mugerwa and Samad Imran.

Kansanga based Titans finished the regular season as number six with 13 wins and nine losses.

Warriors, looking the favourites on paper, have vowed not to take the Titans for granted.

“We have really focused on uniting the team,” Warriors coach Ronnie Mutebi told this website exclusively on Thursday. ‘The team is one unit for now and they are now playing for each other.”

“Beating KIU in regular season has no effect on playoffs. This is a different ball game. With playoffs anything can happen. We will not take KIU for granted at all.

“We seek to put up our best performance for each game hoping we seal victory early. My major concern was the team playing together and I see that a lot now.”

There were doubts about the availability of the Congolese trio – Saidi Amisi Carmelo, Michael Buzangu and Jonathan Kambala – but coach Mutebi confirmed that all players are ready to play, although Kambala has a swollen ankle.

Chris Omanye (front) will be facing former team
Warriors Coach Mutebi (right) with KIU Titans’ Sudi Ulanga (middle).

Chris Omanye, Samad Imran, Mark Opiyo, Gatwech Kutai and Stanley Mugerwa are among other players that Mutebi will bank on to extend their dominance against KIU.

It’s been a bad season for KIU Titans by their standards. The side has struggled since the departure of Omanye who joined Warriors.

Sudi Ulanga has fired blanks throughout, Michael Bwanga has looked a shadow of himself while Oscar Muge, Denis Balungu, Collins Kasujja and Ethiene Kazungu have been off colour.

New signings who joined before the season started Henry Okoth, Nunda Kiryowa, Brian Ssentongo and Francis Kasinde have not delivered to expectations.

However, the ground is now level. The platform is set. This is time for the hero to take over. And he must show up now.

KIU Titans players Brian Ssentongo (23), Collins Kasujja (30), Sudi Ulanga (4) and Michael Bwanga.
It has been a tough season for the Titans.

Coach Wathum highlighted how important it will be if the take game one.

“Winning game one is always a good momentum shifter. It gives the team a good position especially in a best of 3 series.

“The two losses to Warriors are now in the rear view. Credit to them for they are a good team and deserved all that they did during the regular season. But now we have another chance to redeem ourselves again.”

Wathum also added that he has a fully fit squad that is ready for the challenge.

No excuse. Let the games begin.

Weekend Menu

Saturday, September 21
*JKL Lady Dolphins Vs UMU Ravens – 2:30PM
*UCU Lady Canons Vs A1 Challenge – 4:30PM
*JKL Dolphins Vs Betway Power – 6:30PM

Sunday, September 22
*KCCA Leopards Vs Angels – 2:30PM
*UCU Canons Vs KCCA men – 4:30PM
*City Oilers Vs Ndejje Angels – 6:30PM

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