After beating City Oilers in the opening game of the National Basketball League, Namuwongo Blazers earned the respect of many in basketball circles and are projected to challenge for this year’s championship.
They were, however, not expected to lose to debutants Our Saviour. But in sport, anything can happen. The Blazers were left heads in hands after a 61-59 loss on Saturday at YMCA, Wandegeya.
What was expected to be a routine win for the Blazers took a twist as Our Saviour competed and kept the game within reach, eventually edging it.
Joseph Wacha converted two free throws with 1.24 seconds left on the clock to close the gap to a single point (56-57). Moses Mugisha then went to the line and converted one of two to level matters with 17 seconds left on the clock.
The Blazers were still in it and head coach Steven Nyeko called for a time-out, drew a play but when action resumed, Collins Kasujja was called for an unsportsmanlike foul on Wacha. The guard made no mistake with both free throws to give Our Saviour a 61-59 lead.
Richard Ongom received the ball from the inbound but could not connect from three-point range and Our Saviour registered the first upset of the fresh season.
The newcomers had led 16-13 to end the first quarter but the Blazers limited them to just eight points in the second quarter and led 29-27 at the half.
The Blazers edged the third frame 24-13 but Our Saviour had the last laugh by taking the fourth 17-13.
Moses Mugisha led Our Saviour with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Henry Ssebagala and Steven Wokorach added 13 and 10 points, while Saidi Amisi and Paul Odong scored 14 and 10 points and were the only Blazers with double figures.
Oilers, UCU cruise
Champions City Oilers made light work of KCCA Panthers while UCU Canons ran over newly-promoted Tropical Royals in one-way traffic affairs.
Jimmy Enabu and Ceasar Kizito led the Oilers with 18 and 16 points in an 80-46 blowout for their first win in two games. The Canons had five players in double figures as they pummelled the Royals 80-36.
Fayed Bale led with 16, Kevin Kasobya had 15 while Caesar Adoke, Cranmer Wamala and Peter Sifuna had 10 each. Fadhil Chuma and Titus Lual gathered 14 and 12 rebounds.
National B-Ball League
Saturday results in women
KIU 61-55 A1 Challenge
UCU 66-60 Miracle
City Oilers 80-46 KCCA
UCU Canons 80-36 Tropical Royals
Our Saviour 61-59 Nam Blazers
Soro Stars as Power edge past KIU Titans
Power’s Robert Tasire (L) dribbles past KIU’s Abdikani Muhammed (R). PHOTO/ISMAILcKEZAALA
Geoffrey Soro registered a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds as Power defeated KIU Titans on Friday night at the MTN Arena, Lugogo.
The centre was too big for KIU and made five of eight attempts inside the paint, added two threes from four attempts to walk away with the Tusker Lite Player of the Game medal.
Both Power and KIU exhibited the gap in quality between them and the teams projected to fight for the title. The game attracted a smaller crowd compared to opening night and action on court left a lot to be desired. KIU struggled to score and will probably struggle a lot more as the season unfolds. They could barely score from around the rim and only got 16 points inside the Power paint.
Show of inconsistency
Henry Okoth, who buried six threes against UCU Canons, only got two this time round and that was it as he ended the game on just six points.
Dickson Asiku and Innocent Ochera came off the bench to score 12 and 10 points respectively for Bernice Ankunda’s side as they recorded a second win in as many games. It is two losses in two games for the Titans. Michael Othieno led KIU with 16 points while Joseph Chuma got 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Action returns today with Falcons looking to bounce back against Ndejje Angels having lost their opening game of the season to Power last Saturday.