By Charles Mutebi
Airtel National Basketball League
UCU 50 KCCA 36
Power 73 Warriors 67
WITH almost ten years in the elite national basketball league and three championships to his name, Joseph Ikong should no longer be described as a player with great potential.
Yet the guard/forward is still far from the player he could be an athletic tour de force capable of ruling local basketball.
Whether there is still time to fulfil all that potential remains to be seen but every now and then Ikong delivers a performance that suggests it is worth keeping the faith.
That maybe one day, the D’Mark Power captain will step onto the court, marry superstardom and the two will live happily ever after.
Friday at Lugogo, Ikong flirted with a performance worthy of his talent, scoring a game-high 16 points as Power defeated the Riham Warriors 73-67 in the Airtel National Basketball League.
Ben Komakech, a bona fide star, also dropped 16 points and added 12 rebounds as Power paid back the Warriors for humiliating them in the first round. David Kiberu and Norman Blick added 12 and 11 points respectively for Power.
Henry Malinga, with 12 points, led the Warriors, who were surprisingly outrebounded 60-52 by their smaller opponents.
Of course, the 16 points Ikong scored are not a big deal for a three-time league top-scorer. What was special about them was the manner in which they were scored. Ikong went 2 of 6 on two-point field goals, 2 of 6 from three-point range and 6 of 8 from the charity strip.
Then there is the fact that he was not afraid of attacking the basket and drawing contact, something he has been sternly criticised for. Add to that the fact that Ikong made just one turnover despite bringing the ball down in transition multiple times and this is fit to be deemed an impressive outing.
The challenge is whether Ikong can keep making demands of his talent, keeping pushing the boundaries to see how good he can become. Or will he rest on past achievements and the status of being one of the most renowned players in local basketball.
Meanwhile, Maureen Amoding and Purity Odhiambo claimed 20 points and 11 points and 10 rebounds respectively as the UCU Lady Canons preserved their perfect record with a comfortable 50-36 victory over reigning women’s champions KCCA Leopards.
Martha Soigi grabbed 10 points and 10 rebounds for KCCA, who look much weaker than UCU as the season heads into the playoffs.