By Charles Mutebi
Basketball league results
Men: UCU 44 Ndejje 42
Women: KCCA 78 Gladiators 38
THE UCU Canons knew the price of finishing second in the Airtel National Basketball League (ANBL) regular season.
That did not stop them from defeating the Ndejje University Angels and locking up second seed for the upcoming postseason.
Martin Okwako and Syrus Kiviri tied for a game-high eight points apiece as UCU edged Ndejje 44-42 in a low-scoring battle Wednesday night at the YMCA.
The win assured Nick Natuhereza’s Canons (17-4) of a nerve-shredding meeting with the Falcons in the playoff quarterfinals. There is a sense of unfairness about two leading contenders for the championship meeting in the postseason first round but Natuhereza is up for the fight.
“Our focus was not on avoiding the Falcons,” said the intelligent UCU tactician after his team’s hopes of grabbing top spot ended last Friday with the 71-70 loss to D’Mark Power.
Walker Obedi’s Ndejje went into this match with slim hopes of snatching second place but the Angels, who lost the first quarter 17-8 but recovered to win the second 14-2, failed to find the knockout punch.
Francis Tumusiime (eight points) was Ndejje’s top scorer in an occasionally high-tempered encounter, which saw Angel Brian Odour ejected in the fourth period for sweeping down UCU’s Sunday Okot in retaliation.
Still, Ndejje can be extremely proud of their best ever season (15-7) and they will be hard to crack in the postseason.
Meanwhile, Claire Lamunu, Rebecca Akullo and Martha Soigi nailed 19, 15 and 10 points respectively as the KCCA Leopards thumped the Gladiators 78-38.
Joan Mochuruku and Charlene Karungi scored 16 and 11 points respectively for the Gladiators.