Nick Natuhereza’s UCU Canons are the masters of playoff basketball bounce-backability. There is something about falling behind in a postseason series that brings the best out of UCU, who have never trailed or lost a playoff series by a two-game margin.
By Charles Mutebi
Pepsi National Basketball League
Best-of-fi ve semis
Results: Game 2
Women: KCCA 51 KIU 43
(KCCA lead series 2-0)
Men: Power 90 Oilers 88
(Series tied at 1-1)
Today at Lugogo
Women: UCU v A1
(UCU lead series 1-0)
Men: UCU v KIU
(KIU lead series 1-0)
Nick Natuhereza’s UCU Canons are the masters of playoff basketball bounce-backability.
There is something about falling behind in a postseason series that brings the best out of UCU, who have never trailed or lost a playoff series by a two-game margin.
After losing Game 1 of their Pepsi National Basketball League playoffs semis to the KIU Titans, count on the Canons to return with a strategy that will put them in a strong position to level the five-game series.
Not that there was much wrong with their overall approach to Game 1, which they lost by one point despite missing 24 free throws. UCU also had three bigs fouled out yet still led 63-61 when
Francis Sokoroza’s three-point dagger with 11 seconds to play in the fourth frame decided the encounter.
Still, as UCU forward Boniface Okello observed, the Canons might have been able to survive the missed free throws and foul-trouble if they had kept cool heads down the stretch.
“Losing our heads cost us this game,” Okello told New Vision Sports after Game 1.
“We can’t lose our tempers because it will cost us. No matter what we are not happy with, we have to focus on the game.” UCU have a rich history of postseason implosions, sparked by a feeling that referees just don’t like them.
From Natuhereza, to key UCU players, the Canons have found themselves living up to their name in both ways, allowing their frustrations to boil over.
That KIU capitalised on UCU’s continued anger management issues in Game 1 is a warning sign for the Canons. The Titans had a poor shooting night, going 6 of 43 from downtown, but still won.
Imagine if their shots dropped.
Basketball League: UCU hopes to bounce-back