Panthers have cause to worry

By Charles Mutebi

If UPDF beat the UCU Canons in their last game of the regular season, they will survive and KCCA will drop.

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Nat. Basketball League results

Women
A1 61 UMU 51
UCU 63 A1 43
Nkumba 68 Javon 58
JKL 76 UMU 41

Men
Ndejje 77 KCCA 71
Warriors 84 Rhinos 64
UCU 63 Saviour 54
KIU 86 Ndejje 79
UPDF 69 KCCA 68

The KCCA Panthers battled hard to give themselves a shot at surviving relegation from the NBL in their return to the top flight.

All they needed to be certain of survival was win one of their final two regular season games, held over the weekend, against direct rivals UPDF Tomahawks and Ndejje Angels.

They lost both and now their destiny is out of their hands.

Put differently, if UPDF beat the UCU Canons in their last game of the regular season, they will survive and KCCA will drop.

Innocent Ochera nailed a game-high 33 points as Ndejje beat KCCA 77-71 Sunday at the YMCA to leave Bernes Ankunda’s Panthers ruing a second close defeat in two days.

Gauthier Badhera and Sam Kisily added 14 and 10 points respectively for Walker Obedi’s Angels, who look certain to reach the postseason after winning their ninth game in 19 outings.

Ndejje have three regular season matches to go. KCCA have none left and they will be hoping they do not come to regret their one-point reverse to UPDF, in a game that would have put their survival quest to rest for good.

A defeat would have sent UPDF tumbling to the second division but Felix Mukunzi and Moses Muhumuza sunk 26 and 22 points respectively as the Tomahawks kept their hopes alive with their second victory over KCCA this season.

Brian Waters and Emmanuel Odongkara nailed 22 and 17 points respectively for KCCA, who will be level on points with UPDF if the latter beat UCU on Saturday.