W: Magic Stormers 87-75 Nkumba Lady Marines (Stormers lead series 1-0)
M: Tiger Head Power 71-61 KIU Titans (Power lead series 1-0)

Philip Ameny was helped off the court in the second quarter after a collision. On sight, it looked serious and the immediate thought was, he wont return. The big man came back and his explosive fourth quarter helped Power beat KIU Titans in Game 1 of the best-of-three quarter finals to the pleasant surprise of his coach, Bernes Akunda.

“Actually i was surprised that he (Ameny) came back after sitting out the whole second quarter and performed – i was impressed” Akunda said. “We had a long chat with him after the Warriors’ game and today the difference was there”

After falling behind 19-13 in the opening quarter, the Titans regrouped and kept it tight in the second quarter which they closed with a point advantage (24-23).

KIU matched Power through the relatively open third period in which they had the biggest lead over Power (45-37) on Francis Kasekende’s back-to-back 3-point play but Power quickly responded and Norman Blick’s look from the top of the mountain tied the score at 45 going into the decisive fourth quarter. Titans scored 21 points in the third quarter – the highest for any quarter of the game.

Ameny then took over the fourth quarter scoring 8 of Power’s first 10 points of the frame en-route to his game high 18 points and 12 rebounds. KIU’s coach, Henry Mwinuka was disappointed with his team’s defending but put the loss to his guards.

“We failed to control the game defensively. We allowed Ameny to come under the hoop, pick the ball and make easy baskets” Mwinuka told Kawowo Sports. “The guards are supposed to control the game when you have the lead. Our mistakes were from the top, instead of the guards controlling the game and the lead they threw away the balls and rushed shots.”

Norman Blick and Paul Odong contributed 15 points apiece for Power.

Game 2 is on Sunday at Lugogo, and Mwinuka says the Titans will make amends. “It’s about us containing the game. Its playoffs and the guys were under pressure today but we will correct that in these two days and think Sunday they will be Ok. It is a must win and even if its by a point we will try to do that”.

Micheal Makiadi scored team high 17 points and picked 8 rebounds for KIU. Guard, Francis Sokoroza contributed 15 points and dished out 5 assist off the bench as Chris Omanye struggled to get his shot off and scored just two points on a 1-for-10 shooting from the floor.

Bernes Akunda played down the notion that it is now advantage Power. “I wont call it an advantage, there many mistakes they hit us on and we have to correct a lot of things. They (KIU) are going to work 10-times harder to correct the small things they did wrong so we have to look at it (Game 2) as the only game we have to play. We are not thinking about the advantage.”

Meanwhile, Magic Stormers saw off Nkumba Lady Marines 87-75 in an offensive heavy game 1 to take the series behind Carol Nyafwono’s season high 35 points, 18 rebounds and 6 helpers. Point guard, Monica Apako chipped in with 12 points.

In the absence of Barbara Gimbo, the Lady Marines were pace by Brenda Ekone who netted 23 points and forward, Stella Nikuze added 21 points and picked 7 rebounds. Jesica Namugala had 11 points off the bench.

Franklin Kaweru is the Editor in Chief of Kawowo Sports. He is an ardent basketball enthusiast.

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