- Warriors vs. UCU Canons – 8pm, Lugogo
Seven months ago, Brian Namake’s buzzer beater sank Pemba Warriors and sent UCU Canons to the semifinals of the National Basketball League playoffs.
The two sides have since met at the UCU Open tournament and Nicholas Natuhereza’s charges defeated Warriors in the final to lift the cup.
The stage is set yet again and Warriors have the opportunity to get one over the Canons when the two sides face off Friday night at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.
Games have come quick and fast for the Canons who started the season with a win over Sharing Youths before faltering against Power on Sunday.
It is five years since Warriors last tasted a piece of silverware and the additions made to the side prior to the start of the season suggest that they want to replicate their 2012 success.
Ronnie Mutebi’s charges started the season with a convincing performance enroute to a 57-44 victory over Our Savior last Wednesday. Warriors, who added Amisi Saidi and former Falcons star Michael Buzangu from Congo, ran riot in the third quarter of their first game to record their first win under the tutorship of Mutebi.
Even when playing without some of the team’s key players, UCU Canons have showed they have the ability to compete with any side in the league.
Brian Namake and Mike Madol are yet to bounce a ball this season while Andrew Gang missed the team’s first game before returning against Power.
The side scored 32 points in the third quarter against Power to recover from a 20-point deficit and take a 7-point lead early in the fourth.
Fadhil Chuma, Steve Wundi and team captain Jonathan Egau have picked up from there they left off last season and continue to be UCU’s major sources of offense.
The Kyambogo based outfit are in yet another season littered with a lot of ball hogging in their back court.
When Ronnie Kasewu is not on the floor, Mark Opio and Syrus Kivili have the responsibility of running the show and their love for the ball and not looking out for runners has often cost the side.
To counter that, though, Warriors face UCU with a much better chance on the boards.
Philip Ameny, Amisi Saidi, new signing Stanley Mugerwa and Joshua Etalu give Warriors the front court advantage against UCU’s Chuma, Titus Lual, Juach Nyong and Derrick Isiko.