Warriors guard Mark Opiyo goes for basket Credit: Sauba Stone
  • Warriors 75-74 KIU Titans
[/media-credit] Warriors guard Mark Opiyo goes for basket Credit: Sauba Stone

The match up between National Basketball League leaders KIU Titans and Warriors on Friday night at Lugogo Indoor Stadium produced a tense finish.

However, it was Warriors that got off the blocks fast scoring into an early 11-2 run before closing out the quarter leading 26-16 thanks in part to Syrus Kiviiri’s shooting from downtown.

KIU fared well through the second quarter which they closed out trailing by two points (35-37) after Geoffrey Soro connected from beyond the arc at the buzzer.

Kiviiri connected from 3-point range to start the third quarter for Warriors. Titans kept chasing through out the period but never caught but still trailed by a couple heading into the fourth quarter.

Amisi Saidi, Kiviiri, Micheal Bazangu and Joshua Etalu pushed Warriors lead to 13 points in just under 3 minutes and on the other end, Titans offense had frozen.

Turning Point

With just under six minutes to play and KIU Titans trailing 69-56, their two-way guard Michael Bwanga took charge of the game. He connected from downtown off a dribble to ignite a 13-1 run, a span in which he scored 7 points.

Bazangu who struggled all night from beyond the arc found the basket from the corner near Warriors bench with 57 second to play to give the 2012 champions a 73-69 lead. Sudi Ulanga who had similar struggles connected from deep to draw Titans with in a point (72-73) and sent the fans on their feet.

Warriors’ Mark Opiyo was trapped into a bad shot and Chris Omanye laid up from a coast-to-coast for KIU to take their first lead of the game (74-73) with 8 seconds to play.

Ronnie Mutebi was forced to call a time out for Warriors and on return, Bazangu was fouled and connected both throws to restore Warriors’ lead (75-74) with 2 seconds to play.

Hamza Nyambogo was forced into a time out to draw (without a board) a game winning play for KIU Titans that would get the ball for Sudi Ulanga. The guard took a dribble and was trapped on a switch, his shot went way off and Warriors escaped.

Kiviiri led Warriors effort with game high 19 points, Bazangu added 18, Opiyo had 15 points and Saidi contributed 13 points.

Ethienne Kazungu scored team high 18 points and picked 10 rebounds to pace KIU, Bwanga chipped in with 16 points and Soro contributed 13.

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

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