- KCCA Leopards 62-69 UCU Lady Canons
It’s almost certain one of KCCA Leopards or UCU Lady Canons will play in the 2018 National Basketball League final.
In fact, if JKL Lady Dolphins – the most equipped challenger in terms of personnel – and A1 Challenge do not play at the highest level in the post season, Leopards and Lady Canons will face off in the finals again, for a record eighth successive season.
The first meeting of the season between the rivals on Friday night proved the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Lady Canons topped Leopards 69-62, thanks in part to effective free-throw shooting by Sarah Ageno and Zainah Lokwameri in clutch time.
UCU started the game better defensively forcing KCCA into jump shots, something that worked in their favour as they limited Albert Aciko’s ladies to a mere 4 points in the opening 10 minutes of the game.
KCCA played their way back into the game through the second quarter – with new signing Judith Nansobya connecting thrice from downtown and the teams returned to the locker rooms tied at 25.
Lady Canons tried to impose themselves on the game in the third quarter and twice led by 11 points but Nansobya and Moreen Amoding made sure Leopards do not fall far behind.
Down by 7 points at the start of the final quarter, KCCA quickly trimmed the lead down to 2 points and went ahead 59-58 on Sylvia Nakazibwe’s lay-up with just under three minutes to play. Grace Wanjiku added a jumped shot to take the lead to three points.
However, Nansobya sent Ageno to the line and the forward sunk both throws. On inbounding, Nakazibwe turned over the ball to UCU and Jackie Basemera sent Vilma Achieng to the line and the center drained both throws to put Lady Canons in the lead which they did not relinquish.
Ageno scored team-high 14 points coupled with 10 rebounds to lead UCU, Lokwameri added 11 points and 7 assists while Achieng had 10 points and game-high 14 rebounds.
Nansobya scored game-high 16 points in a losing effort, and Basemera – the only other KCCA player to score in double figures – had 10 points.