The dawn of a new season brings a clean slate and a new chance at probably drowning Power Basketball Club’s recent history of failure.
Power has not seen a title since the 99-97 triumph over rivals Warriors in Game 7 behind Isaac Afidra’s 28 points and Ben Komakech’s 27 points in 2011.
The side has since been to three finals (2014, 2016 and 2018) but won just two games combined. Power faithful is now used to “there’s always next year.”
What to expect
With the departure of Steven Wundi and Mike Madol, Power will now be facing a new challenge of incorporating Syrus Kiviiri, Libe Makala and Samuel Agutu into the team.
The trio joins the team with a totally different skill set but has two things in common; good defence and can hardly play off the ball. The opening game of the season was a testament.
Power’s game has always been transition basketball with barely anything set in the half court and has not changed any bit at that. It probably won’t! After all the advocate of ball movement on the team, Fahmy Ssebatindira, may not see a lot of playing time this season.
Power has always had players who simply play hard and not necessarily smart. Paul Odong, David Opolot, Brian Sivachi, Geoffrey Soro, Sulaiman Bbaale and the three additions made play full-throttle all the time.
And now that they are backed by a coach who is for playing hard in Boniface Okello, this group will definitely compete and will want to prove themselves as capable of succeeding.
So then what could go wrong with one of the leading candidates to dethrone the City Oilers?
Basketball is a sport where hierarchy on the court is such a big issue, and it’s difficult to earn success where hierarchy is not appreciated.
For Power, with the exception of Syrus Kiviiri, it is not clear how the hierarchy runs after the first two games of the season. Geoffrey Soro and Philip Ameny have taken a lot of shots while Libe Makala who could be the other offensive option has not shot as many.
Joseph Ikong is yet to return and Paul Odong is nowhere near his best and these are players who in the past have not only played a lot of minutes but also had the green light to pull the trigger from anywhere.
Assistant coach Boniface Okello looks to be in control of the team and is the person calling the shots. His rotation, though, leaves much to be desired.
Power success in the past has come with the side playing high octane transition basketball. However, the game in the country has evolved so much that transition basketball can only win you a game but not a series as City Oilers have demonstrated over the last six years.
Power, though, has been slow in adapting to changes in the game. While the team tries to move the ball around, they can not make up to five passes without a shot going up and when they do, they can not sustain it on multiple possessions.
With Kiviiri, who in the past has been criticized for ball hogging, now the primary ball handler for the team, the rock will more often than not be on the floor.
Ins: Syrus Kiviiri, Samuel Agutu, Libe Makala
Outs: Stephen Wundi, Mike Madol, Michael Kojjo, Francis Kasinde
Roster: Fahmy Sebatindira, Paul Odong, Syrus Kiviiri, David Opolot, Amin Mkosa, Nasser Gudoi, Joseph Ikong, Samuel Agutu, Makala Libe, Sula Bbale, Geoffrey Soro, Philip Ameny, Brian Sivachi, Isaac Afidra
Head Coach: Arnold Lando
Assistant Coach: Boniface Okello