Daniel Monoja | Credit: John Batanudde
  • Game 1: Saturday, 27th August | 4:00pm
  • Game 2: Wednesday, 31st August | 8:30pm
  • Game 3: Saturday, 3rd September | 4:00pm (If Necessary)

Namuwongo Blazers will be playing in their first postseason in the National Basketball League but the expectations are high, at least from the fans.

Blazers are seen by many as a side capable of putting an end to the dominancy of seven-time defending champions City Oilers who they can only meet in the finals if both sides make it that far.

Their journey starts on Saturday with a first-round series opener against KCCA Panthers at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.

“For us, it’s about being humble and having respect for our opponents. We beat them in the regular season but playoffs are different and we have to keep our feet on the ground,” Stephen Nyeko told Kawowo Sports.

Blazers who topped the standings at the end of the regular season will find little resistance from the Panthers to whom a playoff appearance is already an achievement.

Nyeko and Henry Malinga have had to make decisions on the matchday roster to fit in the foreign players’ quota but a series against KCCA is one where they do not have to put a lot in the thought process.

The addition of fearless wing Peter Obleng who seems to have improved tenfold playing with Burundi champions Urunani fits right into their needs not just for this series but the entire postseason.

In Obleng, Blazers have an able and consistent scorer and rebounder who will back up Amisi Saidi and Ariel Okall as well as David Deng in the front court throughout the playoffs.

The match-up against KCCA also hands the coaches an opportunity to give Kenneth Wachira more game time to raise his confidence. The Kenyan wing struggled in the big games during the normal season and getting minutes on the floor against the Panthers’ zone will give him many opportunities to launch wide-open threes that could help him get his shooting rhythm.

Daniel Jjuuko directs traffic for Blazers but the series against the Panthers could come too early for the guard due to chest pains. However, Chris Omanye is as good a creator and a scoring threat. Collin Kasujja and Joseph Ikong have also played on the ball from time to time.

KCCA were competitive in the first meeting with Blazers but couldn’t match their opponents in the return leg.

Wilson Otweyo and Daniel Gaki who averaged just under 8 points a game during the regular season along with Tueny Mabor will offer the little resistance the Panthers can pose.

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

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