- National Basketball League | Playoffs
- Friday, September 29, 2023
- UCU Canons 72-86 KIU Titans
Amisi Dany Saidi was phenomenal as KIU Titans beat UCU Canons 86-72 to lead the best-of-five series 1-0 as the National Basketball League playoffs semifinals tipped off on Friday at YMCA Court, Wandegeya.
The Congolese big man dropped 23 points and five rebounds.
The Canons who concluded their quarterfinals fixture against Power on Wednesday returned after a one-day rest and they struggled with fatigue since their legs were not fully fresh.
Nick Natuhereza sent on an unusual starting five but looked pretty decent though KIU Titans won the first period by a point (17-16).
As the second period was coming to an end, UCU Canon suffered a big blow as center Peter Sifuma was carried off due to an ankle injury.
The Kasanga-based side stretched the lead from one to 11. By the end of the second quarter, the scoreboard read 45-34 in favour of the Titans.
The Canon’s misery was compounded further when John Baptist Dauna landed badly and limped off the court in pain.
Going into the fourth quarter, UCU had lost their cool, their ball handling was so poor that they made rushed plays, resulting in turnovers, and the Titans had a 10-point advantage.
Not even Canons’ sprinted 25-21 final quarter run could stop the Titans from drawing first blood against the two-time finalists.
On top of Saidi’s show, Edgar Munaba contributed 17 points off the bench while Innocent Ochera added 11 points.
On the other hand, Joel Kayira led UCU’s scoring board with 13 points off the bench while Abraham Isyagi and captain Ibanda Lwabaga added 12 and 11 respectively.
There is no time to rest as the two sides will be back in action on Sunday, October 1 for game two.