It is a match-up both sides didn’t want at this early stage of the Airtel Basketball League play-offs but it is a fact Krishna Falcons and UCU Canons have to deal with.
Tonight, the two sides meet for the second straight time in the quarterfinal as Canons bid to avenge last season’s exit, writes Felix Eupal.
While most coaches were busy calculating who they would be facing in the playoffs quarter finals, that was the last of worries for UCU Canons head coach Nick Natuhereza. quotIt doesn’t matter which team you meet if you are to be a champion, then you have to beat everyone, we are ready for anyonequot.
That is the kind of confidence that he is taking into this year’s playoffs. You have to give it to him, being so buoyed up yet his team has never reached the finals. The semifinals are their best this far. But then again a look at how the Canons come to this quarter finals suggests he should be having his head up.
They have exhibited a great level of focus and concentration, working out that paint and are relying more on field goals than the perimeter shots. However like in the previous years, Canons have failed to pass the maturity test, always self-distructing and losing their heads when the stakes get high.
The question of whether they will be of age this time round will have its first answer this evening. Natuhereza also has to work on the fouling rate of his best forward Ivan Lumanyika who often is on three fouls by the third quarter.
Both teams shared the spoils in the regular season with Falcons walking away with the first-round win courtesy of a fantastic individual performance from Cyrus Kiviri. The second round saw the Canons put up a stellar team performance. All that is in the past now.
So is even Falcons’ disheartening second-round performance where they have exhibited lapses in concentration and poor recovery whenever they turn over the ball. It is a fresh script now. A new ball game and Falcons star man Stephen Omony knows the drill, quotWe have been poor that is true but a lot of effort has been put on correcting those errorsquot. The game will be televised live on UBC TV.
Meanwhile, all is not well with the club managers after Airtel Uganda, the official sponsor of the regular season, issued out a directive to all clubs in top-flight to have their logo on their jerseys. Clubs have been using jerseys without the Airtel logo throughout the season without any queries from Airtel and are arguing that the directive is coming in because the games are televised.
The technical committee didn’t come in to help the matter, so it waits to be seen what the case will be on Sunday as Tiger Head Power take on KIU Titans in game two. Power lead the series 1-0 after a 71-61 win on Wednesday night and the directive has to come into effect then.
Source : The Observer