NBL Women Playoffs: Flirsh Hopes JKL Can Go All the Way

Sunday, September 10
•Nabisunsa 69-90 KCCA Leopards
•JKL Lady Dolphins 82-58 A1 Challenge
•Ndejje Angels 63-65 Rezlife Saints
•Magic Stormers 57-75 UCU Lady Canons
•KCCA Panthers 67-74 D-Mark Power

NBL Women Playoffs
•JKL Lady Dolphins Vs A1 Challenge
•KIU Rangers Vs Miracle Ravens
•JT Lady Jaguars Vs Magic Stormers
•KCCA Leopards Vs UCU Lady Canons

JKL Lady Dolphins captain Flavia ‘Flirsh’ Oketcho says her side is doing everything to see that they win this year’s National Basketball League title.

The Lady Dolphins ended their regular season campaign on Sunday with a commanding 82-58 victory over A1 Challenge at YMCA court in Wandegeya.

And it so happens that it’s the same A1 Challenge that they will meet in the Playoffs at the best of three (race to two) quarterfinals.

There are two regular season games remaining, with those two fixtures set to be played this Wednesday.

The Wednesday game in Women NBL will see UCU take on Nkumba, but none of the two sides can change their position on the table.

The Playoffs will then get underway on Friday, August 25 (next week), pending official communication from FUBA.

The Lady Dolphins finished the regular season with 20 wins and just two losses.

“Regular season has been far from blunt! Quite the competition actually which has been really exciting and good,” Oketcho, commonly known as Flirsh, told The-SportsNation.

Flirsh said that JKL are hungry to succeed after losing last year’s final to UCU Canons in game seven.

“This is the Goal! To be NBL champions again, we are doing everything in our power to achieve this.”

Against A1 Challenge on Sunday, Brenda Ekone scored a game high 22 points while Hope Akello contributed a double double of 12 points and 17 rebounds.

Agatha Kamwada and Thelma Toskin added 14 and 11 points respectively for the dominant JKL side.

KIU Rangers (17-05) have finished second and will meet Miracle Ravens (11-11) while JT Lady Jaguars (17-05) who finished third face Magic Stormers (13-09).

The tie of the round will see defending champions UCU Lady Canons meet KCCA Leopards in a battle of title contenders.

This season, has been branded by many as one of the most competitive in the history of Women Basketball in the Country.

When asked to comment on the competition in this year’s division, Flirsh said: “I have been around for a while so I have seen mad competition in my time but if we are judging from the last 6 years, this year is definitely close. Its fair game for nearly every team which is fantastic.”

And to be specific, besides JKL vs A1 Challenge, the other three ties even including KIU Rangers Vs Miracle Ravens, can go either way!

But given the quality at JKL Lady Dolphins, last year’s runners up look head and shoulders above everyone to win their third league title.

Flirsh, Ekone, Akello, Evelyn Nakiyingi and Rita Imanishimwe were part of the Gazelles squad at Women Afrobasket this year in Kigali, Rwanda. In fact, they were they only local based players that made the cut.

Flirsh believes that the experience gained will help JKL across the finish the line.

“We have enough juice in the tank to compete and hopefully get the job done. Our focus is on our club and the best result we can get after all the work we have put in.”

Their Men counterparts – JKL Dolphins – were recently put up on sale as management opted to focus on the Women side. And this gives the Ladies more confidence to compete.

The Captain initially declined to comment on the management decisions “as that is not my job” but briefly said “we as the ladies team and former back to back champions have always been Confident-Regardless.”

In the Men’s division, the Playoffs picture is not yet clear before UCU Canons face KCCA Panthers on Wednesday in the last game of the regular season.

UCU need a win to avoid relegation, and that win will also send them into the playoffs.

And with the decision on Nam Blazers’ availability not yet out, everything is still faint for now.

If the Blazers (17-05) are not playing the playoffs, it remains to be seen if FUBA will fetch number ninth team on the table or their opponent will just be give a walkover.

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