Friday, October 6
•JKL Lady Dolphins Vs UCU Lady Canons (2-0) – 7pm
•KIU Titans Vs UCU Canons (2-0) – 9pm
UCU Canons find themselves in a challenging situation as they prepare for their crucial NBL playoffs match against the KIU Titans this Friday at YMCA Court in Wandegeya.
With the Canons trailing 2-0 in the best-of-five semifinals series, this thrilling game three is nothing short of a must-win scenario for them as a loss on Friday would spell the end of their postseason journey.
Their previous encounters in the series were far from ideal, losing the opener 72-86 and Game Two ending with a score of 73-56 in favor of the KIU Titans.
And pressure has intensified on Coach Nicholas Natuhereza to turn things around.
However, the challenge is compounded by the absence of two key players – John Baptist Dauna and Jimmy Brian Otim – both vital contributors to the team’s success, have been ruled out of Friday’s encounter.
The uncertainty surrounding Peter Sifuma’s availability further adds to the team’s dilemma, with the power forward cum Centre set to be a game time decision.
The statistics paint a clear picture of just how crucial these missing players are. Otim has been averaging an impressive 12.6 points per game, while Sifuma boasts a double-double performance with 12.5 points and an astounding 12.8 rebounds per game. Dauna, with his 7 points and matching rebounds, has also been an integral part of the Canons’ lineup.
The burden of carrying the team now falls on the shoulders of Joel Kayiira, Lwabaga Ibanda, Jerry Kayanga, Abraham Isyagi, and Kevin Kasobya who must rise to the occasion in Game Three if the UCU Canons hope to extend the series and keep their hopes of having a deep run alive.
Reflecting on their last performance in Game Two, the Canons showed resilience, and at one point, the game was evenly poised at 50-50 going into the final quarter. Unfortunately, they faltered in the fourth, being outscored 06-23, resulting in a loss for the entire game.
One glaring issue that needs addressing is their turnovers, having committed a total of 20 during that game two. Furthermore, their bench production was lacking, contributing just 8 points compared to the KIU Titans’ impressive 39 from their bench players.
However, the Canons did manage to dominate the rebounding battle with a tally of 56 compared to the Titans’ 43, but they will need more than that during Game Three against Julius Lutwama’s KIU Titans.
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