Nam Blazers Survive Power Scare To Hand Bernis Ankuda Rude Welcome

Saturday, May 29 (Mukono)
*Falcons 62-65 KIU Titans
*UCU Canons 66-62 UPDF Tomahawks
*UCU Lady Canons 63-47 KIU Rangers
*KCCA Panthers 56-63 City Oilers
*Betway Power 59-81 Nam Blazers

Sunday, May 30 (Kansanga)
*Angels Vs Magic Stormers, 9am
*Falcons Vs Ndejje, 11am
*JKL Ladies Vs Nkumba Lady Marines, 1pm
*City Oilers Vs JKL Dolphins, 3pm
*KIU Titans Vs KCCA Panthers, 5pm

Nam Blazers showed grit to overcome a battling Betway Power in a pulsating NBL game at UCU Court in Mukono.

Coach Bernis Ankunda, in charge for the very first time at Power, was on course to hand five-time winners their first win but was denied by a late Namuwongo rally.

Power who led by 15 points at one stage, were 36-28 up at first half but lacked a coherent sequence thereafter.

Nam Blazers greatly improved after the first half and cut the deficit quickly. David Deng Dikong tied the game 41-41 with a three midway through the third quarter after he was left open from outside.

Amisi Saidi Danny (Carmelo) looked to be Power’s only hope to revive the chase when he hammered down on Francis Azolibe but the Stephen Nyeko’s charges remained in character and took a slender 56-52 point lead into the last ten.

With the game still within reach for Power, the side suffered a fourth quarter collapse as they missed eight consecutive shots before Wundi laid up for their first points in the fourth with 4:19 after Nam Blazers had opened a 14 point lead that was built on a 13 point run.

The Blazers, inspired by Dikong (18), never put the foot wrong thereafter on their way to winning a 22-point game.

Dikong led the way with a double double (18 points, 12 rebounds), Emmanuel Okumu and Paul Odong had 11 points each for the Blazers.

Blair Wadaya was 2 for 2 from beyond the arc on his way to 10 points as Chris Omanye also added 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists off the bench.

Amisi had 18, Isaac Afidra scored 11 and Stephen Wundi added 10 points in the losing effort.

Betway Power have lost six in a row but there are great signs of improvement and positives that coaches Ankunda and Carol Bisereko will look to build on as they seek to lift the falling dynasty.

They gave Nam Blazers a big run for their money despite being shorthanded – Power, started with Elvis Ssentongo, Stephen Wundi, Robert Tasire, Isaac Afidra and Amisi Saidi rotated with three players Nasser Guddi, Arion Osama and Tony Wafula.

The bench contributed just 12 points in comparison with Namuwongo’s 39!

The whole Power team shot 3 of 14 from three point range but out rebounded Nam Blazers 52-39.

A lot of work needs to be done for Bernis Ankunda but his main worry will be instilling more confidence in his players after they put up a disjointed performance in a game they missed Gauthier Badhera and Salim Kisilu as they turned over the ball 35 times and shot 33% from the field.

For Blazers, they will take the bragging rights for now after recovering from down but coach Escodata will be worried about the slow starts because not many teams will squander such leads.



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