Friday, May 23
•Women: KIU Rangers Vs JKL Lady Dolphins – 6:30pm
•Men: UCU Canons Vs JKL Dolphins – 8:30pm
JKL Lady Dolphins will have their unbeaten run at stake when they meet KIU Rangers on Friday in the Tusker-Lite sponsored NBL at Indoor Arena, Lugogo.
The two-time league champions have been unstoppable having won all their seven games this season.
Those wins include victories against title contenders UCU (70-49) and KCCA (71-54).
And KIU Rangers, leading the table with seven wins and have played a game more (7-1), poses the biggest threat to JKL’s invisibility.
KIU Rangers’ only loss this season came against UCU (67-68), a game that went to overtime.
But they have history to fight as well if they are to stop JKL.
KIU have lost all their five previous meetings with JKL including a destructive 103-39 loss in 2019.
But this is an improved KIU roster, boosting with Ines Kanyamunza and Sharon Kirabo who are both averaging double digits in points scoring this season.
Coach Rogers Sserunyigo has done a commendable job with this team, but their biggest test is against JKL, which is their last game of the first round.
In Hope Akello, lies JKL’s biggest threat. She continues to be the most dominant force in the Women’s division, and her stats portrays a clearest image.
She is the only JKL player to have started all their seven games this season, averaging 29.8 minutes.
She is doubling a double-double of 16.3 points and 13.7 points, plus 3.6 assists.
Brenda Ekone, Flavia ‘Flirsh’ Oketcho and Stella Oyella are also averaging double digits in Points Per Game.
However, JKL have a couple of things to worry about; Flirsh went to United Kingdom for family reasons (take son back to school) and it’s not known whether she is back in the country, while Oyella have a Netball game with NIC at Kamwokya in the East Africa Netball Championship during lunch hours.
And whether that might give KIU Rangers an opportunity to make things difficult for Hope Okello, remains to be seen.
The absence of Flirsh casts Evelyn Nakiyinji into a starting role, and her quality has never been in doubt. She is leading the team in assists, with 27 assists (averaging 3.9).
While Thelma Delane Toskin will be required to have more minutes to help out in the front court as well.
And shooting guard Ritah Imanishimwe must be at her best if JKL Lady Dolphins are to survive KIU threat.