Friday, July 8
•JKL Lady Dolphins Vs KCCA Leopards – 7pm
• KIU Titans Vs City Oilers – 9pm
JKL Lady Dolphins’ unbeaten run is on the line when they meet latest challengers KCCA Leopards in the NBL at Lugogo.
It’s first vs Second at the summit, and four-time league winners KCCA will back their processes to end the unbeaten run of two-time NBL winners JKL this season.
JKL have won all their 14 league games this season, including beating KCCA 71-54 in the first round on April 10.
And KCCA coach Ali Mavita says that there will be a change in the approach this time round as they seek to avenge that first round loss.
“We prepared well and the Girls are ready to go,” Mavita told The-SportsNation on Thursday.
“Absolutely, we are set for a different approach, the players are ready to come and play and compete and we want a different result from that of the first round.
“We need to do better this time, and defend as a whole.”
KCCA Leopards will welcome back industrious point guard Sylvia Nakazibwe who has missed some previous games due to her busy work schedule.
Mavita’s charges have lost three of their 14 games this season – KIU Rangers and UCU Lady Canons (second round) are the other two teams to have beaten the side.
Ruth Letaru, a new signing from KCCA, has seamlessly fit into the team but they will need a combined effort if they are to stop a well oiled JKL side.
They have their work cut out to clear the boards and must use the size of Martha Soigi, Becky Longom, Alicia Wasagali, Susan Becca Aanyau and Leticia Awor to deny JKL chances inside the paint.
But none of the mentioned, and any one else is averaging rebounds in double figures, and the same can be said of scoring!
And they meet a good JKL side that looks perfect across all areas.
Who Can Stop JKL?
KIU Rangers recently presented themselves as the team to stop JKL but the manner in which they were battered was a big warning to everyone in the league – They lost by 23 points.
And having also beaten UCU already in this second round, KCCA remains JKL’s remaining toughest hurdle on paper.
And if they come out of this KCCA game unscathed, the remaining three fixtures of Miracle, Nkumba and Magic Stormers will surely pose less threat to the Dolphins target of finishing the regular season unbeaten.
Hope Akello is the league’s undisputed elite big man, Point Guard Flavia ‘Flirsh’ Oketcho who will be facing her former team is just unmatched in her position if she decides to play while Brenda Ekone is the greatest scorer this league has produced in recent memory.
Stella Oyella and Taudencia Oluoch have reduced Akello’s burden of heavy lifting, Rita Imanishimwe is slowly finding her groove back while Evelyn Nakiyinji is the team’s facilitator and third in most assists this season despite her limited time on court.
Did you know?
– Only Rose Akon (41, UCU) and Shadiah Mbwali (35, Nkumba) have more steals than Imanishimwe (31) this season.
– The last four meetings between JKL and KCCA are split, both sides have won two games.
Probable Starting fives:
JKL – Flavia Oketcho, Rita Imanishimwe, Brenda Ekone, Taudencia Oluoch, Hope Akello
KCCA – Sylvia Nakazibwe, Ruth Letaru, Angella Namirimu, Leticia Awor, Martha Soigi
NBL Table Women
1. JKL Lady Dolphins 14-0
2. KCCA Leopards 11-3
3. UCU Lady Canons 10-4
4. KIU Rangers 10-4
5. Magic Stormers 6-8
6. Angels 6-7
7. Miracle 5-8
8. A1 Challenge 3-11
9. Nabisunsa 2-11
10. Nkumba Lady Marines 1-2
*Team (win – losses)
*Bottom two relegated, rest qualify for playoffs