Sunday, July 10
•Miracle Ravens 73-57 Nabisunsa Girls
•A1 Challenge 53-61 Angels
•Falcons 74-122 City Oilers
•UPDF Tomahawks 104-76 Ndejje Angels
•JKL Dolphins 56-84 KIU Titans
Six-time NBL winners Falcons have been relegated to lower Division on Sunday after a 74-122 loss against City Oilers at Lugogo.
With three teams going down at the end of this season, Falcons (0-18) have been handed the first ticket with six games to spare.
It’s a sad development for the Sleeping giants who won the league in 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007.
The result, 18th loss for Falcons in as many games, means that they cannot finish at least above three teams this season.
If they win their remaining six games, they will have a record of 6-18, which is at the moment bettered by all but two teams (Ndejje 5-12) and Victoria University 5-14)
The other third team would be Tropical Royals (equal, 6-11) but they edge Falcons on head-to-head having beaten them twice this season.
Falcons’ only outside chance to survive relegation is to pray that the other teams forfeits at least some of their games!
City Oilers Hammer Final Nail in Falcons Coffin
Falcons impressed in the opening exchanges before they were edged out 18-21 in the first quarter.
But they held a firm belief of causing an upset against a short-handed Oilers side that had only three bench players, with Ivan Lumanyika, Tonny Drilleba and James Okello among the injured players.
But they went cold in the second quarter which they lost 33-12, as Oilers led by 24 points going into the second half of the game.
The seven-time champions never looked back despite Francis Azolibe fouling out later in the game.
Caesar Kizito led the way with 30 points on 10-of-12 shooting, Azolibe added 20, Ivan Muhwezi scored 19 while Luak Ruai drilled in 17.
John Dombo and Jimmy Enabu had 12 and 10 respectively, while Emmanuel Okumu (6) and Ben Komakech (8) were the only two players to miss scoring in double figures.
Vinnie Jurua had 20 points for Falcons but the side were hard done by a lofty 29 turnovers in a game they tried to impress on the offense.
Falcons return to Lower Division for the first time since they were relegated in 2017 alongside Nkumba Marines.
They then played one season (2018) in Division One and bounced back the following season in 2019.
But they survived relegation in 2019 by the skin of their teeth after losing 18 games that season!
In fact, they then just needed to show up on the final day against Ndejje University Angels to get a needed point, that helped them to move above Kampala University who was then relegated together with Our Saviour.
That season, was the last time the league was played to completion.
Last year, they had won only two of the eight games before the season was suspended.
Their poor show, as it has been in previous seasons, can be blamed on inadequate finances.
They recruited poorly before the season mainly because it’s hard to attract a player on a contract of very few zeroes.
The 73 points they scored against Oilers on Sunday, is the highest tally they have managed this season!
It remains to be seen if Falcons can finish the season with at least a win to show.
Their remaining games are Nam Blazers, KIU, Ndejje, UPDF, JKL Dolphins and UCU Canons.