NBL Playoffs: KIU Titans Level Series With Nam Blazers

Sunday, September 11 (YMCA)
•UCU Lady Canons 62-43 KIU Rangers (1-0)
•KCCA Leopards 52-65 JKL Lady Dolphins (0-2)
•UCU Canons 64-72 City Oilers (0-1)
•KIU Titans 75-64 Nam Blazers (1-1)

If you thought UCU Canons Vs City Oilers is the series to watch in the best of five semifinals, think again.

During timeout, with about 44 seconds left to play, a young KIU lady fan ran across the court and knelt at the far end taken away by emotions.

The Titans were leading by nine points and nothing could stop them at that point.

She was joined by a couple of other fans who ran around the court waving their shirts on a cold night, and the processions continued until the final buzzer.

The wild celebrations continued as fans stormed the court to congratulate their gallant players for a 75-64 victory. They danced on a couple of DJ tunes.

After falling 81-56 in game one, few would believe that KIU Titans had anything to offer in this series.

Even their rowdy fans could not harbour such hopes of stealing a game in these series against a stacked Nam Blazers side.

And all the faint hopes were easily washed away when Nam Blazers started game two with a 6-0 run amidst loud cheers and banter songs from their fans.

But KIU Titans, playing without point guard Michael Otieno, remained in character, and later had the last laugh.

And with this best of five series tied 1-1, we surely have a match up to look out for.

KIU Titans Show Up

Fidel Okoth in action for the Titans. Viva Osuna photos

The Titans looked a different breed on Sunday from the team that terribly lost game one of the Tusker-Lite sponsored NBL Playoffs.

They led 39-33 at halftime and opened the third quarter with a 11-0 run to maintain their grip on the lead.

And they had to survive some serious nervy moments when Nam Blazers staged a late surge to cut the deficit to just two points on a 3-pointer by Kenneth Wachira with just under three minutes to play in the last quarter.

The Titans coaches Julius Lutwama and Raymond Muhumuza were animated throughout the contest, and a couple of players responded in equal measures.

Guard Gaius Mahamba will take the biggest plaudits after ammassing 14 points and 10 rebounds in a controlled performance.

Edgar Munaaba gave Nam Blazers trouble throughout and managed 18 rebounds, while Isaiah Mabeny Ater (13) and Fidel Okoth (10) had double figures in scoring.

While the Titans struggled to have answers for David Dikong in the opening exchanges, they did a good job on slowing Amisi Saidi who found his mojo late in the game to finish with 14 points.

It was an all-rounding better performance for KIU who executed on offense and regrouped well on defence.

Nam Blazers were left with a running rose with all their size, after they were out-rebounded 80-39.

They struggled on rotation, and managed just 24 points against KIU’s 37 off the bench.

Collins Kasujja, Paul Odong and Daniel Juuko had four points combined, and they might be attempted to sacrifice one of their foreigners to have Chris Omanye at some stage in this series.



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