UCU Canons Survive Relegation, Storm Playoffs

Tip off at YMCA between UCU (blue) and KCCA (green). (Photo by Toni Kamau/FUBA)

Wednesday, September 13
•UCU Lady Canons 59-48 Nkumba Lady Marines
•UCU Canons 79-69 KCCA Panthers

UCU Canons survived relegation thanks to a 79-69 win over KCCA Panthers in a thrilling game at YMCA that closed the regular season of the National Basketball League.

And UCU’s hard fought victory means that UPDF Tomahawks join Rezlife Saints as the two relegated sides from NBL to Division One.

The Canons who finish the campaign in seventh position, now have their focus on the upcoming playoffs after sealing a great escape.

And the playoffs will tip off this Friday

Coming into Wednesday’s clash, the Mukono-based side needed a win to stay afloat as a loss would see them finish second from the bottom.

Both teams traded punches in the first quarter which KCCA took 27-24.

But the Canons, helped by a raucous crowd from a sizeable crowd mostly made of their fellow UCU students who stormed YMCA, dug deep in the second quarter to lead 47-41 at halftime.

KCCA struggled on offense from thereafter as UCU continued to flourish on both sides of the court, and that was shown in their 72-54 advantage after the third.

But KCCA weren’t going down without a fight as they took the game to UCU. they cut the deficit to six points midway through the fourth, but couldn’t find a leveller as both sides proved blunt.

It remained tense in a game both sides contested the umpires’ calls, but UCU held on their lead to the final buzzer which was greeted by wild celebrations from the UCU fans who entered the court to congratulate the players after competing the mission.

Peter Sifuma was outstanding, finishing with a huge double double of 20 points and as many rebounds for UCU Canons.

Rogers Dauna and Jimmy Otim added 15 and 12 points respectively for Coach Nicholas Natuhereza’s side.

Salim Kisilu scored a game high 25 points while Martin Buluma and Abel Omongin added 10 points each for KCCA.

Despite making 24 turnovers, against KCCA’s 14, UCU out-rebounded KCCA 61-50 in a game they went 33-of-73 from the field.

UCU Canons who finish with 10 wins and as many losses while the defeat is the 14th suffered by KCCA this season.

With Nam Blazers excusing themselves from the Playoffs, the team that has finished ninth (Kampala Rockets) will be included in the playoffs.

JKL Dolphins will not compete in the playoffs as they sit 10th on the table.

NBL Playoffs Matchups
•City Oilers Vs Kampala Rockets
•KIU Titans Vs KCCA Panthers
•D-mark Power Vs UCU Canons
•Our Saviour Vs Ndejje Angels



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