Nairobi Morans stalk Kampala Red Stars in Africa City Challenge final

By francis marangu
Jun 15, 2017
  • Ben Oluoch, Nairobi’s head coach rated Kampala high saying his team remains the underdog. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Kampala Red Stars has promised to bring out their ‘A’ game on Friday night when they play Nairobi Morans in the Africa City Challenge final.

On Tuesday, Kampala lost 55-59 to Nairobi and they will be meeting for the second time.

Juruni Mandy, the Kampala head coach says they did not deserve to lose but promised to make amends in the final.

“We did not play our game. The players were very confident of winning and that turned into panic which cost us,” he told Sports News Arena.

“We lost very many easy baskets and committed simple errors that have to be corrected. We must bring out our best game in the final because Nairobi will also be at their best.”

Ben Oluoch, Nairobi’s head coach rated Kampala high saying his team remains the underdog.

“Even in the national team, we have never beaten Uganda for a very long time and they are ranked higher than us,” he noted.

“The win on Tuesday helped to boost our morale. We lost very many second chance shots but we will have to work on that.”

To qualify for the final, Kampala beat Mogadishu City 77-45. It was expected to be a tight game owing to Mogadishu’s performance in previous games but it was dominated by Kampala.

At the three-point line where they were very lethal against Juba and Mombasa, Mogadishu lost their touch and made only three three-pointers out of 26 attempts.

Big size

Experience won the game for Kampala but Juruni disagreed.

“I don’t think so because eight of their players play in America so they are exposed to such level of competition. We just used our big size and the plan was to raise intensity right from the start.”

The first quarter was a 16-16 tie. In the first five minutes, Kampala were up by 10 points at 12-2 with Michael Makiadi opening scoring with two free shots.

The second half of the quarter was dominated by Mogadishu as they went 14-4 to tie scores. Ariel Okal scored the two free shots with five seconds remaining to level.

Ivan Lumanyika gave Kampala an 18-16 lead early into the second quarter and Okal made it 18-18.

Farak Ahmed shot Mogadishu ahead with a basket but Makiadi leveled 20–20. Ulanga Sudi buried a three-pointer to shoot Kampala up 23-20 and that is where domination by the Ugandans started.

They led by 15 points at 35-20 and won the quarter 21-8 for a 37-24 halftime lead.

Kampala stretched the lead to 38 points in the third quarter at 64-26 and won 27-10 before wrapping up the win in the fourth quarter with a 13-11 score.

Steve Omony top scored for Kampala with 23 points while Sudi and Makiadi added 14 points each. Okal scored 12 points for Mogadishu, grabbed 14 rebounds and made three steals. Mohad Haji added 10 points.

In the second semifinal, it was a one-sided affair for Nairobi as they hit the century mark in their 107-46 win over Mombasa City Sharks.

Evans Letting scored 13 points in the first quarter as Nairobi won 26-6. They had taken a 12-0 lead at the onset. The lead went up by 38 points in the second quarter at 51-13 with Nairobi winning 27-13 to lead 53-19 at halftime.

Nairobi won the fourth quarter

In the third quarter, Nairobi won 24-12 after leading by 46 points at 77-31. The lead soared to 61 points by full time and Nairobi won the fourth quarter 30-15.

Letting top scored with 25 points, grabbed eight rebounds and three steals. Victor Odendo who was returning after missing the second game scored 18 points with six rebounds and four assists.

Job Byron equally scored 18 points that came with nine rebounds and two steals.

For Mombasa, Zadock Odhiambo top scored with 19 points and grabbed five rebounds.

Mombasa will play Mogadishu in the third and fourth ranking game.

Dar es Salaam Dream Team finished fifth after beating Juba Bright Stars 82-76.

Juba led 42-38 at halftime after winning the first quarter 24-23 and the second 18-15. Dar es Salaam won third quarter 25-24 and made all the difference in the fourth with a 19-10 win.

Erick John top scored for the Tanzanians with 24 points, grabbed three rebounds and made two assists. Brayan Muramba added 23 points with nine rebounds, four assists and one steal.

Orom Mackmot was Juba’s highest scorer with 19 points, nine rebounds and two assists while Athiey Deng added 14 points.