By Isaac Akugizibwe
KIU, Main Campus-Five days after seeing off East African giants KPA of Kenya, KIU Rangers will hope to begin the second round of the 2022 UBL season in style when they play UCU Lady Canons and Miracle Ravens on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
The Rangers finished the first round in the second place on the UBL Women's table and have lost only two games, against UCU Lady Canons and the unbeaten JKL Dolphins. The Ladies in green lost both games with very slim margins and will look to make amendments when they meet UCU Canons this weekend.
Having won East African giants KPA in a friendly match on Monday, KIU Rangers' fans have since composed a slogan, 'it is coming to Kansanga' to steer up the team and also put the opposition fans out of rythm but all that the slogan intends to achieve must come with victories against UCU Lady Canons and Miracle Ravens. This will also help send a strong warning to whoever comes next.
After Monday's friendly, KPA's center, Vilma Achieng, formerly at UCU Lady Canons approved of the Progress Rogers Sseruyingo's ladies had taken since she last played against while at UCU in 2019 as captain of the lady canons.
"This KIU team has surely progressed, they have good players as well. I have been following Ugandan basketball,l can tell you, this is the same competition we would have got while playing teams like UCU, KCCA or JKL Dolphins," the former UCU Lady Canons captain told the 'sports nation.
But coach Rogers Sseruyingo was quick to warn his team not to be taken by their display against the East African heavy weights for the season is still too long for conclusions. Nevertheless, Sseruyingo thinks the team's performance in this weekend's double header should give them a better chance to gauge their season-long aspirations.
"This challenge is probably the most important as it’s a continuation of a good first round start.UCU in particular would be a good morale booster of how far we’ve come and managed to adjust our playing strategies and techniques. Ravens are a good team yet first-timers in the top flight and we respect them," he said
"There’s a lot of team adjustments and adaptations. The ladies are ready and set for a tough weekend of back-to-back games. Nanyonga Florence is a good addition to our energies in rebounding as it’s been our major setback this season," he added.
Indeed, rebounding has been a major problem in this Rangers team but the addition of Florence Nanyonga will also add to the team's confidence and composure, especially in big games.
However, Mr. Sseruyingo thinks it is not time to sing about the title heading to Kansanga as a big faction of the KIU Rangers and Titans fans have begun chanting the slogan borrowed from "it is coming home' famously used by the English during the Euros in 2021.
"I am proud of our fans out there as they keep supporting us every other game. It’s a big fan base and much respect for them. However, technically you cannot win until the final day of the season, we are not even yet guaranteed a semi-final playoffs until the second-round ends. Let’s talk about such predictions when we get there, it’s so early to think about the championship coming to Kansanga. UCU, KCCA, and JKL have been there more times than Rangers and are more experienced teams," he said.
"I know we can be champions but there’s a lot at stake to work out," he added.
KIU Rangers are in the second position on the UBL Women's ladder, below the unbeaten JKL Dolphins while UCU Lady Canons are in the fourth position.