By Isaac Akugizibwe
KIU, Main Campus-KIU Rangers needed a seven-point margin to beat Ali Mavita's KCCA Leopards 68-61, in a game both teams wanted to be won on Wednesday evening. This was the last game of the NBL regular season that is now heading to the Playoffs.
Yesterday's Victory means KIU Rangers will face Miracle Ravens in the best of three series quarter-finals while fourth-placed KCCA Leopards will play Ndejje Angels.
Both sides started yesterday's encounter with Maximum tempo and thirst which saw them share the spoils at the end of the first quarter but when it came to the second quarter, KIU put up a strong challenge winning 19-9.
Despite being outclassed with a 34-37 score in the second half, the Rangers had done enough to complete a double against the Leopards whom they beat 68-61. The Kansanga outfit defeated KCCA 69-63 in the first round.
Ninette Uwineza was just an assist shy of triple-double as she led with 15 points,14 rebounds and nine assists that truly inspired the Rangers to yet another hard-fought triumph.
Ines Kanyamuza scored 17 points and Perus Nyamwege contributed 12 to complete the tally for the Rangers who ended the regular season with a 14-4 record equalling UCU Lady Canons who finished second on a head to head advantage.
KIU Rangers will now avoid the invisible JKL lady Dolphins at the semifinals but will most likely meet UCU Lady Canons if the Mukono-based side beats Magic Stormers in the quarter-finals. The ladies in green have an upper hand in beating miracle Ravens in their first huddle if they maintain or improve the momentum at which they have played all season long.
Avoiding JKL Dolphins in the semifinals presents the Rangers with an advantage of reaching the finals but must prove their worth beginning with their most immediate opponents where they are required to register two wins to progress.