By Isaac Akugizibwe
KIU, Main Campus - KIU Titans beat arch-rivals Namuwongo Blazers 75-64 to bring the best of five series encounters to 1-1 after game two following a nerve fledgling contest at YMCA court on Sunday evening.
This was a much needed victory for the Titans and if all goes well, it may become the turning point of the incredible story of a team so many people never counted among the contenders at the beginning of the season. And a humiliating 81-56 first game loss to the blazers on Friday evening had seen many start to lose faith.
It is not a common thing to see wild celebrations at basketball games in this country but KIU fans could not help but run waving their shirts around a fully packed YMCA court when the Titans took a nine points lead with 44 seconds to go. And when the final whistle went, the jubilant KIU fans took to the middle of the court and gave some incredible justice to the well selected DJ tunes.
There were spectacular offensive and defensive displays from the Titans on Sunday night and the Nam blazers who only led in the first five minutes were completely outplayed. One thing that Namuwongo couldn't match at all was the blazing speed of Gaus Mahamba.
The lowly-rated Mahamba posted 14 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists to inspire the Titans to a much-deserved redemptive win. Evergreen Isaiah Mabeny Ater was back in business this time round and managed 13 points and three rebounds.
Fidel Okoth Odour who provided a crucial defensive cover when Nam Blazers appeared to force a come back scored a double-double,10 points, and 11 rebounds while the ruthless Edgar Munaba had nine points and 18 rebounds to his name.
"It was a great team effort from the boys. At this stage, it's all about adjusting and we did that very well in game 2," KIU Titans Coach Raymond Muhumuza said in a post-match interview.
"We however still have so much to do before our game 3 on Friday," he added.
Friday's star man David Deng Dikong was baptized with fire though he and Amisi Saidi posted 14 points for Nam blazers each, nine and seven rebounds which were not enough to stop the ruthless KIU Titans who calmed their intensity when it mattered most.
The rowdy Namuwongo fans had only five minutes of happiness as their team took a 6-0 lead at the beginning of the first quarter but grew faint as their team was condemned to a chasing pack from the seventh minute onwards as KIU were in front till the end.
The KIU fans gained Momentum when the boys in green led 39-33 at half-time and by the time the game ended at YMCA, the noisy neighbours were simply speechless and some could be seen leaving crestfallen even before the umpire ended the game.