By Thomas Odongo
Tusker Lite NBL playoffs
*UCU Lady Canons 65-40 KIU Rangers
*UCU Canons 60-50 City Oilers
*KIU Titans 61-75 Nam Blazers
Namuwongo Blazers, simply known as Nam Blazers are through to the men’s final of the Tusker Lite National Basketball League (NBL) playoffs in their first full season in the top-tier division. Blazers made their NBL debut last year but the season wasn’t completed due to Covid-19 disruptions.
To make it to 2022 final, Nam Blazers beat KIU Titans 61-75 in game four of the best of five series to win the semis 3-1. The showdown happened on Sunday at the YMCA basketball court in Wandegeya, Kampala, and was the final game of the day.
In the finals, Nam Blazers will face either UCU Canons or defending champions City Oilers.
Earlier on Sunday, UCU Canons forced game four after avoiding a sweep from City Oilers. The university side won game three 60-50 and will attempt to even the series when they meet on Wednesday evening.
Against Titans, Ariel Okall Okoll stood out for Blazers shooting 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 assists. He was named Tusker Lite player of the game.
“Being a new team in the NBL and reaching the final in the first full season is huge. It will be my first ever final and I’m looking forward to it,” Okall said adding that they’ll need to be focused to triumph against whoever qualifies for the final between City Oilers and UCU Canons.
Other top performers for Blazers included Daniel Monoja with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists, Deng Dikong with 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists, Paul Odong with 9 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists plus Chris Omanye with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
In a losing effort, Joseph Chuma led KIU Titans with 10 points, 15 rebounds, and 1 assist. Fidel Okoth Oduor returned 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 1 assist whilst Edgar Munaba posted 9 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Elsewhere, UCU Lady Canons are though to the women’s final of the Tusker Lite sponsored series after they beat KIU Rangers 65-40 in game three (sweep) of the semis.
UCU Lady Canons will face title holders JKL Lady Dolphins in the best of seven women’s final after the latter overcame KCCA Leopards in the semis and won the best of five series 3-0. This year’s women’s final will repeat the previous one held in 2019.