By Ian Asabo
The UCU Canons defeated the Namugongo Blazers, 61-58, in a closely contested final, to win the first “Invite” basketball tournament held at the YMCA court in Wandegeya. The winner, ‘Canons’ walked away with the sum of Shs 2m while the runner-up took home the sum of Shs 1.5m.
Bbaale Fayed was voted MVP of the tournament, after a unanimous verdict by the panel of judges highlighting his impressive basketball skills showcased during the game.
Head Coach Nicholas Natuhereza was glad that his team won the tournament and is excited for what the team can achieve the following year. “Glad we were the last team standing. All the hard work paid off. We are looking forward to what we can do next year” he says.
The team was able to maintain a 100% percent record in the tournament by winning all their games against tricky opponents including the Falcons and the UPDF Tomahawks.
Team captain Titus Lual praised the resilience of his team to be able to bounce back and win the final since they were behind at halftime.
“I am proud of the way we showed our champion instinct after we were down at the half. We showed character and I am proud of the guys that we were able to come back and win the game,” he says.
He also singled out praise for the MVP Bbaale Fayed and credited his victory to the hard work that he puts in on a daily basis.“ He is the deserved winner of the award. This is proof that when you work hard, you are always rewarded regardless,” he continues.
One UCU Canons fan stated that the continued investment in the sports sector at Uganda Christian University (UCU) is one of the main reasons why the team is excelling every time they step on the court. “The investment in the sports team administration and good coaching set up will make the team continue to succeed every time they step on the court, case in point is redesigning of the courts,” says Timothy Owor.
Six teams which included: Takan Lokeris, UCU Canons, Betway Power, Falcons participated in the inaugural tournament, which the sponsors having a view of making it an annual tournament.
Betway Power general manager Allan Musoke hopes for more tournaments as well as having some games on Friday evenings.
“We are hoping that as the tournaments continue. We can also have Friday night games so that we can expand the tourney. It will however remain invitational and we will allow teams to explore other playing options,” said Musoke.
The tournament was organized by NBL club Betway Power alongside sponsors like Rwenzori and Club Pilsner was in memory of those who had an impact on the game, but are now passed to glory.