May 22, 2008
Table turned in basketball
By John Vianney Nsimbe

Unlike before when the giants in the men's topflight basketball league got off to flying starts, this season they have played like they don't want to win the league title.

None is unbeaten. This, Ambrose Tashobya - local basketball body, FUBA boss - says is down to the fact that "the gulf between the other sides and the perennial giants has been closed."

Current results lend credence to Tashobya's assertion. Record champions Falcons have already lost twice in five outings. Nkumba Marines and Sadolin Power have also lost twice whilst UCU Canons have lost thrice.

Marines coach Timothy Odeke puts the improvement down to the fact that "players [in the topflight] have matured and are as good as those that dominated them."

Elsewhere, basketball coach Peter Mubanda argues that teams are at par because many teams have varying strengths when matched-up. "You'll find that Falcons has good big men but average guards while Warriors is generally balanced; then Power has good guards compared to their post men," Mubanda reasoned. "These variations can be an advantage to either team in different games; that's why there has been inconsistency in results."

Add to that the fact that not only the giants can afford to hire trained coaches now. With local basketball having 15 coaches or thereabouts, teams now can engage the services of an expert.

With KIU, Miracles, Falcons, Warriors, Marines, UCU and Power scrambling for four playoff slots, fans can only rub their hands in anticipatory relish. But even the league debutantes: KCC Lions, Crane High and Gulu Hawks will have something to say about it, as the latter showed in beating Marines recently.