Uganda: Titans Face Warriors in Decider

27 September 2019

The Lugogo indoor stadium was buzzing on the night of Monday, September 23.

With a bigger fan-base inside, the Kampala International University (KIU) Titans' 69-59 win over the Warriors in game two of their quarterfinal National Basketball League playoff, was met by big celebrations.

If there had been any doubts about how powerful a chanting crowd can be in steering a team to victory, that was all laid to rest. In fact, when the Titans lost game one of this best of three series on Friday, September 20, it was clear they lacked the energy and drive from within, but also their fans.

For all intents and purposes, the Titans and Warriors game, tipped to be the peak of the round and worthwhile remainder of the playoffs.

"This has really been a gruelling contest so far. A real test of character," Warriors coach Ronnie Mutebi said, as he reflected on his team's loss.

He added: "We hope to emerge from it come Saturday, September 28. Our problem was losing focus during critical moments, because of some bad calls by the umpires, that went against us."

Indeed, with Mike Bazangu and Saidi Amisi, both in foul trouble, it was always going to be hard for Warriors. Mutebi said that emotional intelligence is required to beat the odds. And that is something Mutebi feels some of his players did not exercise.

Yet, to win a championship, that is crucial. Warriors ended up missing countless layups. Success therein, would have kept Warriors with a good chance of being within touching distance with Titans, who beat them by ten points. Let alone, Warriors could have sealed the series two nil.

However, as Mutebi labours to get over that defeat. He could not have forgotten that in 2017, after leading the Titans in the semi-finals, Warriors eventually lost.

Nonetheless, Mutebi remains confident that they will beat Titans this time.

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