KIU Titans Secure Dramatic Victory Over Kampala Rockets

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KIU Titans narrowly beat Kampala Rockets 64-61.
Titans’ strong start offset by poor fourth quarter.
Juf Mpiya and Edgar Munaba led scoring efforts.
Titans finish second, prepare for playoffs.

A Thrilling Finish: KIU Titans Clinch Win at YMCA Court

The KIU Titans experienced a dramatic end to their regular season with a narrow victory over the Kampala Rockets, winning 64-61 at the YMCA court on Saturday evening. The game, characterized by its intense competition, saw the Titans dominate early but nearly falter in a nail-biting conclusion.

Strong Start, Shaky Finish

Despite the tight nature of the contest, the Titans began with vigor, establishing a solid lead by the end of the third quarter. They were up 57-43, showcasing their offensive strength and defensive prowess. However, the fourth quarter was a different story. The Titans scored only seven points compared to the Rockets’ 18, bringing the game to a nerve-wracking end. The Titans barely held on, narrowly avoiding a third consecutive defeat.

Relief for the Titans

This victory brought much-needed relief to the Titans, who had lost their previous two games. The win restored some confidence and provided a positive end to their regular season.

Standout Performances

  • Juf Mpiya: Mpiya was a standout player, achieving a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. His performance was crucial in maintaining the Titans’ lead.
  • Edgar Munaba: Munaba led the scoring with 21 points, the highest in the game, although he had a modest four rebounds.
  • Collins Kasujja: The team captain and only available point guard, Kasujja was instrumental in the win. He scored nine points, grabbed five rebounds, provided six assists, and made four steals, showing solid defensive skills.

Season Standing and Playoff Outlook

The Titans finished the regular season second on the NBL-Men’s table. They now await their quarterfinals matchup against the team that finishes seventh. The Titans’ 17-5 record from 22 games reflects a strong season, though not without its challenges.

Coach Lutwama’s Perspective

Coach Lutwama expressed dissatisfaction with the team’s performance despite the win. “It was a very poor game for us. You can’t lead from the beginning and end up struggling to win a game on the line. It’s simply not a good show for us,” he remarked.

While acknowledging the relief of ending the regular season with a victory, Lutwama emphasized the need for improvement. “It’s good that we have ended the regular season with a win, but the way we won tonight means we are going back to the drawing board. There is a lot we have to address before the playoffs.”

He also credited his players and management for their efforts throughout the season, expressing optimism for the playoffs. “The regular season has generally been good for us though not the very best because we are second. I want to credit my players and management for everything that has seen us this far. We hope to do even better in the playoffs.”

Captain Kasujja’s Insights

Captain Collins Kasujja echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the team’s lapses in the fourth quarter. “It’s quite relieving that we have closed off the regular season with victory. Today’s win was a difficult one, but we are happy with the final result.”

He acknowledged the need for a strong start in the playoffs. “We had so many lapses, especially in the fourth quarter, and this brought the opponent back in the game. But thanks, we fought hard and secured the win.”

Looking ahead, Kasujja stated, “The regular season has been good, we did our best, though I still feel the very best is yet to come. Now that the regular season is over, we are going back to plan from zero for the playoffs because it marks the beginning of our season-long goal.”

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