By Ali Mutanje
Except playing in the same league. Little can be compared between these two sides. Falcons at the wrong end of the table and new boys Nam Blazers aiming for the title.
Such contrasting theories given Falcons are 6 time National Basketball league winners.
Nam Blazers rise
Led by the steady and pragmatic Stephen Eacodata ‘Escodata’ Nyeko, Nam Blazers are shaping themselves into title contenders.
Even when their coach says they’re not looking too far ahead, it’s easy to see how formidable a side they are as the shortened season gets half way.
Considering this is their first season in the top flight, one could say they have over achieved.
They have lost 2 and won 4 out of 5 (doesn’t make sense right, wait I will explain).
The Namuwongo based outfit had a win over City Oilers overturned for fielding Soro Geoffrey who had not attained Letter of Clearance to play.
After their 51-59 loss to KCCA Panthers 14 days back, they have regrouped and won over Falcons and Ndejje University to propel them to 3rd position below leaders City Oilers and JKL Dolphins.
If the Blazers can maneuver through their remaining tough fixtures against KIU Titans, JKL Dolphins, Power and UPDF Tomahawks, they stand a real chance of lifting the championship this season.
Falcons are in great company on the table. They are closer to 5 time champions Betway Power who are in search of their first win of the season.
Above them is UPDF in 8th, KCCA Panthers in 7th and KIU Titans in 6th which means Falcons are 9th just above Power.
To force a playoff they must displace one of those teams.
That we are talking about play offs with five games to go even in this shortened season can only show how far off the six time champions have fallen.
New Falcons dominated this country’s basketball for nearly ten years from 1998 to 2007.
How did they get here?
Since 2013 when they were beaten by the City Oilers, losing the championship to them, they never recovered.
Relegation followed in 2017 and sponsors started to distance themselves from them.
They lost their deal with Startimes and had a hard time accessing funds from there on.
They regrouped to come back to the top flight in a period of 1 year but still failed to confirm their stay in the league early last season until the last day of the season.
Fast forward and the team is no better. They have played for games so far this season and failed to win any.
With five games left to play, there’s no guarantee they will stay.
However they possess enough experience in Derrick Katumba and guard Dickson Asiko to get to the play offs and make it through.