D’Mark Power and the UCU Canons admit they have not been at their best in the regular season.
Both claim they will be in Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinal series as the 2012 FUBA Playoffs tip-off today at Lugogo.
“We have not played our best basketball yet but that is mainly because of injuries that have prevented us from having everyone at their best,” said Power captain Isaac Afidra yesterday.
“When one player was getting better, another was getting injured. But right now we are in good shape.” Canons’ coach Nick Natuhereza also admits that his team, who are entering the postseason as the fifth seed, have been below par but expects that to change.
There is no option, he says. “We have to play our best game yet if we are to have a chance of defeating Power,” said the studious coach.
“The problem was we weren’t able to have all of our players together for a good period of time but we have been able to do recently.”
Power, going for a third consecutive FUBA title, go into the men’s top division playoffs as the fourth seed but Afidra says the champions are not short of hunger, which has been cited as a possible explanation for their regular season struggles.
“Our performances will depend on how badly we want it and I believe we want it badly,” said the legendary player.
In the first game of the day, A1 Challenge battle the Gladiators in a clash between the fourth and fifth seeds in the women’s league playoffs.
Fans will have to pay sh5000 while two need one ticket in a move meant to attract as many fans as possible.
“Unlike the past the playoffs will be at sh5000 and two students will buy one ticket to enter the stadiums.
The venues will Makerere, YMCA and Lugogo,” chairman of FUBA technical commitee, Sunday Manano, explained.
Meanwhile, FUBA referees are threatening to boycott the playoffs if the federation does not clear their arrears, which they claim stretch back to last year.
Negotiations are underway.
Today at Lugogo
Game 1 of best-of-3 quarterfinals
A1 v Gladiators
Men Division 1, 8.30pm
Power v UCU
Entrance fee: sh5000
By Charles Mutebi & Johnson Were, The New Vision