NBL Finals: JKL Target KIU Rangers Scalp In Game One

Unstoppable: JKL’s Brenda Ekone set to run riot against KIU Rangers

Friday, October 13
•JKL Lady Dolphins Vs KIU Rangers, 7pm
•City Oilers Vs KIU Titans, 9pm


The JKL Lady Dolphins have eyes on a third National Basketball League title as they take on KIU Rangers in Game one of the best-of-seven finals series.

Their previous triumphs came in 2018 and 2019 when they defeated the UCU Lady Canons, before losing to the same UCU side in the 2023 finals.

In response to their loss to UCU in the previous season, JKL came into this campaign as a determined team and kept the core of their squad intact.

This commitment to continuity paid off, as all five local-based players who made the Gazelles squad for Afrobasket in Rwanda came from JKL: Evelyn Nakiyinji, Flavia Oketcho, Brenda Ekone, Rita Imanishimwe, and Hope Akello.

Furthermore, the team made strategic additions to enhance their roster, including Agatha Kamwada from UCU and Becky Longom from KCCA, both of whom have proven to be pivotal contributors.

While they faced setbacks in the regular season with losses to KCCA Leopards (58-63) and JT Lady Jaguars (52-53), their playoff journey began on a strong note with a 2-0 series win over A1 Challenge in the Quarterfinals, followed by a convincing 3-0 sweep against the UCU Lady Canons in the semifinals.

With the experienced Mande Juruni, who is also the coach of City Oilers, part of the JKL technical bench alongside head coach Henry Malinga, JKL retains its status as the favorites going into the finals.

Their opponents, the KIU Rangers, were defeated twice by JKL in the regular season (70-49 and 77-55), but they are expected to present a more formidable challenge in the finals.

The addition of Dorcas Maronbera, who missed both earlier meetings with JKL due to her late-season arrival, has proven to be a key asset for KIU, averaging 6 points and 6 rebounds in her nine games.

Nonetheless, KIU has had to cope with the departure of Diana Letaru, who left for the United States and had been averaging an impressive 13 points.

Stepping into this void, Rose Amaniyo has emerged as a key player for KIU Rangers, currently averaging a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds per game, and her battle with her opposite in Hope Akello at the side,say determine the ceiling in this series.

Additionally, players like Perus Nyamwenge, Ines Kanyamunza, Sharon Kirabo, Uwineza Ninette, and Fildauce Namuleme are expected to play significant roles under the guidance of coach Julius Lutwama in their pursuit of an upset.

KIU Rangers reached the finals by sweeping Miracle Eaglets (2-0) in the quarterfinals and JT Lady Jaguars (3-0) in the semifinals.

And this marks the first time the KIU Rangers have advanced to the NBL finals, and they are eager to make their maiden appearance at this stage a memorable one.

Past Winners:
2023 – UCU Lady Canons
2019 – JKL Lady Dolphins
2018 – JKL Lady Dolphins
2017 – UCU Lady Canons
2016 – UCU Lady Canons
2015 – UCU Lady Canons
2014 – KCCA Leopards
2013 – UCU Lady Canons
2012 – KCCA Leopards
2011 – UCU Lady Canons
2010 – UCU Lady Canons
2009 – KCCA Leopards
2008 – UCU Lady Canons
2007 – KCCA Leopards
2006 – Lady Bucks
2005 – A1 Challenge
2004 – Lady Bucks
2003 – Makerere Sparks
2002 – Lady Bucks
2001 – Lady Bucks
2000 – Lady Bucks
1999 – Lady Bucks
1998 – Lady Bucks

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