Namuwongo Blazers became the first men’s team to book a place in this year’s National Basketball League finals after defeating KIU Titans in game four of the semi-final series.
The Blazers took the series 3-1 to move a step closer to their target of winning the championship on first attempt.
Having won the first game of the series, Blazers looked home and dry but the Titans came out fighting to take game two.
Blazers regained the lead with Friday’s 69-50 win and needed one more win to make the finals.
Stephen Nyeko’s charges relied on a 20-0 run in the second quarter of game four to create daylight between the two sides.
KIU struggled to execute on the night and shot 20 of 89 from the field to leave the table of big men with heads in hands.
Julius Lutwama’s troops went into game four with no room for error and were looking to force a decider.
A 13-10 lead for the university side at the end of the first quarter sent a message that KIU were not going down without a fight but failure to execute in the second quarter saw Blazers take a 36-20 lead at the half.
While the Titans were struggling to score on one end, they also failed to get stops and were punished.
Blazers scored 26 points in the second frame and limited KIU to just seven.
Kenya Morans forward Ariel Okall put up a Tusker Lite Player of the Game Performance to pace the Blazers. He registered a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Daniel Monoja, who stayed in the starting lineup ahead of Saidi Amisi, got 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Joseph Chuma had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Titans while Fidel Okoth added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Titans.
The Blazers will now await the winner of the series involving defending champions City Oilers and UCU Canons.
Nicholas Natuhereza’s Canons avoided a sweep by winning game three 60-50 and will get a chance to force a decider by winning Wednesday’s game four.
Fayed Baale got 14 points for the Canons while Fadhil Chuma added 11. The two were the only players to score in double figures in the game.
Unlike the first two games, the Canons got out of the blocks early to set the pace in the game and got the rewards.