After their 2-1 series win over Warriors in the semifinal of the FUBA basketball playoffs, there is a growing feeling of anti-Falcons.Not because of gamesmanship or any other unsporting behavior; this strong discontent is fueled by none other than Falcons’ playoff mastery that has seen them defy all odds over years. This run is mainly credited to the twin-towers of Eric and Henry Malinga; the two brothers whose presence in Falcons spells doom for other teams.
Henry, the 2003 & 2007 league MVP plays centre while his brother is a power-forward.
Prior to last weekend’s decider, Warriors’ Joshua Etalu and Brian Gumisiriza were given the unenviable tasked to marshal the Malingas but instead the latter pair frequently slipped away, easily finding the jump shots and lay-ups. The Malingas also forced their markers into foul trouble and made it impossible for Warriors big men to pick any rebounds on offence. Henry and Eric combined with 23 and 21 points respectively for a lopsided 81-69 Falcons win.
So in a repeat of the 2000 final, Falcons will meet Sadolin Power who saw off UCU Canons 2-1 in the other semi. To beat Falcons, a team must first stop the Malinga brothers yet it’s no mean feat by any stretch of imagination. Their protective play has made Falcons the best defensive team while in attack; the Henry averages 25 points to Eric’s 19 each per game.
That’s statistic is enough to cause shivers in Power’s Mark Enabu, who rates “the Malingas as the best post players. “Hopefully we have the strategy to stop them this time round.”
Simon Ndawula, a former Falcons and Power player believes, “Power’s Julius Wapera, Isaac Afidra and Steven Sengooba can match the Malingas in the final.
That said, it’s two years since a team last tamed the Malingas. That was the time when Nkumba Marines was on fire and on two occasions the teams met in the playoffs, Carroll Bisereko and Carl Mugalu restricted the Malingas to paltry scores of 10 points and beat them. Power and Falcons played out 1-1 in regular season but in reality, this is Falcons title to lose.