KIU Titans started their quarterfinal play-offs with UCU Canons last Saturday night without coach Hamza Nyambogo.
He had been sacked a few days earlier. This followed KIU’s recent losses to UCU Canons, City Oilers and Power in the final games of the regular season.
In the aftermath, Nyambogo’s assistant, Brian Wathum, ascended to the position of head coach. However, that has not deterred questions on whether it was justified to show Nyambogo the door.
Nyambogo said, “The team has not been playing well of late, which is why the management asked me to step aside. Although I enjoyed working with the team, I accept the decision taken, and wish the team well.”
KIU chairman Nasser Sserunjogi said that after three years with Nyambogo, they felt the team needed to take a new direction. When asked to elucidate on that, Sserunjogi preferred not to go into details.
But the writing on the wall had been that they did not think KIU could end its hoodoo of failing to win the championship, even this time round. Last year, KIU, who won 19 consecutive games from 22 in the regular season, had been expected to win the championship, or at least make the final.
Yet, they lost the semi-final to Power 2-3 on aggregate, which ended their winning run at 22 successive wins in 25 games. That outcome was frowned at considering the players Nyambogo had at his disposal.
For example, Henry Malinga, Norman Blick, Sudi Ulanga, Chris Basheke and Ivan Lumanyika were seen as a fine combination. Their failure to click was squarely blamed on Nyambogo and, therefore, something better was expected this time round.