Sport-S elimiates holder OBB, off to the finals

Sport-S' Emma Okia sets up a block against OBB /COURTESY PICTURE

VOLLEYBALL Sport-S elimiates holder OBB, off to the finals

Ndyamuhaki J Emanzi 12:37 - 23.04.2023

The regular season’s top-seeded team defeated OBB 3-1 in the decisive Game Three to return to the finals, having missed out last season.

Sport-S are through to the 2023 National Volleyball League Playoffs Finals after completing a 2-1 series victory over defending champions OBB Sunday afternoon at the Old Kampala Arena.

The regular season’s top-seeded team defeated OBB 3-1 in the decisive Game Three to return to the finals for the first time since 2019.

When Sport-S led 19-15 in the first set, OBB’s net defence came to the fore to get the defending champions back in it.

The gap was reduced to two points when Cosmas Apunyo struck a diagonal attack from position four to force Sport-S into a timeout.

Samuel Engwau, through the middle, attacked to find the floor with a hard strike before two monster blocks from the middle blocker to establish a five-point difference (22-17).

Thon Maker’s dump caught OBB’s backcourt defence napping to make it 24-17, and there was no stopping the Nsambya outfit as they took the first set 25-18.

OBB set the pace in the second frame, benefiting from Sport-S’ errors in the service box to take an early 06-04 lead.

Apunyo paced his serve to trouble Sport-S’ first pass, and the Iganga-based side started to break away (14-11) midway through the set.

And once the lead grew to four points (16-12), Benon Mugisha required a timeout to sort things out.

Hussein Adome failed to get the ball over with an attempted dump, and the lead was cut to three (18-15), but OBB were unrelenting and remained in command.

Jonathan Tumukunde tore through the block to close the set 25-19 as OBB levelled matters.

After Sport-S enjoyed a two-point advantage early in the third frame, OBB got back in it when Johnson Rukundo failed to collect his brother Tumukunde’s serve, and OBB tied the set at 07-07.

But Sport-S would go on to dominate the set with excellent net defence and limited errors in the service box.

They re-established their lead in the game by taking the set 25-17.

OBB had their backs against the wall, and their entire season depended on the fourth set.

But despite a solid start to proceedings, the champions faded late in the set to see their season come to an end.

Yahya Waguma’s troops started the set with a 04-00 run, but Sport-S made it a contest to level at 07-07 before leading 11-07.

OBB players hit the self-distract button by contesting calls by the referee and losing their focus.

Sport-S pounced to close the game and march on to the finals, avenging last year’s semi-final defeat to OBB.

National Volleyball League Playoffs

Semi-final Playoffs

Game Three

Sport-S 3-1 OBB (25-17, 19-25, 25-17, 25-18)

Sport-S advance to the finals*