University of Ghana (UG) are the new champions of the Ghana Universities Sports Association -GUSA basketball championship after a mesmeric 4th quarter performance saw them beat the defending champions University of Education, Winneba, (UEW) 58-52 on Thursday night.
The event sponsored by Nestle Milo has been classified as the best ever in the competitions 21 year history.
It was a sweet revenge for the country’s premier University who had lived in the shadows of their opponent for two years.
The game was a repeat of the finals two years ago in Tamale where UEW beat UG to clinch the title and that was the fundamental cliché that attracted heavyweights like David Ashong, Chairman of the Ghana Basketball Association, Mr Samuel Osafo, Category Business Manager, Nestle Milo (Central & West Africa) and the crème de la crème of University basketball in Ghana.
It was a final that lived up to it pre match hype as thousands of crazy basketball fans thronged the main basketball court of the University of Ghana to catch a glimpse of the country’s finest University basketball teams.
The game belonged to UEW’s duo of Meme Falconer and Benjamin Debrah on one side and Jake Morrison and Clarke Kwabena Uriah of Legon on other side and the four key men on the court took the game on their shoulders to thrill fans and officials.
The game was nerve racking, hypnotic and an end to end action from the first quarter to the final quarter.
It was a game that brought the best of referees Samuel Badu and Anthony Anane who had most of their calls right in the face of some crucial decisions at certain points in the game.
Chief sniper for UEW Meme Falconer once again underlined his credential as the king on the court with some startling and awesome skills. He was the thorn in the flesh of the University of Ghana team and anytime he came on, Kelvin Ankrah and his colleagues had difficulties in penetrating through the defence of UEW.
In a final that started with Falconer and Kelvin’s pre-match big talk, dragging each other to the floor, it was expected things could get even chippier on the court. They had played several times prior to Thursday’s meeting and there was clearly no love lost between these two giants and it was therefore not shocking that the game was emotional and wrought-out showing.
UEW were in control from the first to the third quarter until danger man Falconer got his marching off orders for five personal fouls.
UG took advantage in the final quarter and despite trailing by five points by a 39-34 points, Coach Emmanuel Wobil delved deep into his coaching artistry and that was the turning point of the game.
It was a nervy and testy times for most fans who sat on tenterhooks in the final five minutes of the game with the score at a tie.
The defending champions began to lose concentration with fans of U.G cheering on their team with drumming and singing. UG started getting their antics and tactics right and things started to fall in place for them.
With only a second left on the clock, they put the icing on the cake with a fast break that saw Kelvin Ankrah score to make it 58-52 to send the thousands of fans into spontaneous celebration.
Clarke Kwabena Uriah of University of Ghana and Felicia Sarpong of KNUST were adjudged the MVP in the male and Female category respectively.
Meanwhile Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology took bronze after a comfortable 51-29 win over University of Mines, Tarkwa in the third place match.
In the final classification of the ladies division, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) came first followed by University of Cape Coast (UCC). University of Education, Winneba placed third and the defending champions University of Ghana (UG) were locked up at a disappointing fourth position.
The 2010 Milo GUSA games is brought to you by Milo – the energy food drink of future champions with support from Voltic mineral water and produced Rite Multimedia, leaders in basketball development and promotion in Ghana.
It was a good game and UG really deserved the trophy but i stand in for my team-mates and promise all UEW FANS that we will surely come and redeem ourselves in the next competition.we are the basketball chiefs and they are the bearers of the trophy.WE WILL BE BACK………
I saw the match yesterday. I have never really been a fan of basketball, but yesterday was my conversion. The end to end stuff was legendary! Tenacity in the face of sheer UEW class was the defining characteristic of the spirited UG side. Without that, they should have been sank like a breached inflated raft. Players like Morrison held it together; his distribution was as accurate as it was breathtaking, and despite a lack of calmness in the UG side later on in the game, they surprisingly never lost composure.
Kelvin was inspirational, especially with that SLAAAAMMM DUNK!!!! That was something! And he rubbed his head in the air while holding on to the rim like a mad rush of blood just soared in, in a split second that sent sparks and screams throughout the court and crowd.
It was clear that UG did not capitalise on many fouls, but when Falconer got sent off, a key advantage was lost to their still mesmerizing opponents.
UEW was clearly classy. Their Falconer is a genius of the court, no two ways. But the team has strength in depth; everybody made shots, everybody distributed; everybody defended. It was a great effort, and you could tell that they didn’t know how basketball matches were lost. I find it fair to day that Falconer’s sending off certainly helped the UG cause like nothing else happening on court could have.
In the end, wow, what a fight! UG are giants in their own right, and what a fight it was! I dare say the match could be aired on NBA TV and passed for a real thing.
I am now a fan of basketball.
What a game!
WOW ! Cyril Clarke! i thought Cyril was only a good shooter. Did you guys see his dunk at the dyeing moments of the game. he was about a step away from the free throw line. He can do stuff like that too?