PUCIts turning out to be a fairy-tale story for late entrants Pentecost University College at the ongoing 2016 Rexona UPAC Basketball Championship.

PUC are riding on the back of the unflattering, disappointing and shameless decision by the University of Professional Studies to pull the plugs on their involvement due to a decision to move the zone A fixtures to the campus of their city rivals University of Ghana.

The UPSA court was unfit to host the qualifiers- reluctantly forcing the organisers to shift the venue to the University of Ghana.

The decision appears to have ruffled few feathers, leading to the decision to pull out of the competition amid the widespread condemnation.

But in the midst of the hue-and cry and the board room politics, PUC are turning out to be the great beneficiaries in the brewing or perhaps the ending Latin soap opera.

Pentecost University College, based in Sowutuom, a suburb of Ghana’s capital, Accra, have done the unthinkable and scattered logic since replacing the University of Professionals Studies.

They are on the verge of securing qualification to the finals following their remarkable feats against Ghana Technology University College (GTUC) and Ho Polytechnic in their opening two games.

With a blend of youthful and experienced players, the highly unassuming PUC dismantled Ghana Technology University before beating Ho Polytechnic 36-30 to put them in the driving seat ahead of the must-win game against GIMPA (scheduled for April 8).

But for the heavy downpour, PUC could be counting their blessings and smiling all the way to the final despite being the lowly-ranked team in the group.

It’s been a fascinating story for the highly unpretentious University, who have defied logic and made nonsense of bookmakers to smuggle their way into a potential final.

Amid their lack of signature tune and perceived inexperience, they have counted on teamwork and the spirit of togetherness to pull a massive surprise in the famous championship in the West African country.

In a rather twisting fortune or misfortune, coach Meme Falconer and Emmanuel Wobil, nicknamed ‘Ghanaa’ were billed for a dual role as they supervise two teams in the championship.

However, Meme Falconer’s Ghana Telecom University College, emerged the whipping boys of the competition, losing their opening games to Pentecost University College (PUC) and Ghana Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

With GTUC, mathematically out of the competition, he will need to re-focus his tactics and energies on the University of Ghana ahead of their zone G qualifiers on April 8.

The blushes of coach Emmanuel Wobil has been saved following the pathetic withdrawal of UPSA (discussion for another day) and will have to focus on Kumasi Polytechnic ahead of their zone D qualifiers on March 19.

Confidence is stepping up for PUC as they have not paused for a single second in looking back. They have been ruthless and demolished perceived top teams with cheeky ease and could cap an incredible campaign with a win over GIMPA in a must-or-bust final game on April 8.

Perhaps PUC now more than ever deserve outmost respect for what they have achieved so far in the championship amid the exaggerated tones and media hype that surrounded the GIMPA team in the lead up to the competition.

PUC are as snarky, quick to combat and aggressive, displaying a well-knitted team who are on a mission to rewrite history.

They will hope to continue their tour of wreckage, tearing apart teams with GIMPA the last one standing on the demotion road.

PUC are on the fairy tale story for the foreseeable future with their sparse fans jostling along for the ride so seamlessly.
Before they arrived for the championship (By the way they landed late), tongues had been waging against them with several pundits (largely Fast Break connoisseurs) writing them off completely.

When they took to the court against GTUC for their opening fixture, they looked determined as they played with greater energy. But they also leaned heavily on tactics, opting for speed over size in hope of jarring the loose from its languid pace.

Devoid of controversial calls, injuries, late scratches, ejections and accusations of dirty play, PUC out smashed Ho Polytechnic to put them on top of the table.

Analyse the individual brilliance and you will come to the firm conclusion that this was purely team work and nothing else.
With no ‘pre-madona’ in their set-up, PUC worked as a collective unit, combing teamwork with Zeal and power play to outdo their opponents.

They have tossed an unfamiliar file into the database to send fear and panic in the GIMPA team ahead of their showdown clash next month.

Whether they qualify to the finals or not is immaterial – PUC have earned respect and their right as one of the fearsome basketball teams at the tertiary level in Ghana.

Indeed it’s a big loss for UPSA and huge gain for the charismatic university – who are now riding above sea level.


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