UG MAKES UPAC HISTORY
Wow what a game! remarked one of the spectators on the Basketball Court last Saturday as University of Ghana Male Basketball Team clinched the coveted Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges Championship (UPAC) trophy by beating Accra Technical University in the finals. UG thus becomes the first tertiary institution in Ghana to win the Championship three times in succession.
The UPAC finals came off from Thursday, 12th to 14th April with eight (8) institutions competing for the trophy. UG was drawn in Group A with Ghana Telecom University College, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Takoradi Technical University
Two time champions Accra Technical University were in Group B with All Nations University, Sunyani Technical University and University of Education, Winneba.
UG Extend Unbeaten Streak Since 2016
The performance of UG Male Basketball culminating in the third successive UPAC trophy extended its unbeaten record since 2016 when they participated in the Ghana Universities Sports Association Games (GUSA) at University of Education, Winneba.
Defending Champions UG managed a relatively difficult group to meet another rival, University of Education, Winneba in the semi-finals. The script remained unchanged as UG won comfortably 66 to 48 to set another final with Accra Technical University (ATU) which was looking forward to win the Championship for the third time.
UG Dazzles in Finals
The atmosphere got charged as the names of the UG players were been called to take unto the court with more than three hundred fans singing and drumming to cheer UG to victory. UG led 14 to 13 at the end of 1st quarter. However, ATU took the lead in the 2nd quarter 20 to 27. Joel Tham Point Guard and Captain for UG together with his teammates staged a historic comeback to level the points 31 to 31 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
They continued in the 4th quarter where they left off in the 3rd quarter with some breathtaking play to round up the finals with a 41 to 36 score line to win the Competition.
Team Shares Experience
The Coach of the UG Team Dr. Samori Camara who won his first trophy with the team at University for Development Studies, Tamale during the Ghana Universities Sports Association Games was delighted for the determination, character and maturity his team exhibited throughout the Championship especially in the finals.
“I am very happy with what we have achieved. The team showed resilience, determination, character and maturity in the finals. They were not nervous when we were behind and not also carried away by the occasion particularly when we took the lead. We dedicate this win to our fans who were vociferous from start to finish. Clearly, they believed in us. This team have come far winning two major competitions in the space of four months is remarkable and I must congratulate them for the patience they had with me over the period in training and during matches.”
The Coach reserved special praise for the hundreds of students and alumni who thronged the Court to cheer the team on. He recounted that the attention is now shifted to the upcoming Federation of African Universities Sports (FASU) Games in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to defend the trophy we won in South Africa in 2016.
The Captain of the team Kwame Opoku who was applauded time without number on Saturday for his efforts in the finals shared his thoughts and experience in this year’s finals
“This year was quite difficult and we expected that because the game needs to improve year after year. ATU defended well in the first two quarters but we were tactically disciplined in the final two quarters and that made the difference. We knew what was at stake – to make history for ourselves and UG and to also etch our names in the hearts of our beloved fans and Basketball patriots.”
UG received a trophy, cash prize of Three Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢3,000.00), medals, certificates, and souvenirs from sponsors.