By: Nacho Black Armo
Coach Ronnie Mutebi’s basketball passion is dated way back in 2000 in his primary 7 vacation around Bush courts before joining St Mary’s Kisubi at secondary level where his talent was elevated.
Before taking on coaching and other administrative roles, Ronnie played basketball for Charging Rhinos alongside Mandy Juruni (Current City Oilers’ coach), Hamza Nyambogo ( National team coach), Opio Mark (Currently playing for Warriors) Sebatindira Fahmy (Currently playing for Betway Power) among other players.
He took on coaching roles at Charging Rhinos between 2010 and 2013 and helped the team get promoted to the NBL.
Coach Ronnie Mutebi joined Pemba Warriors in 2014 which was Riham then and later Stanbic Warriors, working as an assistant coach to Gad Etau who was sacked at beginning of the 2015 season and replaced with Sam Obol.
Following the departure of coach Obol, Ronnie Mutebi was elevated to full coach in December 2016 and his task ahead was arranging Warriors for the 2017 season where they finished 1st in the regular season, reached semi finals and defeated Power, 75-66 to claim the 3rd place.
We get up close with him and he shares with us about his experience with Warriors in the national Basketball league season 2017.
How was your experience in the first half of the season ?
The first part was to learn working along as a team and create an identity which we achieved evident by the results we produced.
We lost one game, that was to city Oilers, a game I thought we could have won.
Which players would you tone your first round success to ?
That’s a tough one to call but Syrus Kiviri, Saidi Amisi, Micheal Buzangu, Philp Amenyi and Opio Mark where a strong hold to push us in first round
.….. And the second half?
We encountered challenges in second round when some of our players were called for National duty and injuries too. Syrus was called for the silverbacks, Micheal Bunzangu was called for Congo though he had to pull out due to an injury and some other players who had to leave the club for the international break.
We were lucky enough to have , Stanley Mugerwa, Kizito Scisor and Kamya Isaac to up their game and fill the gap hence losing only 2 games in the regular season.
What is your comment about Warriors’ performance in the quarter and semi finals ?
We were number 1 and JKL was 8th on the roster, that was the best draw for us and our loss in one of the 3 games was a wake up call.
In the semis, K.I.U were the underdogs but played their hearts out as we lacked team work where everyone wanted to play the hero.
Our offense broke down especially in game 4 having led the 3 quarters, mental lapse among our players and poor officiation cost us.
What do you have to say about the level of officiation and the about poor calls by the umpires?
I am an old school coach, I believe in building structures from defense, yeah basketball is a contact sport so a lot of my players’ defensive approach were called for fouls which wasn’t the case.
Tell us what is next for the Warriors
Early preparations for next season will do us good as well as recruiting some fresh blood especially point guards, 1 or 2 will be enough.
I have a lot of hope in young talent and I hope to give chance to more as I have done with Kalwanyi Sam, Opio Mark, Stanley Mugerwa, Sebatindira Fahmy and many others.
K.I.U reached their first ever NBL final, what does that mean for the power houses ?
The level of Competition has grown high that you can not underestimate any team any more.
What do you think of the City Oilers vs KIU final
City Oilers have an upper hand given the level of experience and the bench they have but i wouldn’t be surprised if KIU won it especially if they played the way they played against us.
Whoever wins it, will have to work hard, i expect it to go as far as game 7″.
Besides coaching Pemba Warriors, Coach Mutebi with his desire to inspire young talent through sports found him working with 7 Hills international School just opposite the Lugogo Indoor Stadium the MTN Arena side.