By Thomas Odongo
Uganda volleyball outfit KAVC served volleyball fans to one of the best volleyball actions this year as they came from two sets down to stun their Rwanda counterparts Gisagara VC 3-2 (17-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-16, and 17-15) during the men's final of the 2018 NSSF KAVC International Volleyball Championship on Sunday night at the MTN Arena Lugogo in Kampala.
Gisagara claimed the first two sets but KAVC who had the full support of their fans that had filled the Arena to the brim were quick to make amends and claimed the remaining three sets.
KAVC was well equipped with a pair of international stars Daudi Okello based in Turkey and Kathbart Malinga who is based in Bulgaria and the duo spurred their side to glory.
Malinga had picked a knock on Saturday but withstood the pain and rose up to the challenge while Okello was always there when the team needed him.
In the first two sets, KAVC players who were a bit shorter than their opponents almost failed to block Gisagara's diagonal spikes with setter Ivan Mahoro doing a great job for the Gisagara power attackers.
However, Gisagara who was supported by KAVC Ugandan arch rivals Sport - SVC later became weak in reception and blocking in the final three sets and even KAVC's winner at the decisive set was a forced error from the Rwandan side.
Having gotten a five point lead at the decisive set, Gisagara fans engaged themselves in a pre-mature celebration but a red card point awarded to KAVC turned things around as the home fans joined in music jubilation at full time to set the Arena ablaze.
In the semi-finals, KAVC had beaten another Rwandan side APR 3-0 (30-28, 26-24, 25-16) while Gisagara beat their fellow Rwandan side UTB VC 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 19-25 and 25-21).
Meanwhile, Okello was later named men's MVP while Malinga was named best attacker.
''We corrected our errors and also discovered that they were weak in reception and that made us float them. Also we had in mind that it is not over until it is over,'' MVP Okello noted.
At the Ladies Pool, Ndejje Elites beat Nkumba Ladies 3-1 (25-17, 25-14, 24-26 and 25-17) to claim their maiden triumph.
At the ladies semi-finals, Ndejje beat KCCA VC 3-2 (25-18, 12-25, 23-25, 5-20, 15-13) while Nkumba also beat PRA VC 3-2 (15-25, 25-22, 18-25, 25-21 and 15-8).
Ndejje's Shamim was named ladies MVP in a tournament attended by various delegates from Uganda Volleyball Federation (UVF), National Social Security Fund (NSSF), National Council of Sports (NCS) and Government.
The winners from each pool received $1,000, runners up received $500 while second runners up received $300.