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 1. City Oilers 19-3 
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 3. Power 17-5 
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Last:10/19/2016

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Last:12/21/2016
Ugandan men teams in African cups 2016-2017
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Oilers Slide Brings Excitement Back Into Basketball League - Sep 30, 2016


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EUROBASKET NEWS
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City Oilers' stroll towards a fourth successive National Basketball League title hasn't been in doubt for about four months as they breezed to 14 successive victories at the start of the season. It got so boring for some that it became one of the reasons attributed to the empty stands at games. Fans stayed away as Oilers' games weren't contests. Throughout those 14 victories, only Pemba Warriors and UCU Canons gave a brave fight before suffering inevitable defeats. Kami Kabange (201-F/C)'s free throws beat UCU 73-72. Two-time champions Warriors succumbed 78-73 in overtime. When KIU Titans eventually beat them 70-67, the Lugogo MTN Arena erupted like a heavy load had been lifted off the chest of Ugandan basketball. Since that defeat last month, Oilers have lost two more games, beaten by Power and Warriors, to demystify that aura of invincibility. The fans are back but what has gone wrong with Oilers? After winning their first title on their first attempt in 2013 in seven games against Startimes Falcons, Oilers added two-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) Ben Komakech from Power. This fueled a successful defence, with Komakech proving critical in overturning a 2-0 deficit to beat UCU 3-2 in the semifinals before overcoming his former teammates 3-1 in a one-sided final. Two titles heavy, Oilers added then two-time Africa Zone V Club Championships MVP Landry Ndikumana to their roster. He was integral to beating UCU 4-3 in last year's final. Having clinched a treble, guard Jonah Otim (SG) and centre Brian Ssentogo joined from Ndejje University Angels. Neither Otim nor Ssentogo is a finished article. Besides, the loss of Sammy Kalwanyi, who had taken the rebounding workload off Kabange and Ndikumana to a scholarship in the USA, was bound to hit them. As the rebounding numbers started to wilt, Komakech's knee injuries started to bite as their back court wore thin on options. Tony Drileba and Daniel 'Najja' Juuko haven't imposed their game on the opposition nor have they set up an offensive machine, leaving coach Mandy Juruni to turn to shooting guard Jimmy Enabu often. Otim and Geoff Omondi are the others he has tried but only Enabu scores consistently.Most of Oilers' wins throughout the 14 games were too easy as they never needed to engage second gear. All the champions needed was to dress up and stroll past everybody. Juruni and his team literally forgot how to fight for results until they were pushed to the wall. It's now that they have to regained that hunger. Having seemed to hit a peak or rather a plateau, Oilers stagnated while they became a target for the rest. Every other team has been working hard and is extra motivated to beat them. Oilers, on the other hand, were sailing at the same level as the rest caught up. Here they are and finding a stronger gear is the only way out. Recently, Kabange and Ndikumana are struggling with injuries while we may never see the Komakech of Power's title-winning runs of 2008 and 2010. In that loss to Power this month, Oilers looked physically and mentally fatigued. They have played the most basketball among Ugandan teams over the past three years. From reaching the final of the pre-season UCU Invitational (2013, 2014 and 2016) and the KIU Open (2015 and 2016), their games stretch into the Christmas season as they play for the national title.
Courtesy of: monitor.co.ug
  



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