Oilers Slide Brings Excitement Back Into Basketball League - Sep 30, 2016
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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
Silverbacks face Somalia as Pegues makes debut - 9 days ago
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The first game of any tournament is very important in setting the tone for the rest of the competition. Win it and you are in. Lose it and you could be playing catch up. Silverbacks, Uganda's national basketball team, will have seen their counterparts, the Gazelles, open their Fiba Africa Zone V Nations Championship account against hosts Egypt last night. Now, it's the Silverbacks to take the lesson as they seek to finish among the top two for a second successive appearance at the Afrobas... [read more]
The first game of any tournament is very important in setting the tone for the rest of the competition. Win it and you are in. Lose it and you could be playing catch up. Silverbacks, Uganda's national basketball team, will have seen their counterparts, the Gazelles, open their Fiba Africa Zone V Nations Championship account against hosts Egypt last night. Now, it's the Silverbacks to take the lesson as they seek to finish among the top two for a second successive appearance at the Afrobasket. Silverbacks face enigmatic Somalia in their tournament opener at the Cairo Stadium, Olympic Centre in Egypt. It's a repeat of the 2015 Afrobasket qualifying opener played here three years ago. Uganda won that 84-74 with Ivan Lumanyika posting 11 points and 15 rebounds. The crowd played a big part in that and that will not be the case in Cairo. 'It's different (from 2014) because we will not be competing in front of our home crowd,' guard Jimmy Enabu said. 'But, never the less emerging as victors away from home is very thrilling.' This is Enabu's second visit to Cairo in three months. He is already feeling like an expert have travelled there in a wintry December as his club, City Oilers, competed in the Fiba Africa Club Championship. 'It's a little bit warmer but still chilly though,' he noted. Weather aside, coach Mandy Juruni will hand Darius Pegues, 6'10, his debut for Uganda. The 28-year old Ugandan has played basketball in the prestigious America National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). He went undrafted by the NBA in 2015. 'He adds size, can shoot well and can play down low,' Juruni said. Pegues is one of two foreign-based players, the other being Stanley Ocitti, who are part of the two as the federation couldn't raise money for the planned four. Courtesy of: monitor.co.ug
Benjamin Komakech 187-PG-86 City Oilers Jimmy Enabu 187-SG-88 City Oilers Mark Opio Warriors Warriors Uganda Jonah Otim SG City Oilers Jonathan Egau G UCU Canons Norman Blick 199-F/G-83 KIU Titans Joseph Ikong 193-F/G Power Stephen Omony 198-G/F-79 Falcons [read more]
City Oilers are PEPSI National Basketball League champions - 2 months ago
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City Oilers are PEPSI National Basketball League champions beating Power in five games. Last night they posted a comfortable win to win the series 4-1. Oilers became the champions for the 4th time in a row. Jimmy Enabu (187-SG-88), Jonah Otim (SG) and Kami Kabangu (203-C-84) were the key players in the team's victory. Joseph Ikong (193-F/G) and Machael Kojo effort was not enough in a loss. [read more]
City Oilers are PEPSI National Basketball League champions beating Power in five games. Last night they posted a comfortable win to win the series 4-1. Oilers became the champions for the 4th time in a row. Jimmy Enabu (187-SG-88), Jonah Otim (SG) and Kami Kabangu (203-C-84) were the key players in the team's victory. Joseph Ikong (193-F/G) and Machael Kojo effort was not enough in a loss.
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