26 April 2013


For the very first time in Ugandan basketball, a team coming from the lower division could change the fate of Premier League basketball. City Oilers are only a two year old basketball Team but they’re backed by liquid. The Oilers sponsored by City Oil, a petroleum distribution giant started out in 3rd Division in 2011, fielding several veteran players. With this cast, they managed to make it to 2nd Division in second place after losing the final to Bushcourt. In Division 2, they transformed into a Team full of experience as well as fire with the inclusion of senior players like Mandy Juruni and Ronnie Kalule as well some young and athletic players like James Okello and Christopher Ouma. They consequently went ahead to win the Division 2 title in 2012, defeating arch rivals Bushcourt and Rhinos at the semis and finals respectively.
In a players market that is as dynamic as the Ugandan one, Teams are already in crises. Truth be told, many teams in Uganda – even the finest ones struggle to put off players’ allowances. This is the most outstanding justification for players moving from one team to the next in a span of one season or two.
But how about when they’re approached by a Team that’s likely to meet its contractual obligations?!
Already, Basketball256 has received unconfirmed reports that the Oilers have received the signature of Bienvenue Ngandu from Rwanda’s Espoir. The center played for Falcons in 2010 but abandoned the team towards playoffs citing unpaid wages. They’re reports that the Oilers are also finishing off the deal with Norman Blick very soon amid very many other alleged talks with some of Uganda’s elite players.
I personally had a chat with Mandy Juruni – the former Warriors Championship coach whose contract expired at the end of last season about a possible move to City Oil, this time as Head Coach. He mentioned that he’s out of contract at Warriors but was keen not to admit he’s already put pen to paper at City Oil.
Backed by loads of cash, the Oilers are poised to have an absolute advantage in the players market this pre season and it’s quite guaranteed that they’ll get the players they want though we remain to see who they bring on board and if the cast they finally come up with can actually go all the way to claim the Championship.
By Cucu Brian

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