19 May 2013

UGANDA : City Oilers mean business

City Oilers guard Enabu dunks in their comfortable victory over Falcons on Friday night at Lugogo.
City Oilers guard Enabu dunks in their comfortable victory over Falcons on Friday night at Lugogo. PHOTOS BY ISMAIL. KEZAALA 

Posted  Sunday, May 19   2013 at  01:00
In Summary
Title hopefuls Warriors, UCU and Power all feature in a busy Sunday schedule against strugglers.
M: Warriors vs. Rhino (7.30pm)
M: UCU vs. Vegetarian (3.30pm)
M: Power vs. Heaters (1.30pm)
W: Stormers vs. UCU (5.30pm)
M: City Oilers 75-65 Falcons
W: KIU 54-52 A1 Challenge

Not since KCCA Leopards has a team had an introduction to the Airtel National Basketball League as grand as the one City Oilers is enjoying. When KCCA joined the league in 2004, with the financial backing of the then Kampala City Council (KCC), they rose up the ladder quickly and have since won three titles to their name including the last one.

Something they have never had is fans. Oilers have gone a step better. They had quite a crowd behind them in beating six-time champions Falcons 75-65 at the Lugogo MTN Arena on Friday night.Two years ago, Oilers were in Division Three. Successive promotions got them to the top tier and while here, coach Mandy Juruni’s side mean business. The finances are a start. Their fans, most of whom had blue City Oil caps, know it after winning two of their opening three, narrowly losing the other tie 68-65 to five-time champions DMark Power.
  Every dunk, most in empty channels, was cheered like someone jumped over an arcade. Impressive blocks, seven in all, received an even louder cheer. The early signs are positive.
Ramadhan Arou tilted the scale heavily, scoring a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds, seven of them in a forgettable third period. That period ended 15-15 as Oilers held onto their six-point lead (31-25) from the first half. Arou had a game-high 26 points in the 102-44 rout of Miracle Eagles. “I think we are still a bit rusty. You can judge us again when we play them in the second round,” Arou vowed.

Debut delight
Juruni had promised that Congolese-born Rwandese Kami Kabange, a Falcon three years ago, would play for the first time and he did. A return of 12 points and nine rebounds might look meager but his three blocks confirmed his all-round abilities. Both teams looked far from units with chemistry.
  “Our depth helped,” Jimmy Enabu, 11 points on the night, said. “We now have options on offense and were very strong on defence.” Falcons’ coach Tony Oluka had Tanzanian guard Abdullahi Ramadhan (Dulah) and Kenyan centre Philip Ameny rejoin the team this week.
Whereas Ameny scored 13 points, treading a thin line having accumulated three fouls within the first two periods, Dulah didn’t add much
His poor night was worth four points and four turnovers inside the first quarter. The umpires got him out the misery with a contentious ejection. “We have a good team and will compete,” Falcons’ players and coach said in chorus.

Not even Stephen Omony’s 17 points from 12 attempts in total, most of them forced, and Geoff Omondi’s 15 papered a disjointed display.


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