18 November 2014

UGANDA : FUBA Playoffs: City Oilers Vs UCU Canons preview

UCU's Brian Namake going for a basket over City Oilers' Kami Kabange (R) Photo Credits: Ugfix UCU's Brian Namake going for a basket over City Oilers' Kami Kabange (R)
Game 1: Wednesday, November 19 at 8:00pm, YMCA
Game 2: Saturday, November 22 at 7:30pm, YMCA
Game 3: Tuesday, November 25 at 8:00pm, YMCA
Game 4: Thursday, November 27 at 8:00pm, YMCA (If necessary)
Game 5: Saturday, November 29 at 7:30pm, Lugogo (If necessary)

In their debut season in the top flight, the City Oilers were tagged all kinds of names – from underdogs to title pretenders. They emerged champions after seeing out experienced Falcons 4-3 in the seven game spread playoffs finals.

After the off season business that saw them add Ben Komaketch and Jeff Omond to the championship team, it has been different this season. The Oilers have been out right favorites in every game they have played and no surprise they were top seeds in the normal season.

Even if you are blind – to reality, one thing you can’t miss to see is the fact that City Oilers are by far the most organized team (by all parameters) in the local game.

Their coach, Mandy Juruni knows exactly what organization can do. The soft spoken coach associated last season’s triumph to organization.
“It is about being organized and taking your chances” he said back then.
The UCU Canons were the only team to win a first-round playoff series in three games. If that says anything, it should be that Canons faced tougher opponents. City Oilers meanwhile had a clean sweep of Sharing. UCU’s coach, Nick Natuherza says
(Playing City Oilers) It is a different challenge. We have got to play well inside-out and we have got to start with defending first” he told Kawowo Sports after Game 3 with Falcons.
Having beaten his team in the last four league meetings, Mandy Juruni (while he looked relaxed) admitted they have got to be more cautious playing against the Canons. Juruni said after the second round loss the UCU
We have got to give due respect to a team that beats us whenever we meet. We just have to figure out how to beat them.
Sudi Ulanga and Sunday Okot were unfazed by Falcons’ defense and center Ivan Lumanyika helped Canons control the paint. Now, the Canons will have to get past the toughest and physical brand of perimeter defense to get everything they want at the rim.

UCU’s under the hoop players, Ivan Lumanyika and Desmond Owili (who mostly might be at 4) will find it tough to get close looks against Kami Kabange, Arou Ramadhan and Samuel Kalwanyi. Ulanga will have to make some tough shots in the face of Jeff Omondi and Jimmy Enabu as he will without doubt be the center of attention on City Oilers’ defensive end. It (defense) is something the City Oilers are not shying away from. Jimmy Enabu says:
“It will come down to good team defense. We intend to limit him (Ulanga). It will not be me or Jeff (Omondi) but any other guard who comes within the team’s rotation”
Finishing fourth seed and dispatching the Falcons at the first round, the Canons knew the journey to their first championship round would have to go past holders City Oilers, but that’s where it ends. Canons may have handled the regular season series pretty well – winning both normal season games but this is the business end of the season, City Oilers will be an absolute juggernaut.City Oilers guard, Jimmy Enabu told Kawowo Sports:
We have lost to them a number of times which challenges us to get better. I believe we are better prepared.
Samuel Kalwanyi in his own words echoed Enabu saying:
This is our time to show that we are the best team irrespective of how many times we have lost to these guys”
As much as I want to believe this Canons team can make some noise because they have a knack of making life miserable for City Oilers, I also think this Oilers’ machine just seems too good to break down especially at this level. While both teams have got a lot of offensive potential to produce heavy offensive games, defense seems first for both teams. We could see a series of low scoring games. I go with City Oilers in 4

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