18 December 2013

Liberia: Unfamiliar Court - Liberia's Oilers Bow Out After Five Defeats in Tunisia: What Went Wrong

Sensational LPRC Oilers are out of the 28th edition of the Fiba-Africa basketball club championship, which kicked-off in Sousse, Tunisia on December 12.
Oilers recorded their fifth defeat on Tuesday after heavily going down to Egypt's Sporting Club of Alexandria by 65 to 101 pointson match day five, leaving the Liberian champions to play classification games before heading to Monrovia.
Gabon's Tally BB picked-up their first win by beating Oilers by 83 to 61 points on Monday.
Mozambique's Ferroviaro Beira, who lost to Tunisia's Etoile Sportive du Sahel by 49 to 75 points in their first game on December 12, beat Oilers by 86 to 67 points on December 14.
There were 22 points for Glen Nimely, 16 points for Baimba Monabah and 10 points for Yamussa Kamara, including five rebounds.
The Bing brothers of Jethro and John scored five rebounds respectively.
Oilers then lost to Etoile by 61 to 83 points on December 13 with former Croatia international Dalibor Bagaric, a seven-footer, imposing his NBA and European experience by contributing more than 30 points.
Algeria's Club Sportif Constantinois may have shown the path of defeat when beating Oilers by 84 to 64 points in game one on December 12.
Oilers were high on confidence following their qualification from the preliminaries held in Monrovia in October but their dismal runs have generated a mixed reaction on facebook.
"I know all Liberian basketball lovers are down hearted with the results coming from Tunisia but let me say this [to] my people back home and all around the world.
"Our teams will always get defeated whenever we go to these tournaments all because our league is underrated. Our gyms are not that [good] to encourage good players and teams from outside to come [and] play with us.
"If I am [not] mistaken, Liberia is the only country now playing on concrete floods. All of these affect our games and players. Thanks to LPRC, NPA and some other smaller teams' president that are trying to [improve] our league and players.
"I know from whence I speak because I [have] been there so many times and got defeated all because of these same reasons. So I will like to appeal to the government to please build us a very good gym with good floods that improve our games & players," posted NPA Pythons head coach Matthew Gbamore on December 15.
"The court is just a tiny part of the problem. All those guys were doing well but it had no long term sustainability. It was just for a season because they were not getting any returns; maybe political popularity.
"My point is innovation can upgrade the league to a better level. LBA [Liberia Basketball Association]/team administrators need professional advice for a marketing strategy. Coaches/trainers need to be trained at the highest level," Willie Prout added.
Sporting Club, Tally BB, CS Constantinois and Etoile have qualified for the quarter-finals with the completion of the first round games.
The grand finale will be played on December 21.

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