18 December 2015

UGANDA - Why Oilers Always Win

On Wednesday night, City Oilers won their third straight national basketball league title after overcoming UCU Canons. What is more amazing is that the Oilers have never lost a play-off series since their formation in 2011. JOHN VIANNEY NSIMBE assesses why they are simply unbeatable.
When the UCU Canons levelled the play-off finals series 3-3 with City Oilers on Tuesday, December 15, the momentum appeared to be with with them going into game seven the following day. The 70-58 win by UCU was belief restoring, as it was a thumping on City Oilers' ego.
A title that City Oilers had earlier seemed to be walking away with, following their earlier 2-0 lead in the series seemed to be slipping away into the hands of an evidently-pumped-up UCU. However, City Oilers bounced back to win game seven 78-67, and in the course leave the basketball fraternity wondering how they have managed to be this dominant.
Organised administration
Since winning promotion to the top-flight at the end of 2012, City Oilers has just grown from strength to strength, decimating the earlier Falcons, Power and Warriors hegemony on Ugandan basketball. Falcons is the last team to win three league titles in a row. That was in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Now City Oilers have equalled that record and seem determined to beat it too. "Of course it is our goal", said Silver Rugambwa, the manager of the team. He hastily added that above everything, their administration works pretty hard to keep the team focused and steadfast.
Normally, the mention of a top administration looks at the money bit. But the City Oilers administration is one that has been thorough on detail and specifics, which in turn has triggered a professional approach from the team.
For example, after UCU levelled the series in game six, it was clear the team was downcast and a good psychological job was needed to lift their spirits. Pointing blame fingers would have been counterproductive, yet playing into enemies' hands! Not even a review of the video of that game was delved in.
It was a capacity crowd at YMCA ground
Instead, the team was taken for a social outing, where they watched the film: Gods Must Be Crazy. The purpose was to get the team relaxed and laughing again in order to lift their spirits. This was like magic, seeing the way individuals like Ben Komakech, who have not been enjoying a good series, particularly game six, rebounded to devastating effect as UCU witnessed.
The joke going round was that the ghost of 'Koma' had returned, just like it had in 2011, when his late jump shot against Warriors in game seven took the lights out for Warriors. In addition, Komakech is probably one of the best basketball players around. And to have him, Jimmy Enabu, Kami Kabangu and Jeff Omondi, among others on their books, City Oilers has had to pay them well.
Big bucks
It is reported that they earn within a range of $400 a month, so much for the reported Shs 120 million annual budget that the management injects into this project, whose ultimate target is to be African basketball champions. This year, City Oilers competed at the Africa Zone five championship for the second time in a row, losing 76-74 to Egyptian side, Gezira.

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