Oilers’ Pool Games:
Tuesday, December 17: City Oilers Vs KPA – 6:30PM
Wednesday, December 18: Ferrovario Maputo Vs City Oilers – 1:30PM
Thursday, December 19: City Oilers Vs Cobra – 6:30PM
City Oilers coach Mandy Juruni says that qualifying for the upcoming 2020 Basketball Africa League has been their ultimate goal ever since the tourney was created.
Finishing as runners up in the first window in Dar Es Salam recently was enough to earn them a spot in the next window – The second round of the qualifiers slated December 17-22 in Kigali Rwanda.
The side has made their intentions known, and have strongly beefed up their roster ahead of the Kigali showdown.
Devonte Elliot, Trey Petty and Ivan Lumanyika are the new faces from the team that played in Dar.
Elliot, an American just like Trey, is a 28-year old 6 10 big man who was at Paramount (CA) High school in 2009 where he averaged 12.5 points, 11.9 rebounds and 4.7 blocks according to sources.
He played for CSU Northbridge Matadors and Nevada Wolf pack and recently with Halifax Hurricanes in Canada.
He is a new generation centre, and what he lacks in the size has it with his height.
Seen on Saturday as Oilers played UCU Canons in a practice game at Gems Cambridge, he can shoot from everywhere on court, can get out and guard the ball handlers well, pass and dribble as required. He will literally run the floor and will not be left behind in transition.
Trey on the hand, is a former West Alabama guard who is a good shooter of the ball.
Lumanyika, who played for JKL Dolphins in the 2019 NBL season, joins the front court that earlier had James Okello and Landry Ndikumana after the injury of Chisioke Azolibe and Stephen Omony.
Lumanyika is that big man that you will think that “feed the big man” phrase was created in his reference. Very dominant just like Okello, provided that he is in good mental state, and can also get the points the hard way – banging bodies aside and elevate to the rim.
“We wanted to get stronger in certain departments that we were lacking, we wanted guts who can make us better in those departments,” explained coach Juruni.
“No one is strong than the Americans, its not about being physical, you got to be stronger. They are stronger. Lumanyika is mentally stronger, he has been training hard he wants to do well. He is fine.
“They (Devonte and Trey) read the game well, they score in high percentages and that is very important for us. We wanted guys who can score for us and make plays and we got that.”
Familiar faces Robinson Opong and Jordin Mayes are the other players to look out for.
Juruni commented that Oilers didn’t have the best preparations in Dar where they lost to Patriots but managed to finish second, enough to reach the the second round.
He explained that they played with two big men in the finals and are now bigger and better, much more than they were.
Oilers have KPA (Kenya), Cobra (South Sudan) and Ferroviario de Maputo of Mozambique in their group while the other group has hosts Patriots, GNBC from Madagascar, UNZA Pacers (Zambia) and JKT (Tanzania).
The top two teams from each group will advance to the Semi-Finals, where the teams that finish in the first three places will qualify for the Basketball African League regular season in March 2020.
The top three from Kigali will be joined by another top three from the other host city, join champions from Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia to complete the Basketball Africa League (BAL) 2020 regular season lineup of 12 teams.
The BAL is a partnership between FIBA and the NBA. The NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America, the inaugural BAL season will begin in March 2020, with 12 teams divided into two conferences, according to FIBA.