Friday, April 22
•Ndejje Angels 77-86 UCU Canons
•City Oilers 75-68 Power
Saturday, April 23 (KIU, Kansanga)
•Victoria University Vs Tropical Royals – 10am
•Falcons Vs JKL Dolphins – 12pm
•Nabisunsa Vs JKL Lady Dolphins – 2pm
•Nam Blazers Vs KCCA Panthers – 4pm
•UPDF Tomahawks Vs KIU Titans – 6pm
Sleeping Giants Power gave seven-time holders City Oilers a big run for their money in a thrilling Tusker Lite sponsored NBL encounter at Indoor Arena in Lugogo.
Watched by a near sell-out crowd, Power kept Oilers in sight from start, pushed them to the wall and trailed by just two points with four left in last quarter before they were outlasted down the stretch.
Going into Friday’s tie, few gave Power a chance, a decision based on the inequality in the team’s squad depth and poor shows in recent results against title contenders UCU and Nam Blazers.
But they out-rebounded Oilers 54-38, shot 26-of-40 from the field better than Oilers, collected just two bench points fewer than Oilers’, and edged the third quarter 20-19.
And it could have been a different story if the five-time champions held their composure, but rushed on offense and made a lofty 35 Turnovers to lose a seven-point game.
There will be some positives coach Bernis Ankunda will look to build on, but it was the team’s failure to execute going forward that derailed their surge.
Good individual performances from Power including Innocent Ochera who hit a game high 21 points and 13 rebounds, while others will also feel that they left everything on the court.
And despite the result, the performance for extended stretches brought a new sense of pride and showed that this team could compete.
But whether they can sustain such output week in week out, will remain the big question.
For Oilers, their resurgence since falling to Nam Blazers in the opener, goes to a fifth straight win!
Tusker Lite player of the game Tonny Drilleba scored 15 points while Ivan Lumanyika and Ivan Muhwezi contributed 12 rebounds each.
Oilers face a stern test against 2019 finalists UCU Canons while Power will also have no time to rest as they face off with JKL Dolphins in another daunting Sunday fixture
In the other game, Peter Sifuma (15 points, 13 rebounds) and Fadhil Chuma (13 points, 13 rebounds) weighed in with double doubles as UCU Canons beat Ndejje University Angels.