NBL Playoffs: City Oilers To Unleash South Sudanese

Friday, September 2
•UCU Canons Vs JKL Dolphins – 7pm
•City Oilers Vs UPDF Tomahawks – 9pm

City Oilers have turned to South Sudanese Moses Maker as they prepare to face UPDF Tomahawks in the Tusker-Lite sponsored NBL Playoffs at Lugogo.

Maker, a South Sudanese Centre, joins the Oilers from the Country’s Nimra Talata Basketball team.

The lanky big man has been identified as an able replacement for Ivan Lumanyika whose season was ended by an injury.

Maker will be expected to complement James Okello and Nigerian Francis Azolibe.

The deal to add Kenyan big man Brumwell Muchina hit a dead end.

Oilers will be aiming to win their eighth straight NBL title, and captain Okello believes that they are ready to conquer again.

The Oilers had four players – Okello, Jimmy Enabu, Tonny Drilleba and Ivan Muhwezi – in the National team that recently played at Abidjan.

Since they returned, they regrouped on Wednesday for a training session at Silver Springs in Bugolobi.

“We are fully fit to go, playing on the National team recently will not affect our performance because we have been in action and we are fit enough,” James Okello told The-SportsNation.

“Even the group that remained back home was busy training, so we are good to go. We know UPDF are a good side, but we are ready to take on anyone.”

Oilers finished the regular season third with 19 wins and five losses while UPDF finished sixth with a 13-11 record.

There is a wide view that the current Oilers team is the weakest of all the previous six since the side joined NBL.

And with the new wave of Nam Blazers, not to mention a stronger UCU Canons side, it just can’t get any tougher for Mande Juruni’s side.

“They have been saying those things year in year out, but let’s wait and see, we are ready to prove them wrong again and again,” Okello spoke assertively.

“UPDF are a good side of course and we will not take them for granted, they did good in pre-season but these are playoffs, it will be tough series but we are ready to compete.”

Francis Azolibe (15.4), Tonny Drilleba (12.3), Jimmy Enabu (11.6), Caesar Kizito (10.4), Ivan Muhwezi (10.3) and Luak Ruai (10.1) are all averaging double figures in scoring.

Christopher Davis Siaji, the Kenyan signing, played some few games in the regular season and will look to impose his authority going forward while Ben Komakech, Emmanuel Okumu and John Dombo will be adding more spice from the bench.

It promises to be a one-sided series after Oilers won both meetings in the regular season – 65-49 and 85-73.

UPDF have had a good regular season by their standard but Coach Baker Kyambadde will be worried by the manner in which they closed the season with just one win in last five, including three straight defeats.

But they are a solid and compact team which gives opponents difficult time to break through.

Jonathan Egau will be facing his former side, but he has not influenced games at the team as the likes of David Okello, Arthur Wanyoto, Ferdinand Odama or Wilberforce Pirwoth have managed.

If they steal a game in this series, it will be another plus for the Army side.



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