Wednesday, September 21
*City Oilers 71-57 UCU Canons
City Oilers will face Nam Blazers in this year’s National Basketball League final after eliminating UCU Canons.
The seven-time champions sealed their place in the final after Wednesday’s game four 71-57 win over the Canons at YMCA Court.
And Oilers march onto the final for an eighth straight appearance with a 3-1 win in the best of five semis.
Moses Maker scored a double double of 14 points and 15 rebounds, James Okello and Davis Siaji had 15 and 14 points respectively while Ceaser Kizito added 10 points.
Fayed Baale was 7-for-19 en-route to a game high 21 points, and Fadhil Chuma added 13 points but all in vain.
UCU had given themselves a fighting stance when they stole game three to halve the deficit at 2-1 after Oilers had won the opening two games of the series.
But they failed to replicate their brilliant show on Sunday, and the result is very fitting.
They marched Oilers on Wednesday in the opening quarter which the later edged 13-12 before Mande Juruni’s side threaded a 11-point run in the second quarter to lead 29-18.
And there was no way back for the Canons despite an impressive last quarter that was highlighted by two back-to-back threes from the sensational Baale.
Oilers looked comfortable throughout the game despite an early injury on shooting guard Tonny Drilleba who had spent just five minutes on court.
And it remains to be seen whether Drilleba, averaging 11 points this season, will have his leg ready for the best of seven finals series against Namuwongo who eliminated KIU Titans earlier.
It’s another empty season for Coach Nicholas Natuhereza who will feel his side could have done better in a game they shot 19-for-78 from the field.
UCU had fronted themselves as a side that could take Oilers to the ropes in this match-up, as they did in the 2019 final which they lost in game seven.
And this side is expected to lose most of their best players, including Baale, who have graduated this year.
For Oilers, their seven straight titles streak is expected to continue when they face Nam Blazers who will be banking on the fact that they beat them in both games during regular season.
Oilers have already brought in Abdihakim Ghedi, son to team manager Hajji Muhammad Santur for these finals (he was registered earlier). The lanky forward who studied in the United States, has already played for the Silverbacks (Uganda National team) earlier.
The beaten semifinalist will face off on Sunday for third and place match – Both men and women – at YMCA.
Women: KIU Rangers Vs KCCA Leopards
Men: UCU Canons Vs KIU Titans
The best of seven finals (first to four wins) start on Wednesday, September 28 at Lugogo Indoor Arena.
•Women: JKL Lady Dolphins Vs UCU Lady Canons
•Men: Nam Blazers Vs City Oilers