Wednesday, September 28
*JKL Lady Dolphins 60-50 UCU Lady Canons
*Nam Blazers 53-60 City Oilers
City Oilers drew first blood against Nam Blazers in game one as the Tusker-Lite sponsored NBL Finals got underway at Lugogo.
Its a strong start for the Oilers who are chasing a record extending eighth title, and will hope to extend the advantage in Friday’s Game two.
Nam Blazers led by 10 points inside the third quarter and were oozing with confidence in front of their raucous crowd.
But Oilers pulled off a comeback in the last quarter to steal the pulsating game.
Earlier, the Blazers looked buoyed up for the occasion having led a back-and-forth first quarter 13-12 and were 29-26 up at halftime.
But they will rue the fact that they got out of their character when it mattered most, and Oilers dismantled them as they have done it against other Opponents in the past seven seasons.
Namuwongo led by five going into the last quarter before a collapse which saw the side shoot 3-of-14 in that quarter.
And Oilers showed character down the stretch, winning it without going through their gears on a night they missed 12 of their 13 shots from three!
And only Tonny Drilleba (13), Ben Komakech (10) and Maker Moses (12) scoring in double figures, with the latter scoring 8 of his tally in the second half.
For Blazers, Chris Omanye and Amisi Saidi had 14 and 12 points respective but the result is a big reminder of what happens to a team that turns over the ball 26 times and fails to execute when it matters most.
They had held strong for extended stretches, but Oilers looked a different side each time they emerged from timeouts.
While Blazers failed to sustain their attacks to the hoop even when Oilers were in foul trouble.
Drawing board goes Nam Blazers as Oilers fans have started anticipating for a sweep which may not be a big ask given the discipline and experience of their team.
In the Women’s final, Brenda Ekone scored 21 points while Flavia ‘Flirsh’ Oketcho added 15 as JKL Lady Dolphins beat UCU in game despite Rose Akon’s 19 points and 12 rebound double double.