City Oilers coach Mande Juruni has revealed the source of his side’s hunger for success after their dominance in the National Basketball League.
The Oilers beat Nam Blazers in this year’s final to defend their league title.
That, was the eighth title in a row since winning their first back in 2013 in their top flight debut.
“Every year we want to go for a championship because we know it’s a different feeling and it’s a different challenge,” Juruni said.
“The competitiveness we have as a club, we always want to win and that drives us.”
Their eight-title run include beating Power thrice and UCU twice in finals while Nam Blazers, Falcons and KIU Titans are the other victims.
But the one against Blazers proved the toughest and Coach Juruni seemingly agreed.
“It was very tough, our backs were on the wall, the games was very tight and just towards the end we showed maturity and we managed to show the heart of a champion. And I am very happy for the boys,” he stated.
Just like against Falcons (2013) and UCU Canons (2015 and 2019), Oilers needed game seven to triumph.
And the Blazers remained in contest until the final buzzer where they could have just forced a tie if Paul Odong converted his rebound just before the clock expired.
“They put up a big challenge, they were brave, they really believed they could win the championship and it could have gone either way.
“This game went right on the wire and hard luck to them but it was a very good final for the game of basketball.”
Not to take away much from the Blazers, Oilers were greatly hard done by injuries that started with Big man Ivan Lumanyika who never played a single minute in the playoffs.
Jimmy Enabu missed two games in the series while Tonny Drilleba limped off at one point in game seven.
Commenting on the healthy of his team, Juruni said: “It’s just the depth of the team, the philosophy of the team we instilled in our players, when one man is down the other has to step up and that’s the mentality.
“Throughout the year we have had a lot of injuries and we got used to it and we just had to trust the players that we had.”
The Oilers will now switch focus to the Road to BAL qualifiers that were relocated to Dar es Salaam due later this month.
City Oilers eight titles
2013: City Oilers 4-3 Falcons
2014: City Oilers 4-0 Power
2015: City Oilers 4-3 UCU Canons
2016: City Oilers 4-1 Power
2017: City Oilers 4-0 KIU Titans
2018: City Oilers 4-1 Power
2019: City Oilers 4-3 UCU Canons
2020: N/A (COVID)
2021: N/A (COVID)
2022: City Oilers 4-3 Nam Blazers