Sunday, March 19
•Magic Stormers Vs Miracle Eaglets, 10am
•Power Vs Rezlife, 12pm
•Ndejje Angels Vs KCCA Panthers, 2pm
•UCU Lady Canons Vs JKL Lady Dolphins, 4pm
•KIU Titans Vs City Oilers, 6pm
City Oilers will start their chase for a ninth straight title against KIU Titans as the National Basketball League 2023 season gets underway at Lugogo.
The season was set to tip-off on March 10 but later moved to March 17 due to expected works at the Indoor Arena.
But March 17, the Arena was booked for a gospel concert hence the rescheduling of games to March 19.
And finally, the games will get underway at Lugogo starting with a Women fixture between Magic Stormers and Miracle Eaglets.
KIU Titans, the new challengers
Power thrice, UCU Canons twice, Falcons, KIU Titans and Namuwongo Blazers have all faced City Oilers in the final, and the result has always been the same.
Last season, was the closest Oilers came to losing their invincibility, any sane Oilers fan will admit that the Blazers put up a commendable challenge.
KIU are the new blazers, especially after recruiting three of their stars in Amisi Saidi, Peter Obleng and Collins Kasujja – The last two are returning to Kansanga.
Innocent Ochera who joins from Power is the other big addition for the Titans, a club funded by FUBA President Nasser Sserunjogi.
But coaches Julius Lutwama and his assistant Raymond Muhumuza are well aware that it will take more than a good squad to stop the Oilers.
The Titans lost both games against City Oilers 76-60 and 75-68 in the region league but they will be confident to put up a better fight.
Last season, they were stopped by a strong Blazers side at the semis, after eliminating Power in the Quarterfinals.
With established players like Fidel Okoth, Stanley Mugerwa and Joseph Chuma, Oilers will have to dig deep to survive an opening day loss.
Oilers Still Favourites
The Oilers have always struggled in opening game. And they were beaten last year by Nam Blazers in the opener before going on to later edge the side in the best of seven finals series.
The Oilers still have a decent team despite the departure of Francis Azolibe. John Dombo and Emmanuel Okumu were released.
The duo of Fayed Baale and Titus Lual have joined from UCU Canons, Luak Ruai returns from Russia, Edrine Walujjo was signed from UPDF, Michael Ngut has joined from Cobra Sport in South Sudan.
There is also the addition of youngster Allawi Ssenkubuge from Buddo.
The main core of James Okello, Tonny Drilleba and Jimmy Enabu remain in tact and will still be the driving force.