NBL: Five Takeaways From Opening Weekend

Sunday, March 19
•Magic Stormers 64-56 Miracle Eaglets
•Power 83-81 Rezlife
•Ndejje Angels 71-69 KCCA Panthers
•UCU Lady Canons 51-67 JKL Lady Dolphins
•KIU Titans 51-79 City Oilers

The opening weekend of the 2023 National Basketball League (NBL) season is officially in the books.

KIU Titans are not as good as we expected while Rezlife should be taken seriously after pushing Power to the wire.

Also Read: City Oilers Ease Past KIU Titans

But here is what we learned from Sunday’s games:

Time Management Still Lacking

Let’s start by criticizing, and we just hope FUBA takes this in good faith.

The opening game between Magic Stormers and Miracle Eaglets was scheduled to tip off at 10am.

But the game started an hour and 15 minutes later.

And consequently, the last game between City Oilers and KIU Titans that was advertised to start at 6pm, got underway two and half hours later!

It’s this poor time management that turns away fans and without them, Sponsorship deals are hard to come by.

With games being televised, this is one area FUBA should work on to improve. For now, we can give them a benefit of doubt given all the hardships that surround the opening day.

Three-Person Officiating

Let’s now give FUBA their flowers, introducing a three-person officiating system was even long overdue.

The big elephant in the room for seasons running has been poor officiating but the introduction of three match officials will limit frustrations.

Two officials have been used in the regular season since recent past, with an extra umpire added during playoffs.

We just hope this wasn’t for the opening week and it can be sustained throughout the campaign.

City Oilers Head and Shoulders Above Everyone

Many who have watched City Oilers since inception will entirely agree that this current squad should be the best ever assembled in terms of personnel.

And with the way they obliterated KIU Titans, it was even hard to recognise that their best player last season in Tonny Drilleba did not play, not to mention new signing Julius Tukunde.

The squad is a blend of Youth and experience, with good options in every position.

With the likes of Ben Komakech at the end of their career, new blood like Fayed Baale are just starting.

The story of how good new signing Michael Ngut is, will be for another day.

And with the armoury of opposition teams in question, it remains to be seen who can stand in Oilers’ way in their bid to ninth league crown.

Power Still Stuck with Betway Kits

Power donned ‘Betway’ kits

Betway might have closed business in Uganda in December 2021, but they still get mileage from Power basketball Club.

The Club has across their social media handles announced the return of D-mark as their sponsor.

But in their league opener against Rezlife Saints, Power were donning Betway kits! It remains to be seen when the Club will have new kits with D-mark branding.

On court, they have Timothy Odeke as their new coach, but grit teeth to overcome newcomers Rez Life.

It promises to be another long season for the side who handed Isaac Afidra almost full 40 minutes on court in their opener.

Mande Juruni Back at JKL

City Oilers coach Mande Juruni has landed a new role at JKL Lady Dolphins, again.

Juruni was in coaching role in their Sunday opener against UCU Lady Canons, a role he held previously while the team featured at Zone Five Championship.

He will this season be assisted by Henry Malinga, who was the head coach last season.

Last season’s assistant coach Peace Nakirijja has a busy schedule – She will be coaching Seeta High (now in Division One) and also joined KCCA Leopards as a player.



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