Friday, September 15
•JT Lady Jaguars Vs Magic Stormers, 7pm
•City Oilers Vs Kampala Rockets, 9pm
Kampala Rockets have their work cut out when they take on City Oilers as the National Basketball League playoffs get underway at Lugogo.
The Oilers have never lost a series since promotion to the National Basketball League in 2012!
This can easily be backed up by the fact that the side has won all the Eight League titles since then.
The Rockets will want to write history and become the first side to eliminate the City Oilers from the Playoffs, a feat that Falcons, Warriors, Power, UCU, KIU, Nam Blazers have failed to achieve.
This is a quarterfinal tie, played on a best of three format where the first team to win two games advance to the semifinals.
Kampala Rockets have no business to be here in the playoffs having finished ninth with a 8-14 record, outside the top eight after the end of the regular season.
But they were included in the Playoffs after Nam Blazers, who finished second, withdrew earlier due to FUBA changes on BAL representation this season.
The Rockets lost both games against City Oilers 68-94 and 45-58 in the first and second round respectively in the concluded regular season.
Despite ending the regular season with back to back defeats against Power and Ndejje, Kampala Rockets have showed that they can stun big dogs having beaten KIU Titans 61-57 and UCU Canons 85-78 this season in the second round.
And against City Oilers, they will be banking on the duo of Emmanuel Okumu and John Dombo who crossed from the Oilers at the start of this season.
Just like Okumu, Simon Ola is averaging double digits in scoring while Kur Garang, Francis ‘Odom’ Kasinde, Gideon Kasasa and Adut Mayer are the other key members on the team.
The Rockets are not under pressure, and have in fact punched above their weight having spent the best part of the second round fighting to stay in the league on their debut season.
City Oilers finished the regular season as the top side having won 21 and lost once against Ndejje University Angels 80-88.
Much has been talked about the past Oilers rosters, but this season’s dominant side has been rated by many as the best they have ever assembled.
And whether they can live to the billing, the answers to that will be coming out starting on Friday.
Five players are averaging double digits in scoring – Luak Ruai, Titus Lual, Fayed Baale, Michael Ngut and Moses Maker.
But Jimmy Enabu, James Okello and Tonny Drilleba remain the pillars of this Mande Juruni’s team.
In the Women’s game, JT Lady Jaguars take on Magic Stormers in what promises to be a tricky series.
The Jaguars will be without experienced power forward Sarah Ageno who is out with an injury.
Small forward Zainah Lokwameri has returned from Germany and expected to feature.
In the regular season, the two games were split – Magic Stormers won the first round tie 69-63 before JT won the second round affair 67-45.
Kur Ajah has been brilliant and averaging a double double per game this season for the Stormers.
Christine Nakitto and Ruth Nambirige are beasts below the posts while Daphine Adong and Auma Angella are averaging double digits in scoring for John Omondi’s Stormers.