Tuesday, November 21
•Ferroviario da Beira (Mozambique) vs JBC (Zimbabwe) – 12pm
•NBA Academy (Africa) vs Pazi BBC (Tanzania) – 3pm
•City Oilers (Uganda) vs COSPN (Madagascar) – 6pm
•Cape Town Tigers (South Africa) vs Dynamo BBC (Burundi) – 9pm
City Oilers aim for a strong start against COSPN in their opening game of the BAL Elite 16, the final qualifier for the 2024 Basketball Africa League in South Africa.
Having secured a bye due to their participation in the Final 12 (Nile Conference) in 2023, City Oilers are eager to assert their dominance at the Elite 16 as they a ticket to BAL.
Meanwhile, COSPN emerged victorious in the ROAD TO BAL qualifier, triumphing over Beau Vallon Heat (Seychelles), Ushindzi Club (Comoros), and Roche-Bois Warriors (Mauritius) on home soil in Madagascar, earning their spot in this prestigious league.
City Oilers earned their place in the BAL after winning the 2022 NBL (not 2023), while COSPN clinched their berth by winning the 2022 N1A (Madagascar Basketball League).
Despite the absence of Jimmy Enabu, City Oilers have bolstered their lineup with returning players Robinson Opong Odoch and Germain Roebuck Junior, alongside new additions Brandon Ssebirumbi, Miller Junior Dane Anthony, and Parish Petty Perry.
With a formidable roster that won the local league, City Oilers aspire to ssecure one of the three available slots among the Eight (8) teams in Johannesburg, South Africa.
They are competing in Group B alongside Ferroviaro da Bera (Mozambique), Club Omnisport Police Nationale (COSPN) of Madagascar, and JCB (Zimbabwe).
Group A features Cape Town (South Africa), NBA Academy (Africa), Pazi BBC (Tanzania), and Dynamo (Burundi).
The top two teams from Groups A and B will directly qualify for the Semi-Finals, where the winners will earn a spot in the fourth edition of the BAL. The last spot will be decided in the Third-Place Game on Sunday, 26 November.
Oilers needed to win the losers match last year in Cape Town to book their maiden ticket to BAL.
They had lost 69-75 to Cape Town in the semis before beating Burundi’s Urunani 71-62 in the losers match to earn a ticket.
COSPN on the other hand, lost all their three group games, including falling 59-71 to the Oilers with Germaine Roebuck Junior scoring a game high 17 points.
But COSPN Coach Julien Chaignot will hope that his side can make amends, and will bank on the American addition of Bishop Michael Coulter and other seasoned players Livio Ratianarivo and Arnol Solondrainy to stun the Oilers.
Notably, three teams already qualified in the West Division Elite 16 in Yaounde – Sporting Club Bangui (Central Africa Republic), Faith Union Sport (FUS) of Morocco, and Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya.
Six teams including the champions of Angola (Petro de Luanda), Egypt (Al Ahly), Senegal (AS Douanes), Tunisia (US Monastir), Nigeria (yet to be determined), and Rwanda (APR) secured direct tickets, resulting in a total of 12 teams participating in the BAL tournament across four host cities next year.
City Oilers Roster: Fayed Baale, Tonny Drilleba, Miller Dane Anthony, Ivan Muhwezi, Titus Lual, Robinson Opong Odoch, James Okello, Petty Parish, Germaine Roebuck, Brandon Ssebirumbi, Allawi Ssenkubuge, Edrine Walujjo