Uganda’s record National Basketball League Champions City Oilers will today set off for Tanzania where they are to take part in the BAL Africa Qualifiers. The team from Uganda just came from a grueling 7 series final encounter against local rivals Namwungo Blazers who they beat by a difference of 2 points to claim the national title.
The City Oilers will be without their captain and national team leader Jimmy Enabu who suffered an ankle injury during game 5 of the National Basketball League finals.
Despite participating in the qualifying phase before, the City Oilers have not been able to make it out of the qualifying group stages into the Elite 16 and will now look to ensure that they can change and realize a long dream that they have had.
Before the outbreak of ebola, the City Oilers were meant to host the qualifying games in Kampala at the Lugogo indoor arena. But the outbreak of the infectious disease forced FIBA to change the venue for the Zone V qualifying round. This means that the advantage of playing on home ground was taken away from the 8-time champions and now, there is all to do in Dar-es-Salam.
Coach Mandy Juruni Lutwama has his hands full with the franchise looking to make its appearance in a Prestigious tournament on the continent.
How Will City Oilers Fair in absence of Jimmy Enabu?
However, the Oilers have acquired the services of US Forward Germaine Roebuck who currently plays for Beira Mar of Portugal in the Eurobasket League. The 6’5 player averages 26 points in 38 mins which should relieve work from Tony Drilleba who has been the primary shooter of the team.
Coach Mandy is taking with him Tony Drilleba, Ben Komakech, Ivan Muhwezi, James Okello, Kizito Julius Ceaser, Francis Azolibe, Petty Tray Martel, Roebuck Germaine, and Moses Mer Maker.
City Oilers will meet former teammate Laundry Ndikumana who currently plays for the team that poses a great threat to them from Burundi which is Urunami. Other teams in the group include ABC from Tanzania, Hawassa City from Ethiopia, and Matero Magic of Zambia.
Two of the best from the group will get into the elite 16 stages where they will play the likes of Cape Town Tigers, Ferroviario da Beira of Madagascar, Cobra Sport of South Sudan, COSPN, and KPA of Kenya who just signed Okall who plays for Namuwongo Blazers.
City Oilers officials who traveled with the team are Ram Nyakana, Louis Nkwasibwe Obedi, Jackie Omurungi Mary, and Mohammed Ghedi Santur.
Also, read: Stanbic Bank and NBA Africa to Support Youth Basketball Development in South Sudan
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.