City Oilers are due to travel to Egypt for a training camp at the end of this month ahead of their return to the Fiba Africa Champions Cup in Tunisia.
Basing on their performances in the National Basketball League playoffs so far, the four-time defending champions appear as though they are in a rush to leave for the tournament.
On Tuesday they completed a 3-0 semifinal series sweep over Betway Power to reach a remarkable fifth straight final.
“The players’ mentality and focus has changed from the regular season. Many things are pushing us to play better like playing a final and qualifying for zone V, all those things are driving us,” Oilers coach Mandy Juruni remarked after Sunday’s game two 77-59 victory.
As expected, they met the most resistance of all three series games on Tuesday before prevailing 84-77.
Faced with another embarrassment after being swept 4-0 in the 2015 series final, only Fahmy Sebatindira threatened to prolong the series for Power.
The diminutive guard exploded with 14 points in the opening 12 minutes and21 overall including shooting 4 of 8 from three- point range but was ultimately upstaged by Oilers’ and Stephen Omony’s pedigree.
The latter dropped 21 points too in addition to Landry Ndikumana’s 16 points and rebounds for the Oilers who improved to 14-series playoff wins including five over Power.
“We have a winning mentality, we can’t sit back and see teams beat us are very proud guys. We always compete to win. That’s one thing that is driving us. We are not complacent and are hungry for more because each championship is different the feeling is different,” added Juruni.
They now await the winner between Pemba Warriors and KIU Titans whose game three was postponed yesterday until Friday.
In the women’s category, JKL Lady Dolphins outfought champions UCU Lady Canons 70-62 to level their own series at 1-1 despite Vilma Achieng’s 17 points.
Game three at Lugogo
KIU Titans vs. Pemba Warriors
(best of five series tied 1-1)
KCCA Leopards vs. A1 Challenge
(KCCA lead series 2-0)
City Oilers 84-77 Betway Power
(Oilers won best of five series 3-0)
UCU Lady Canons 62-70 JKL Ladies (JKL leveled best of five series 1-1)