KAMPALA. For many of the small fry in Tunisia, the Fiba Africa Champions Cup 2017 has been a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of tournament.
On their second appearance in the competition having managed to squeeze through the quarterfinals as the fourth placed team, City Oilers could also be termed as underdogs as they faced host side US Monastir.
Unfortunately the Ugandan champions who are in the competition as Zone V basketball kings, they blinked or rather slept through the opening two quarters as they were blown away 96-71 by the Tunisian side.
“Our start was terrible. That just took away so many things that would probably make us play better. We put ourselves in a big hole.
We scored only scored 19 points in the first half. But it’s all a learning experience for us. Tunisian basketball is the best in Africa, we have to know and understand that these teams are far better than us,” City Oilers coach Mandy Juruni explained.
They never recovered after a 23-10 first quarter deficit and trailed 48-19 at the halfway point.
Jordin Mayes top scored with 20 points for Oilers while Adarius Pegues and Robinson Odoch added 18 points apiece. Many of those however came in garbage time.
“Only when we put ourselves in a big hole did we start competing and scored 19 in the first half and 52 in the second,” added Juruni.
Juruni is however confident the team can put the result behind them and seek a respectable finish with classification games that started yesterday against Algerian side GS Pétroliers.
“We always go out there and compete hard. There’s no pressure in these games we want to see if we can get the best position because it means a lot to us,” he added.
FIBA AFRICA CHAMPIONS CUP 2017
US Monastir 96-71 City Oilers