Friday June 1 2018

NBL: City Oilers take on KIU

Terific start: Power’s forward Geoffrey Soro

Terific start: Power’s forward Geoffrey Soro (left) elevates against Our Saviour at YMCA last week. Power won. PHOTO BY I. KEZAALA 

By Elvis Senono


City Oilers and UCU Lady Canons share nine of the last 10 National Basketball League (NBL) titles between them in the men and women’s top divisions.
City Oilers are chasing an unprecedented sixth straight league crown while the Lady Canons won all but the 2014 title over the past five seasons. In that period both teams had to contend with various adversaries with Lady Canons fighting off traditional rivals KCCA while City Oilers have battled Falcons, Betway Power and UCU Canons in the past.
Last season KIU Titans emerged from their shell before being swept aside 4-0 in the Tusker Lite playoff finals. They however still remain frontrunners in the race to challenge the Oilers and will today gauge their strength against the five-time champions at YMCA court.
Both teams come into this fixture with identical 4-1 starts to the season. City Oilers lost their opening game 64-56 to Betway Power before winning their subsequent games against UCU, JKL, Charging Rhino and Pemba Warriors.
kIU Titans’ only reverse meanwhile came against Sharing Youth before thumping UPDF Tomahawks 100-57 on the back of Chris Omanye’s 27 points. Coach Brian Wathum has maintained largely the same roster from last season but is now assisted by Robert Mugabe while the Oilers saw various movements including the addition of Brian Muramba.
In the women’s game, JKL Lady Dolphins have emerged as early frontrunners to end the UCU-KCCA duopoly winning their opening three games including the eye-catching 63-46 win over KCCA. The latter now boast one of the best rosters in the league following the acquisition of guard Ritah Imanishimwe to join an established cast that includes Flavia Oketcho, Jamila Nansikombi and Muhayimina Namuwaya.