Thursday October 5 2017

Oilers, Power sparkle to ease path to Zone V semis

Air Kojo. Michael Kojo of Betway Power in

Air Kojo. Michael Kojo of Betway Power in action against Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) during the Zone V championships between the two teams at the Lugogo Arena on Tuesday. Power won 73-60. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 


KAMPALA. The prospect of an all-Ugandan final at the Fiba Africa Zone V Club Championship remains a possibility after City Oilers and Betway Power topped their respective groups at the completion of the group stages on Tuesday.
In front of a packed Lugogo Arena, City Oilers claimed a 77-73 win over Rwanda’s Patriots while Betway Power were equally impressive in dispatching Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) 73-60.
After yesterday’s rest day, both return to action and going by their respective group stage performances are unlikely to be troubled in their quarterfinal matchups against the winless Gondar and Hawassa City teams.
Should they win as expected, City Oilers are most likely to face KPA with the latter playing Tanzania’s Savio.
Betway Power meanwhile have a potentially harder task with Patriots who play the first quarterfinal game of the day against another Tanzanian side ABC, largely expected to be their semifinal opponents on Friday.
The Rwandan outfit with former Oilers’s big man Kami Kabange in their ranks matched the reigning champions for long periods on Tuesday before losing out 73-77.
Oilers led 13-8 before Patriots fought back as the opening quarter ended 23-all.
A’Darius Pegues impressed with his post play scoring 11 of his 19 points in the first half while Robinson Opong added 13 and 19 overall as they edged the opening half 45-42.
Patriots though were not overawed with Hamza Ruhezamihigo, former Oilers Kami Kabange and Olivier Shyaka holding their own.
The latter had a game high 16 points and Kabange 12 as Patriots went into the final period with a narrow 61-60 lead.
Jordin Mayes scoring 12 of his 16 points in the second half then took over as Pegues added 10 rebounds to his tally.
“There’s still more to show from us. We need to work more on defense, the rebounding should also be better,” Mayes said before bemoaning the physicality of their opponents.
The late game saw Betway Power overcome a typical slow start and a physical KPA to ensure they will not meet the Oilers until the finals.
KPA, featuring a number of players with Ugandan league experience led the opening two quarters 17-15 and 16-14 with Victor Bosire and former Oilers Arou Ramadan leading with 14 and 10 points respectively.
They were however out-rebounded by Power 47-31with Michael Makiadi picking 14 boards and 17 points against a KPA team boasting of Ariel Okall, Desmond Owili and Ramadan.
Power also won 17 second chances points to seven for KPA.
“At this stage we are not choosing what team to play. We shall play every game as it comes and try to make out fans happy,” Makiadi said after victory over KPA.
Joseph Ikong top scored with 23 and nine rebounds while point guard Fahmy Sebatindira added 10 as Power used a 23-12 fourth quarter run to overturn the result.