KAMPALA- As expected, the City Oilers anthem composed by KS Alpha belted out at the end of game four of the 2017 National Basketball League finals at the Lugogo MTN Arena on Friday evening.
Never before could his lyrics hold more meaning.
“City Oil, City Oil, City Oil… we are number one ,better than the rest, no time to rest, we run this we better than them, we run this, we control this…,” a line from the song played.
As the majority of the fans strolled out, a few remained. What all of them probably agreed to is that the City Oilers are the best team in the land. Love or hate them.
They had just clinched a fifth straight league title to move within one of Startimes Falcons’ record six-title haul.
It was hard to ignore; and as the Oilers manager Muhammad Santur was later keen to point out, his team had clinched the title without losing a game in the playoffs.
Our Saviour, Betway and now KIU Titans were all swept as they romped to the title.
Many questions will be asked about the rest of the league but the Oilers answered every question posed to them.
This was supposed to be the year when they were expected to be at their weakest since their first league title after Kami Kabange left. “We wanted to prove ourselves especially after starting slow. Everyone wrote us off after Kami left,” City Oilers coach Mandy Juruni stated.
And while they have no replacement for the Rwandan centre yet, James Okello and Landry Ndikumana stepped up.
The latter emerged playoff MVP with the former probably a close second.
“We lost a number of players so it was time for me to step up and I enjoyed this,” the often reserved Okello stated afterwards.
The outstanding performer of game four was however undoubtedly Stephen Omony. The veteran forward scored a game high 22 points on the back of 6 for 12 shooting from behind the line to vindicate the club’s decision to sign him.
“We have many winners in the team and today Komakech (Ben) and Omony stepped up,” Juruni noted.
They held off a strong second quarter challenge from KIU who prevailed 21-14 before they recovered to win the last two quarters 11-10 and 27-16.
“I cannot ask for changes to our team. We just need to work harder. With all due respect they were not exceptional but did the basics right. They are worthy champions,” he added.
Few will disagree.
NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE
City Oilers 68-60 KIU Titans
(Oilers won best of seven series 4-0)
2017 - City Oilers
2016- City Oilers
2015 – City Oilers
2014 – City Oilers
2013 – City Oilers
2012 – Warriors
2011 – Tiger Head Power
2010 – Tiger Head Power
2009 – Warriors
2008 – Power
2007 – Startimes Falcons
2006 – Nkumba Marines
2005 – Nkumba Marines
2004 – Falcons
2003 – Falcons
2002 – Falcons
2001 – SkyJammers
2000 – Power
1999 – Falcons
1998 – Falcons
1997: Charging Rhino
1995: Makerere (Blue Jackets)