After a month’s delay brought about by City Oilers’ excursions at the Fiba Africa Champions Cup, the 2017 National Basketball League final against KIU Titans finally gets underway tomorrow at the Lugogo-MTN Arena.
The Titans are into their first ever final having defeated Pemba Warriors 3-1 in the semifinal played in mid-November.
Comprising mostly foreign players from the East African region, the Kansanga-based university side have had to make plenty of sacrifices including forgoing the festive activities to prepare for the final according to captain Sudi Ulanga.
“City Oilers are still the best team because of what they’ve achieved. But the truth is we have been given enough time to prepare. So we don’t have excuses in that regard,” Ulanga said after yesterday’s press conference at Uganda Olympic Committee.
The Tanzanian guard will also be playing his first final having suffered perennial semifinal heartaches with UCU Canons Power and then KIU since moving from Tanzania and featuring for Falcons in 2010.
“We need to defend well and we have agreed there is no playing hero basketball,” Ulanga added.
They will be underdogs against the City Oilers who are in a remarkable fifth straight final and having won the past four league titles.
“We want to make history and that is what keeps us pushing,” stated Oilers captain Jimmy Enabu . His side is only behind Betway Power and Falcons who stand at five and six titles as the most successful sides in the domestic game.
Enabu also hopes his side can turn their experience at the Champions Cup in Tunisia in their favour having failed to get a proper off season over the past two years.
“You can look at it in two ways but we are mentally sharpened,” Enabu said of their performance that yielded a fifth place finish at the competition.
NBL FINAL FIXTURES
Game one Friday, January 5
City Oilers vs KIU Titans
(best of seven series)