KAMPALA. Talk about game two of the National Basketball League semifinal playoff series between KIU Titans and City Oilers centered on the aggressiveness that decided the opening two games. KIU dominated game one in an 83-61 triumph before the Oilers fought back to level the best of five series 76-69.
But as often witnessed at this stage of the Tusker Lite sponsored season, mental toughness of the teams is arguably even more important.
After five straight National Basketball League titles, the Oilers appear to have acquired that mental edge as evidenced on Tuesday night in game three of this riveting series.
Having lost game one, Oilers now hold a 2-1 series lead following a 71-67 triumph on Tuesday evening.
City Oilers led for much of the game after winning the opening quarter 21-14 and held their nerve despite the Titans battling back to within one point with 1:46 on the clock courtesy of a Dennis Balungu layup. Josh Johnson then connected from three point range for the Oilers to restore a four point advantage that was halved by Joseph Chuma’s jumper.
But Michael Bwanga turned over possession on the final play for the Titans with Jimmy Enabu’s subsequent layup ensured he finished with 14 points while James Okello led Oilers with 16 and Stephen Omony 12.
Oscar Muge led all scorers with 17 points and Chris Omanye added 10 for KIU. In the women’s division, reigning champions UCU Lady Canons got another one over their old rival sweeping KCCA Leopards 3-0 in their best of five semifinal on Tuesday following a 70-61 game three result.
Rhoda Nagitta led with 18 points and Vilam Achieng added 16 to ensure KCCA missed out on a finals appearance for the first time since 2010.
Men: City Oilers 71-67 KIU Titans (Oilers
lead best of five series 2-1)
Women: UCU Lady Canons 70-61 KCCA
Leopards (UCU won best of five series 3-0)