City Oilers’ quest to feature in the inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL) started yesterday against with a regional qualifying round in Tanzania.
The reigning six-time champions are in group D and played Burundian side Dynamos yesterday with Patriots (Rwanda), JKT (Tanzania), () and Hawassa (Ethiopia) the other teams in the group.
Oilers coach Mandy Juruni believes Rwanda’s Patriots will pose the biggest threat with the top two teams progressing to the next round.
“We respect every team because they are champions in their respective countries. I would say Patriots are threat. They have recruited well for this tournament,” Juruni told Daily Monitor yesterday.
The Rwandan team includes former Warriors guard Sedar Sagamba and Michael Makiadi who previously played at Betway Power and KIU.
City Oilers were on the other hand boosted by guards Robinson Odoch Opong and Jordin Mayes but will be without Jimmy Enabu who recently enrolled for an aviation course.
Jonathan Egau is also ruled out of the tournament having suffered a knee injury at the World Beach Games at the start of this week.
The top two teams from each of the six groups will advance to the next round of the qualifying tournament – Elite 16. They will be joined by four wild card teams to make up the 16 teams.
The top six placed teams from the Elite 16 will then join champions from Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia to complete the Basketball Africa League 2020 regular season lineup of 12 teams.