UCU earn NBL temporary reprieve

Friday January 17 2020

UCU’s Peter Sifuma in action as James Okello of

UCU’s Peter Sifuma in action as James Okello of City Oilers tries to block him at Lugogo on January 15, 2020. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA. 

By Elvis Senono

Iggy Azalea and Wiz Khalifa’s Go Hard or Go Home is a song UCU Canons coach Nicholas Natuhereza could easily have played out to his players as the National Basketball League playoff finals took a 40-day break.
Trailing 3-1 the Canons needed to win game four on Wednesday to stay alive in the in the best-of-seven Tusker-Lite-sponsored series.
They duly responded grinding out a 54-52 overtime result that gives them the opportunity to feature in game six in what should be another full house at the Lugogo Indoor Arena.

“We were more desperate and aggressive,” admitted UCU Canons coach Nicholas Natuhereza who is demanding for the same mindset this evening.
“We have one life, we must fight to stay alive. We want a chance to play the last game on the schedule. That said we need to have better execution and limit mental breakdowns,” Natuhereza added. Like he noted, the Canons almost handed the game to the Oilers at the death after Jimmy Enabu had pulled the Oilers level at 42-all.
Tony Drileba and James Okello then gave the Oilers a four point advantage early on in overtime before a deep three-pointer from Fayed Baale kept UCU alive.

Enabu again threatened to get the Oilers over the line with a jumper but only converted one of two free-throws with seconds left for UCU to prevail.
David “D-kong” Deng led UCU with 20 points and 15 rebounds while Fadhili Chuma added 13 points and 11 rebounds for UCU who are only one of two teams to have won more than two games in a series against the Oilers.
Landry Ndikumana led the Oilers with 16 points while James Okello added 12 and rebounds. Enabu contributed 11 for the Oilers who will again look to complete the series this evening.

National Basketball league
play-off finals
Game Four Result
City Oilers 54-52 UCU Canons
Today at Lugogo
City Oilers vs UCU Canons
(Oilers lead best of seven series 3-2).

essenono@ug.nationmedia.com