Advantage Oilers

City Oilers’ guard Tonny Drileba (blue) was in the thick of things in Game Three. PHOTO/COURTESY 

What you need to know:

Ruai Ruak's three-pointer with 34 seconds on the clock sucked the life out of the Blazers after recovering from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

City Oilers will go into game four Wednesday with the advantage after an intense 70-68 win over the Namuwongo Blazers at Lugogo Indoor Stadium Sunday night.

Ruai Ruak's three-pointer with 34 seconds on the clock sucked the life out of the Blazers after recovering from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

That was only the Oilers' second three of the night where the defending champions labored to find the shot.

It was yet another reminder of how deadly Oilers can be down the stretch even when their backs are against the wall.

Mandy Juruni’s charges did well to limit Game Two performers Saidi Amisi and David Deng in the first half but the two got hot in the second.


Strong start

It was the Blazers who got out of the blocks early with Chris Omanye and Ariel Okall leading the charge.

The Blazers led 15-10 to force the Oilers into a timeout with 3.11 seconds on the clock.

Davis Siagi’s missed attempt from three-point range summarised the Oilers' shooting woes early in the game as Blazers led 18-10.

James Okello and Ben Komakech got the Oilers going in the second quarter as the eight-point was extinguished.

Tonny Drileba ended the first half with an in and out attempt from the perimeter to emphasize the team’s shooting troubles.

The defending champions were zero for eight from downtown and four points down (24-28) at the half.

Komakech sank the Oilers' first three to give his side a 34-33 lead midway through the third frame and there was no looking back.

Azolibe, James Okello and Mer Maker found their rhythm around the rim and Oilers lead 47-43 going into the final 10 minutes.

The Blazers struggled on offense in the last quarter and the Oilers created a 10-point difference.

Two huge threes from Deng cut the lead to six points before an unsportsmanlike foul was called on Drileba to send Omanye to the charity line. The Congolese sank both to further cut the lead to two points with 46 seconds left on the clock.

Deng’s teardrop leveled matters at 66 but Ruak responded with a three to give the seven-time champions the lead with 34.7 seconds left and that was the game.

With Game Four set for Wednesday, the Blazers will be looking to avoid elimination games by leveling matters.

Azolibe led the Oilers with 15 points and eight rebounds while Okello added 14 points and seven rebounds.

Drileba got a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Deng had 15 points for Blazers while Amisi and Omanye added 13 apiece.

In the ladies’ category, UCU Lady Canons are back in business after taking Game Three to cut JKL Lady Dolphins lead to a single game.


National Basketball League Playoffs

Game Three results

Nam Blazers 68-70 City Oilers(Oilers lead series 2-1)

JKL 62-67 Lady Canons (JKL lead series 2-1)

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