Ikong, Makiadi out as Oilers look to go young

Michael Makiadi (L). Photo / Isaac Kezaala 

What you need to know:

  • The two players, who joined the Oilers in 2020, have been asked to find other teams as Mandy Juruni’s charges look to take a new direction. They leave the team without completing a single full season due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

Joseph Ikong and Michael Makiadi will leave City Oilers without experiencing the feeling of winning a championship with them.

The Oilers had made it a habit to win the last game of the season seven years in a row but their run was halted by Covid-19 in the last two years.

The two players, who joined the Oilers in 2020, have been asked to find other teams as Mandy Juruni’s charges look to take a new direction. They leave the team without completing a single full season due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

The Oilers’ general manager, Hajj Mohammed Santur, told Daily Monitor that the decision to axe the two was made by management and coaches to give more time to the younger players in the squad.

“We made a decision to look at the long-term and push the youger players we have,” Santur said. 

“When we got them (Ikong and Makiadi) we wanted to win but now there’s no basketball.” 

Fuba have not been able to run a full season of the league in the last two years and the next campaign is expected to tip off in March 2022. 

The 2020 season couldn’t start because of a total lockdown while 2021 season ended with only 10 games of the regular season.

Ikong told this paper that the decision is understandable under the circumstances and leaves with no hard feelings.

“The team is taking a new direction and at my age, it is understandable,” said Ikong, who will be 37 when next year’s season happens. Makiadi will be 33. 

“With Covid-19, there’s a lot of uncertainty so it’s a combination of many issues,” he added.

The Oilers already have 35-year-old Ben Komakech and Jimmy Enabu (33), both core members of the squad.

Talented young lads
Ikong believes the Oilers have a bright future with the younger players such as Ivan Muhwezi, Fidel Okoth, John Dombo, Emmanuel Makuei and Ruai Luak. 
“The younger guys are pretty talented and it is their time to take over,” he said.

Both Ikong and Makiadi were expected to add experience to the team ahead of the Basketball Africa League qualifiers expected to start later this month.

The Oilers failed to negotiate the qualifiers in 2019 and want to make amends to rub shoulders with Africa’s best.

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