What you need to know:
- The defending champions shot 15 of 79 from the field and only managed five points in the third quarter as UCU’s defence shut down their go-to players
UCU Canons might have defeated City Oilers by 14 points but the difference flatters to deceive. Oilers were terrible on the night and struggled to get going on a cold Sunday evening at YMCA, Wandegeya.
The defending champions shot 15 of 79 from the field and only managed five points in the third quarter as UCU’s defence shut down their go-to players.
“We were just bad and we didn’t deserve to win,” Oilers head coach Mandy Juruni told this publication.
“In fact, we are lucky that UCU only beat us by 14 points,” he added.
Only James Okello, who was eventually ejected, managed to score in double figure – 13 points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes.
Jimmy Enabu (three), Ruai Luak (six) and Ivan Lumanyika (five) all struggled to get going. Tony Drileba had nine points while the bench managed a paltry eight points with Ivan Muhwezi contributing five and Ceaser Kizito three.
“Games like these happen, we move on to the next one. We missed a lot of shots and didn’t do any of our defensive assignments,” Juruni said.
“One of those games you try to do everything and anything to change body language mentality but nothing works out.”
Back-to-back ejections for Okello
Oilers biggest concern at the moment might have to be how they manage their captain, James Okello. The forward was ejected against Power Friday night after getting a technical for a back chat with the referee and then getting called for an unsportsmanlike foul.
Against UCU, he was sent for an early shower for tapping the referee’s shoulder and asking for the game to be stopped to allow him get medical attention. Referee Louis Malinga adjudged him to have used excessive force.
“I really think both of them were not worthy ejections. We’ll continue to talk Okello to control his emotions but I blame those (ejections) on bad calls.”
After their surprise loss to Victoria University-Sharing before the Easter break, UCU Canons needed a response and they got one, a 77-68 win over Ndejje Angels on Friday and victory over Oilers.
“Two wins in a row means a lot because we had fallen short after that loss, we had to bounce back,” Canons’ captain Titus Lual, who was named Tusker Lite Player of the Game after getting 14 points and 17 rebounds, told this paper.
“Against Oilers, we did a decent job defensively and that earned us points on offence. We had to get them before they set up their defense,” he added.
“Oilers being a dominant team, any side would want to come out strong against them and compete. That is what we did.”