Nam Blazers ready to take it slow in National League

Building For The Future. With players like Ikong, Syrus Kiviiri, Amisi and Paul Odong, the Blazers have a core to ride on and challenge the other top sides but the goal is to have a competitive team for now while building for the future. PHOTO | ISMAIL KEZAALA

What you need to know:

  • A 77-66 win over City Oilers, which would later be overturned due to registration irregularities, and one over UCU Canons left the Blazers beaming with confidence before a morale-sapping 78-68 loss to KIU Titans.

Namuwongo Blazers played seven games in what was supposed to be their first full season in the topflight. 

They won five games and lost two before the season was brought to a premature end due to the rise in Covid-19 cases and eventual shut down of the country.

Those seven games turned out to be a big lesson for the Blazers and one of the lessons picked is patience in the race to get to the top and win silverware.

The side had assembled a team of superstars including Francis Azolibe, Geoffrey Soro and Chris Omanye in a bid to unseat seven-time champions City Oilers. 

In fact, at a press conference held before their first game of the season, club officials were talking big. They were mentioning things like winning and playing in the Basketball Africa League (BAL). 

A 77-66 win over City Oilers, which would later be overturned due to registration irregularities, and one over UCU Canons left the Blazers beaming with confidence before a morale-sapping 78-68 loss to KIU Titans.

Re-start

As teams prepare for the new basketball season that tips off in March, the Blazers have made changes to their roster and are ready to wait for success.

There are high profile exits with Azolibe, Soro and Omanye all shown the exit. “After one season, we had to restructure. We realised we didn’t need all those players, we had to scale down,” said Blazers’ head of operations Farouk Zinda. “We also decided to make our team a bit younger,” he added. The trio of Azolibe, Soro and Omanye is said to have demanded money the team either didn’t have or was not willing to give them.

Money issues

“We have had to restructure because the economy went through a trying time and we got a big hit,” Zinda revealed before adding, “We failed to agree on payment with some of the players and it was only right we let them move on.”

For the first round of the season, the side is ready to rely on just 12 players and their squad was revealed with additions of Joseph Ikong, Saidi Amisi, Collins Kasujja and Richard Ongom.

“We still have an opportunity of the second window so we shall assess after the first round and see what to do,”

One of their players, David Kongor Deng, is actively involved with South Sudan’s Cobra and expected to miss the first round here if selected for the Basketball Africa League.

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