Oilers in familiar territory

Point Guard Battle  UCUs Fayeed Bbale against City Oilers Jimmy Enabu in the First game of the Semi Finals of the 2022 Playoffs at YMCA . PHOTO/ JOHN BATANUDDE. 

What you need to know:

The bench had to chip in and Kizito, shooting four of six from the field, scored 13 points in 16 minutes to put Oilers in familiar territory.

City Oilers have never lost a series in the National Basketball League and going by Sunday’s 72-64 win over UCU Canons in game one of the semi-finals, they are not ready to lose that record.

Mandy Juruni’s charges got big off-the bench performances from Ceaser Kizito, Francis Azolibe, Ben Komakech and Emmanuel Okumu with the subs contributing 35 points to see the seven-time champions over the line.

The bench had to chip in and Kizito, shooting four of six from the field, scored 13 points in 16 minutes to put Oilers in familiar territory.

Out of the blocks

Oilers got out of the blocks early with their well-structured offence giving them the right looks. James Okello, Tonny Drileba and Mer Maker got going early as the champions took an early 9-0 lead.

The Canons’ offence sparked midway as Fayed Baale connected from range for the team’s first points of the game. Titus Lual would later close the quarter with another three-point shot to bring the university side within one point (15-14).

It was the Oilers, however, who ended the half with a run that gave them a 35-24 lead going into the last 20 minutes of the game and despite a third-quarter charge by Nicholas Natuhereza’s charges, the champions held on for victory to set the pace in the five-game series.

James Okello dropped 15 points and collected eight rebounds to pace Oilers before fouling out late in the fourth frame. Jimmy Enabu got eight points and seven rebounds.

For the Canons, Lual shot seven of 15 from the field and registered 19 points to go with 15 rebounds. Baale added 18 points while Lwabaga Ibanda and Peter Sifuma had 10 each.

Titans level series

Gaius Mahamba came off the bench to give KIU Titans the much-needed composure down the stretch enroute to a 73-64 win to level the series. The guard registered a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Julius Lutwama’s charges led by as many as 19 points but the Blazers closed the gap to just two in the fourth quarter to stage a tense finale. Stanley Mugerwa (12), Edgar Munaba (18) and Fidel Okoth (11) rose to the occasion and got big rebounds down the stretch.

Saidi Amis, David Deng and Kenneth Wachira scored 14 points apiece but these were not enough for the regular season top seed.

Sunday results

UCU Canons 64-72 Oilers (Oilers lead 1-0)

KCCA 52-65 JKL (JKL lead 2-0)

UCU 62-43 KIU (UCU lead 1-0)

KIU Titans 75-64 Nam Blazers (Series ties 1-1)


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