City Oilers prepare for Zone V in Kigali


Call it arrogant or derogatory, City Oilers have set themselves an ambitious target of winning the Fiba Africa Zone V Club Championship at the first time of asking. Later this year, in Kenya, that goal will be examined as the region’s best teams and the Airtel National Basketball League champions Oilers take a first-hand look at some of the challenges ahead this weekend.

They travelled to Kigali, Rwanda yesterday to feature in the annual Gisenyi Memorial where teams from Rwanda and Burundi are part of the furniture.

“I think playing in Rwanda is in line with our target this year,” team manager Silver Rugambwa said. His compatriot is even more ambitious. “We should be able to win Zone V,” club boss Mohammed Santur added.

While they haven’t been imposing yet in this year’s league, guard Ben Komakech and guardforward Geoff Omondi were signed to achieve regional acclaim not national honours. Women’s side Magic Stormers are also in Rwanda for their first ever tournament outside Uganda’s borders.

Their journey south has also affected the fixtures as they were scheduled to face Ndejje University Angels at YMCA court. Falcons will take their place, a second game in 48 hours.

The six-time champions warmed up for this with a gritty 71-60 victory over KIU Titans. Syrus Kiviri followed his 34 in the win over UCU Canons last week with 22 and five rebounds. Stephen Omony was red-hot with his jump-shot while scoring 16 but it’s Stephen Mwesigye’s 11 and 20 rebounds which was all the more staggering.

They will face more of the same against an Ndejje side currently riding on the back of Jonah Otim as the team strategy has relegated former regular season MVP Geoffrey Soro to a footnote in the jigsaw.They have lost games with Soro barely touching the ball, the worst of all was last Sunday’s 49-51 defeat against Sharing Youth.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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