Defending champions City Oilers take on Falcons this evening at the YMCA grounds in what promises to be an epic encounter.
Both teams have only dropped one game so far, so the game will go a big way in determining who is boss in the first round as Felix Eupal writes.
Falcons started this season with on a lacklustre note. First, there was a change of management as Dennis Mbidde, the former president of the club, stepped aside to pave way for Friday Kagoro.
Kagoro, like most new leaders, came with the promise of an new era to Uganda’s most successful basketball outfit. But that then started with the club losing Phillip Amenyi and Adbullahi Ramathan, to Tiger Head Power. The centre and point guard were the focal points leading the team to the two consecutive finals appearances.
He also couldn’t hold on to Gad Eteu, the man that had coached them to those finals, as Warriors snatched the win. The times ahead seemed gloomy for many onlookers as former player Sam Obol was signed on as head coach with talisman Stephen Omony being given an administrative role as the club’s lead scout.
The club was able to sign on a pair of guards from UCU Canons Cyrus Kiviri and Sande Okot. Like the case was with Ivan Enabu, Okot made a u-turn and terminated his contract before he could dawn a Falcons jersey.
But the main news was when the club unveiled matchbox makers, Krishna matches, in a record deal that the club claim is worth Shs 200m for two years. I say claim because no one from Krishna was even at the press unveiling. The fee was not broken down, save for the usual, “there is a confidentiality clause in the contract”.
Falcons have since gone on to play like they did in 2012 when they won 15 of 16 matches. So far, it is seven to one. Kiviri is the man doing the damage the point guard averages 23.4 points in every game. Omony delivers the sucker punch while power forward Serge Kabangu does the anchorman role.
However, Obol has refuted any talk of Kiviri carrying the team, “There is nothing like someone carrying the team that is not a Falcon philosophy, it’s a team thing,” he says.
The Oilers have not done anything that wasn’t expected of them, save for the loss to Canons. They have had an easy time running down opponents. They also stand at seven for one.
Mandy Juruni is having a good time his defensive rotations are on point and his offensive can power from all fronts. Oilers have conceded the least points this season, an average of 54.8 points, scoring 72.8 points per game. It will go a long way in cementing Obol’s status as a Falcons coach, and so will it in confirming Oilers title defence.
Source : The Observer