FUBA NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE
CITY OILERS 77-74 NAMUWONGO BLAZERS
MTN ARENA LUGOGO
LUGOGO – City Oilers moved to within a victory of clinching the 2022 FUBA National Basketball League crown following a nerve wrecking 77-74 victory over the Namuwongo Blazers on Wednesday night.
The Oilers got the job done on the charity strip, scoring all of their final five points from the free-throw line. Tony Drileba was perfect as he went 4/4 in the last 42 seconds while veteran Ben Komakech converted one and missed the other of his two attempts during the same period.
The closest Blazers got to stealing the game was with 2:04 on the clock when Paul Odong converted a jump shot to put them up 68-67 but they could not capitalize as both Deng Dikong and Chris Omanye turned the ball over, once each, in the final 90 seconds.
As expected, little could separate the two sides from the start with the first quarter ending all level at 15 all. Oilers would go on to win the second 20-16 to head into the half-time break leading by four.
The third quarter would however belong to the Blazers who dominated on both ends of the floor and carried a two-point lead into the final 10 minutes with the score-board reading 51-49.
Despite five lead changes in the fourth quarter, Oilers saw out the contest 77-74 to take a 3-1 lead in the best of 7 series. Mandy Juruni’s side will win an 8th successive league crown with victory on Friday.
Ruai Luak who was 6-9 from the field, top scored for Oilers with 16 points adding three rebounds and as many assists. Ben Komakech (13), James Okello (10) and Francis Azolibe (10) were the other Oilers’ players who joined Luak in double figures, in terms of scoring.
For the Blazers, Dikong scored 22 points while Saidi Amisi (14), Paul Odong (14) and Chris Omanye (12) also helped themselves to double digits. The Blazers bench managed just nine points compared to Oilers 39 on the night and it is one aspect that they will look to address if they are to force a game 6.
The two sides will face off again in game 5 on Friday at the MTN Arena in Lugogo.
In the Ladies division, JKL Lady Dolphins bounced back from Sunday’s defeat to take care of the UCU Lady Canons 59-50. The win means JKL now leads the best of 7 series 3-1 and can retain their crown with victory in game five on Friday.