City Oilers 78-67 UCU Canons (Oilers win series 4-3)
UCU Canons may have stretched City Oilers to the limits through the seven game National Basketball League playoffs finals but could not stop the Oilers from winning their third straight championship in as many years of playing in the league.
Playing at their first final, Canons gave a good account of themselves coming from 2-0 down to level the series before forcing a winner takes it all on Tuesday night.
With momentum shifting in their favour after forcing a Game 7, UCU started the title game with a 20-12 first quarter backed by the YMCA crowd especially after Desmond Owili’s 360 reverse dunk.
The City Oilers had to make quick amends after a lackluster opening period. Ben Komakech (14 points) took charger of the quarter scoring 12 of Oilers 23 points in the frame as Canons could only manage 16 and led 26-25 at the half.
Steven Wundi (11 points) opened the third quarter for UCU from downtown before Owili (15 points) and Innocent Odur (21 points) completed the 7-0 run to start the quarter for the university side.
Like the second quarter, City Oilers once again played catch-up with steely James Okello (11 points, 12 rebounds) leading the charge off the bench and eventually did catch-up on Geoffrey Omondi’s corner triple and led 55-52 after three.
Then came the fourth quarter where experience and composure is all that is needed. While City Oilers had all, the opposite is true for the Canons.
With Brian Namake picking up his fourth foul at the end of the third quarter, it came naturally for coach Nick Natuhereza to throw back Jonathan Egau in the place of the Kenyan forward.
The inexperience of the youngster showed as he turned over the ball on two successive possessions with his valour to drive into traffic and UCU paid on the other end with Kami Kabange (18 points, 9 rebounds) and Jimmy Enabu (10 points) making easy baskets on the break and the Oilers led by 9 points mid-way through the quarter.
At that point all was nothing but done as the eventual champions slowed down the tempo of the game swinging the ball around on offense to run down the clock.
UCU resorted to fouling to get possession and the with the foul flag already up and Oilers connecting from the line, it did not help and the 3peat happened.