Warriors 73-78 City Oilers (OT)
“They are an experienced side and playing well. It will definitely not be an easy game” were Jimmy Enabu’s words prior to City Oilers’ Friday night showdown with Warriors.
It was no different after the opening five minutes of the game in which the Warriors gave up five offensive rebounds leading to 9 points.
With Warriors trailing 11-3 6:31, their coach Sam Obol called for a time out and on return normalcy was restored as the 2012 champions put on an 11-5 run to close the quarter down 16-14.
City Oilers’ Jonah Otim (14 points), Adam Kakuru and James Okello (8 points) opened the second quarter with lay-ups and stretched the lead to double figures (24-14). Oilers’ lead in the frame hoovered between 10 as Warriors struggled to score and turned over the ball way to easily and trailed 31-19 at the half.
Ceasar Kizito (6 points) ignited Warriors’ 6-0 run to start the third quarter in which they out scored Oilers 21-15 to go into the fourth trailing 46-40 as momentum shifted.
Warriors continued to play their way back into the game in the fourth quarter and with 4:29, Philip Amenyi (16 points, 11 rebounds) hit a free throw to tie the game at 51 and then it was seesaw.
With Oilers leading 61-58 with under 20 seconds to play, Kasewu got the ball drove across the court and pulled at the top of the mountain to take the game into overtime.
Warriors’ center Philip Ameny opened overtime scoring off a handout from Mark Opio (11 points, 3 assist).
Oilers’ power forward, Landy Ndikumana picked up a fifth foul with a personal on Kasewu a minute and a half into overtime. Otim came on the floor for him and opened Oilers’ overtime scoring with a jumper.
Kami Kabange also fouled out with 1:52 to play in OT. Andrew Opio came on for the star center.
After Opio levelling the game at 70 with a lay up, Oilers inbound and Jimmy Enabu pulled up for a dagger from the three point line an Warriors did not recover.
“I think Warriors were aggressive and played the entire game with the same energy. We restructured a bit when Kami and Landry fouled out and their (Warriors) attention on who to play kind of shifted and that made the difference,” Jimmy Enabu said of the game.
Former MVP Ronnie Kasewu took charge of the game in the second and scored some clutch points in second half. The guard scored 12 points.
“At the end of the day one team loses… This is basketball, we never have ties. It came down to a few mistakes we made, the missed free throws and of course the rebounds,” Kasewu said.
The loss was Warriors third of the season having fallen to Power and Our Saviour.
Meanwhile, three-time defending champions City Oilers maintained a perfect start to the season with their ninth win in as many games.