- City Oilers 86-73 KIU Titans | Oilers win series 3-1
Landry Ndikumana led City Oilers to their sixth National Basketball League finals on Friday night, scoring 25 points in the 86-73 victory over KIU Titans in Game 4 of the best-of-five series at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.
Oilers had no problem asserting themselves in game right from tip-off. While both teams were statistically among the best on both ends of the floor during the regular season, in Game 4 (just like in Game 3), Oilers showed how much better, deeper and experienced than KIU they are.
Mandy Juruni’s charges won the opening quarter 22-13 with Stephen Omony and Ndikumana the star men for Oilers.
The 8-4 run to start the second quarter stretched Oilers lead to double figure but Titans made adjustments on defense as they chipped away at the other end to trail by five point at the long break.
Oilers responded to Sam Agutu’s 3-pointer that opened the third quarter with a 12-2 run to restore their double-digit lead but Joseph Chuma and Chris Omanye kept Titans in the game.
Sudi Ulanga who had struggled in the series caught fire in the fourth quarter scoring 8 quick points, six from downtown and Titans drew level at 60 on Michael Bwanga’s lay-up with just over seven minutes to play.
Jonathan Egau who contributed heavily off the bench for City Oilers sunk a couple of foul shots but Ulanga connected from the corner for the lead (63-62) with 7:32 to play and the fans were on their feet.
However, it only took Ben Komakech’s driving lay-up followed by Drileba’s baseline jumper after a timeout as well as Omony’s big-time trey and Ndikumana’s lay-up to normalize proceedings as Oilers led by 8 points (71-63) with just under five minutes to play.
But even with all that, KIU did not resign as Bwanga and Ulanga’s driving lay-up coupled with Agutu’s free throw brought Brian Wathum’s charges within 4 points (72-68) with 2:40 to play.
Omony lost his primary defender (Agutu) to get open at the top and the star forward broke KIU’s back with a trey that extended Oilers’ lead to 7 points (75-68) with 2:12 to play. Quick buckets from Egau and Ndikumana in succession extended the lead to 11 (79-68) with 1:55 to play and Titans were done.
Ndikumana coupled his game high 25 points with game high 13 rebounds. Omony who hit all the big shots tallied 16 points and swiped gamed high 6 steals, James Okello contributed 14 points that were matched by Egau off the bench.
Sudi Ulanga who came to life in the fourth quarter scored team high 22 points while Omanye and Chuma contributed 13 and 11 points respectively.