FIBA Africa announced the 32 clubs across the continent that will participate in the Qualifying Tournaments for the Basketball Africa League (BAL) 2020.
Among those clubs are Ugandan champions City Oilers who will be competing in Group D of the qualifiers that will be hosted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from Tuesday, October 15 to Sunday, October 20.
Oilers have been training for the past couple weeks ahead of the tournament but were joined by guards Jordin Mayes and Robinson Opong Odoch this week.
Head coach Mandy Juruni is pleased to have the duo back and says they added strength to the squad that will see the side through the qualifiers.
“These are our players we call up for international tournaments and they are not new to the team. They give us another dimension and strength as a team and we are happy to have them, they have contributed so much in the previous tournaments,” Juruni said.
Mayes replaces Jimmy Enabu who will not be available for the tournamnet.
“These are just additions to the team. We all know we can’t travel with Jimmy so Mayes is a direct replacement for him and in the league, we always play with 11 players and Robinson takes up the 12th spot on the team.”
Opong struggled to get going for the national team during the Zone V AfroCan Qualifiers at Lugogo, but Juruni believes that will have no effect on how he turns out for Oilers.
“Well, it was a different tournament, a different coach and a different game plan. Every time he (Opong) plays with City Oil he plays well and I expect him to do the same.”
Oilers are expected to travel on Sunday and the target will be a top-two finish to qualify for the second round, Elite 16.
“We want to qualify first of all and to qualify you have to be in the top two so that’s really our target.
“We think the squad we have is good enough and they will qualify us to the next round but once we get to the next round it’s tougher and we will definitely try to reinforce the team.”
Ben Komakech, Josh Johnson, Daniel Jjuko, Tony Drilieba, Ivan Muhwezi, Abel Omoding, Jordin Mayes, Robinson Opong, Stephen Omony, James Okello, Landry Ndikumana, Francis Azolibe
Group D Teams: Patriots BBC (Rwanda), Hawassa Basketball Club (Ethiopia), City Oilers (Uganda), JKT Basketball Club (Tanzania), Brave Hearts (Malawi), and Dynamo BBC (Burundi).