City Oilers have won an unprecedented seventh straight National Basketball League title after defeating UCU Canons, 72-57, in Game 7 at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.
Oilers controlled the opening quarter as they got out running and Landry Ndikumana went to work early in the game gliding at the baseline for jump hooks over the long hands of Titus Lual and Fadhil Chuma.
The champions extended the lead to double figures at the start of the second quarter but Canons, through David Deng, Lual and the backing by majority of the capacity crowd in the Arena, rallied back running the floor to go into the halftime break trailing by just a point (27-26).
Canons matched Oilers shot-for-shot early in the third quarter, leveling the game four times but Nick Natuhereza’s charges turned over the ball twice deep in the frame that proved costly and coupled with a poor shot selection in the half-court sets that led them into fouling, Oilers opened up an eight-point lead on which they built in the final quarter.
It was all composure and experience from the champions in the fourth quarter as they never allowed Canons to come closer than three points the rest of the way.
How Oilers iced the Game
With Canons trailing by 8 points (43-51) early in the fourth quarter, Jimmy Enabu lost the ball out of bounds and at the other end, Fadhil Chuma found Deng who spun on Josh Johson and leaned-in to bank a normal two.
Johnson turned over possession attacking the basket. Ceasar Adoke carried the ball across and handed it to Lual but the center was picked up top by James Okello forcing him to pass the ball Deng who caught and shot from the top of the mountain to pull Canons to within 3 points (48-51) with 8:26 to play.
At the other end, Ndikumana hit a huge 3-pointer that he, unusually, celebrated. UCU’s comeback was broken as Tony Drileba and Ben Komakech hit jumpers to put Oilers in a comfortable place with under five minutes to play.
Ndikumana was the tormentor in chief with a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds while Jimmy Enabu and James Okello came in handy with 16 and 14 points respectively with the latter pulling down a game-high 17 rebounds.
David Deng scored team-high 21 points in a losing effort and Titus Lual, the only other Canon to scored in double figures, added 13 points.