Jimmy Enabu Credit: Tsaubah Stone

In claiming their seventh National Basketball League title in as many attempts last year, City Oilers were short handed, particularly in the frontcourt.

Oilers lost Nigerian center Francis Azolibe as well as forwards Stephen Omony and Jonathan Egau to injury, leaving the team with just two frontcourt players in Landry Ndikumana and James Okello.

Like the have done over the years, City Oilers went into the player market to solve a problem that nearly cost them a seventh title at the hands of a youthful and largely inexperienced UCU Canons.

The champions signed up to six players who include Kenyan internationals Michael Makiadi and Ariel Okall, Silverbacks captain Joseph Ikong as well as youngsters Emmanuel Makuei, Ruai Gatyang and John Dombo.

With the additions made, team captain Jimmy Enabu who has been with the side since 2013 believes this is the strongest on paper City Oilers have been.

“We were short on the inside with injuries last season and management was always going to get in some players that the team needs.

“Okall and Mike have been here before and make the team very solid. To be honest, on paper, this is the strongest we have been,” Enabu told Kawowo Sports.

Naturally, it would take time to get these players at the same wavelength but Enabu feels team chemistry will not take long to be built and won’t stand in their way to title number eight.

In 2013, more than half the team was new but we managed to win and this time it’s just a few players. The coach will get these pieces together and I don’t think gelling will be a problem.

Jimmy Enabu, City Oilers

The future of the season remains bleak though with the government extending the ban on public gatherings for another three weeks on Monday, June 1.

Early last month, FUBA set out three options on which they will go about the season once sport is given the green light.

Franklin Kaweru is the Editor in Chief of Kawowo Sports. He is an ardent basketball enthusiast.

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