Paul Odong looks to dribble his way past Ben Komakech during the game between City Oilers and Nam Blazers Credit: John Batanudde

History has demonstrated that a regular-season loss for City Oilers does not matter but for the teams that pin defeat to the champions, it does and quite a lot.

Besides the obvious joy that comes with getting one over the champions, there’s a confidence that comes with beating a team as City Oilers. More so if you have to overcome a slow start as Nam Blazers did on Saturday evening at KIU to beat Oilers 71-67.

The league newcomer missed their first seven shots and little surprise that Oilers controlled the opening quarter and led by double digits (17-6).

As Oilers went ice cold for nearly five minutes to start the second, Geoffrey Soro and Paul Odong were heating up and dragging Blazers back into the contest. Odong went for 13 points in the quarter Blazers outscored Oilers 23-7 to assume the lead that was relinquished only for one possession at the start of the fourth quarter.

Jimmy Enabu stepped into a 3-pointer to open the third quarter that was was balanced offensively for both sides. Blazers were able to withstand whatever was thrown at them by Oilers and had their noses in front (54-52) heading into the fourth quarter.

Geoffrey Soro ponders on how to go past Michael Makidi during the game between City Oilers and Nam Blazers Credit: John Batanudde

Turning Point

Ivan Muhwezi put Oilers ahead with a three-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter. However, former Oiler Francis Azolibe followed up Soro’s miss to restore Blazers’ lead.

Enabu missed from three-point range and on the other end, another former Oiler Daniel Jjuko leaned in to extend Namuwongo’s lead to three points (56-53) with just over 8 minutes to play.

It was back and forth the rest of the way with Oilers twice coming to within a point but Nam Blazers soaked the pressure to earn victory in their first top-flight game.

Chris Omanye makes a pass under pressure from Ivan Muhwezi and Joseph Ikong during the game between City Oilers and Nam Blazers Credit: John Batanudde

Paul Odong scored game high 22 points to lead Nam Blazers, Chris Omanye and Daniel Jjuko chipped in with 11 points each while Geoffrey Soro contribute 10 points and David Deng pulled down game-high 10 rebounds to got with 8 points.

Jimmy Enabu had team high 19 points for Oilers and skipper James Okello, the only other Oiler to reach double figures had 10 points.

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

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think