JKL Dolphins are without a doubt one of the teams that will fancy their chances at challenging City Oilers for the National Basketball League title.
If we were to categorize all teams based on their rosters to challenge City Oilers for this year’s championship, the Dolphins would be among the top three.
JKL boasts of the league’s top backcourt outside of City Oilers and probably KIU Titans. The 1-2 combo of John Balwigaire and Innocent Ochera is as good or better than any other you will find in the division.
Ochera and Balwigaire are both at very different stages in their respective careers, but their partnership in Dolphins backcourt could be the reason the side will challenge. The duo shone in the preseason win over KIU and the understanding between them looked like one that had been built for seasons.
Obviously, a case can be made against Balwigaire who will be playing in the league for the first time but for a player of his talent and background, adjusting doesn’t take ages.
Balwigaire and Ochera will definitely lead JKL’s barrage throughout this short season if the consequential runs they made whenever Titans tried to rally during the preseason game are anything to go by.
The one-two offensive punch of Balwigaire and Ochera looks very potent. Complement that with the creativity and all-round play of Brian Namake as well as Joseph Wacha and Yesman Bushiri and you have the makings of a good backcourt.
Libe Makala returned ‘home’ after a season with Power. Libe remains one of the league’s premier perimeter defenders who are not afraid to get dirty and can contribute, sometimes abundantly, on the other end.
Christian Kakonda who was caught up in the Philippines when Covid-19 struck last year is now in the country also played part in the friendly and has featured in the two league games played thus far. The Congolese big man gives Dolphins presence in the post along with Ivan Lumanyika, and Derrick Isiko.
But the biggest question is how will the entire team respond when down in a three-game series? Obviously, the answer won’t come until we get there but when that time arrives, there’s a very good chance it will be tied to Balwigaire and Ochera.
JKL Dolphins Regular Season Fixtures & Results
- Sunday, April 18: vs. UPDF (60-74, L)
- Sunday, April 25: vs. Power (70-52, W)
- Saturday, May 1: vs. KCCA
- Sunday, May 2: vs. KIU Titans
- Saturday, May 8: vs. UCU Canons
- Sunday, May 16: vs. Ndejje Angels
- Saturday, May 22: vs. Nam Blazers
- Sunday, May 30: vs. City Oilers
- Sunday, June 6: vs. Falcons