• City Oilers 60-71 Nam Blazers (Series tied 1-1)
  • UCU Lady Canons 52-60 JKL Lady Dolphins (Lady Dolphins lead series 2-0)

It’s difficult for City Oilers to have back-to-back bad games. They always come back better when they have a bad game and their opponents have to play out of their skin to win.

After having a poor series opener, if the words of coach Mandy Juruni and the standard they have set over the years are anything to go by, the defending champions were going to follow it up with improved performance.

And indeed, for most parts of the first half of Game 2 of Tusker Lite National Basketball League Finals, they played City Oilers basketball. Little surprise that they controlled the opening stages of the game, winning the opening quarter 17-14. They momentarily silenced the largely Namuwongo-leaning crowd as they opened a double-digit lead in the second quarter before the Blazers fought back to go into the halftime break separated by 2 points, 33-31.

The third quarter was open and entertaining to the crowd and the referees were a bit caught in the web letting Francis Azolibe and David Deng travel to the basket at either end of the floor. Oilers lost a bit of control of the game, Blazers took the opportunity with both hands edging ahead in the game, 51-49.

Namuwongo had the momentum to start the fourth quarter scoring 5 unanswered points forcing the Oilers into a timeout and on return, Amisi Saidi hit a jumper for a 9-point lead before Oilers got on the board in the quarter.

Deng (19 points) and Saidi (24 points & 10 rebounds) who was later named the Tusker Lite player of the game heat up at the right time and Daniel Minoja (6 points) came in handy as Blazers built a double-digit lead with just over two minutes to play. At this point, the game had Blazers win and series knotted written all over.

Chris Omanye contributed 8 points to go with 9 rebounds and 4 assists in the win while Ariel Okall picked game-high 13 rebounds and contributed 6 points.

Azolibe (16 points & 10 rebounds) and Mer Maker (14 points & 10 rebounds) had double-doubles in a losing effort. Davis Siagi and Tony Drileba had 8 points each.

Game 3 of the series will be played on Sunday at 6:00pm at Lugogo.

In the women’s division, JKL Lady Dolphins took a 2-0 series lead over UCU Lady Canons following a 60-52 win.

Ritah Imanishimwe (17 points), Brenda Ekone (15 points & 10 rebounds), and Hope Akello (10 points) scored in double figures to lead Lady Dolphins while Rose Akon’s game-high 22 points & 18 boards were in a losing effort. Bridget Aber (10 points) also scored in double digits for UCU.

Game 3 of the series is on Sunday at 4:00 pm.

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

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