City Oilers will have another shot at playing for a spot in the 2023 Basketball Africa League (BAL) having made the cut for the Elite 16.
The Ugandan champions beat Tanzanian side Army Basketball Club (ABC), 71-63, on Sunday night in the ultimate Group C game played at Mkapa National Indoor Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Germaine Roebuck (Oilers) and Baraka Athumani (ABC) put on a show for the fans as both players poured in 31 points each. Roebuck, who was named the player of the game, pulled down six rebounds, three assists and swiped seven steals.
The first quarter was an offensive exhibition from the Ugandans who won it 27-20 but ABC were better in the second quarter closing the gap to just 2 points despite falling back to 10 points as Oilers offense stalled.
Oilers had a slim 53-52 lead at the end of the third quarter but Athumani took the game to City Oilers scoring seven points the hosts took a 59-53 lead. Three 3-pointers from City Oilers from Tony Drileba (2) and James Okello swang the game and after that it was all about game control.
The win meant Oilers join Urunani who completed the group unbeaten at the Elite 16 (Group F) that will be played from November 22-27.
City Oilers’ Road to BAL 2023 leads them to Cape Town, South Africa next where they will compete for a slot in the lucrative stage of Africa’s premier club basketball competition.
In Group F, Oilers will take on Cape Town Tigers (hosts), Ferroviário da Beira (Mozambique), Cobra Sport (South Sudan), Urunani (Burundi), COSPN (Madagascar), KPA (Kenya), and NBA Academy Africa.
The top three teams in the group will play in the 2023 Basketball Africa League.
The other group of the Elite 16 will be hosted in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from November 14-19. The group has AS Sale (Morocco), FAP (Cameroon), SLAC (Guinea), ABC (Ivory Coast), Stade Malien (Mali), Elan Cot (Benin), Bangui S.C (Central Africa Republic), Nueva E (Equatorial Guinea)
It should be noted that the participation of Cobra Sport and SLAC in the Elite 16 is pending confirmation by BAL. The two sides played in the 2022 season.