Mandy Juruni | Credit: John Batanudde

City Oilers head to Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday ahead of the final qualifying round for the Basketball Africa League (BAL) 2023.

The Ugandan champions will be looking to qualify for the continent’s premier club basketball competition. They will need a top-three finish at the eight-team tournament to achieve that feat.

“It is a very strong group but we are a team that is very ambitious and wants to be in BAL. We want to use that to drive us and motivate us to work hard and get there. It’s not going to be easy but it’s achievable,” Juruni told Kawowo Sports.

The Oilers have made additions to the team that played the first phase of the qualifiers. Tyray Petty and Moses Maker are out and in comes Jimmy Enabu who is returning from injury, point guard Fayed Bbaale and Titus Lual.

The local trio is joined by American-South Sudan power forward William Ngor Barnaba and experienced wing Falando Jones who has played in the Egyptian league.

“I believe a lot in the team that we have assembled. These guys want it so bad because when we missed out last year because of covid, the players felt so bad not to get that opportunity to go and compete. Now, this is another opportunity for us to try and get there and we are going to embrace it.

“When we get this opportunity to go out there to represent the country we really have to make sure that we go as far as we can.

“We look at ourselves as a team that should be playing in BAL and looking at the trend of Ugandan basketball in recent years, the country should be represented in a competition like BAL. We are not only playing for ourselves but we are also playing for the nation.”

It should be noted that Matero Magic was given a chance to compete again and took the fourth spot in City Oilers group.

The Roster

Backcourt: Fayed Bbale, Ben Komakech, Jimmy Enabu, Tony Drileba, Caesar Kizito, Ivan Muhwezi

Frontcourt: Germaine Roebuck, Falando Jones, William Ngor Barnaba, Titus Lual, James Okello, Francis Azolibe

City Oilers Fixtures (EAT)

  • Tuesday, November 22: City Oilers vs. COsPN – 12:30pm
  • Wednesday, November 23: Matero Magic vs. City Oilers – 5:30pm
  • Thursday, November 24: Ferroviario Beira vs. City Oilers – 5:30pm
  • Saturday, November 26: Semifinals
  • Sunday, November 17: 3rd Place Playoff and Finals

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

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