2022 Basketball Review: City Oilers cement great dynasty basketball status

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By Morris Rawal

City Oilers won Game Seven 66-64 over the Namuwongo Blazers to capture their eighth championship in eight seasons, solidifying their status as the greatest basketball powerhouse in the nation.

After winning the Finals series 4-3, the Oilers were head and shoulders over the competition, with the Falcons being the closest with six championships.

With 24 points and 12 rebounds in Game Seven, Francis Azolibe helped the champs win and undoubtedly had a shot at the MVP award.

Despite averaging nine points and nine rebounds to the Nigerian’s 13 points and seven rebounds, his colleague James Okello was awarded MVP.

In the end, none of that mattered. Despite how challenging it may have been, the Oilers were determined to retain their championship.

The Oilers had a difficult season overall, but Okello in particular. Early in the season, the big man lost his mother, and when the squad traveled for the burial, they were engaged in an accident returning.

Game Seven was decided by nerves and Mandy Juruni’s team, which was the team that performed well when the stakes were high late in the game.

Falcons, Tropical Royals dropped back to the Lower Division.

After falling down 1-3, the UCU Lady Canons finished their comeback to win the series 4-3 and earn their eighth championship. In front of a crowded Lugogo Indoor Stadium, Millicent Otieno scored a game-high 28 points as the Lady Canons defeated the JKL Lady Dolphins 75-67.

Along with her 22 points, MVP Rose Akon added 29 rebounds to solidify her position as the league’s finest player. Ritah Imanishimwe and Hope Akello both scored 19 points, but it wasn’t enough for the Lady Dolphins to win three straight games.

A1 Challenge joined Nkumba Lady Marines as the relegated team in the women’s division. 

Two teams were meant to go down from the 10 teams that started the campaign.

A1 Challenge finished the season with 24 points off three wins and 15 losses (18 games).

Nkumba Lady Marines had 19 points from 18 games and they were at the rock bottom of the table. They capped their season with a 59-46 loss against UCU Lady Canons.

City Oilers break BAL Jinx

City Oilers have finally broken the Basketball Africa League jinx after beating Urunani to book the remaining ticket for the event due next year in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Oilers won 71-61 in a third place match during the Elite 16 Division East encounter at the Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A day earlier, Oilers had lost their semifinal encounter with Cape Town 75-69, to set up for a do-or-die encounter with Urunani (Burundi) who also lost the semi 68-62 against Ferroviario Beira (Mozambique).

Cape Town Tigers (South Africa) and Beira qualified for BAL on Saturday for winning their semifinal ties, before the former won the final on Sunday with a 81-71 win.

In the playoff match, the Oilers led 17-12 after the first quarter but their lead was cut to just a point at halftime.

But the Oilers remained in character and held on to win by 9 points thanks immensely to a double double of 20 points and 11 rebounds from Germaine Roeburg.

The final tournament next year in Kigali will attract 12 teams, with six coming from qualifiers while the other six are champions of Angola, Egypt, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia who qualify automatically.

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