Kampala- With four straight National Basketball League titles and two regional crowns in the last five years, City Oilers have made a habit of winning.
With only 48 hours separating games one and two of the National Basketball League finals between City Oilers and KIU Titans there is hardly time to dwell on the opening game one result.
That is the view KIU have opted to take after going down 74-72 in the final second of overtime in the opening game of the best of seven series final against City Oilers at a full Lugogo MTN Arena on Friday evening.
“Losing by two points and losing by 15 you rather lose by 15. It really hurts but we don’t have time to dwell on that we have six more games,” KIU guard Sudi Ulanga stated after the opening series result.
His team could be accused of switching off in the third quarter won 19-10 by the Oilers.
And even if they rallied in the fourth quarter to force overtime, they left themselves with too much work before Landry Ndikumana’s put back sealed it for the Oilers in the final second of overtime.
“We were not picking defensive rebounds. We didn’t complete the defensive sequence. They put up a lot of shots. We have agreed we shouldn’t let them take comfortable shots and at the same time after taking the shots should not get second chances,” he further noted.
Their opponents claimed 20 second chance points compared to five for the Titans.
“When you win a playoff game that can motivate to try to win the next game.We know we have been playing so many games but the players have to dig deep especially if you have a production of about eight guys who can come on and rest the guys who have been playing many minutes,” explained Oilers coach Mandy Juruni.
Jimmy Enabu finished with a game high 17 points but shot only 3-11 on the charity line including missing both free-throws that would have put the game out of reach with six seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Jonah Otim added 16 and James Okello 12 while Sudi Ulanga scored a team high 16 points. Chris Omanye added 15 and Dennis Balungu 14 including a three pointer that forced overtime. In the end that hardly mattered much to the disappointment of many at the arena.
2017 NBL playoff final
City Oilers 74-72 KIU Titans
City Oilers vs KIU Titans
Today 5:30pm, Lugogo MTN-NCS Arena