City Oilers overcome Urunani to punch last ticket to the Basketball Africa League 2023
JOHANNESBURG (South Africa) - Uganda's City Oilers took the last ticket to the Basketball Africa League (BAL) 2023 after beating Urunani in the Third-Place playoff game in the Road to BAL Elite 16 Division East Group F at the Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg on Sunday.
The Oilers won the game 71-62. The win over Urunani is a sweet revenge for the Oilers, who lost to the Burundian club in the preliminary qualifiers last month in Tanzania.
The game from the tip-off would be a dogfight, and at the end of the first half, Oilers went into the quarter with a one-point lead (27-26).
TURNING POINT: In the seventh minute of the fourth quarter, with the score at 53-51, the Oilers step up a gear.
GAME HERO: Germain Roebuck Jr. found his form in this winner-takes-all battle.
His scoring form was what the doctor ordered for the Oilers. Roebuck Jr's double-double ( 20 points and 11 rebounds) helped to carry the Ugandan club to their first BAL tournament.
Big man Ngor Barnaba's and shooting guard Fayed Baale's 12 points also contributed to the Ugandan club closing out their Elite 16 campaign on a high.
STATS DON'T LIE: The Oilers had fewer turnovers, 16 to Urunani's 19. The Ugandans had more assists (17), five more than the Burundian clubs' 12 and more blocks (9) against Urunani's 3.
BOTTOM LINE: The Oilers adjusted better to the pressure of the occasion. They were deserving winners of the Third-Place playoff encounter
THEY SAID: "I am happy and proud of my players. The work that we have put in over the last three years has finally paid off. In-game I looked at my bench a bit more. In the Semi-Final against the Tigers, our top guys played heavy minutes, and you could see they were not at their best. So we needed guys to come off the bench, and they gave us good minutes. The win means a lot for our country. Ugandan basketball has been on the rise at the national team level. Now we are going to play in a top league in Africa." - City Oilers head coach Mandy Juruni.
"It's emotional right now because we worked so hard to get here. Now we have finally done it. Today I started a little slow, but I knew could not let my team down. So when the second half came, I knew I had to come out aggressively in the game." - City Oilers guard Germaine Roebuck Jr.