03 October, 2023
26 November
Game Report
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Cape Town Tigers crowned East Division Elite 16 champions 


JOHANNESBURG (South Africa) - South African champions Cape Town Tigers are back-to-back East Division Elite 16 Basketball Africa League (BAL) qualifiers winners.

The Final match between hosts Tigers and nine-time Ugandan champions City Oilers was decided in the final 16 seconds with the former winning 70-68.

Malian point guard Cartier Ducati Diarra rose above his marker for a jumper that left Oilers with 0.7 seconds to take the match into overtime or win it with a three but that was never to be. 

The two sides had already booked their place in the 2024 BAL coming into the final match.

They matched point for point in the opening quarter with Germaine Vashon Roebuck Jr. leading Oilers with 12 while Terrance Ferguson dropped 11 for Tigers as the two sides tied on 22 points at the end of the first 10 minutes.

Coach Mandy Juruni rested his first team in the opening five minutes of the second half but Tigers couldn't find the rhythm to run the scores as the Ugandans went ahead 15-14 to lead by a point going into the halftime break.

The one-point difference remained for four minutes of the third quarter, albeit with changes in the leading team before Terry Larrier knocked a three that took Tigers ahead 46-44. The match was tied at 46 with 5 minutes left on the clock in the third period but Tigers went on a 14-6 run that saw them lead 60-52 heading to the final period where Oilers held on for the win. 

TURNING POINT: The South Africans scored 25-15 in the third quarter to assume a comfortable lead that cushioned them when Oilers attempted a comeback with a 16-10 show in the final period. 

HERO: Cartier Diarra will probably be celebrated more for his game-winning shot even as Terrance Ferguson and Terry Larrier top-scored with 17 apiece. Nkosinathi Sandile was the only player to bag a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. 

STATS DON'T LIE: The 17 lead changes and 7 ties point to how balanced this clash was. It could have gone either way.

BOTTOM LINE: The two sides embark on a preparation journey as Oilers look to redeem themselves and qualify for the playoffs while Tigers, who were eliminated in the quarters in their last BAL outing prepare to breach the Last Four. 

WHAT THEY SAID: "It has been a good championship. We came here with a target and achieving it was the most important part and I am happy we got that done. We have a special group of players who are ready to fight for the brand and I expect that we will work hard to have a successful run in the BAL next year." - Brandon Alan Sebirumbi- City Oilers. 

"Winning the final was important for us as everything we do between the qualification and the BAL counts as part of our preparations. We are happy to finish the competition unbeaten as playing matches in 6 days is a very demanding task for the players as well as the coaches. 

Last edition we were stopped at the quarters so we will look to break those barriers. We will retain this squad, while also strengthening our departments, especially the centres. Our preparations have to begin early as we have to be ready to compete at that level." Mlungisi Ngwenya- head coach Cape Town Tigers.