Basketball League semi-finals series with City Oilers. From then, each game became a must-win for the university side and Sunday’s 60-50 game three victory set up another chance to fight.
Oilers guard Tonny Drileba was confident after game two and highlighted the fact that the defending champions had put themselves in a good place with a two-game cushion. “They need to win three straight and we need one win,” the guard said after the Oilers took that 2-0 lead.
That lead has, however, been halved and another win for the Canons tonight will set up a nail-biting decider.
Mandy Juruni’s Oilers played like a team in a comfortable lead and lacked the effort in game three while the Canons got out of the blocks early to show how badly they needed the win with the season on the line.
Fadhil Chuma is one of the longest serving players on the team and his performance in game three was long overdue. Having failed to register any point in game two, the Tanzanian contributed 11 points in a low scoring game three to give UCU the edge. Only he and Fayed Baale managed to hit double figures in the game.
The Canons big men have struggle to deliver consistently this season and must figure it out if the side is going to win the next two games and eliminate the seven-time league winners. Guard Jerry Kayanga has also struggled to get going form three-point range all series.
Baale has been the most consistent Canon in the series and his 14 points in game three came in handy.
City Oilers will come into game four with confidence of closing the series despite a poor show on Sunday. None of the Oilers players scored in double figures in game three and Juruni believes the only way is up for all after the dismal performance.
“I feel confident. I feel we have regrouped after a bad show for most of my players in game three,” Juruni told Daily Monitor ahead of the game.
“We had very bad stats from almost everyone and I am hoping we respond well,” he added.
Canons captain Titus Lual knows there is no more room for error.
He said: “We are coming to fight for our lives and force game five.”
The winner of the series will face Namuwongo Blazers in the finals.
National Basketball League Playoffs
Playing today (YMCA, Wandegeya)
City Oilers vs. UCU Canons -8pm (Oilers lead series 2-1)