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City Oilers Learn The Hard Way On BAL Debut

Basketball: City Oilers Learn The Hard Way On BAL Debut

Uganda’s City Oilers paid the price for a false start to the Basketball Africa League and were eliminated following Saturday’s 80-70 loss to Cape Town Tigers in Cairo, Egypt.

The Ugandan champions started the Nile Conference with a 0-3 record after defeats to Petro de Luanda, Al Ahly and SLAC.

That hole became tough to come out of the moment Oilers were required to win two in a row to book a ticket to the playoffs in Kigali, Rwanda.

Despite a 96-75 win over Mozambique’s Ferroviario da Beira on Friday, Mandy Juruni and his charges ended the campaign bottom of the Nile Conference and missed out on the playoffs.

“It was a good experience. We had some great games, we had some great moments, bad moments,” Juruni said after Saturday’s defeat.

“This is high-level competition in terms of club basketball in Africa. So, for us to be here and compete against the best on the continent is an honour,” he added.

Offence eluded the eight-time National Basketball League champions when they needed it the mos. That saw the Tigers pick their second win to qualify.

Falando Jones scored 27 points but was the only Oilers player in double figures. James Justice Jr. was limited to just nine points, while Germaine Roebuck Jr. limped off injured in the second quarter.

Oilers and SLAC are the two teams that missed out on tickets to the playoffs. Meanwhile, Petro, Al Ahly, Ferroviario and Tigers sealed the slots.

Focus for the Oilers will now turn to the league in which they remain top with a 10-0 record.

Winning the league is the first step to the BAL, and the Oilers are searching for a ninth straight championship.

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