Friday, April 12
*Women: JKL Lady Dolphins Vs KCCA Leopards, 6:30 PM
*Men: Betway Power Vs City Oilers, 8:30 PM
(MTN Indoor Arena, Lugogo)
The wait is finally over. The National Basketball League tips off this evening at the Indoor Arena in Lugogo.
Betway Power and City Oilers meet again in a familiar opener and repeat of last year’s finals. In the Women’s category, JKL face KCCA in what was last year’s semis.
Power will be without Joseph Ikong as the former captain is still nursing wounds after he was allegedly attacked by robbers recently.
Power coach Arnold ‘Muchuda’ Lando revealed that the player may miss Power’s next game against KIU Titans the other Friday but may be back in time to face JKL Dolphins on April 27.
Geoffrey Soro who was by miles, Power’s best player last season after joining from KIU, is also set to miss out. The player has not been training with the team as he was rumoured to be out of the country.
On Thursday, the five time winners unveiled their three new signings – Syrus Kiviiri (Warriors), Libe Makala (JKL) and Samuel Agutu (KIU). The trio is expected to feature against Oilers.
Francis ‘Odom’ Kasinde joined KIU, Kojo Michael retired while Stephen Wundi and Mathieu Madol both returned to South Sudan.
Captain Fahmy Ssebatindira, Paul ‘McGyver’ Odong, Philip ‘Philo’ Ameny, Brian Sivachi, Guddi ‘Kikiri’ Nasser and many others are still at the club and will be vital this season.
This season, the club also added former player Boniface Okello who will deputise Coach Muchuda.
City Oilers Seeking for Seventh Championship In A Row
The defending champions on the hand will this year’s be chasing another record, to be the record winners of NBL. They are however joint top with Falcons on six titles.
Oilers will be without head coach Mandy Juruni as it is confirmed that he is in the United States on a three weeks leave.
Andrew Tendo and Justus Mugisha will deputise for Coach Juruni.
The Oilers have retained their 2018 title winning squad – Landry Ndikumana, Stephen Okello, Jimmy Enabu, James Okello, Josh Johnson, Brian Mulamba, Daniel Juuko and many others.
Oilers failed to complete the signing of Andrew Opiyo who is expected to have finalised with Falcons but the side have added Abel Omongin from Rhino and Francis Chijoke Azolibe from Nigeria.
The Nigeria together with Ivan Muhwezi are still waiting hepatitis B clearance from FUBA.
In the Women’s game, JKL Lady Dolphins will start their title defence against KCCA Leopards, the only team to beat JKL in last year’s regular season.