Former City Oilers’ centre A’Darius Lamar Pegues will turn out for Rwandan champions Patriots in the forthcoming Basketball Africa League qualifiers.
Patriots have been pitted with Oilers in Pool F alongside Kenya’s KPA, Mozambique’s Ferroviario de Maputo, Madagascar’s GNBC and UNZA pacers from Zambia.
Pegues, an American born big man is relishing the opportunity to face his former team and knows what to expect against familiar faces after also featuring for Silverback (Uganda’s senior national Basketball team) at the Afrobasket in 2017 and Senegal.
The group H qualifiers, set at the magnificent Kigali Arena, are set to go tip off in December 17-22, 2019.
“Another day at work. I will be excited to see my brothers (Oilers) again, but once we step on the floor I will have only one job to do, and that’s to secure the victory by any means,” Pegues told the-SportsNation.com.
Pegues revealed that he has not heard from Oilers team since the FIBA Africa Champions Cup and “the Beast is now ready to feast on them”.
“I understand that basketball is a business first. I appreciate and love the time I have spent with the Silverbacks and City Oil. Kampala & Uganda will always be my home, I love my people.
“But now it’s a different era, I put on the uniform of the Patriots, and I will be as loyal and work just as hard if not more for Kigali as I did for Kampala. Feelings do take apart of the process but I’m a professional first, and I will do my job with the best of my ability and remain loyal to my new brothers.”
Pegues, a Louisville Western High School product, known by many as ‘King VI’, joins a powerful Patriots roster that has familiar faces like Michael Makiadi, Kenny Gasana and small forward Diedonne Ndizeye.
On what he has been up to since leaving Oilers in 2017, Pegues revealed:
“I have been at home enjoying the family and working out, staying in shape. I’ve had plenty offers come my way, but I chose this period to clear my mind so I can be the best AD for the future moving forward. I’ve played in high level Europe, Asia, South America, & Africa.
“At this point I’m ready to find a great market and plant my roots for the remainder of my career, which is great because the game of basketball in the greatest continent in the world here in Africa is taking a turn for excellence and is looking like it will provide me that desire.”
The Rwandan side that recently appointed Kenyan Francis ‘T9’ Adhiambo as their new head coach to replace Henry Mwinuka (now at REG), beat Oilers74-63 to triumph at the BAL Qualifiers first round in a tourney that also had Dynamo (Burundi), JKT (Tanzania) and Hawassa (Ethiopia) in Dar Es Salam.
Oilers had won the previous duels against Patriots including in 2017 (FIBA Africa Zone Five) in Kampala where Pegues was with Oilers team.
With Pegues now at Patriots, standing at 6 ft 10 in, this will be another spark as the sides renew rivalry.
Group H will be joined by two more teams to make it eight who will be pursuing for the few slots ahead of the actual tourney in Match 2020 where teams from Egypt, Senegal, Angola, Morocco and Nigeria await.