Basket Ball

Players Knew What Was At Stake – Juruni

City Oilers coach Mandy Juruni has claimed that his players ”knew what was at stake” after a deserved win against South Sudanese side Cobra Sport.

Oilers managed to live to the billing as they reached the semis of the 2020 BAL Qualifiers with a smooth 108-71 win on Thursday.

Also Read: How Oilers Beat Cobra

Juruni revealed that there was no special tactic used, but credited team work.

“We had to go and play, we were very confident that we were going to win, we knew we were a better team and today we played with composure and confidence,” said Oilers tactician.

“We shared the ball well, we played good defence especially in the first three quarters, we had players who came up big and carried the team.

“Mayes and Petty played well tonight. Robinson was shooting well. The bigs contributed in the paint, blocked shots and picked rebounds, so it was a team contribution.”

Landry Ndikumana (left) and Ivan Lumanyika. FIBA

Juruni stressed that the W was a big morale boost as they plan for other games.

Joridin Mayes scored a game high 29 points while Tyler Petty added 20 in the win for Oilers side that came into the game on the back of a loss against Ferroviario Maputo.

Oilers shot 41-of-83 from the field and were 53% from the free-throw line.

Magnifique: the Kigali Arena. FIBA

Juruni added:

“The players knew what was at stake, if we had lost the game it meant we would be out. We are into the semis now and we are looking forward into the next challenge.

“The guys have played at a higher level, personally, I scouted trey, I saw him play when I was in the USA and I liked the way he was playing and shooting, when you play with confidence, you always deliver, and we did that today.”

No way through? Adarius Pegues, Patriots stand in Oilers’ way. FIBA

What are City Oilers Chances?

Juruni has repeatedly said that his side’s main target is to qualify for the inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL) which is set next year.

The top three teams at the ongoing round in Rwanda will qualify. And Oilers are just a step away. However, it’s Patriots who is standing in their way. A club Juruni says that they knew they were going to face at a certain stage.

Oilers might have dug themselves a big hole when they lost to Ferroviario Maputo, which all but meant that they will finish in second and face a tougher team in the semis which turns out to be hosts Patriots.

However, GNBC pushed Patriots to the wall on Thursday, with the hosts needing overtime to outlast the tricky side and Oilers will have rested for some negligible hours and have fresher legs at least.

If Oilers beat Patriots on Saturday, they will reach the finals but most importantly, they will have confirmed their place among the top three.

If Patriots beat Oilers on Saturday, Juruni’s side will have to face the loser between GNBC and Maputo in the other semi, for the remaining slot.

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