Saturday, May 22 (UCU Courts)
*Nabisunsa vs UCU Lady Canons, 10am
*Magic Stormers Vs KCCA Leopards, 12am
*JKL Dolphins vs Nam Blazers, 2pm
*City Oilers vs UCU Canons, 4pm
City Oilers and UCU Canons will go head on this Saturday in NBL in what promises to be a pulsating affair in Mukono.
Coach Nicholas Natuhereza and the Canons get a chance for revenge against the Oilers who beat them 72-56 in January last year to win a crucial game 7 and edge the finals series 4-3.
The Oilers, on their way to an unprecedented record seventh straight league crown, had seen UCU recover from 3-1 to tie the series 3-3!
However, the Canons are once again underdogs given what has happened since then.
They have the misfortune to face an Oilers team well beefed up and have surely peaking again at the right time.
The Oilers were shorthanded in that 2019 finals, and had to do it with Landry Ndikumana and James Okello playing almost the entire minutes throughout after injuries across the roster.
Jimmy Enabu (11), Landry Ndikumana (10.3) and James Okello (10.5) are averaging double digits in terms of points scored while Fidel Odur Okoth, Michael Makiadi, Joseph Ikong and Caesar Kizito have seamlessly fit into the squad among other new additions.
After a rough start that saw them fall to Nam Blazers, in a game which has been overturned in their favour after the Blazers fielded an ineligible Geoffrey Soro, Oilers have won four straight beating Ndejje, Falcons, Power and UPDF Tomahawks.
They beat UPDF 90-80, in a game they should have won comfortably having led by 30 points at some stage before putting their foot off the pedal.
They have not put a foot wrong this season and look like a team that will not run out of steam anytime soon but the Canons their biggest challenge yet if the Blazers did not do it actually.
The Canons are a well coached side but come into this one without 2019 best player David Dikong Deng who joined Nam Blazers after the small forward finished his studies at the Mukono campus.
Youngster and tricky guard Fayed Baale has surely come of age but he is the only Canon averaging points in double figures, with 12.3.
Sudi Ulanga who returned at the team from KIU Titans, provides experience but he is past his prime, Fadhil Chuma has a big and lonely battle at the boards against Oilers elite big men if Titus Lual fails to show up.
Jerry Kayanga and Isaiah Mabeny Ateer, the latter missed the 2019 finals due to a wrist injury, must show up this time to give the Canons an edge from the three-point arc.
UCU sit seventh on a 10-team log having beaten Ndejje and Falcons but losses to KIU Titans and Nam Blazers shows how heavy the load that coach Natuhereza still has on his hands if he is to take this team where he needs them to be.