City Oilers are in their second week of training in preparations for the forthcoming qualifiers of the Basketball Africa League.
The seven-time league winners will represent Uganda at the qualifiers in Kigali later this month.
Oilers missed out last time after defeats to Patriots (Rwanda) and Maputo (Mozambique) in the 2019 qualifiers.
Needing a win to seal a ticket in the bronze match of the qualifiers, Oilers lost to Ferroviario Maputo 57-74 on December 23 2019 at the Kigali Arena.
Juruni says that they are ready to make amends this time round as they target a place at the second season of the BAL that will be held in Kigali next year.
“We started practice last week,” said head coach Mande Juruni who is handling the team at Lugogo.
“The preparations are looking good. As always we want to be one of the best in Africa as a club. Our goal is to qualify for the final tournament.
“It was unfortunate we did not make it in the first edition. We got bad injuries during and before the tournament. We hope this time to be better.”
The Oilers have made changes in their roster with Michael Makiadi and Joseph Ikong released by the club.
“There are some players who are not on the BAL team,” Juruni revealed. “As you know for international games we always get some players from out to get the team better. Some players will miss out.”
The National Basketball League was halted in June and FUBA later decided to cancel the season until next year.
However, Juruni said that the cancellation of the season has not affected his side’s preparations that much.
He stated: “The cancelation has not affected so much because half the team have been playing with the national team (Silverbacks). So in terms of playing or being fit we are not doing badly.”
The Road To BAL 2022
The BAL, is a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) that sees clubs compete to be crowned champions of Africa.
The first edition, which was won by Zamalek of Egypt, was held in Kigali Rwanda and so will be the two subsequent editions in 2022 and 2023.
FIBA announced that the national champions of Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia have directly qualified for the 2022 regular season.
Meaning that Petro De Luanda (Angola), US Monastir (Tunisia), Zamalek (Egypt), DUC Dakar (Senegal) and AS Sale (Morocco) have already qualified, pending one from Nigeria.
Six places are still up for grabs and will be determined by the qualifiers that start later this month.
The qualifiers will be played one in Kigali and the other in Cape Town.
With details still scanty, Uganda’s City Oilers will compete in Kigali with ASCUT (Madagascar), FAP (Cameroon), SOA (Ivory Coast), Ulinzi Warriors (Kenya), Police (Mali), Kurusani Heat (Tanzania), SLAC (Guinea) and hosts Patriots (Rwanda) for the three slots.
Maputo (Mozambique), Police Academy (Botswana), Bravehearts (Malawi), Matero Magic (Zambia), Cape Town Tigers (South Africa) and Mercenaries (Zimbabwe) will play in the other qualification section in Cape Town, South Africa where the top three will also be needed.