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Ugandan, Rwandan basketball champions in semi-finals

By Charles Mutebi

Added 21st December 2019 06:02 PM

The Ugandan and Rwandan basketball champions clash today in the semi-finals of the FIBA Basketball Africa League (BAL) round two qualifiers at the majestic Kigali Arena

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City Oilers celebrate winning the 2017 FUBA league after a 4-0 over the KIU Titans at Lugogo on January 12 2018. PHOTOS: Michael Nsubuga

The Ugandan and Rwandan basketball champions clash today in the semi-finals of the FIBA Basketball Africa League (BAL) round two qualifiers at the majestic Kigali Arena

 

FIBA  Basketball Africa League

Results

Oilers 108 Cobra 71

Patriots 94 GNBC 88

Today semi-finals

Maputo v GNBC (6.30pm)

Oilers v Patriots (8.30pm)

The City Oilers - Patriots rivalry has finally arrived in Rwanda and the stakes have never been higher.

The Ugandan and Rwandan basketball champions clash today in the semi-finals of the FIBA Basketball Africa League (BAL) round two qualifiers at the majestic Kigali Arena knowing victory secures a ticket to the inaugural BAL regular season.

Not to mention the small matter of a $70,000 cash prize.

The Oilers, who fell in the Patriots' path after finishing second in Group B, will be out to prevent a second successive loss to the Rwandans, who are the only unbeaten team in the eight-team qualifier.

Two months ago the Patriots triumphed 74-63 over the Oilers in the final of the first round qualifier in Dar es Salaam and are favourites for today's encounter, playing in front of their supporters.

The Oilers, though, are anything but scared.

"We are a pretty good team and if we keep playing the way we played against Cobra or even close to that we will be okay," said Oilers star Jimmy Enabu.

"Playing the Patriots is a big deal for us. It is a defining moment of some sort. The rivalry has been there for years and this is one of the games we have been looking forward to coming into this championship."

The Oilers got the better of the Patriots two years ago in FIBA Africa Zone V Club Championship Final in Kampala, a result that earned the Oilers a ticket to the FIBA Africa Champions Cup.

In very similar circumstances, it goes without saying the Patriots would love to pay back the Oilers in equal measure but the reigning six-time Ugandan champions believe they have put Wednesday's 92-87 loss to Ferroviario Maputo firmly behind them.

Enabu and Co. see their Thursday 108-71 victory over South Sudan's Cobra as a better reflection of their capacity.

Still, in today's highly tantalising meeting with the dangerous Patriots, the Oilers may need to even better. 

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