12/18/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/18/2019 17:21
KIGALI (Rwanda) - Ugandan champions City Oilers are in high spirits ahead of their encounter with Ferroviario de Maputo from Mozambique in their opening Group B game of the Basketball Africa League 2020 Division East Qualifiers on Wednesday at the Kigali Arena.
Mandy Juruni's side were awarded a walkover after Kenya Ports Authority failed to turn up for their opener a day earlier but the former is confident that his side is ready for the challenge at hand.
This presented an opportunity for the City Oilers to watch and follow closely their other Group B opponents as Ferroviario defeated Cobra Sport from South Sudan in their opening tie.
'UNFORTUNATELY, WE DID NOT PLAY YESTERDAY BUT WE ARE READY ALL WEEK. IT IS GOOD WE HAVE AN IDEA ABOUT FERROVIARIO AFTER WATCHING THEM PLAY.'- Juruni
City Oilers head coach Juruni cannot hide his joy at the availability of dependable shooting guard Jimmy Enabu who is expected to lead his side's charge on offense having missed out on the first round of qualification in Tanzania two months ago due to commitments in flying school.
Shooting guard Robinson Opong, who featured for Ferroviario de Beira in last year's FIBA AfroLeague in Tunisia - Ferroviario de Maputo's biggest local rivals, will come into this game with knowledge of a thing or two about the Mozambicans.
Oilers' three additions in center Ivan Lumanyika, small forward Devonte Elliott and power forward Tyrar Petty will provide good options for Juruni on both ends of the court.
'Unfortunately, we did not play yesterday but we are ready all week. It is good that we have an idea about Ferrroviario after watching them play,' Juruni explained.
Ferroviario de Maputo have recorded six straight wins in as many games in the BAL 2020 Division East Qualifiers that started in October and have looked the part thus far. However, against the City Oilers, they will be up against their biggest challenge.
Power forward Custodia Muchate told FIBA.basketball that, 'City Oilers are a very strong team. They have big players but we have a very quick team and it will be a very physical game because of rebounds so we have to improve during the game. We also have to do better on our three-point shooting.'
Meanwhile, hosts Patriots take on a wounded University of Zambia Pacers who are looking to bounce back from their opening loss to GNBC of Madagascar on Tuesday.
UNZA Pacers are looking to bounce back today
Tanzania's JKT face GNBC while Cobra will be up against Kenya Ports Authority.
The top three sides from this tournament will complete the BAL Regular Season for the inaugural competition that is set to tip off in March 2020.