By: Nacho Black Armo
Defending Champions City Oilers began their title defence with a hard fought 74-72 win over KIU Titans.
Titans sent the message in the first period as they led 16-14 as well as having the better scores of the 2nd quarter which saw them go into half time with a 2 point lead, 27-25.
Sudi Ulanga extended the lead to 29-27 with a jump short in the 3rd quarter but Jimmy Enabu answered quickly with a jump shot too to reduce the gap to 27-29.
Titans seemed fired up with Samuel Agutu going for a 3 pointer but Oilers raised the tempo with Stephen Omony, Ndikumana Landry, Okello James pushing harder coming from a 28-32 deficit to a 44-37 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter.
More drama was witnessed in the 4th quarter when Oilers almost had it in hands with a 13 point lead, 50-37 but fighting Titans inspired by Denis Balungu pulled back and closed the game.
Oilers leading 62-59 with seconds left, it was Balungu again with a 3 pointer which tied the game at 62-62 sending it to over time.
The drama continued in over time as Titans took 68-66, 70-68 leads but Oilers captured the front seat through Okello James with a 72-70 lead before Ulanga leveled it at 72-72.
However it was Landry Ndikumana who taped in a late ball in the last Second to give Oilers a 74-72 hard fought win.
Jimmy Enabu scored 17 points the highest on the night a point better than Titan’s Sudi Ulanga’s 16, Landry Ndikumana made 11 rebounds while Basheke Chris laid 7 assists.
Both teams will face off in game 2 on Sunday 7th January at Lugogo MTN Arena with Oilers having a 1-0 lead.