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BAL: City Oilers Focus On Defence Against Al Ahly

Saturday, September 29
*Ferroviario Beira (Mozambique) Vs Petro Atletico (Angola) – 5pm
*City Oilers Vs Al Ahly, 8:30pm

(Games live on ESPN)


City Oilers will be hoping to bounce back when they take on hosts Al Ahly in their second Nile Conference group game at the Basketball Africa League (BAL).

The Oilers lost their opener on Thursday against favourites Petro de Luanda (Angola) 89-71 at Hassan Moustafa Sports Hall in Cairo, Egypt.

On their debut, the Ugandan champions barely backed down and moved toe-to-toe with Petro until the last quarter which they lost 23-12.

Falando Jones who led the scoring charts for Oilers with 22 points off 7-of-15 shooting, says that their focus is on defence when they take on another debutant in Al Ahly.

“We are ready, we had a good practice today and we went over a few things on defence which is the most important aspect, defensively we are closer than there we are yesterday and we just want to get better each day,” Jones said on Friday.

“We are going there with a defensive mindset, we know we can score but we have to stop the other team from scoring, we have to play defense for 24 seconds (short clock) for 40 minutes.

“We have to match their physicality, we have to be smart with the ball and limit our turnovers but I believe that we have more than enough to compete.”

Jones who had five rebounds and three assists on the night, says that they have to stay calm throughout the contest against an Egypt champion.

“We have to stay calm throughout the whole game and sustain every run they make, we have to be there and contest every shot, we have to rotate both on defense and offensive end.

“We have to have confidence on every shot that we take, we can do it, we learned a lot from the first game and we have to get better and better each and every game.”

Al Ahly started the campaign on Wednesday with a 97-74 victory over CFV Beira (Mozambique).

And with a star-studded roster, including South Sudanese International Nuni Omoti, will be the favorites against the Oilers.

Coach Mande Juruni will demand another good performance from his boys as they gave it their all against Petro, a side that reached the final last year before losing to US Monastir.

But it should be a collective effort as the Oilers collected just 10 points off the bench, leaving a big chunk on starters Falando, James Justice Junior, Titus Lual, William Ngor Barnaba and Germaine Roebuck.

Oilers have a general feeling that besides Petro and Al Ahly, they are the best of the rest in this six-team group where the top four will qualify to the BAL playoffs in Kigali, Rwanda next month

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