NBL 2023 TIP-OFF: THE UNDISPUTED CHAMPION TO OPEN REGULAR SEASON WITH WOULD BE TOP CHALLENGER.
The regular season of the FUBA National Basketball League which comprises 22 games per team, will tip off on Friday. 17th. March. 2023 at the MTN Arena Lugogo.
The first day of the 2023 NBL regular season will feature a live broadcast game on NBS Sport in which the 8 times record champions in succession, City Oilers Basketball Club will be opening up their title defence against KIU Titans Basketball Club. (09:00 pm. EAT) at the MTN Sports Arena, Lugogo.
The reigning NBL champion who will also be representing Uganda at the NBA Basketball Africa League (BAL) will have to stand tall as they face off with a reinforced KIU side who have been the busiest in the transfer market; buying off almost what was of Namuwongo Blazers Basketball Club, last season's major title contenders.
The Blazers pushed the Oilers to the wire and almost scooped the championship from the them in game seven of the playoffs whose series they eventually won 4-3.
The Oilers edged Namuwongo Blazers 66-64 in a hotly contested Game 7 which witnessed a record turn up that filled the MTN Sports Arena, Lugogo to the roof.
KIU have brought in a number of players in key positions including three former Namuwongo stars last season in Collins Kasujja, Peter Obleng and Amisi Saidi.
The others include Innocent Ochera from Power Basketball Club and Brian Opio from UPDF Basketball Club.
However, they had to let go of their former captain Dramaza Joseph, Mike Gatete Othieno, Elvis Mutebi, Gaius Mahamba, and Abdi Abdikani while Arnold Kiseka and Rajab Mpiima were sent on season-long loan deals to Rezlife Basketball Club and SOMMET Basketball Club respectively.
Captained by Stanley Mugerwa, KIU will be a big potential threat to the the Oilers' "dynasty" and the Basketball Community can't wait to see how this season's tipoff game will highlight the expectations of the many that the time to see another champion other than City Oilers will surely come as soon as this season.
Meanwhile City Oilers who lost one of their best performers and scorers last season in Nigerian Forward Azolibe Francis were also in the market and added two significant figures in their squad.
The arrival of Small Forward Titus Lual Odeke and the flashy Point Guard in Fayed Bbale from UCU Canons Basketball Club was a big statement that the basketball money bags are ready to push for more league honors this season.
The two together with Edrine Walujjo from UPDF Tomahawks join the Mandy Juruni side which still maintained a core of it's last season stars in Tonny Drileba, Jimmy Enabu, Ivan Muhwezi, Ben Komakech, James Okello and Julius Caeser Kizito among others.
City Oilers and KIU Titans have faced off in the playoffs finals before and going by the happening at the two sides mainly when it comes to the players available; maybe the first game of the season might turn out to be the last game of the season.
Additionally, in the NBL _ Women, defending Champions UCU Lady Canons will be up against the team they beat to the championship last season, JKL Lady Dolphins.
The game will also be broadcasted live on NBS Sport at 07:00 pm EAT.
This season, both the men and women NBL will each have 12 teams and all the action will be at three venues; the MTN Sports Arena, Lugogo, YMCA Court, Wandegeya and ABJA Park.
Other weekend Fixtures:
Friday 17th March ( MTN Arena, Lugogo)
UCU Lady Canons Vs JKL Lady Dolphins – 7pm
KIU Titans Vs City Oilers – 9pm
Saturday, 18th March ( YMCA – Wandegeya)
JT Lady Jaguars Vs Kampala University Ladies – 10am
A1 Challenge Vs Nkumba Lady Marines Women – 12pm
Angels Vs Miracle Ravens – 2pm
Power Vs Rezlife Saints -4pm
Ndejje University Vs KCCA Panthers – 6pm
Sunday , 19th March ( MTN Arena)
A1 Challenge Vs Nabisunsa Women -10pm
Magic Stormers Vs Miracle Ravens -12pm
KIU Titans Vs JKL Dolphins – 2pm
City Oilers Vs Kampala Rockets – 4pm
Power Vs Our Saviour – 6pm
Story by www.sportznow.ug Writer, Joseph Mary Ssempiira.