DAR ES SALAAM – (FIBA Africa Champions Cup 2016) – Tanzanian side Savio got their campaign off to a positive start after registering a hard-fought 75-72 win over National Engineering of South Sudan in an entertaining encounter on Saturday night.
The third quarter was tightly contested but National Engineering held onto their lead until Savio’s Yusuf Mohamed ran riot in the last quarter dropping 10 individual points to cut down the former’s lead and win their opening fixture eventually.
Meanwhile, Ugandan side City Oilers made light work of Kenyan side Ulinzi 93-55 in the highest scoring game to go top of Group A.
Stanley Ociti and Jimmy Enabu scored 16 and 13 points apiece in that order as the tournament favourites recovered from trailing 21-19 at the end of the first quarter to a spirited comeback that handed them a firm lead at half time 48-33.
Head coach Mandy Juruni rested his big guns thereafter including Kami Kabange and Ociti to give a chance to James Okello, Jonah Otim and Brian Ssentongo who completed the job against a rather tactically absent Ulinzi side who missed the services of Richard Osano who has been out of action for three years with a back injury.
In the other game of the day, debutants Patriots of Rwanda edged Ugandan university outfit UCU 73-66 with Nundi scoring a game high 20 points but it was not enough to save his side from defeat.
Steve Hagumintwari scored 16 points while Ali Kubwimana and Elia Kaje dropped 14 points apiece for Patriots who are looking to make a mark at the regional tournament on their debut appearance.
Espoir from Rwanda joined the winning sides on day one after defeating ABC of Tanzania 74-64 shaking off a poor start that almost cost them the game.