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Time for reflection, amidst celebration

By Richard Manuba
The LPRC Basket Ball Squard
The LPRC Basket Ball Squard

( Basketball champions in the top tier of the game in Liberia made history Friday, August 9, 2013 by staging a Tsunami-style victory over bitter rivals NPA Pythons.

Oilers won straight three in a best of five series grand finale when they hijacked the series’ 4th match with close-margin victories in games one, two and three.

They champions grabbed the victories so classically to clearly prove too strong and better on the court than their Pythons opponents.

Oilers were already defending the 1st division championship title in a double-fashion, winning the league’s 2011 and 2012 seasons at the expense of Mighty Barrolle and Monrovia Sky Force.

Pythons, who had earlier achieved Oilers’ 2013 feat by winning the league in three separate times, were dethroned by Barrolle, and the following season opened a historical chapter for the Oil-Boys.

So, this season, the stumbling block to laying hands on this piece of history was the Pythons who have very much good record for parading some of Liberia’s best basketball stars.

Few of these stars include Mark Smith, Alphonso Kwiah, Rafael Quaye, John Bing and Samuel ‘bull-dog’ Davidson.

The gold-color shirted Oilers team has the backing of Liberia’s Oil Refinery, dubbed Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), with sponsorship coming from the T. Nelson Williams team of managers.

Coach Paul Hulsen had the claw to sign on three of Pythons’ best stars, including Samuel Davidson, John Bing and Baimba Manubah.

The team easily solidified to the expectation of staffers of the LPRC who constitute the biggest chunk of Oilers’ fan-base, combined with some sports enthusiasts from the public.

They are fondly called the ‘Oil-Boy’” by their followers, but as the prodigious celebration is still taking place, in appreciation of their success this season, the team must now face the other side of life and that is, to cease on the funfair and begin preparing technically to represent Liberia internationally.

Oilers will bear Liberia’s red, white and blue flag at the forthcoming FIBA-Afrique Zone-3 senior men’s championships. This, though, is costly, but may not matter much to the Oilers as they have a strong support from the government-owned oil refinery.

They failed to represent the country last season, because basketball’s African governing body [FIBA Afrique] failed to inform them about the postponement of the continental competition.

The entire delegation transited in Cote D’Ivoire for couple of days, carrying out technical build-up after which the next plane was to have flown them to the competition’s venue.

The Liberia Basketball Association [LBA] shared the blame at the time, however, hopes are that both the new top flight champions and the basketball association’s administration can make amend on last year’s miss-out.

LPRC Oilers, NPA Pythons, Mighty Barrolle and other international experienced competitors have not made much impact, as they all suffered mishaps in matches played in the group stages.


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