City Oilers’ Landry Ndikumana is an introvert; so quiet and reserved.
Yet, on November 10, after the Oilers’ 80-70 win over archrivals Power in game one of their National Basketball League play-off semifinal at Lugogo, Ndikumana laughed when asked whether this was his best performance this season.
Ndikumana scored a game high 20 points, proving he is beginning to take charge. It is not just this one game. Ndikumana’s performances have been on the ascendancy lately, something he has been accused of not offering in the past. He looked passive, and not the star player he was expected.
During the Fiba/Africa Zone V championship recently, which Oilers won, Ndikumana bagged an individual accolade for being one of the best performers in the tournament. His team-mate Tony Drileba says Ndikumana is a much better player than people credit him.
“He is a fantastic number five, one of the best centres in the country, a position he was unable to play when (Kami) was around,” Drileba adds.
Then, Ndikumana played three or four. In a way, he remained in the shadow. After Friday’s loss, Power’s Michael Makiadi said Ndikumana is the one fellow that punished them both on offence and defence. They will need to stop him henceforth.
By press-time, Power and Oilers were playing game two of the best-of-five-series. Ndikumana, who is not known for talking much, probably because he speaks little English, and mainly gets into his element speaking French and Swahili, said Power is not in Oilers’ league really.
Since arriving at Oilers in 2014 as a replacement for Ramadhan Arou, Ndikumana is finally becoming more confident to have said that. Oilers lost five of their 22 games in regular season. This coincided with the departure of Kabange after the 2016 season.