The Silverbacks, Uganda’s team for the men and Egypt started well as the 2014 FIBA Africa Zone 5 Basketball Championship tipped off yesterday the Lugogo MTN Arena.
While Uganda beat Somalia 85-74 in the last game of the night, the defending champions Egypt had earlier silenced Rwanda 79-63. The Egyptian team was dominant in all the four quarters.
In the second game of the day, Uganda’s team for women, Gazelles lost by four points to a battle hardened Egyptian team. The two teams exchanged the lead in all four quarters, but the visitors won 65-61.
The last game of the evening produced some fireworks as the two teams came all out to put up a good display before Ugandan sealed the win in the final quarter.
Uganda’s European based players Samuel Mukooza, Kassim Nagwere, John Balwigaire, Josh Johnson and skipper Steven Omony held the team firm to register an important win.
Egypt are the defending champions after beating Rwanda last year in the final. The other teams in the men’s category include; Uganda, Somalia, Kenya and Burundi.
The women’s category include; Uganda, Burundi, Egypt and Kenya. The Championship is being played on a round robin basis with all teams facing each other.
Ambrose Tashobya, the President of the Federation of Uganda Basketball Association (FUBA) told URN on Sunday that they are hoping to organize a successful tournament.
Action continues on Monday with four matches on card. Burundi’s women’s team will face Kenya at 2pm, before Somalia take on Rwanda in a men’s game.
Kenya will have their men’s team face Burundi before hosts Uganda take on Egypt in what promise to be a thriller.
Uganda will be eager to win the event and qualify for the Afro Basketball and next year’s All Africa Games in Congo Brazzavile. Uganda’s men’s team last won the Zone 5 championship in 2004.