In Summary

  • Stanley Ocitti, Canada-based Robinson Odoch, Darius Pegues (USA) and John Baligwire are the four expected to add guile to the side.

KAMPALA. It’s 10 days to the start of the Fiba Africa Zone V Nations Championships in Egypt from which the best two means will qualify for the 2017 Afrobasket.
Uganda – fielding two teams in the men’s and women’s categories – Silverbacks and Gazelles – respectively – have designs on appearing at a second successive continental showpiece. Knowing how enormous the challenge that lies in wait could be, Fuba, through the national team management committee, planned a detailed programme to enable the teams succeed.
The key highlight of that was a camp in Alexandria, about two hours from the venue of the March 12-18 tournament set for Cairo, Egypt.

Sooner, the US76, 000 (Shs273m) wasn’t to be found as National Council of Sports, the country’s sports regulatory body, offered about half that sum last week.
That has forced several tweaks including cancellation of the planned pre-tournament camp. “No camp,” Silverbacks’ coach Mandy Juruni confirmed to Daily Monitor. On the flip-side, he also added that; the team “will go” to Cairo. “I don’t know when,” Juruni added. “(For now,) we want to increase training days.” Amid this uncertainty, his Gazelles’ counterpart Nicholas Natuhereza named his final team.
There aren’t any foreigners in Natuhreza’s team unlike in 2014 when the women’s won the Zone V competition while qualifying for the Afrobasket.

Consequently, he will not have Sharon Karungi, Peace Proscovia and Claire Lamunnu, the latter posting mid-boggling numbers for Vanguard Lions in USA, among others.
Juruni is still hopeful his additions will make it to Cairo despite not having the planned camp. “For the foreign guys, I am requesting they join next week,” he said.
Stanley Ocitti, Canada-based Robinson Odoch, Darius Pegues (USA) and John Baligwire are the four expected to add guile to the side.
While Ocitti and Baligwire have played with most of the local-based players previously, Odoch and Pegues would have to take a crush lesson to blend in.

ikigongo@ug.nationmedia.com