In Summary
  • After losing 52-49 to Kenya and 65-61 to Egypt, Gazelles, led by the now-absent Claire Lamunnnu recovered superbly to beat Kenya 64-61 and thump Egypt 78-45.
  • However, barring guards Flavia Oketcho, Maureen Amoding and Sylvia Nakazibwe, none of the current side took part in that comeback.

Kampala. Uganda’s national women’s basketball team – Gazelles – need a minor miracle to make the 2017 Afrobasket in Bamako, Mali this September.
Coach Nicholas Natuhereza’s team must win their remaining two games by a whopping margin of at least 58 points in Cairo, Egypt.
Uganda lost their first two games of the three-team Fiba Africa Zone V women’s Championship after Somalia were ejected for not raising a team big enough in terms of numbers to play.
First, Egypt beat Uganda 85-56. Then, Kenya cruised to a 70-41 result. Those are the margins Uganda needs to erase starting with today’s rematch against Kenya at the Cairo Stadium, Olympic Centre.
If familiarity breeds contempt, then the sight of Purity Odhiambo and Vilma Achieng should be a double edged sword for Uganda.
The pair played together here for UCU Lady Canons before Odhiambo moved to JKL Lady Dolphins. That implies that most of the Gazelles know them too well and will know the weapons they carry or the duo will provide Kenya with invaluable insight about Uganda.
It hasn’t been pretty for Gazelles thus far but their situation is not entirely new. This will feel like a second chance, just like during the 2015 Afrobasket qualifiers.
In that tournament played here, Uganda shed Egypt and Kenya on goal average after losing their first two games to lift the title.
After losing 52-49 to Kenya and 65-61 to Egypt, Gazelles, led by the now-absent Claire Lamunnnu recovered superbly to beat Kenya 64-61 and thump Egypt 78-45.
However, barring guards Flavia Oketcho, Maureen Amoding and Sylvia Nakazibwe, none of the current side took part in that comeback.

ikigongo@ug.nationmedia.com