When Uganda hosted the Fiba Africa Zone V Nations Championship here in three years, the women’s basketball team, the Gazelles, got off to a sticky patch. Back then, the-then coach Timothy Odeke-led side found themselves snatching the title from the Egypt and Kenya on goal average after losing their first two games.
First, Gazelles lost 52-49 to Kenya and 65-61 to Egypt. They recovered superbly to beat Kenya 64-61 and thump Egypt 78-45.
Uganda, Kenya and Egypt finished with two wins and two defeats apiece. That latter result proved to the difference.
While Claire Lamunnu was the star of that tournament played at the Lugogo MTN Arena, current coach Nicholas Natuhereza would have watched from the stands. It was a lesson of resilience and recovery as Gazelles turned it around. The same is needed of them in Cairo, Egypt as they seek to qualify for the Afrobasket later this year.
Gazelles lost their tournament opener 85-56 to Egypt on Sunday. Somalia lie in wait today at the Cairo Stadium, Olympic Centre in Egypt. With only team qualifying for the Afrobasket from the women’s competition, Natuhereza could already be running out of time. Today’s game feels like a a must-win as Uganda face arch-foes Kenya thereafter.
Flavia Okecho, Sylvia Nakazibwe, Angella Namirimu, Ritah Imanishimwe, Maureen Amoding, Judith Nansobya, Zaina Lokwameri, Jamila Nansikombi Sarah Ageno, Stella Nanfuka, Muhaimina Namuwaya, Martha Soigi
ZONE V NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP
Egypt 85-56 Uganda
Egypt v Rwanda, 10.15pm
South Sudan v Kenya, 8pm
Somalia v Burundi, 1.30pm
Uganda v Somalia, 3.45pm
Kenya v Egypt, 6pm