18 August 2008

UGANDA : National Team Defeats Kenya to Qualify for Africa Tourney

by Sande Bashaija

It couldn't get any tighter. Uganda edged neighbours Kenya 57-56 to earn a birth at the Africa Junior Girls Championships due October in Tunisia.
The Ugandan girls, cheered on by a modest crowd at Lugogo Indoor Stadium Friday evening, found themselves trailing by two points (7-9) at the end of first quarter but recovered to win the tightest game witnessed in the five-day tournament by one point.
It was the same resilience the girls coached by Hamza Nyambogo showed in the first leg 47-47 draw with Kenya that propelled them to victory in the decisive encounter.
Mariam Tamale, despite being dwarfed by the giant Kenyans dished defence splitting passes and scored five points while her Nabisunsa teammate Halima Nabusimba added seven.
It was Maureen Amoding, who stole the show, outscoring everyone on the court with a game high 19 points to earn Uganda her first ever appearance in the continental showpiece. "The girls have done us proud. I will do everything to make sure they compete in the tournament," Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (Fuba) president Ambrose Tashobya (pictured) said.

The boys, despite failing to win a single game, left with their heads. "All our boys are genuinely under-18. We hope they will be a force to reckon with in the next five years," Tashobya noted. Kenya, who won the boys category, Rwanda, Burundi and Sudan all fielded boys that looked well above 18 years. Kenya boys finished the tournament without defeat.

Uganda57-56 Kenya (Girls)
Burundi 49-58 Kenya (Boys)

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