27 February 2009

UGANDA : Uganda rally past Kenya

by Sande Bashaija

Results (women)
Kenya 53-57 Uganda
Uganda 83-96 Kenya

Today (women)
Burundi v Kenya 12pm
Rwanda v Uganda 2pm
Kenya v Burundi 4pm
Rwanda v Egypt 6pm

Uganda squeezed past rivals Kenya in the Zone 5 qualifiers yesterday but are still not sure of making the Africa Championship.

Miriam Hamala and Frances Nabulobi maintained their impressive tournament form, scoring 16 and 13 points as Uganda recorded a 57-53 victory at Amahoro indoor gymnasium, Kigali.

“The girls had the desire to win the game. It was very physical but they worked as a team,” coach Mande Juruni, said.

It was Uganda’s second straight win after they defeated Burundi 77-57 on Wednesday to keep on line their pursuit for the sole slot available at the continental showpiece due September in Madagascar.

After a balanced first quarter that ended 17-16 in favour of Uganda, the Kenyans resorted to a physical game that saw experienced point guard Olivia Mulwana limp-off the court injured.

Juruni’s team was however fired up to snatch victory, doing the necessary damage in second quarter with a 15-9 rally. Kenya got the better of the third quarter 15-10 but Uganda hit back to win the final session 15-13.

Caroline Achieng scored 11 points for Kenya while Hellen Okecho added nine.
Following a change in fixtures, Uganda will play hosts Rwanda today but must win to stand any realistic chance of qualifying.

Rwanda won the first meeting of the round robin tournament 95-70 on Tuesday and will seal their slot with victory today. “The players lacked confidence in that opening game but I believe they can defeat Rwanda,” Juruni said.

Omony injured
Ugandan men were however not as lucky. Professional Stephen Omony got injured in the first two minutes of the game as Uganda lost to Kenya 83-96 yesterday evening.
Isaac Lugudde scored a game high 21 points, Norman Blick added 17 and Henry Malinga 15 but the team suffered its third straight loss.
Uganda’s loss means Egypt and hosts Rwanda will qualify for the Africa Men’s Championship due August in Libya.

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