25 February 2009

UGANDA : Ugandan women fall to Rwanda in qualifiers

by Sande Bashaija

Rwanda 95 Uganda 70
Uganda v Burundi 2pm
Uganda v Egypt 4pm

Uganda’s campaign got off to a disastrous note when the women’s side was drubbed 95-70 by hosts Rwanda at Amahoro stadium in Kigali yesterday.

With several professional players on the team and a heavy backing from the home crowd including President Paul Kagame, Rwanda romped to a 25-17 first quarter lead, won the second 27-13 and the third 27-19. “We played well but Rwanda’s defence was so tight. They also got many shots outside the arc,” Uganda’s assistant coach Mande Juruni, said.

The Ugandans got their rhythm in the final session, winning 22-16 but couldn’t save the game. The Rwandan team has played together for long, which gave them the upper hand. They have also had more international exposure,”? Juruni added.

Frances Nabulobi and Mariam Birungi scored 14 points apiece while league Most Valuable Player (MVP) Flavia Oketcho added 12 for Uganda. The usually high scoring post players Elizabeth Kiiza and Miriam Hamala were limited to 11 and seven points respectively.

The US-based pair of Mireille Karangwa and Honoree Ayebare had a field day, scoring 37 and 34 points respectively for Rwanda.

The men’s team was meanwhile also trailing Rwanda 39-69 with one quarter left by press time. Action resumes today with Uganda (women) playing Burundi.

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