27 April 2012

UGANDA : Inter-cities Basketball fails to impress

Mogadishus Felix Odhiambo (L) tries to block Moyos Samery Asindu during one of the games of the inter-cities basketball tournament at YMCA

By Charles Mutebi
East Africa Inter-cities basketball
Nairobi 51 Moyo 31
Nairobi 62 Kampala 45
Juba 87 Moyo 71
Kampala 86 Juba 72
Today at YMCA Wandegeya
Men's semi-finals
Women's final
The East and Central Inter-cities basketball tournament was one of the events to look forward to when the 2012 FUBA calendar came out two months ago. With the funding of the Kampala Capital City Authority, the regional event had the financial muscle to live up to the high expectations.
The organisers had high hopes themselves, saying as many as thirty teams had expressed interest in coming to Kampala for the one-week basketball fest.
Fast forward to the action and it has been anything but packed. Of the 30 or so teams projected to attend, only 12 made it and half are Ugandan. Men's defending champions Nairobi withdrew at the last minute and so did teams from Tanzania and Rwanda.
“Teams pulled out because they just failed to raise funds,” said Joy Olinga, the lead organiser from Uganda. “The Kigali teams, for instance, had been promised money by the city mayor only to be let down at the final hour.”
The tournament has also been given limited publicity, contributing to low attendances ahead of today's men's semifinals. The standard of matches has also been modest, an inevitability given the absence of the quality sides from Kenya and Kigali.

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