26 August 2012

Tanzania: Dar es Salaam Teams Fire Blanks in Zone Five Basketball Tourney

ALL four Tanzania teams faced early exit after failure to qualify for the quarterfinals of the ongoing Fiba Africa Zone Five clubs championship in Kampala, Uganda.
The teams Savio, Don Dosco, ABC and Jeshi Stars who jetted out of the country early this week exuding confidence of putting up an impressive performance at the event were totally a poor show during the tournament.
The team failed to record any tangible victory as they were reduced to a mere bridge for other sides to get through. Friday's match saw Uganda's representatives Lady Canons and KCC Leopards through to the quarterfinals of the Fiba Africa Zone V Club Championships.
Both won their final pool games, beating Tanzanian sides Donbosco (83-50) and Jeshi Stars (72-41) respectively at the Lugogo MTN Arena. KCC finished second in pool A behind Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to book a semi-final date with pool B winners, Eagle Wings.
Coach Timothy Odeke's team fell at the same stage during the 2011 event in Tanzania. Champions and favourites KPA, who finished the group stage with a perfect record, will be UCU's next hurdle to complete the Uganda-Kenya affair.
However, the build-up to the semi-finals has been overshadowed by the eligibility of Kenyan-born Purity Adhiambo. She was on the team lists of both UCU and APR, the Rwandese team Adhiambo played for in the same event two years ago.
"It's wrong for APR to claim a player who has been here for this long. I spoke to them but they were adamant," Fuba president Ambrose Tashobya said. While in Rwanda, the MVP of the 2011 local season here, served a ban for featuring in Kenya at the same time, before moving to UCU last year.
The controversy kept her out of the opener which UCU lost 75-64 to Eagle Wings on Monday.
Adhiambo got temporary clearance. She bagged 17 points and 15 rebounds to add to country mate Lorraine Akinyi's 22 points and 12 boards against Donbosco.
After the game, UCU coach Boniface Okello was informed that Adhiambo cannot play any further part in the regional event. "This is sabotage because the Kenyans fear her," Okello fumed. Each team is allowed only two non-nationals so UCU opted for Akinyi and Adhiambo. In case the latter isn't cleared, Okello is hopeful guard Brenda Mbone, also a Kenyan, is allowed as a replacement.
"Whatever happens, we will go strong. Purity improves us so much. Only problem is that we have nine players so their bench is bigger," Okello added. Without Adhiambo, the dominant inside player here, Peace Proscovia, will carry a bigger cross.

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