03 January 2013

TANZANIA : Cash-strapped Dar sides struggle as rivals start preps

Dar es Salaam. Cash strapped National basketball teams (men & women) have yet to start serious camp, barely three weeks before the Fiba Zone V championship kicks off at the National Indoor Stadium.
The weeklong championship, which will start on January 21, will attract 12 countries including Burundi, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, South Sudan and hosts Tanzania.
Head coach Bahati Mgunda bemoaned poor preparations yesterday and called for basketball enthusiasts to help their cash-strapped teams start residential training.
“As a host country, we ought to have started serious training long ago, but the federation (TBF) has no cash.
“It will be a big shame if we fail to sparkle at home. I call upon all stakeholders to support the teams,”
In contrast, Rwanda teams start training today at Amahoro Indoor Stadium ahead of the Dar tournament.
According to the men’s team assistant coach, who is also the head coach of Espoir, Jean Bahufite, preparations will start with home based players, who will be joined by their professional colleagues next week.
The team, which is scheduled to depart for Dar on Jan 19, will be under the guidance of new coach Moise Mutokambali, who replaced the sacked Serbian Nenad Amanovic.
“Preparations will start today with local players as we wait for the professional players, who are expected to join camp next week,” Bahufite told Times Sport on Tuesday.
Among the professional players will be Canada-based Hamza Ruhezamihigo, Kenneth Gasana and Bradley Cameron Curtis, however, there is no place on the team for Rob Thompson and Mathew Miller.
Rwanda have become a force to reckon with in basketball in recent years and are the team to beat in the championship.
“We will face some tough opponents in the weeklong tournament. Rwanda are and Kenya are some of them, so we really should prepare well,” added Mgunda.

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