18 January 2013

UGANDA : Search for Zone 5 glory on

Search for Zone 5 glory on

Unlike football, basketball has not been an excellent hunting ground for glory and pride in the region at both club and national levels. The most recent championship came way back in 2005 when Team Uganda won the first and only national tournament that was hosted in Kampala. Since then, Zone 5 glory has eluded Uganda at both levels. With four strong representatives at last year’s club championships coupled with home support many thought the waiting would come to an end but didn’t.
The quest for the first in just over seven years gets on when the FIBA Africa Zone 5 National Championships tip-off on Monday in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
The teams
Without doubt, Team Uganda has got talented players with great character a quality critical to overcoming adversity but efficiency of the players is at premium. The team played a couple of build up games and game 1 did not have any real positives, it was just another game that went to the wire and ultimately won by the national side. However game 2 presented massive improvement as there was a lot of co-ordinated play, crisp ball movement and well timed shots but efficiency was still lacking at all ranges and on the foul line. The team is fairly balanced to win the January 21-26 event thriving on quick transition through fast breaks off Ben Komakech’s vision of breakaway teammates on the floor or the quick hands of the Enabu brothers to carry the ball up the court.
Quick transition Vs Post play
Mandy Juruni, Bernice Akunda and Gad Eteu have quick ball transition as best option for their team to light up the score board. Jimmy and Emmanuel Enabu make the back court pair while Norman Blick, Steven Omony and Henry Malinga make the front court of the team in a quick transition game. Post play is not a cup of tea to the big men on the team apart from Malinga, who is probably the best post player the country has ever produced. Eagle’s center, Ivan Lumanyika prefers screening to playing tricks at the low post. Warriors’ center, Sam Gombya is the most direct on the team and the easiest to figure out by opponents. His attitude is nowhere near good at times but on a good day will draw opponents into foul trouble and use his height advantage to pull down rebounds if he gets rolling. Geoffrey Soro and Peter Elungat are relatively fast and more flexible. For the big men on the team to play to the best of their abilities, players who won’t rush shots have to play around them. The back court pair of Ben Komakech and Ronald Kasewu can play it to perfection and Steven Omony’s experience leads the front court in a team that can put together a sequence of passes to get a teammate open for the best shot.
The women’s team on the other hand did not meet any real test in the warm up games as the team consists of nearly all the best players in the country. Unlike the men, women have their strength at the low post led by KCCA’s glass cleaner Martha Soigi and UCU’s Peace Proscovia. Moreen Amoding will give alternatives with drives to the hoop and MVPs Judith Nansobya Aand Flavia Oketcho will provide long range alternatives.

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