30 March 2013

UGANDA : Is Kyambogo Warriors in Free Fall?

MANDY Juruni gone. Cyrus Kiviri gone. Norman Blick and Henry Malinga apparently going.
As far as preseasons go, this has been far from ideal for the Kyambogo Warriors, who in recent years have spent this period stock-piling their ranks with star power.
This time, there have been no mega arrivals, only talk of who's leaving. Needless to say, this is a bit odd for a team just three months removed from winning the men's national basketball title.
But any concern on the part of Kyambogo sympathisers has been dismissed by club patron Ambrose Tashobya as unjustified.
"We don't have to come out and talk about what we are doing behind the scenes but be sure we will be ready to defend our title," Tashobya said.
"We have been in the Finals for four years straight so you don't have to worry about us. And if you look at our current team, even if we lost half of the players we have, we would still have a very good team."
If that sounds like a concession to letting some players go, it probably is.
Kiviri has been allowed to join the UCU Canons because he has been offered a scholarship and the Warriors don't stand in the way of their players' academic ambitions as a matter of principle.
But Juruni, who coached the club to their second championship last year, has joined City Oil after becoming a free agent at the end of the last season.
Reports suggest Juruni could be reunited with the legendary Malinga while Blick, the reigning Finals MVP, is rumoured to be on his way back to D'Mark Power.
In response to claims that the exodus of players from Kyambogo is partly down to financial hardships, Tashobya explained:
"The plan last year was for the club to become self-sustaining (but it didn't happen). But we are hopeful of getting sponsors."

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