MBEYA City started the East and Central Africa Inter-cities basketball championships on a higher note after thrashing Mombasa 105-75 at the National Indoor Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The winners were outstanding from the start as they kept their
opponents chasing shadows and their display on the opening day only
suggest that the Southern Highland city is well prepared to challenge
for the trophy this year.
In another game played earlier on the day, Arusha were stunned by
South Sudan's Citizens 89-72, while Garowe, a team formed by Somalia
Diasporas, thrashed Juba of South Sudan 90-69.
Dar es Salaam ladies, Dar Dream Queens, were set to lock horns with
Kampala at the same venue late, while their brothers -- Dar Dream team
-- were to battle with Mbeya City and later Citizen were to face Cairo
in their second match of the day. Tanga were scheduled to face Hargesia
According to the Inter-cities Basketball Foundation (EBF) Board
Secretary General, Mbaga Mwambona, only three ladies teams are taking
part in the event.
He named the teams as hosts Dar es Salaam, Kampala and defending
champions Nairobi, which was expected to be in Dar es Salaam late
Mwambona also confirmed that Mwanza, popularly known as The Rock
City, confirmed their withdrawal from the event a day before the throw
He said Mwanza decided to withdraw from the event due to financial
constraints. He also named other cities which had earlier shown interest
of taking part in the event but have so far not shown up as Bujumbura
(Burundi), Kigali (Rwanda), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Asmara (Eritrea).
"We were expecting the four cities in the event, but we heard nothing
from them recently and it is almost certain that they will not be
coming for the event," said Mwambona.
The six-day event, which will reach its climax on Sunday, brings
together cities of Mbeya, Arusha, Tanga, Garowe and Hargeisa (Somalia),
Juba and Citizen (South Sudan), Cairo (Egypt) and the hosts Dar es
The tournament title holders in the men's category are Uganda's
Mukono City who have failed to defend their title after withdrawing from
the event due to financial hold back, while Kenya's Nairobi are the
women's title holders.
The previous event was held in Kampala, Uganda last year.