03 October 2014

UGANDA : 5 talking points from Team Uganda’s success at the Zone V Basketball Qualifiers

Uganda's national basketball sides, the Silverbacks (men) and the Gazelles (women) had a successful tournament at the Zone V nations qualifiers. The Silverbacks qualified for the Afrobasket championship due in Tunisia while the Gazelles qualified for the Afrobasket championships in Cameroon and All Africa games  in Congo Brazzaville. Kawowo Sports' Aisha Nassanga examines five talking points.
1. Home court advantage is not a myth:
Fans of the game flocked Lugogo Indoor arena to cheer for the teams. The crowd was helpful throughout, urging them on even in defeat. “Our backs were against the wall, we needed to win against Kenya and every time you heard the shouts of ‘let’s go Uganda’ it was a exhilarating and lifted us up,” said Vicky Ntale the captain of the Gazelles who was glad to finally beat Kenya after years of trying. This was a view shared my many of the players alike.
2. Organisation goes a long way in ensuring success:
uganda basketball
Team Uganda has stood out largely because the back room staff was well prepared and run like a well-oiled machine. Player welfare and allowances was top priority and all the players had to do was go out and perform. Organization goes a long way in ensuring you are prepared for any eventualities and can deal with them as was the case when the championship had to be postponed from June to September.
3. Sponsorship is important, in fact a necessity:
The staging of this competition was as compelling as ever for the Federation of Uganda Basketball (FUBA), yet challenges were always going to be expected. With a number of partners on board like City Tyres, Ling Long, Castle Lite and Coca Cola, there was a smooth flow of roles and responsibilities and overall general outlook of the competition. Games started on time, the officiating was spot on and participating nations were catered to efficiently.
4. The foreign based contingent of players was really as good as we thought:
john balwigire
With accents and swag, we first had a glimpse of them in June, vastly superior talent; they fitted right into the teams and showed why over the course of the championship. John Baligwire scooped most outstanding player of the tournament. Sharon Karungi, Josh Johnson, Kassim Nangwere and Samuel Mukooza all contributed immensely and most importantly played like a team that had played together forever.
5. Good Coaches put a team together, Great Coaches triumph with that team:
gazelles coaches
Mandy Juruni (men) and Timothy Odeke (women) perhaps had the hardest job of delivering results in the shortest amount of time possible. And they did just that. Bringing together a team that had not played together before, Odeke’s team went on to win the three-team event and qualify for the Afrobasket and All Africa Games while the Silverbacks (men) qualified for the Afro basket championships.

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