12 November 2014

UGANDA : Gazelles door still open for Amoding, Nansobya

Amoding goes for a lay-up against Nabisunsa two seasons ago. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 

Gazelles coach Timothy Odeke has revealed Maureen Amoding and Judith Nansobya still have a chance to play for the national women’s basketball team.
The pair snubbed the national team during the Zone V Afro Basket qualifiers held here in September, opting to travel to Brazil for the World University Basketball 3-on-3 Championship that coincided with the start of the Lugogo tourney.
This was in spite of pleas by the national team organizing committee persuading them to drop the travel plans. Odeke though said the pair will still be considered for future engagements.
“Every player stands a chance of being invited for future engagements as long as they are playing well,” Odeke explained.
The national team management committee, however, allowed centre Peace Proscovia to join the team after a successful Netball World Cup qualification campaign with the She Cranes in Botswana.
Proscovia missed the Gazelles’ opening 65-61 loss to Egypt at Lugogo but returned from Botswana in time to feature against Kenya.
There has been a feeling that the pair was treated unfairly compared to Proscovia, who returned to the country around the same time like them. “We gave them an option of either staying and helping the national team or travel to Brazil, and they opted for the latter,” said Odeke.
“Peace’s case was different,” Odeke clarified. “We do not have many good players in the country who play in her position.” “Secondly, she was representing the country in a competition which weighed heavily in comparison to the other two players,” he added.
“Then we also factored in the fact that the distance from here to Botswana was a lot shorter than that covered by Amoding and Nansobya from Brazil which made it likely that they would be more exhausted.”
The Afro Basket is due October next year in Cameroon while the All-Africa Games are to be staged September in Congo Brazzaville.
Between now and next year, a lot will have changed but Odeke argues that only form will determine who is picked for the tournaments.
“They (Amoding and Nansobya) are still some of the best players in the league and if they continue playing well there is no reason why they should not be part of the national team set-up,” he noted.
Despite the obvious disappointment of missing out on the zonal event, Amoding has no regrets about her decision.
“I do not regret travelling to Brazil because I believed I was still able of featuring in the Zone V games,” she said.
The UCU Lady Canons guard is, however, also still keen on a return to the national team if a chance presents itself.
“If I am invited I would obviously play,” Maureen, one of the best guards in the country, affirmed.

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