29 May 2015

TANZANIA : Dar, Tanga Flop in ECA Basketball Championship

TANZANIA teams continued to falter in the 16th edition of the East and Central African Inter-cities Basketball Championship after Tanga and Dar es Salaam lost their matches at the National Indoor Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Tanga went down fighting 61-81 against Qardo of Somalia in the men's category, while defending women's champions Nairobi launched their campaign on a sound note by thrashing hosts Dar es Salaam 83-42. The victory was the second for Qardo, a team formed by the Somalia Diaspora.
They outshined Dar City 85- 76 in their opening match on Wednesday. Nairobi dominated the game and led in all quarters. They were 44-19 up in the first quarter and were also ahead 50-20 at the breather.
The champions led 64-31 in the third and continued to prove too hot to handle in the last quarter. In other opening matches, Dar es Salaam lost 76 -61 to Kampala in the women's category, while Mbeya City fell 68-116 to men's defending champions Cairo.
Dar City consoled their compatriots after recording a massive 112- 46 victory against Mogadishu. Dar beat Mbeya 88-46 and Cairo took on Mogadishu in other matches played at the same venue on Thursday.
Today, Nairobi battle it out against Kampala and a win will put them in a good position to retain the title. The day will also see Dar City taking on Tanga in the men's category, Mogadishu lock horns with Mbeya, while Dar Stars have a date with Cairo. Men's teams are grouped in two pools.
Group A comprises Mogadishu, Dar Stars, Cairo and Mbeya and Group B has Tanga, Dar City and Qardo. There are only three teams in the women's category - Nairobi, Kampala and Dar es Salaam.
The five-day championship is sponsored by Azam Media Group. Meanwhile, Mwanza Regional Basketball Association (MRBA) Chairman Juvenile Kaiza has said financial constraints led to their failure to participate in the championship, reports ALEXANDER SANGA. He also said they received an invitation to participate in the tourney very late.
"We received the letter on April 28 and we didn't have enough time to prepare our players most of whom are university students and others are workers who are very busy," Kaiza said.
MRBA needed 8m/- to prepare the regional team, Mwanza Heroes, who last participated in the regional event in Nairobi in 2012. Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) Assistant Secretary General Michael Mwita confirmed Mwanza have failed to field a team.
He advised MRBA to seek financial assistance from stakeholders like Mbeya who have been supported by the Municipal Council and Boda- Boda drivers. Mwita added that this is not the first time Mwanza are skipping basketball tournaments.
They missed out on last year's Taifa Cup, Women's Cup and Inter-city competitions. He said Rwanda and Sudan also failed to participate this year because of conflict in Burundi and Al-Shaabab threat.
"Rwanda usually use road transport from Kigali to Tanzania, but they failed to pass through Burundi where there is turmoil. The same applies to Sudan who fear Al-Shabaab," he said.
The Inter-cities quarterfinals will be held tomorrow, the semi-finals are set for Saturday and the final takes place on Sunday.

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