15 September 2014

UGANDA : Kalwanyi gets surprise call

Kalwanyi (L) fights for possession with Warriors’ Ronnie
Kalwanyi (L) fights for possession with Warriors’ Ronnie Kasewu in a recent Fuba League encounter. The Oilers player is on the national team. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 
By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo

KAMPALA- Samuel Kalwanyi is the major surprise inclusion in the final team for the Fiba Africa Zone V Nations Championships set to be hosted here next week.
Sources told Daily Monitor yesterday that the City Oilers’ power forward is on the list of 12-man team to be unveiled tomorrow ahead of the annual regional event.
He knocked out 2012 regular season MVP Geoffrey Soro following a lengthy final selection meeting held on Saturday.
Soro is having an average season with his Ndejje University Angels winning only five of the 12 games thus far. When asked about the selection, Silverbacks’ coach Mandy Juruni remained tightlipped. “Yes, the team is done but we cannot reveal it until the players are informed,” Juruni said.
Kalwanyi’s major ability is protecting the rim with his rebounding and blocking skills.
is club side, Oilers, won the league last year, and finished third at the Fiba Africa Zone V Club Championship last month.
That performance in Mombasa must have swung the process in his favour as he often jumped off the bench to provide energy when the levels dropped.
Perhaps his most outstanding performance was the five blocks and 11 rebounds in the 64-58 win over Rwanda’s Espoir on the opening night.
Teammates Andrew Opiyo also made it. Juruni is trying to fill the holes created by Brandon Ssebirumbi who will not be here.
The American-based big man was here in June before the tournament was postponed.
Kalwanyi and Opiyo were not even in the picture three months ago. With Juruni also their coach at Oilers, he knows them very well. The team, led by captain Stephen Omony, enters camp today ahead next Monday’s tip-off.
However, the other four foreign-based players - Josh Johnson (UK), Samuel Mukooza (Sweden), Kassim Nagwere (Sweden) and John Balwigaire (US) - will return. All four are guards.
Johnson is already here while the latter three arrive today. There are no places in the team for Syrus Kiviiri, Joseph Ikong and Jonah Otim whereas shooting guard Jimmy Enabu makes the 12.
Enabu, one of four Oilers, has fully recovered from an ankle problem that was due to to keep him out in June and opend a window for Kiviiri and Otim.
Centres Brian Ssentongo and Sam Gombya, forward Peter Elungat and point guard Daniel Jjuko also miss out from the Afrobasket qualifiers.

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