Dar es Salaam — With one week left before the start of the Zone V Club Basketball Championships, Uganda's Kyambogo Warriors, one of the best sides in the region, have pulled out.
The Warriors, where Tanzanian Abdallah Ramadhan "Dibo" was trading his skills, cited lack of funds as a major reason for their failure to make a trip to Dar es Salaam.
The weeklong event is expected to start on October 8 at the National Indoor Stadium and Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) assistant secretary general Michael Maluwe assured fans that preparations were on course.
Commenting on Kyambogo's withdrawal, Maluwe said it was a big blow for they expected all big teams to battle it out in the championships."Preparations for the championships are in to gear, the TBF is looking forward to having many leading teams in the event.
"Kyambogo Warriors are a great team that we did not want to miss the championship, but they are strapped for cash and there is nothing we can do, it's a big blow," he said.
The turnaround from the MTN-Fuba losing finalists implies that Miracle Eagles can now travel to Dar es Salaam as one of the two Ugandan men's sides as a replacement for the weeklong event.
"We have failed to raise the money so I confirm that we have pulled out and communicated to Fuba," a frustrated Brian Gumisiriza, the Warriors team manager, said on Wednesday. Fuba vice-president Patrick Egwel has consequently written to Miracle to take the slot along with champions DMark Power who are expected to confirm or pull out by today.
Power team manager Philip Kyomuhendo was quoted as saying that they would compete in the annual tournament, which would be the first they play outside Uganda in 10 years.