The Observer (Kampala)

22 January 2013

Uganda: Women's Team Falls to Egypt

The women's basketball team started on a sour note when they lost their first game against favourites Egypt 50-64.

Today they take on Burundi in the second game and Felix Eupal looks at the team's fortunes.

The North Africans kicked off their pursuit for the women's Zone V title with a comfortable win against team Uganda at Dar es Salaam national indoor stadium on Tuesday morning. Egypt are the tournament favourites (for both men and women), going by the country's talented crop of players.

Speaking to The Observer on phone after the loss, women's head coach Timothy Odeke said the Egyptians have a disciplined squad, screen well, rebound well and have a big-size advantage against the Ugandans. Yet, despite the advantages, Odeke said Team Uganda would do well with the zone defence.

"The only problem is that we delayed to do that. It is why they took the first quarter easily," Odeke said.

Only six teams registered in the women's category (Uganda, Egypt, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda) and the basketball governing body Fiba decided that the women wouldn't play in groups; rather, they would play a round robin format with the top four qualifying for the semifinals.

This will definitely improve team Uganda's chances of making the semifinals if they can win their next three games. Rwanda is the other threat, considering that Uganda hasn't won a game against them in the past three years. So, that leaves Kenya, Burundi and Tanzania as Uganda's jail free cards.

Odeke believes that opening with Egypt has helped a lot because the team has learnt a lot which would help them in the upcoming games.

"We have studied how Burundi is playing; so, we know what to apply when we go against them."

The men's team, on the hand, won their first game 80-66 against hosts Tanzania in the opening game on Monday.

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