Dar es Salaam — THE Ugandan women are still alive in the 2013 FIBA Africa Zone Five Afrobasket championship. The men are out.
Claire Lamono, Judith Nansobya and Flavia Oketcho scored 13, 11 and 10 points respectively as Uganda thumped Burundi 64-44 in the women's draw yesterday, to record their first win of the tournament at Tanzania National Stadium.
The game confirmed how much progress the Ugandan ladies have made in the last two years, since their defeat to the same opponents in the same event.
Timothy Odeke's side outmuscled and outplayed the Burundians despite losing the first quarter 20-17. Today, Uganda should get their second win even if they are taking on hosts Tanzania.
For the Ugandan men, it is the failure to get a second win in Group A that prevented them from progressing to the semi-finals.
Back-to-back defeats to Rwanda and Egypt left Mandy Juruni's outfit counting on outside favours to stay in the tournament.
Uganda lost 90- 85 to Rwanda on Tuesday before going down 80-67 to Egypt yesterday.
Consequently, Uganda was left praying for Tanzania to defeat Rwanda to have any chance of going through. But it was not to be.
The hosts went down 70-58 to the more superior Rwandans. But despite that, the Ugandan men have made a strong impression on the event. Uganda's defeat to Rwanda could and probably should have been a win.
Steven Omony nailed a game-high 29 points; Ben Komakech and Henry Malinga added 13 and 11 respectively as Uganda took the defending champions to the wire.
Uganda led 81-77 with two minutes left but just failed to close out the game.
Against Egypt, Uganda gave the Egyptians their first contest of the tournament. Egypt beat Rwanda and Tanzania by at least 39 points and everyone had feared the worst for Uganda.
Men: Uganda 85 Rwanda 90
Women: Uganda 64 Burundi 44
Men: Egypt 80 Uganda 67
Rwanda 70 Tanzania 58
Women: Uganda v Tanzania