28 January 2013

Uganda: Women Win Bronze At Fiba Zone V Tournament

The women got bronze, the men finished fifth. But there is no shortage of voices describing the 2013 FIBA Africa Zone Five Afrobasket championship in Tanzania as a success for Uganda.

They include both of Uganda's head coaches. Men's coach Mandy Juruni and his ladies' counterpart Timothy Odeke are united in the view that the one-week tournament that attracted seven countries was filled with positives for Uganda.

"The tournament was a success in terms of the way we played," said Juruni.

"I think we played good basketball but we were unlucky to lose close games especially the one against Rwanda (90-85), which eliminated us from qualification. (Still,) I am disappointed because we didn't deserve to be number five."

Egypt scooped the men's title after an 82-75 victory over Rwanda on the closing day as Uganda settled for a classification win over Tanzania. But there is some comfort to be drawn from the fact that both finalists came out of Uganda's group. And not without a fight from Juruni's outfit.

Egypt and Rwanda were made to sweat for their victories over Uganda, a fact that owed little to the draining Dar es Salaam temperatures and a lot to the quality of our national team.

That's why Juruni believes that: "We have a good future ahead of us. Our performance here has built a good foundation."

Odeke is just as optimistic after the display of his team, which climaxed with an 81-63 triumph over 2012 champions Rwanda.

Odeke observed: "This tournament was a success because we played with a lot of cohesion. Even the games we lost, we played well but you could see those teams were clearly superior to us. I think we can build on this for the future."

The Uganda men were third of four last year while the women came fourth out five.

FIBA Africa Zone V Championship


Uganda 81 Rwanda 68

Ugandan wins bronze


Uganda 87 Tanzania 63

Ugandan finishes 5th

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