KAMPALA. That the Fiba Africa Zone V Nations Basketball Championship doesn’t have a definite format is a dampener.
The attendance plays a key part. It’s no different as the ongoing event here at the Lugogo MTN Arena.
A lengthy technical committee meeting on Saturday night sorted that.
With 10 teams taking part in this year’s edition –six men’s and four women’s – a round-robin format was adopted.
Champions Egypt, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia, Kenya and Burundi entered the men’s draw. However, the latter two were yet to arrive by yesterday morning.
Ethiopia, Tanzania, Eritrea, Djibouti and South Sudan skipped entirely, the latter three rather expectedly.
The women’s tournament was pruned even further as only Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Egypt are taking part.
“For the men, each team plays all teams once,” a tournament statement read. Therefore, every team is guaranteed five games.
“Five games to play (means) every games counts. Its’ every important,” Silverbacks’ coach Mandy Juruni tells Daily Monitor.
Would he have preferred a knockout tournament that has semifinals and finals? “The approach is different. Here, every game is like a knockout game. No second chance.
“The more games you win, the higher your chances of finishing as high up the table as possible.”
The ladies’ draw is elongated to have six games per team. “For the ladies, each team shall play all teams twice,” the statement adds.
Coach Timothy Odeke’s Gazelles who played champions Egypt yesterday will have to elevate themselves to a level they haven’t been before.
The men’s team, Silverbacks, won this event nine years ago against all odds. With the top two teams qualifying for the Afrobasket, a repeat of 2005 would mean a lot more.
FIBA AFRICA ZONE V CLUB CHAMPIONSIP
FINAL TEAM – GAZELLES
Flavia Oketcho, Sylvia Nakazibwe, Muhaimina Namuwaya, Vicky Nassolo, Ntale (captain), Lynn Nalunkuma, Claire Lamunnu, Meme Rukia, Peace Proscovia, Becky Akullo, Sharon Karungi, Carol Nywafwono, Monica Siima
COACH: Timothy Odeke
Assistant coach: Nimrod Kaboha
FINAL TEAM – SILVERBACKS
Henry Malinga, Ivan Rumanyika, Samuel Kalwanyi, Andrew Opiyo, Stephen Omony, Norman Blick, Jimmy Enabu, Ben Komakech, Josh Johnson, Samuel Mukooza Kassim Nagwere, John Balwigaire
COACH: Mandy Juruni
Assistant coach: Gad Eteu
SOURCE: Daily Monitor