Uganda’s National Basketball U18 Girls team, the Junior Gazelles, have left for Mozambique for the Afrobasket U18 finals.
The team is flying out a day after the tournament had tipped off and with a one-week preparations period.
FUBA Vice President Hudson Ssegamwenge said that they were limited by resources.
“We received funds from National Council of Sports but it was not enough and by the time we got it, most of the flights were booked,” Ssegamwenge said.
“But of course I have to thank them, alongside the Federation (FUBA) for enabling this to be a success. We have actually requested the organisers to push our opening game.”
In addition, the team leaves with a player-less; Patience Karungi stays behind because she never got consent from her parents due to MOCK exams.
The Junior Gazelles beat St Noa 37-26 at Africa Bible University in Lubowa before being flagged off.
But coach Mavita Ali remains optimistic and banking on team chemistry to put up a show.
The Junior Gazelles qualified to the finals after topping the three-nation Zonal Qualifiers recently in Lugogo, after overcoming Tanzania and Rwanda.
The squad comprise of the same Girls that played the Zonals and also the Afrobasket U16 tournament in Cairo last year.
“We had the same team in Cairo so this is not a new stage for them,” said Mavita who doubles as the KCCA Leopards coach.
“We are looking forward to getting a good tournament and go as far as possible, and our target is a podium place.”
“Being that this team has been together for a while, it makes our work easier as coaches in terms of bonding. They are a great group of Girls.”
Forward Darlene Tashobya briefly commented: “Every one of us knows the responsibility, we know it will be a hard competition but we are aware of how far we have come. We are excited to be there and we want to go and have fun.”
This will be the fourth time the Junior Gazelles will be featuring at the U18 Afrobasket after previous appearances in 2008 (Tunisia), 2016 (Egypt) and 2018 (Mozambique).
In Madagascar, the top two teams will qualify for the 2023 FIBA U19 World Cup in Madrid, Spain – The event will take place from July 15 to 23, 2023. The Junior Gazelles Squad.
Teams in Women Category – Madagascar (Host), Egypt (Defending Champions), Mali, Guinea, Uganda, Angola, Tanzania, Algeria
- Darlene Tashobya
- Adongpiny Immaculate
- Sylvia Nantongo
- Zoe Atek
- Shilla Lamunu
- Diana Letaru
- Sharifah Nalwadda
- Mariam Namukwaya
- Christine Namyalo
- Priscillar Nambogo.
- Nantale Sarah
Coaches – Ali Mavita and Rogers Serunyingo