By Charles Mutebi
FIBA U18 Zone V Championship
Girls: Kenya 64 Uganda 49
Boys: Uganda 60 Kenya 51
National Basketball League (Friday, YMCA)
Women: UCU v A1
Men: Warriors v KIU
UGANDA has won just two international basketball titles in its documented history. But in a space of one week, it is on the verge of doubling the tally.
The national Under 18 team are the new FIBA Zone Five champions after a 60-51 win over Kenya on Wednesday at Lugogo gave them an unassailable lead over their rivals.
The girls are hoping to emulate their compatriots and all they need is a second win over Rwanda on Friday, whom they defeated 50-48 on Tuesday with a last gasp layup from Sumaiya Hasahya.
Rwanda know a three-point win or more will help them deny the hosts from completing an impressive double but coach Sam Bawayo is confident his side will not disappoint.
“I am confident we will win,” Bawayo told The New Vision Sport on Thursday.
Uganda’s two titles are the 2005 FIBA Men’s Zone V championship and the 2009 U-18 girls Zone V crown. Both were claimed on home soil.
Once again, the comfort of home has proved key in aiding Uganda’s performance in the U-18 competition. FUBA president Ambrose Tashobya also credits the increase in young talent for the success.
“We have so many good young players coming through,” Tashobya told New Vision Sport.
“In fact, many were left out because we sent their names late for verification. This was the result of the scouting, which had to wait until the end of the national secondary schools championship that just ended the other week”.
The national U-18 boys side will now go on to compete at the continental stage and they will be hoping to make the trip with their female compatriots.