By Charles Mutebi
National Basketball Team Friendly games (Enoc Cup)
Ug. Gazelles v Select
Ug. Silverbacks v City Oil
With less than a month to the FIBA Afrobasket Zone V Championships in Kampala, there is no room left for playful experiments or guesswork.
What we see from the national men and women’s basketball teams right now is basically what we will get at the highly competitive tournament.
For this reason, today’s friendly games involving both the Uganda Gazelles and Silverbacks at Lugogo, are more serious than may appear. If Maureen Amoding and the rest of the Gazelles need an update on the fluidity of their off-ball movements or ability to create open looks for each other, then their game against a Select Side should give them specific details to address.
If Steven Omony and the Silverbacks need to gauge their concentration on defence and comfort with the team’s basic plays, then City Oil are the perfect opponents to do it against.
But these friendlies are not only timely, they are also potentially very rewarding for the players. Mohammed Santur and his national team committee have set up decent cash prizes for the contests, which are officially known as the Enoch Cup. The money will make them competitive, a necessary component if the game is to be a yardstick.
“We want these games to be serious,” Santur told New Vision. “We have organised other things to spice up the occasion.”
Chief among those other things is inviting CEO of Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) Group as guest of honour. Saead Khoory is in Uganda for other company business but has been interested in the occasion via the City Oil connection.
Enoc are major sponsors of National Basketball League champions City Oil.
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