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Saturday,September 22,2018 14:05 PM

No camp for Gazelles, Silverbacks

By Charles Mutebi

Added 24th February 2017 05:59 PM

Both the Gazelles and Silverbacks qualified for their maiden appearance at the Afrobasket in 2014

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Both the Gazelles and Silverbacks qualified for their maiden appearance at the Afrobasket in 2014

No money, no time for the Uganda Gazelles and Silverbacks.
 
Several weeks after basketball body FUBA run to government asking for a modest $76,000 to cater for the women and men's national basketballs teams for a two-week training camp in Alexandria and the FIBA Zone V Afrobasket Qualifiers in Cairo, more than half the money has not been provided.
 
Chances are it won't.
 
Both the Silverbacks and Gazelles were supposed to leave Friday for Egypt. Instead FUBA are in the unenviable scramble for a Plan B.
 
When FUBA approached the National Council of Sports (NCS) weeks ago with the budget, NCS general secretary Nicholas Muramagi said the national body could only contribute $33,000, a figure that would cater for the teams' participation in the March 12-18 qualifiers but not the training camp.
 
FUBA consequently approached minister of state for education and sports Charles Bakkabulindi in search of the $34, 000 balance. The minister gave FUBA hope but as, one official on the National Team Management Committee (NTMC) had feared, it was false hope. 
 
It's a situation that's left NTMC chairman Mohammed Santur despondent.
 
"How long will the government ignore our pleas?" Santur wondered.
 
"The NCS says we take one team to camp but who do you pick? Both the Gazelles and Silverbacks are equally important. We had already booked the hotels in Alexandria and organised friendly games.
 
"I even put a deposit from my pocket on an order for new national kit from Dubai because I wanted us to be ready before our departure to Alexandria. We need to be in camp to get down to the nitty-gritty part of our build up."
 
Both the Gazelles and Silverbacks qualified for their maiden appearance at the Afrobasket in 2014, attracting the attention of the continent to the nation. Both must finish in the top two at the Mar 12-18 qualifiers to make an Afrobasket return.
 
Qualification is crucial because it will influence seeding for future qualifiers. ‚Äč

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