National Council of Sports assistant General Secretary, David Katende has implored the national 3x3 basketball teams to ‘die a little for the country’ in order to justify government continued support to basketball.
This was his message before he flagged off a team of eight (4men and 4women) to Madagascar for one of the two FIBA 3x3 Africa Cup qualifiers in Madagascar and Benin.
Uganda men’s team will play against teams from Egypt, Gabon, Madagascar, Seychelles, South Sudan, Tanzania, DR Congo and Zimbabwe while the women will face similar opposition from the same countries including Tunisia. The top four on the standings after the qualifier in Antananarivo will qualify for the second edition of the Africa Cup in Togo, November, 9-11.
“As government, we are still committed to supporting federations that produce well laid out programs. But when you go out there also try to do some serious business, because the support will automatically continue to come when the results speak for themselves; once you qualify it will mean supporting you to another level,” Katende advised
“I would like to ask the federation to remain committed and give more attention to the underage to ensure sustainability,” Katende urged.
FUBA president Ambrose Tashobya said the team was capable of qualifying because Uganda is highly ranked in 3x3basketball and was being first tracked by FIBA for the Tokyo 2020 games.
“3x3 is growing and Uganda is one of the very few African countries that have taken this version of the game very seriously at the junior and senior levels. We have been invited to the Under-23 World Cup in Ziangh China in October, which cements the conviction that Uganda is taking the 3x3 games very seriously. We expect our players to put up their best and qualify,” Tashobya said.
Uganda 3x3 director Hamza Nyambogo said the teams are well prepared and expects them to perform well because they have trained more than ever before and have all the qualities required for this version.
The men’s team has City Oil’s Tonny Drilleba and Jonathan Egau, Sunday Okot and Warriors’ Stanley Mugerwa while the ladies have Jamila Nansikombi, Rita Imanishimwe, Sarah Ageno and Zainah Lokamweri of JKL Lady Dolphins and UCU respectively. Tashobya and Nyambogo will travel with the team.
Uganda women finished third the last time out in Togo in 2017 and qualified for the 3x3 World Cup that was held in the Philippines where they finished among the top 12 out of 20 teams this year.