KAMPALA –Five countries have confirmed their participation in the forthcoming Fiba Zone V Women’s Afro-Basket qualifiers – scheduled for Kampala – starting this Valentines’ day – up February 19.
Organisers – according Hudson Segamwenge – the Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations – Fuba – vice president in charge of Administration had received confirmation from four countries – joining hosts – Uganda.
Fiba Zone V comprises 11 countries but only Egypt, Rwanda, South Sudan and Kenya confirmed their participation in competing for a single slot for the finals slated for Kigali-Rwanda in July.
The other countries in Zone V including Burundi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea – showed no interest in competing at this six-day championship to be staged at the Lugogo Indoor Arena.
Despite Rwanda’s participation in the Kampala qualifiers – their slot at the 2023 Women’s AfroBasket showpiece – where the best teams will earn a place at the 2024 Paris Olympics – is confirmed as hosts.
The Afrobasket Women is Africa’s women’s basketball continental tournament, held every two years. Nigeria is the defending champion of the biennial tournament, which was last held in Cameroon in 2021.
Three-time defending champions Nigeria – in addition to Mali, Cameroon, and Senegal have secured their places the Final Round by virtue of reaching the Semi-Finals of the 2021 Women’s AfroBasket in Yaounde, Cameroon.
Uganda’s national team – The Gazelles would be making an attempt to appear in a continent championship for the third time after their in 1997 and 2015 – having missed the last edition in 2021 due to traditional chorus of lack of funds.
The Gazelles have been undergoing preparations for the tournament for nearly a month – trimming the final team to 15 players out of the 28 – who were initially summoned in January.
The final squad has Evelyn Nakiyingi, Shakira Nanvubya, Rita Imanishimwe, Flavia Oketcho, Perus Nyamwenge, Brenda Ekone, Shillah Lamunu, Leticia Awor, Maria Najjuma, Jannon Otto, Agatha Kamwada, Zaina Lokwameri, Hope Agnes Akello, Bridget Aber and Sarah Juliet Ageno.
Relatedly, Segamwenge revealed that the entrance fees for the Zone V games had been reduced from Ugx20, 000 to Ugx10, 000.
Arnold Katabi – the Fuba vice president in charge of Marketing and Publicity the fee was revised following several complaints.