Uganda’s U16 team, Junior Gazelles, has had a poor start at the ongoing 2019 FIBA Africa U16 women championship in Rwanda.
The team, taking part at the continental stage for the first time, lost 32-108 and 46-80 to Mali and Egypt respectively.
Coach Roger Sserunyigo believes that this poor start is due to the gulf in quality between his side and the continent’s powerhouses.
“Honestly, Mali will be champions, Egypt will make semis and may be head into finals,” coach Sserunyigo told this website on Tuesday.
“We lost to the best teams in Africa. “They are more composed, but being the first time in the competition, that can be expected. There are as many as 64 countries in Africa and us being among the best seven at this tourney – I am proud of this achievement so far.
“The girls played so hard vs Egypt and didn’t give up a single time scoring in double figures in all quarters, I am so proud of them.”
It should be noted that Uganda qualified to this event after they won the Zone five junior women championship which was also held in Rwanda recently.
This is the sixth edition of the FIBA Africa U16 women championship, and all the five past editions have been won Mali. Egypt, the other team in Uganda’s group, have reached the finals three times.
The coach explained:
“Mali, Mozambique, Egypt and Angola are in a different class. All basics of basketball in one package. We are getting there as Uganda and we will keep building better teams.”
“I have a lot of hope in my team despite us not being able to field our best player, Lydia Babirye. We need to improve our transitional game as we actually tend to be quicker than the rest of the teams yet we over slow down. We have also physically outplayed our opponents like Egypt.”