Captains retained for Zone V
Posted Friday, January 18 2013 at 17:58
Stephen Omony and Vicky Nassolo have a chance to shed off the poor show at last year’s Fiba Africa Zone V Championship as they retained captaincy mantles for the respective teams.
“It’s an honour to lead these girls,” A1 Challenge small forward Nassolo told Daily Monitor during the team’s official flag-off at Serena Hotel yesterday.
The women’s team won twice in Kigali, Rwanda – beating Tanzania and Ethiopia.
They lost to Kenya and the hosts. “We have put in so much over the past 11 days and it will show,” she added.
Nassolo’s assistant is Flavia Oketcho. The latter, a point guard with champions KCCA Leopards, returns to the side having missed the early part of last year.
On the men’s team, DMark Power forward Joseph Ikong, a member of the team that won the 2005 edition, was named assistant captain thereby taking over from club teammate Ben Komakech.
For Ikong, it’s a remarkable journey as he was only named in the provisional 18-man squad as a reserve for the January 21-26 event.
Coach Mandy Juruni’s final 12 didn’t have any surprises with Moses Olobo missing out whereas Ivan Enabu was ignored.
Omony is confident of putting up a better show. The men’s team won only once – against Tanzania – in the last edition. “I think the team has been making progress in the past one year. There is growth in all areas and you should expect a different result,” Omony said.
The bar has been raised with Egypt making a return to join champions Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Somalia and the hosts Tanzania.
“Egypt’s inclusion is a big plus for the tournament at a technical level but we are not going there to just participate,” Omony added.
Prize at stake
Besides Somalia which is only fielding a men’s team, the others have teams in both categories with only winners qualifying for the Africa Championship.
Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Sudan have not confirmed their participation.
Omara Apita, the commissioner for sports, and National Council of Sports (NCS) general secretary Japser Aligawesa, handed over the flags at a well-attended ceremony.
According to Fuba president Ambrose Tashobya, the 35-man contingent will fly to Dar-es-Salaam in two batches on Sunday and Monday, the day the tournament tips off.
Since Monday, the team has had sessions with US-based coach Paul Johnson.
The American has focused mainly on beating one-on-one defence and not much scoring.