Point guard Enabu out of Zone V tournament
Posted Tuesday, January 15 2013 at 09:14
Basketball. Despite struggling throughout the season, Enabu finally landed his first championship after years of near-misses.
Ivan Enabu became the fifth player to withdraw from the national men’s team preparing for the Fiba Africa Zone V Championship next week.
The Warriors points guard informed the team on Saturday of his exit, just hours after featuring in a trial game at the Lugogo MTN Arena in which they beat a Select Side 78-47. “He left the team for personal reasons,” head coach Mandy Juruni told Daily Monitor.
Ivan was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) when Uganda won the Zone V in Kampala seven years ago.
Cyrus Kiviri, Brian Ssentogo, Andrew Opio and Edwin Kateregga have withdrawn over the past two weeks leaving Juruni with only 13 players.
Despite winning his only national basketball league title with Warriors last year, Ivan didn’t have a good season and had hinted on retirement from the game at only 27 years.
However, in the past few weeks, he has backtracked considerably. “Right now, I am not thinking about retirement but how to celebrate,” Ivan said after Warriors beat Falcons 4-2 to win the seven-match series last month.
He remained unavailable to comment by press time though sources told this newspaper that he has multiple options including rejoining UCU Canons, the team he played for from 2005 to 2010.
“His two-year contract with Warriors is up and he could either go to a flying school or go back to UCU,” the source said. “By the way, Ivan doesn’t decide many things easily. His parents play a big part.”
Ivan’s exit definitely means his younger brother Emmanuel Enabu will make the final 12 as the understudy point guard to Ben Komakech. Juruni also refused to respond to rumours that DMark Power forward Isaac Afidra wil be recalled to the team just days before the tournament that runs January 21-27 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Afidra, ignored by selectors, could be in as a replacement for Geoffrey Soro whose participation in the event is in jeopardy for submitting contradicting information about his age in a period of five years.
After taking a breather on Sunday, the team resumed training yesterday at YMCA court under the tutelage of US coach Paul Johnson and the three local coaches.