KAMPALA-Former basketball coach John Wooden once said; “I found the bench to be the greatest ally I had to make individuals comply with what was the best for the team.”
Uganda women’s national volleyball team coach Tonny Lakony, might have thought the same going into his side’s not-so convincing win over Ethiopia in a Zone V Championship encounter at MTN Arena, Lugogo last night.
Lots of things went right for Uganda on the night as they won 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-13) to avenge defeat, by a similar margin, in the same competition held here in 2015.
But Lakony was not happy with the efforts of his bench in the first of three games at a competition that also doubles as a qualifier for the All Africa Games due in Morocco in September.
“We tried to make changes but it quickly watered down our quality and they (Ethiopia) came close (especially in the second set) so we had to sub back,” Lakony explained.
“But we hope that we can have more stability and consistency against the Rwandese. We have some young tall girls that have done well in training and even beat the first team earlier in training.”
According to the coach, the She Cranes were operating on 4.5 out of 10 on the night but they have something to build on.
“The win gives us a foundation to build on the next game. It was also important because technically we considered Ethiopia the weakest opponent of the three but if you lose any game here then you have one foot but of the championship.”
Ethiopia offered tactical and technical threats that Uganda will likely face against a more stable Rwandese side tonight. Lakony’s side will therefore still need to strike a balance between technique and power.
“Ethiopia were good tactically even though they did not have power. We beat them with our defence and serve. Eventually the strength we have in the hitting was too much for them.”
SUNDAY, MAY 19
Kenya 3-0 Rwanda
(25-10, 25-17, 25-10)
Uganda 3-0 Ethiopia
(25-17, 25-19, 25-13)
6pm: Ethiopia vs. Kenya
8pm: Uganda vs. Rwanda