Gazelles hang on for wildcard

Gazelles celebrate finishing second. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

The Gazelles fight back was not helped when Jannon Otto reached four fouls in late in the third quarter.

A fully packed Lugogo Indoor Stadium was left with mixed emotions as the buzzer went to announce Egypt as the team that will represent Zone V at this year’s Fiba Women’s AfroBasket.

The Gazelles had fallen short of booking the sole ticket after a a 74-65 loss in Sunday’s decider but there was applause for the hosts.

The crowd must have figured it would be a tall order for the Gazelles to beat the favourites twice in less than seven days having defeated the 2021 runners-up 86-85 in Wednesday’s round robin game.

Egypt played like the giant they are, ignoring the deafening noise in support of the hosts.

The start was perfect for Egypt, leading 14-11 early to give the crowd a picture of what to expect.

Raneem Elgedawy, eventually named tournament MVP, went to work early, dominating the inside and causing havoc around the rim.

Meanwhile Soraia Deghady and Radwa Sherif were doing the damage from three-point range. 

Brenda Ekone was fouled on the drive for a basket and a foul. She converted to bring the Gazelles to within one point (20-19) at end of  the first quarter.

The Gazelles staged a comeback early in the second frame with Ekone going through traffic to level matter (24-24) with 7.05 on the clock in the second.

Najjuma lay up for the Gazelles to lead 33-31 and force Egypt into a timeout with 3.27 left on the clock in the second quarter.

The Pharaohs took a two-point advantage (40-38) into the halftime break.

Egypt stretched the lead to five (50-45) with 2.41 left on the clock in the third frame.

The Gazelles fight back was not helped when Jannon Otto reached four fouls in late in the third quarter.

Maria Najjuma made two free throws to close the gap to six points going into the final quarter  but Egypt were dominant and managed the game to completion.

Ekone and Otto lead the Gazelles with 17 and 11 points respectively.

The victory hands Egypt the ticket to AfroBasket slated for July 28 to August 6 in Kigali, Rwanda. Uganda will now be hoping to get an entry via the wildcard option. 

Fiba Women’s Zone V AfroBasket Qualifiers 


Egypt 74-65 Uganda 

Bronze game

Kenya 64-30 South Sudan 

Best five
Moussa Reem (Egypt), Teny Nyamuoch (South Sudan), Jannon Otto (Uganda), Madina Okot (Kenya), Raneem Elgedawy (Egypt).


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