Tanzania International spices PAU Grand Open

Cue Time. Ssebuguzi hopes home advantage counts this weekend during the PAU Grand Open. PHOTO/GEORGE KATONGOLE

What you need to know:

  • Having been part of the Tanzania squad to the All Africa Blackball Championships in Lusaka, Zambia in March, Hussein lost in the last 16 to Uganda’s Yudah Ssembuusi 7-2. His ability to finish will be a key to his onslaught.

Abdallah Hussein, the only international player in the second edition of the PAU Grand Open this weekend at Winners Pub in Seeta, hopes to make his presence count.

The fast-attacking right handed player, who arrived in the country on Monday is charging towards his first international accolade with swag.

Having been part of the Tanzania squad to the All Africa Blackball Championships in Lusaka, Zambia in March, Hussein lost in the last 16 to Uganda’s Yudah Ssembuusi 7-2. His ability to finish will be a key to his onslaught.

Favourable preparation

The Tanzanian beat former national captain Alfred Gumikiriza in a warm-up game on Wednesday night 16-14 and he now hopes that is favourable preparation for the second edition of the Grand Open.

“Ugandan players are very competitive because they have a lot of action going on. I am here to enjoy but also represent my country honourably. The odds are against me but I will do my best,” Hussein said. The season opener will be a joy to watch as four of the top seeds; Ibrahim Sejjemba, Geoffrey Settumba, Caesar Chandiga and Denis Ongom are playing semi-pro in Zambia.

This will leave the door open for Mansoor Bwanika, Habib Ssebuguzi, Joseph Kasozi and Mustapha Bwire in contention. Bwanika has dominated most of the local non-sanctioned events with Bwire’s showing great promise.

Top seeds in the draw 

1. Mansoor Bwanika

2. Habib Ssebuguzi

3. Joseph Kasozi

4. Mustapha Bwire150

150- Full House

Ssebuguzi remains an outsider with Ibrahim Kayanja, who beat him in the second round of the AAPA championship, also in contention for a place in the medal brackets. Ssebuguzi hopes home advantage will count despite failing to impress in the weekly tournaments held at Amigos and Pot It Bar. 

The two-day tournament climaxing on Sunday will attract 128 male players and 32 women fighting for cash prizes.

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